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Pirates and Emperors, Old and New


"St. Augustine tells the story of a pirate captured by Alexander the Great, who asked him "how he dares molest the sea". "How dare you molest the whole world?" the pirate replied: "Because I do it with a little ship only, I am called a thief: you, doing it with a great navy, are called an Emperor".

Pirates and Emperors, Old and New. International Terrorism in the Real World. Noam Chomsky, Pluto Press, 2002.

I cannot help smiling as I hear the news that Somalian Pirates have captured an oil tanker with $100M cargo and the UK government and media are apoplectic. The Emperor and its poodle have captured many an oil rich state without such a fuss.

Professor Chomsky needs no plugs from me but his book is as true today as it ever was.

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