what about the pirate battle? it has caused some things of political importance to become obvious.
1. Somalia's instability is affecting countries other than its neighbors, and powerful countries. the international community has taken advantage of the power vacuum to cut highly profitable and highly unscrupulous deals: weapons, toxic waste, illegal fishing, who knows what else. as dody noted: you give us toxic waste, we give you pirates. Someone needs to be in charge there. Even a well-organized criminal organization or military dictator is preferable to the current situation. Someone needs to answer the phone.
2. as for the US media circus, Obama got his first military victory, and it was a cakewalk. he got it without risking any soldier's lives, without any chance of civilian deaths, with perfectly transparent motives, with a very tangible prize (the rescue of an heroic captain) and a very tangible opponent (PIRATES!).
3. But for the North-South, rich vs. developing world dynamic, it is business as usual. Let's bring the bible into this: "Woe unto the world because of offenses; for it must needs be that offenses come, but woe to that man by whom the offense cometh." The world is offended because we have let Somalia become what it is: a bundle of medieval european-style warring city-states among modern nation-states. The pirates are those by whom the offense cometh, but they seem to be only actors in a tragedy. they are likely good people whose virtues force them to eventually do ignoble deeds. it is the world's failure for making it so.