It's wonderful news that the U.S. navy rescued Captain Phillips, and even better that he was unharmed. Beyond the obvious value to Captain Phillips, this incident sends a message that Americans will defend themselves. Bravo to all, including President Obama as commander-in-chief, and shame on me for doubting.
Some mysteries remain: why is it that a merchant marine ship cannot defend itself if it sees strangers boarding it, clearly with evil intent? I understand that the merchant marine must be clearly distinguished from the navy, but what's wrong with self-defense? Also, why did military commanders have to obtain permission not once but twice from President Obama to use force? Hopefully answers to these questions will emerge in the next few days.