Col. Ralph Peters, the New York Post columnist and terrorism expert, warns of a new Muslim crusade against African Christians in an op-ed today . He writes, “The bombings that recently butchered World Cup fans in Uganda were just the latest in a long line of crazed attacks on African Christians by Islamist fanatics. In the central states of Nigeria—Africa’s most-populous country—religious pogroms and counter-pogroms between Muslims and Christians have become routine.”

As I wrote in this space last week, the Somali pirates are accumulating a war chest for massacres of African Christians. Western governments’ efforts to stop them are cosmetic, and the rules of engagement imposed on American forces in the region are almost as restrictive as those that apply to American policemen dealing with ordinary criminals. The defense ministries of the West, including the Pentagon, concede that it’s cheaper to pay off the pirates than to suppress them—cheaper, that is, in African lives.

This is shameful. The fact that many poor Somalis have turned to piracy does not justify a criminal activity in support of murderous terrorism. The way to stop piracy is to kill pirates. “Millions for defense, not one cent for tribute” was America’s response to the Barbary pirates at the turn of the 19th century. Nothing less will do. Again, my proposal is to issue Letters of Marque to privateers. Gen. Petraeus knows how to recruit mercenaries; he hired 100,000 of them into the “Sunni Awakening” in Iraq. His talents are lost on Afghanistan. Assign him to clean up the Indian Ocean instead.

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