Most international incidents the United States gets involved in are usually complicated affairs, with all sorts of causes and ramifications that don't necessarily meet the eye.
Maybe the US has a history of cooperation with a repressive government in the region. Maybe soldiers from local US bases have engaged in atrocities. Maybe the CIA has propped up a murderous dictatorship. Maybe the US financially supports an apartheid regime.
Maybe the local populace has a good reason to be resentful of the Americans, or maybe they don't but feel they do. Even the Islamic terrorists we've been combatting recently, as heinous as their actions are, have legitimate beefs.
On top of all this, a sitting President usually has to mollify different factions among the electorate, Congress, even his own administration.
What happened yesterday was much simpler and cleaner. Somali pirates, motivated purely by money, held an American hostage and threatened his life unless they were paid off. No ideology, no longstanding resentments, just greed.
So the Navy Seals took three shots, each hit its intended target, and Captain Richard Phillips was rescued unharmed. Good for the Seals, and good for the heroic Phillips, who had offered himself as hostage to spare his crew.
The international community, especially the Europeans whose ships have proven so vulnerable, must be at least secretly happy with the outcome.
Would that it were always that simple.