The recent kidnapping of a handicapped French woman from a Kenyan resort, initially attributed to Somali pirates, was the second such kidnapping in a month. Kenyan authorities now blame al-Shabab, the Somali terrorist group affiliated with al Qaeda.
Since February, the Danish sailor Jan Quist Johansen, his wife, Birgit, and their three children, Rune, Hjalte and Naja, have been held hostage by Somali pirates. After a failed rescue attempt in March, the family has been treated brutally and many now claim that if the ransom is not paid immediately, they risk execution - just as two American couples, Jean and Scott Adams, and Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, were executed by pirates earlier this year when ransoms were not paid in time.
The War of 1812 was a no-win war. American invasions of Canada collapsed, British invasions of the United States foundered, and brilliant victories by single American frigates could not offset the punishing effects of the British blockade.