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Jeff Koopersmith on the story behind the story of the Somali pirates.
November 22, 2008 – Geneva (apj.us) – Almost everyone grins when they see a rubber ducky. It's just one of those things. We recall almost instantaneously a romp in the bath tub at two years old, or a romp in a hot tub with our then current beloved at twenty.
The rubber ducky has become a symbol of peace, of protection, warm water, and a newly washed towel inviting us to jump into it, on with our pajamas, and then into bed for a story.
Today many memories like this are at menace for our children and grandchildren.
The world seems on the verge of fiscal collapse. We have not found even one year in the last 100 without war erupting somewhere on the earth. We have been turned into avaricious contestants on a monopoly board designed only for the top one percent of our population – or is that the top quarter of one percent now?
The cover of American Politics Journal this week can bring a smile or a cry of outrage. Of course what you see is simply some small rubber duckies getting their instructions from the bigger, General rubber ducky. He is outsized – as tall as a building. The others are may be growing into a nightmare instead of a dream.
In the rear, we spot an oil tanker. It's obvious to us that the duckies are going to pirate it and hold it and its crew for ransom once its filled with what we once called "Texas Tea."
Who are these duckies? Moreover, are we certain they are going to attack the ship, or are they going to defend it, or like Navy Seals, board it and take it back to its rightful owner?
It's tough to tell. Either way though, the image of a gaggle of yellow rubber ducks armed to the teeth and near the docks is chilling.
Let me tell you where I think these duckies have come from.
They've come from the bowels of impoverishment and greed.
They've given up hope for the toddler's tubs they never had and have joined a new kind of militia – well an old kind really, the kind we Americans formed to defeat the British, or the type the Cubans formed to beat down the dictator Batista only to have another take his place.
Yet we've created them, you and I. We've made the duckies give up all hope for a normal house in a normal place. We've killed their children from hunger, shot them, or let them die from illnesses our children don’t know. We've misappropriated their minerals, their oil – even their food and cotton. We've dropped bombs on them, fired missiles at them, and tried to keep them "where they belong".
Now, seeing themselves as either Robin Hood or Al Capone the once dear rubber duckies now hurtle over the oceans and grab their prizes – sharing the booty with the poor.
Jeff Koopersmith is an internationally renowned political consultant, opinion research authority and policy analyst. He has lobbied for causes including the alternative fuel sector and women's health, and is an expert on the international real estate market. He lives in Philadelphia, Washington and Geneva.