The Moment

11|18|08: Gulf of Aden

Say this for pirates: we wouldn't have St. Patrick's Day without them. Ireland's patron saint first set foot on the Emerald Isle after being captured by corsairs, so we can at least thank the skull-and-crossbones crowd for green beer.

On the credit side of the ledger, that's about it. Piracy is nasty, brutish--and old. As long as richly laden ships have sailed within reach of dirt-poor land, piracy has been part of our heritage. That has long been true in the Mediterranean, the South China Sea, the Caribbean--and is true now in the waters off the Horn of Africa. This year...

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