sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Sunday, February 8, 2015

A Lesson from American History

At the National Prayer Breakfast last Thursday, President Obama cited Christian misdeeds 1000 years ago as a possible defense for radical Muslim savages burning people to death, crucifying Christians and selling young girls into slavery today. We know where President Obama's heart is and we know that it is not an American heart.

I think that it is time for more American history. Call it a sermonette if you are so inclined - really more of a rant.

At the height of the eighteenth century, Muslim pirates were the terror of the Mediterranean and a large area of the Atlantic Coast. They attacked merchant ships, and held the crews for exorbitant ransoms. Those taken hostage were subjected to barbaric treatment and wrote heart breaking letters home, begging their government and family members to pay whatever their Mohammedan captors demanded.

These extortionists of the high seas represented the Islamic nations of Tripoli, Tunis, Morocco, and Algiers – collectively referred to as the Barbary Coast – and presented a dangerous and unprovoked threat to the new American Republic. They avoided British flagged ships because the Royal Navy had the power to sack their small coastal nations three ways from Sunday.

Before the Revolutionary War, U.S. merchant ships had been under the protection of Great Britain.  After the war, when normal trade resumed, the American flagged ships were ripe targets for the Muslim pirates.

Beginning in 1784, seventeen years before he would become president, Thomas Jefferson became America’s Minister to France. That same year, the U.S. Congress sought to appease its Muslim adversaries by following in the footsteps of European nations who paid bribes to the Barbary States, rather than engaging them in war.

Barbary War 1801-1805
In July of 1785, Algerian pirates captured American ships, and the Bey of Algiers demanded an unheard-of ransom of $60,000. Thomas Jefferson proposed to Congress the formation of a coalition of allied nations who together could force the Islamic states into peace. A worried Congress decided to pay the ransom.

In 1786, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met with Tripoli’s ambassador to Great Britain to ask by what right his nation attacked American ships and enslaved American citizens, and why Muslims held so much hostility towards America, a nation with which they had no previous contacts. The two future presidents reported that Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja had answered that Islam "was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Quran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman (Muslim) who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise." No mention of the 70 virgin bounty was recorded for posterity by Jefferson.

Despite of this stunning admission of premeditated violence on non-Muslim nations, as well as the objections of many notable American leaders, including George Washington, who warned that caving in was both wrong and would only further embolden the enemy, for the following fifteen years, the American government paid the Muslims millions of dollars for the safe passage of American ships or the return of American hostages. The payments in ransom and tribute amounted to over twenty percent of the United States government annual revenues in 1800.

US Marines landing on the "shore of Tripoli"
Shortly after his being sworn in as the third President of the United States in 1801, the Pasha of Tripoli sent Thomas Jefferson a note demanding the immediate payment of $225,000 plus $25,000 a year for every year forthcoming. Jefferson refused. The Pasha responded by cutting down the flagpole at the American consulate and declared war on the United States. Tunis, Morocco, and Algiers immediately followed suit. Jefferson, a pacifist, had been against America raising a naval force for anything beyond coastal defense, but having watched his nation be cowed by Islamic thuggery for long enough, decided that is was finally time to meet force with force.

He dispatched a squadron of frigates to the Mediterranean and taught the Muslim nations of the Barbary Coast a lesson he hoped they would never forget. Congress authorized Jefferson to empower U.S. ships to seize all vessels and goods of the Pasha of Tripoli and to “cause to be done all other acts of precaution or hostility as the state of war would justify”.

When Algiers and Tunis, who were both accustomed to American cowardice and acquiescence, saw the newly independent United States had both the will and the might to strike back, they quickly abandoned their allegiance to Tripoli. The war with Tripoli lasted for four more years, and raged up again in 1815.

We all know what evil looks like...well most of us know. Barack sees it every time he shaves and may have become immune to it.