The term “pirate” has been – for good or ill – greatly compromised in recent history. Illegal file transfers, copyright violation, and all sorts of other non-piratey things have comfortably settled beneath the umbrella of “piracy.” But this Malaysian article would seem to bring us full circle as it indirectly criticizes folks for properly applying our favorite term to actual pirates. To accuse folks of mistaking “sea robbers” for “pirates” truly strains credulity (see what I did there? Vague PotC quote. Boo-yah!) and makes me wonder if I’ve fallen asleep and woken up in Oppositeland. Or Canada.
Naval commander says culprits are not pirates but sea robbers | Daily Express Newspaper Online, Sabah, Malaysia..
Ah, I see the problem.
“There is no piracy in our waters unlike in the peninsula — they are only sea robberies,” Anuwi said, before adding, “piracy and sea robberies have two different meanings — the people have been quoted wrongly.”
There are no pirates in Malaysian waters, so obviously the people committing maritime robbery aren’t pirates, but something else entirely. Makes perfect sense.
How exactly does one rob the sea? Stealing kelp?
huh? Obviously the Commander has never actually read a dictionary. Merriam-Webster defines “Pirate” as: : one who commits or practices piracy. And “Piracy” is defined as: 1 : an act of robbery on the high seas; also : an act resembling such robbery
2 : robbery on the high seas
3 a : the unauthorized use of another’s production, invention, or conception especially in infringement of a copyright b : the illicit accessing of broadcast signals
Maybe he just thinks that “Piractes” only download music?
further investigation revealed several articles in which some people, for whatever reason, define a pirate as a “sea robber of unknown origin” wheras a sea robber is a pirate who’s home country you know. By that logical local gangs who loot and murder on the high seas and sail the flags of their home port on their boats are “sea robbers”, and not pirates….doesnt make a lot of sense if you ask me.
me head hurts from all this belly achin’, give me some more rum!
I’ve read a lot of moronic things in my life (and likely written more), but this one might just take the cake. That’s like saying, “That’s not a dog, it’s a canine.” Or “I don’t drive a car, I drive an automobile.”
As sad as it makes me, Somali pirates are indeed pirates. Modern pirates, but pirates nonetheless….
This isn’t so much political correctness as political expediency here. By downplaying the acts of piracy and trying to re-tag them as something else, he hopes to bolster an impression of his effectiveness and assure merchant marine companies that they have nothing to worry about sailing through waters he oversees.
Reminds me of some New York real estate agents who tried to increase interest in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood by renaming it “Chelsea North” and describing the dodgey safety atmosphere one could expect if you spent time there as “colorful street life.”
Talk about using the old pirate trick of flying false flags to effect…
I do see your point, but I also fail to see how the term “sea robbery” sounds any better than “piracy.” If anything it sounds worse, to my ear. If he really wanted to downplay it, he should have called them “nautical goods acquisition and relocation specialists.”
Hey sea robber works for me. Every time one of these Somali a-holes gets caught, we have to hear about at our performances.
Either get a better name for the act or DONT GET CAUGHT!
Piracy is piracy. Under international law, however, piracy is defined as an act committed on the high seas. Piracy committed in territorial waters is considered armed robbery at sea. But it’s still piracy, no matter the hair-splitting legal distinction.