High seas drama

April 13, 2009 1:11:14 PM PDT
Sure it was a spectacular rescue, something right out of a movie. And don't you think the Hollywood types are scrambling today to make the Somalia piracy rescue into a film? You bet they are.

And it's a talker, even today, 24 hours after three Navy sharpshooters each took aim at pirates holding an American ship captain and fired three bullets -- one each for the kidnappers. And each hitting the mark. (Read more)

Seems a bit disingenuous to call these folks pirates, though. Rogue, violent businessmen seems a better handle for these thugs. Calling them pirates reminds me of Capt. Hook; these guys are interested only in ransom. Forget doubloons; these pirates want dollars. Lots of them.

Anyway, the headline today - luscious as it is, about Navy marksmen coming to the rescue of a kidnapped American, adrift on a lifeboat but surrounded by U.S. military ships - isn't the dramatic outcome.

Instead, I think the headline is that Barack Obama's first military test wasn't on the dusty fields of Iraq or Afghanistan, but on the wide open Indian Ocean.

If we're to believe the tick-tock of events, the President gave the orders early on - right after his surprise visit last week to Baghdad: Shoot the pirates if the Captain's life is threatened.

It worked.

But like all military operations, the longer-term considerations are far more complicated than the short-term battle.

What to do with these violent entrepreneurs on the sea? That's the bigger question. And there are calls for the President to get tough.

We'll have the latest on the rescue aftermath, and on the political problem, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, a 5-year-old boy wandered away from his mother, got on a southbound subway in the Bronx and rode it by himself all the way to the end of the line in lower Manhattan, without anyone noticing. No conductor, no passengers, no security - no nobody. Did I mention no passenger said anything, or thought it strange that a 5-year-old was by himself?

And finally, a moment to remember longtime Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas, who died today at the age of 73. Kalas, whose trademark "outta here" accompanied hometown home runs, collapsed in the broadcast booth in Washington, as the Phillies were getting ready to play the Nationals.

There's something poetic, I suppose, when a man who lived and breathed baseball takes his last breath at a ballpark. But it's sad Kalas is gone - because for so many people, especially youngsters, Kalas brought the Phillies alive - into their bedroom or car or backyard -- through the radio. Like all great broadcasters.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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