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Posted: 10/6/2004 9:18:48 AM EDT
so I was sitting in my history of American foreign policy lecture today, and we were being lectured on Thomas Jefferson. We got to the point where he decides to go attack the Barbary pirates in N Africa that were attacking American shipping in the Mediterranean. A couple of interesting points came up that I think can related to today....

The Barbary Pirates were of course, non-state actors, supported by various North African countries.

Before TJ was elected, the Federalists had attempted to appease the pirates by paying them off (which didn't work).

Jefferson went to war because he felt not only was it the way to stop the pirates, but also because it was a matter of principle - defending the principle's of dignity and liberty that America stood for.

After invading Tripoli (where a regime was in power that supported the Pirates) the question became what to do - stay and occupy, or leave? There wasn't a good answer, and the plan wasn't too well thought out either.

After leaving, and after buying off the regime in Tripoli, the attacks continued.

Eventually, only through military force (in this case, Great Britain) were the pirates defeated.

Sound familiar?
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 9:25:11 AM EDT
History repeats itself...
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 9:29:57 AM EDT
What you mean that TJ when to war with Muslim countries that supported Muslim pirates.
Much like GW is going to war with, well any country( though so far they have been "muslim" countries) willing to or supporting Muslim terrorists today.

History repeating itself is all.
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 9:56:05 AM EDT

As I remember it, an invasion force made up mostly of Egyptian troops and a few Marines were fighting their way to the capitol.

Some dimwit diplomat made a $60,000 payoff to the Sultan (or whatever he was) to get the US hostages released, so the invasion was called off. The Marines were picked up, but the rest of the army was left to fend for themselves.

Not a good moment in US history. But we were also the new little kid on the block at the time.
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 10:00:23 AM EDT
You are correct my friend. Even after the payoff, the attacks continued.

I think it shows that attempting to appease the people who are trying to kill you didn't work 200 years ago, and isn't going to work today. People like this respond to only one thing: overwhelming force.
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 10:07:43 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/6/2004 10:08:35 AM EDT by photoman]
you are correct.

While Preble was bombarding Tripoli, the American Consul to Tunis, William Eaton, was hatching a plot. Eaton was not sympathetic to the demands of the Barbary States. In June 1799 he wrote to the US Secretary of State describing the character of the local Muslim population:

"Taught by revelation that war with the Christians will guarantee the salvation of their souls, and finding so great secular advantages in the observance of this religious duty [i.e. keeping captured cargoes] their inducements to desperate fighting are very powerful."
Eaton, with additional support from James Cathcart, proposed to President Jefferson that they should back Hamet Karamanli, the elder brother of the current Pasha and the rightful heir to the regency, in a military coup.

During Eaton's trek across the desert, and without his knowledge, a new treaty was being worked out with Yusuf Karamanli. Colonel Tobias Lear, Consul General to the Regency of Algiers, listened to the "overtures of peace" being made by the Pasha. The treaty, signed on June 4 1805, provided Yusuf Karamanli with $60,000 for the release of Captain Bainbridge and the crew of the Philadelphia, but Yusuf's reduced circumstances were reflected in the lack of any treaty payment or any agreement to pay further tributes. The treaty was signed by both parties in the main cabin of the Constitution

The more things change the more they stay the same.
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 10:19:28 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/6/2004 10:19:37 AM EDT by KA3B]
Whatever Thomas Jefferson did it's Bush's fault!
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 10:26:21 AM EDT
Whatever Bush did, it's Clintons and Carters fault!
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 12:22:56 PM EDT
By todays standards, TJ was a flaming liberal... For one, he flip-flopped when he spoke against any standing army, but after the Louisiana Purchase, decided we needed one. Then he sent the newly established Marine Corps into Tripoli (Libya) to fight with the muslims... Then he started the Navy with John Paul Jones to fight the Muslim pirates... He was a Republican for the time, but if he was living today, his political views would be those of a democrat...

July 5, 2004 Time Magazine was dedicated to the life of TJ.... VERY interesting stuff. I took the copy from my doctors office (with permission)..
Link Posted: 10/6/2004 4:30:23 PM EDT
Yeah, he was republican (small "r"). I don't know if you could pin him down one way or the other though, by today's standards.

He was a very pricipled man, but he clearly understood his principles had limits. I wouldnt say he was a flip-flopper though. He had very strong beliefs, often saying one thing and pursuing a different policy, but I think that was because he put American interests before his own.

He was a good southerner who was very much in favor of small, yeoman farmers. He didn't like big industry, and certainly not cities (like today'sReps, most of his support came from rural areas).

He certainly had progressive views when it came to race, but he wasn't willing to sacrifice American security to help the slave revolt in Haiti.

Anyways - to say he's a flip flopper likens him to Skerry - I honestly think he had a much more reasonable, and practical approach to politics than that. While he's not a Republican (big "R") by today's standards, I'd definitely avoid putting him with the flaming liberals either.
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