President Obama's lack of quick and decisive action in dealing with the pirate/terrorist/hostage crisis shows that he likely wants to prove he can deal with thugs in a diplomatic way.
He wants to make this crisis a microcosm of showing the world that he represents a new way of doing things.
How will we know he succeeded? There are two necessary outputs.
- The American hostage must be returned unharmed without any action taken by our military.
- There must be a noticeable decrease in pirating and hostage taking.
As for the second, that may prove to be more difficult. A vital requirement to encourage a decrease in pirating is providing a deterrent. Diplomatic solutions tend to only encourage dangerous behavior. This morning's taking of the American-owned tugboat seems to enhance that notion.
Here it is, Mr. President. Prove you're a transcendent figure. The world is watching.