posted on Aug, 23 2021 @ 07:56 AM
The U.S. has been here before, twice. Muslim warlords taking Americans hostage; Americans paying ransom and delivering arms to the captors. Now,
there are reports that Biden has paid the Taliban not to harm Americans stuck in Afghanistan, and has delivered a windfall of weapons to them.
Muslims don’t believe in Santa, but apparently Santa believes in them—and this year, Christmas came early!
The Barbary Pirate Wars are usually an overlooked part of American history. They shouldn’t be. Among the many reasons for their importance, the
wars set the tone that lasted over 100 years: don’t mess with U.S. citizens because the U.S. will send an armed expedition to rescue them, no
matter how lowly those citizens are. In other words, America leaves no man behind. The article has this to say on the importance to the U.S. of the
Barbary Pirate Wars:
Attacks on the United States of America by the pirates of the Barbary Coast commenced almost immediately upon our independence. They would prove to
be one of the defining challenges of the Republic, one that would, among other things, give birth to the U.S. Navy and the Marine Corps and raise
serious questions about the President’s right to wage undeclared wars, the need to balance defense spending against domestic needs, the use of
foreign surrogates to fight our battles, and even whether or not it was a good idea to trade arms and money for the release of hostages.
While European powers (even the mighty English and French) had for centuries paid tribute to the pirates, the U.S. quickly decided it couldn’t or
wouldn’t. In 1815, the U.S. Navy dispatched a daring overland expedition to Derna, capital city of the pirates. The expedition, led by U.S. Consul
to Tripoli William Eaton, included eight Marines led by Lt. Presley O’Bannon (giving rise to the line from the Marines Hymn “…to the shores of
Tripoli”). O’Bannon’s sword and a chunk of the palace wall in Derna with Arabic writing on it are on display at the National Museum of the
Back to the issue of captives. Again, from the article:
By 1796 Algerian corsairs alone had captured 119 sailors from American merchantmen. They were fed near-starvation rations, beaten regularly, and
put to work breaking rocks on chain gangs, or scraping barnacles off ship hulls. Some of them had been imprisoned for 12 years, waiting for their
countrymen to save them. Only after the payment of $642,000 and thousands more in personal bribes, an agreement to pay an annual tribute of $21,600,
and turning over a 36-gun frigate as a “gift” to the dey’s daughter was the U.S. government able to ransom them. It was too late for 31 of the
hostages, who had died in captivity.
We have spent 20 long years in Afghanistan in a misguided effort at “Nation building”, best summed up by that famous line in Full Metal Jacket:
“Inside every Gook is an American
, struggling to get out!” Yeah, not so much. The best approach—then as now—is to simply send a
punitive expedition of defined duration and scope to any country in Africa or the Middle East that has taken our citizens hostage. The Taliban (and
others) are pirates of sorts. So what happened to the Barbary pirates?
All that the heroics of our fighting men seemed to have won was a better price. But the treaty included no provisions for any future tribute, and
in the meantime the United States had built itself a navy. When in 1815 the Barbary pirates began to venture out to prey on U.S. shipping again,
President James Madison requested and got a formal authorization of hostilities from Congress. This time, the United States won treaties from the
rulers of Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli, in the form of large indemnities for the damage they had done. The Barbary pirates were finished.
When will we learn that firm, consistent resolve, coupled with a quick, overwhelming strike is the best approach to keeping our citizens safe?