The Indian navy is taking on Somali pirates.  The classic image of pirates is terribly, terribly romantic.  The reality is less compelling, as William Langewiesche outlined in a terrrific Atlantic piece that is, for some unknown reason, not available on our website.  Pirates are the muggers of the high seas; they prey on the helpless for personal gain, and generally don't particularly care who they're killing to do it.  To be sure, they're undoubtedly, many of them, coming out of difficult situtations.  But so are the crews from third world nations who patiently ride out boring journeys from port to port for paltry sums.

For India this isn't just an economic fight; it's a chance to flex their macho muscle on the world stage--much like the time a little former colonial power took on the Barbary Pirates, a feat still memorialized in the Marine Hymn.     It's nice when God and Mammon fight on the same side.