The Administration's TestAmericans everywhere should be overjoyed at the safe return of Captain Richard Phillips from captivity by Somali pirates:
It was an Easter miracle for the captain's family and the crew of his ship, and a successful test of mettle for the young Obama administration.
President Obama had said nothing publicly during the five-day standoff that began Wednesday, when four pirates tried to hijack the Maersk Alabama, which was carrying food for African refugees.
With Capt. Phillips safe and unharmed, White House aides offered details of Mr. Obama's actions during the crisis, which included at least 30 meetings, briefings and updates, during which the president issued two shoot-to-kill authorizations.
"Our authority came directly from the president," said Vice Adm. Bill Gortney, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command.
Yes, credit must go to the President for acting swiftly and decisively against those who committed this disgraceful act of piracy and terror on the high seas. If the President's people are going to make political hay of this (and rest assured, they will), then political tradition would seem to dictate that they are somewhat entitled to wallow in the glow of the positive outcome for a few days.
The test for Barack Obama, however, did not end with the successful rescue of Captain Phillips. The remaining test will be what his administration will do about the continuing presence of pirates in the Gulf of Aden and the Western Indian Ocean, most of them from Somalia. Just because Captain Phillips is now safe does not mean that the pirates and their leaders have gone away. They remain a serious and real threat to American and international shipping and must be purged from the scene. The pirates have vowed retaliation, and there is little reason to believe that they will not make such an attempt or continue to threaten Americans on the high seas. It took the United States two Mediterranean wars to rid ourselves of the last serious piracy threat to this country's interests.
Would Barack Obama be willing to fight a war at sea if need be in order to destroy these pirates and their ability to threaten our ships?