"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

A Past Perspective on Piracy

With the news over the weekend that Israeli security guards defending an Italian cruise ship with over 1,500 people on board had driven off a group of Somali pirates who attacked the vessel, it seemed interesting that Monday was the anniversary of the Battle of Derna in 1805, in which the US flag was raised in victory on foreign soil for the first time.

This was the culmination of the First Barbary War, fought by the fledgling United States against the Barbary pirates.

The Barbary pirates were feared throughout Western Christendom; they generally seized ships and their crews and demanded ransoms, but they also carried out slave raids along European coastlines. Some historians believe that up to 1.25 million European Christians were carried into slavery in these raids - some from as far north as England and Iceland.

The Barbary states demanded tributes from nations that wished to be safe from these attacks by signing a peace treaty.

The war can be largely attributed to the tenacity of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams; they saw the fact that the US Congress had budgeted for tribute to the Barbary states as a matter of dishonour.

In their roles as ambassadors to Britain and France respectively, they sought out the reasons why a people which they had not harmed sought 'to do them injury'.

Here is the answer they received:

In 1786, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams went to negotiate with Tripoli's envoy to London, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman or (Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja). Upon inquiring "concerning the ground of the pretensions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury", the ambassador replied:

It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every muslim who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise. He said, also, that the man who was the first to board a vessel had one slave over and above his share, and that when they sprang to the deck of an enemy's ship, every sailor held a dagger in each hand and a third in his mouth; which usually struck such terror into the foe that they cried out for quarter at once. [2] [3]

Sound familiar? For all who say that the Somali pirate problem is all about poverty and lack of opportunity, or Somali resentment of the West, they need only click on the Wikipedia link above to think about an alternative perspective.

The situations are remarkably similar. For more detail, I refer you to this excellent video from Occidental Soapbox, in which he examines Leftist excuses for the 9/11 attacks and why many Muslims hate the West and wish it great harm.

In response to this, he asks: why did they hate us in 1783? Why did they attack Americans, kill and enslave them, a mere seven years after the Declaration of Independence? Nearly two centuries before modern Israel existed? Before Reagan bombed Libya, Bush Iraq, and all the other excuses used for Muslim violence and grievances against the free world.

These questions are more pertinent today than they have been at any point since the Barbary War - yet many don't even know that such an event occurred, let alone why.

You would think with the danger we face, it would be taught in every school - but then that might be racist rather than tolerant.

Best to just pretend it's not happening - which seems to be the modern West's solution to everything else.

1 comment:

Dr.D said...

We, the USA, got that message very clearly at one time and acted decisively upon it to the benefit of all. The reasons given by the ambassador from Tripoli are still exactly the driving forces active today, and the solution remains exactly the same today. All that has changed is Western will to act.

The actions of the US Navy put an end to the Barbary pirates, and it could all be done again in a matter of days if our gutless wonder, the impostor Zero, would decide to take real action against his muzlim brothers. Would you care to make a little wager on the likelihood of that happening?