The Maersk Alabama was the first American flagged merchant ship to be seized by
pirates in almost two hundred years.
What happened next demonstrates why
– and also shows how – America remains the Land of Enterprise.
The significant point is not the
subsequent rescue of the ship’s captain – other nations also have competent
special forces – but the immediate and instinctive reaction of the civilian crew.
The American sailors themselves
took the initiative in forcing the pirates off the ship.
This is typical of the “get up and
go” that still makes Americans the role models for entrepreneurs throughout the
One cannot imagine most Europeans
taking the initiative in the same way. They have been conditioned to sit back
and wait for government help – even when it never comes.
It is not that they lack courage,
but Europeans have to face the additional fear of worrying about whether
fighting pirates breaks health and safety regulations.
Incidentally, an obscure historical
fact with which to bore your friends: the last American ship to be taken by
pirates was captured not by Barbary Coast corsairs, as some media reported, but
by Jean Lafitte – himself
an American entrepreneur!