Information for a Visual Age

"How Somali Pirates Could Take Obama Hostage"

In Asia on May 18, 2009 at 10:23 am

As far as titles go, this one is pretty good. The notion of the president of the United States taken hostage by thugs on the open seas is too good to resist — how could you not want to read the article from the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI)? It reminds me of the many events we hold here at the Center: we try to come up with provocative or unusual titles for what are often quite dry topics. Not necessarily boring, mind you…and sometimes very interesting. But they are often quite humorless. So I appreciate a good title when I see one.

Of course, the article is referring to how pirates can hostage Obama’s presidential agenda, not the person himself:

The notion that an American president cannot permit hostages or POWs to remain in captivity without suffering a significant political penalty is exceptionally dangerous—gravely injuring two presidencies in succession. … Otherwise, when a Somali pirate detains an American sailor and holds him captive in Mogadishu, Obama may find that his administration is also being held hostage.

Still, that title is pretty arresting.

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