I was blog-browsing and came across this poem that really well encapsulates my thoughts on the pirate situation.
I have a hard time condemning/passing judgment on people in terrible situations for doing terrible things. I'm in a really amazing, blessed position in the world, and yet my consumption of "stuff" results in global hurt: pollution, sweatshop labor, and things like helping pay for the destruction of Iraq and Afghanistan. And I do these things because they are convenient, etc. I wouldn't be able to look the people I inadvertently oppress in the face--I guess since I don't really have to, I let it not matter. It also would be very simple for me to say that pirates should find legal "alternatives", but as I've not really bothered challenging the legality of so much I do, who am I to really say a thing? I still will say something.
In terms of cowardice, I have those pirates beat. I'm afraid I'm the real criminal, to have so much and concede so little.