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America and the Barbary Pirates: An International Battle Against an Unconventional Foe
| Gerard W. Gawalt
Posted on 05/14/2004 9:09:39 AM PDT by alkaloid2
Ruthless, unconventional foes are not new to the United States of America. More than two hundred years ago the newly established United States made its first attempt to fight an overseas battle to protect its private citizens by building an international coalition against an unconventional enemy. Then the enemies were pirates and piracy. The focus of the United States and a proposed international coalition was the Barbary Pirates of North Africa.
Pirate ships and crews from the North African states of Tripoli, Tunis, Morocco, and Algiers (the Barbary Coast) were the scourge of the Mediterranean. Capturing merchant ships and holding their crews for ransom provided the rulers of these nations with wealth and naval power. In fact, the Roman Catholic Religious Order of Mathurins had operated from France for centuries with the special mission of collecting and disbursing funds for the relief and ransom of prisoners of Mediterranean pirates.
(Excerpt) Read more at memory.loc.gov ...
TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: barbary; barbarypirates; ezrastiles; pirates; terrorist; thomasjefferson; yale; yaleuniversity
Once again, the Europeans try to satiate, Americans have to take care of business. I found this while on a rant site...
posted on 05/14/2004 9:09:41 AM PDT
Paying the ransom would only lead to further demands, Jefferson argued in letters to future presidents John Adams, then America's minister to Great Britain, and James Monroe, then a member of Congress. As Jefferson wrote to Adams in a July 11, 1786, letter, "I acknolege [sic] I very early thought it would be best to effect a peace thro' the medium of war." Paying tribute will merely invite more demands, and even if a coalition proves workable, the only solution is a strong navy that can reach the pirates, Jefferson argued in an August 18, 1786, letter to James Monroe: "The states must see the rod; perhaps it must be felt by some one of them. . . . Every national citizen must wish to see an effective instrument of coercion, and should fear to see it on any other element than the water. A naval force can never endanger our liberties, nor occasion bloodshed; a land force would do both." "From what I learn from the temper of my countrymen and their tenaciousness of their money," Jefferson added in a December 26, 1786, letter to the president of Yale College, Ezra Stiles, "it will be more easy to raise ships and men to fight these pirates into reason, than money to bribe them."
Jefferson's plan for an international coalition foundered on the shoals of indifference and a belief that it was cheaper to pay the tribute than fight a war.
Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it.
posted on 05/14/2004 9:56:20 AM PDT
British naval power and the tribute or subsidies Britain paid to the piratical states protected American vessels and crews.
A very shrewed strategy by the Brits. They could have annihilated the Barbary pirates any time they wanted, but they chose to pay them tribute so the pirates would harass everyone else's shipping.
posted on 05/14/2004 10:00:41 AM PDT
(My Biography: Psalm 40:1-3)
Kipling: "The problem with paying the Danegeld is you never get rid of the Dane", like knuckling under to bullies or terrorists, it only invites more of the same.
posted on 05/14/2004 10:05:39 AM PDT
It was the same strategy they used with the "Pirates of the Caribbean," who were allowed to refit their ships in British ports . . . until the pirates started to attack British shipping.
posted on 05/14/2004 10:06:59 AM PDT
(CNN is the Amtrak of news.)
. . until the pirates started to attack British shipping.
Kind of like a Yorkie attacking a gang of Rottweillers. Not smart.
posted on 05/14/2004 10:10:10 AM PDT
(My Biography: Psalm 40:1-3)
"Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it."
The French, for example.
posted on 05/14/2004 11:21:01 AM PDT
(saving this space for witty comebacks)
Europeans can only find the will to kill each other. Amazing!
To: Piranha; Cicero; Interesting Times; Travis McGee
FWIW, I have been making the arguement that if the United States could go to war with the Barbary Pirates for the economic impact it was having on the country then is it a logical extension to send a SEAL Team to assasinate the writer of a computer virus?
The impact of the SASSER virus or the Love virus on the economic well being of the United States is far greater damage than the Barbary Pirates ever managed.
posted on 05/14/2004 11:31:32 AM PDT
by The Shrew
(A dollar a day won't cure your addiction to FR but it will make you feel better. Join me!)
I like this quote from Gawalt so much that I put it on my Free Republic home page
"Jefferson's plan for an international coalition [against the Barbary Pirates]
Gerard W. Gawalt
foundered on the shoals of [European] indifference
and a belief that it was cheaper to pay the tribute than fight a war."
Manuscript Division, Library of Congress
posted on 05/14/2004 12:30:17 PM PDT
(Ted Kennedy-did you criticize Clinton and Reno's attack on Waco which resulted in children's deaths?)
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