Thursday, December 30, 2010

'To the shores of Tripoli …' ~ By Joseph Farah

Joseph Farah explained in this column how our current administration wants to handle the current Somali pirates and compares it to the way Thomas Jefferson handled the Barbary pirates back in the 17th and 18th centuries. When Jefferson found out that the Europeans were handling the Barbary pirates, he didn't think it made any sense.
"He recognized the purchase of peace from the Muslims only worked temporarily. They would always find an excuse to break an agreement, blame the Europeans and demand higher tribute."
Could the United States make the same mistake in the 21st Century that the Europeans made a couple hundred years ago?

'To the shores of Tripoli …'
By Joseph Farah

December 27, 2010 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2010

My how things have changed.

I just heard the U.S. State Department is suggesting we should negotiate with Somali pirates by paying ransom for the release of 26 Bangladeshis on board the hijacked ship MV Jahan Moni.

Washington says "money was the sole objective" behind the hostage-taking, and that the pirates would likely release the captives for far less money than they are demanding because it's the "lean season" for piracy.

Bangladesh has taken a more principled stand – that no nation can pay ransom for piracy.

Next thing you know the U.S. will be contributing to the ransom or paying the whole thing.

This is quite a turnabout in U.S. foreign policy.

In 1784, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were commissioned by the first Congress to assemble in Paris to see about marketing U.S. products in Europe.

Jefferson quickly surmised that the biggest challenge facing U.S. merchant ships were those referred to euphemistically as "Barbary pirates."

They weren't "pirates" at all, in the traditional sense, Jefferson noticed. They didn't drink and chase women, and they really weren't out to strike it rich. Instead, their motivation was strictly religious. They bought and sold slaves, to be sure. They looted ships. But they used their booty to buy guns, ships, cannons and ammunition.

Like those we call "terrorists" today, they saw themselves engaged in jihad and called themselves "mujahedeen."

Why did these 18th-century terrorists represent such a grave threat to U.S. merchant ships? With independence from Great Britain, the former colonists lost the protection of the greatest navy in the world. The U.S. had no navy – not a single warship.

Jefferson inquired of his European hosts how they dealt with the problem. He was stunned to find out that France and England both paid tribute to the fiends – who would, in turn, use the money to expand their own armada, buy more weaponry, hijack more commercial ships, enslave more innocent civilians and demand greater ransom.


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