The Barbary Pirates

One of my enduring ambitions–aside from getting America to love itself again–it to give people a historical context for today’s current events. So many times, mostly because of 24 hr. news, we are led to believe that the events of the day have no precedent.

Today we’ll see that the ongoing war on terror is in fact an old war and that our enemies believe they have the right to kill us and take anything of value because we are infidels. It is true. Do not believe that all people around the world think as we do, and that violence and the importance of individuals lives receives the supreme value it does in America.

In 1784, just one year after America had finished its war of independence with Britain, Barbary Pirates, (water-borne thieves operating from the coasts of North Africa under the flag of Islam), seized an American ship. Negotiations ensued and America paid the pirates $60,000 in cash and a treaty was signed with Morocco. Then, again in 1784, Barbary Pirates from Algeria captured two American ships, sold them, and forced the crews into slavery.

In 1786, Thomas Jefferson was America’s ambassador to France; John Adams to Britain. Both of them met with the Muslim ambassador from Tripoli to Britain. The ambassador was asked why American ships had been attacked even though there had been no provocation and no past hostilities. Jefferson writes what the ambassador told him:

That it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, 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

Such a response echoes today even; its din resonates in virtually every major country the world over–but people can’t hear it even though it’s repeated with startling regularity.

Have no doubt, it is commanded by Mohammed to kill or enslave the unbeliever. That is Islam’s root. Not all Muslims follow Islam’s commands to the letter, just as not all Christians are pious, but the commands are written that Al-Qaeda should do what it is doing–slaying infidels.

By 1793, twelve American ships had been captured; all of their crews lived as slaves for eleven years. War was never officially declared on the pirates, but military force was authorized by Congress. A point to remember, is that these pirates were terrorists of a sort. And they did not get trials nor were they held at Gitmo for CNN to film. They were killed by military engagement–that’s what happened to pirates then and that’s what should happen to terrorists now. They are engaging in a multi-national WAR. This is not a crime-spree; it is battle.

America learned from its dealings with the Barbary Pirates that Islam grants itself the right to do whatever it wants to unbelievers. In the late 1700s, America paid $990,000 in ransom’s and bribes to Algeria alone; the national revenue was merely $7 million.

The first Barbary War was conducted between 1801 and 1804 and then another commenced in 1815. The United States Marine Corp. saw extensive action in the fighting, gaining the moniker: Leathernecks.

In ending, consider the words of US consul William Eaton in 1799 as he wrote to the Secretary of State: “Too many concessions have been made to Algiers. There is but one language which can be held to these people, and this is terror.”


2 Responses to “The Barbary Pirates”

  1. 1 Mike Rozos
    February 4, 2009 at 2:39 am

    Ugly history, but true.

    How many more sessions of congress will conclude, “Oh, what can we do to appease them now?”

    Nukes are cheap.

    They didn’t have those in the late 1700s.

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