America's Founding Fathers and Islamic Terrorism

America's Founding Fathers and Islamic Terrorism

When we think about the War on Terrorism, it is so easy to think that we have only been fighting Islamic extremists since 9/11. Or, if you want to stretch it some, we’ve been fighting them since the Munich Olympics. Most Americans don’t realize that we have actually been dealing with Islamic extremists—terrorists—for much longer. Since the creation of our country, we have dealt with the danger of these Islamic terrorism.

During the fight for our Independence, the Barbary Powers—Tunis, Morocco, Algiers, and Tripoli—banded together and began to raid American ships. They would take prisoners alive and then demand ransoms. They would take the cargo on the ships and keep it and then demand that the prisoners be ransomed depending on their rank aboard the ship. According to one source, the price of a Master (captain) was 6,000, a mate (office) was 4,000 and a sailor was 1,500. And the only way it was getting paid was by the United States government.

In Jefferson’s papers, the reason the Barbary Powers were attacking American ships was explained:

The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the laws of their Prophet [Mohammed] – that it was written in their Koran that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners; that is 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.

These are words we have heard before. These are things that modern day Islamic extremists have said is their justification for waging war against the United States. It is an incredibly frustrating situation to be found in and, more importantly, it is a dangerous one. When a society feels that dying in battle means paradise, what’s to stop war?

I can tell you one thing that won’t stop a war and this was an example of it. Tribute. Paying tribute does one thing: makes a country weak. By the last year of President Washington’s presidency, the federal government was spending sixteen percent of its yearly budget on paying off the Barbary Powers. When a small country is trying to grow, this is not how you do it. Each year, money was paid to the Barbary Powers. Did that stop them from attacking American vessels? No. Did it embolden them? You bet.

So, despite the fact we were paying huge amounts in tribute every year to protect our ships, they continued to attack. And attack. It was under John Adams—at the insistence of Washington first—that a navy was built. This navy would be used to protect the merchant ships that were going through the Mediterranean. And it was necessary because by the end of Adams’ presidency, extortion payments made up a fifth of the entire Federal budget.

This leads to me to my second point. When given the option of paying off a threat or defeating that physical threat with force, the only option is to use force. The first two Presidents paid off these Islamic extremists and what did we get? Millions of dollars in lost revenue. So, when Thomas Jefferson became President, he did something different. He went to war against the Barbary Powers. And with the Marines and their “shores of Tripoli…” the Barbary Powers were defeated for a time.

For two decades, the United States had been paying extortion payments to these powers and nothing was ever done. Nothing ever stopped. The payments just kept going. However, it wasn’t until the United States used force that suddenly, we had a brief period of time where we could pause. Granted, we had to go to war again in 1815 against the Barbary Powers, but after that, they never became a threat to our ships.

The ultimate point I am trying to make is simple: it might seem wiser to pay off a foe. It’s only money. But, the second you demonstrate weakness in paying people off, you’re going to be stuck with the unfortunate role of consistently being extorted. It is only when you use your armed forces and make it clear that you’ll do damage if the attacks continue will a foreign power reconsider.

The United States is the strongest superpower in the world. We can defeat any foe. But, we have to understand that to defeat force, we must use force. If we are unwilling to use force and we just try to pay off our enemies, nothing will ever get done. And we will spend millions and billions of dollars that didn’t have to be spent. That’s not good for America. When force comes at us, we have to meet it head on with force.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 10.0/10 (1 vote cast)
America's Founding Fathers and Islamic Terrorism, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating
--
4 comments
Nan
Nan

The only thing these Muslims understand is violence. Look in the bible. God made them that way. Why do you thing they destroy anything that will educate their people. They know when their people find out there is a differant way they will turn from the fear they are forced to live with everyday. God expects us to stand up for Him. PBS did a documentary on the Muslim faith. It was very sad but true.

Neil C. Reinhardt
Neil C. Reinhardt

Bush did everything for the Islamic world? WHAT a TOTALLY STUPID comment! And so is comparing our war with Japan with our World Wide War on Moslem Fanatics as they are two totally different things. And as a 75 year old intelligent, (top 3 %) very experienced and knowledgeable Vet (101st Airborne) who grew up during WWII, I have more than a clue of what I speak.

Emily
Emily

Bush and Obama do everything for the Islamic world. We need a leader that is not afraid and will fight these people to the death. Whatever it takes we have to do it. Nuke them, they will get the message. Japan did.

WeMustResist
WeMustResist

The article above is of great interest to those of us who wish to learn what leads to success and what leads to failure. It is timely to remember what America went through before. It is ethical to resist an evil idea, and first to pray for a peaceful loving solution. Only if our sincere prayers are not answered is it ethical to take up arms. A normal shepherd throws stones at the wolves who wish to eat the sheep, and if they get near enough he kills the wolves. A normal owner of a house locks the doors against thieves. A normal mother protects her children from evil people. We should not betray each other - we should help each other. The governments of the Western world have forgotten these simple truths even though they are based on common sense and common decency. Surrender is not the last resort or the first resort or any sort of resort. It is failure. Force is the last resort, and prayer should be the first resort. Resistance to the terrorists then continues by opposing their ideology. It is full of lies, contradictions, poor logic and bad faith. Their inspiration is a God of anger, cruelty and dishonesty. We must resist by upholding a God who believes in love and the truth. We must be true to our God and never retreat from that spiritual and intellectual position. Then persistently, without pause or exeption, we use all we have to identify the enemy and oppose him in every hostile action he takes or word that he says. We are not doing that yet. We pretend that we do not know the difference between a normal muslim and a terrorist. Once a normal muslim turns into a terrorist we do hardly anything about it. We wait. A Muslim terrorist is easy to identify - he takes the political ideas of Islam seriously. Those ideas are (or should be) treason for the citizen of any Western country. We should lock up traitors in word or deed. We should not give financial assistance to people who believe in the political ideas of Islam (eg the Palestinians or any government of a Muslim country). The article by JCD entitled "America's Founding Fathers and Islamic Terrorism" shows that the USA did not benefit by postponing resistance to Islamic terrorism. Either we resist or we surrender. We are faced with a great evil. Either the evil advances or we advance. If we believe in love and the truth then we must resist.

© 2014. FortLiberty.org
More in Military, Politics, Religion (67 of 91 articles)