We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It may amaze some Europeans, liberals and even God-fearing righties without adequate knowledge of history that Islamists were a pain in the rear even before the United States was a real country. The MSM makes a big thing of indigenous culture, and it was the indigenous culture of the Islamic states along the Mediterranean to kill and terrorize centuries before America gave them a convenient excuse. Gwynnie suggests that the naive might consider reading this book (unless some knowledge and wisdom might disrupt their political agenda!
"While Europe appeased the Barbary pirates, America sent in the Navy. (Wall Street Journal, Apr. 29, 2006):
"A book review of The End of Barbary Terror, By Frederick C. Leiner: "In 1815, Washington was in ruins: the White House and Capitol building burned and sacked by the British, the national treasury depleted, the U.S. bruised and battered (but not defeated) by the War of 1812. President James Madison called the Congress to its make-shift chamber at the Post Office Building and asked for something extraordinary: a declaration of war against a state thousands of miles away.
"What followed was the U.S.'s first war on terror. This little conflict is now largely forgotten, but it had great and lasting consequences, establishing the U.S. as a global naval power and ending more than two centuries of state-sponsored terrorism in the Mediterranean.
"'The End of Barbary Terror' by Frederick Leiner recounts Madison's decision and the war that followed against an enemy that had attacked and tormented European powers greater than the U.S. since the 1500s. The Barbary states of Algiers, Tunis, Tripoli and Morocco had run a lucrative kidnapping and slavery racket in the Mediterranean, capturing commercial ships, enslaving thousands of Christians and extorting millions of dollars in ransom and protection money from Europe.
"Slave taking was jihad," writes Mr. Leiner, and the tactics employed by the Islamic leaders of the Barbary states "were a form of terrorism, a method of seaborne violence meant to intimidate the peoples of Europe." It was essentially a system of government-regulated kidnapping. The pirates would capture ships, forcing their passengers to work as slaves onshore until somebody came up with enough ransom money to buy their freedom.
"Eventually the major European states simply paid protection money, deciding it was easier to appease the pirates than confront them. "Paying the Barbary rulers a 'license' for trade was less expensive than constantly convoying ships or attacking the Barbary powers in their heavily fortified ports," Mr. Leiner explains. America played the game too. In the five years before the war, the U.S. counsel in Algiers doled out a half-million dollars in "gifts" and "tributes" intended to buy safety for American ships. . . .
"The book recounts a stunning military success. . . . With a mix of bravery and luck, Decatur defeated two enemy ships on his way to Algiers. Within 48 hours of arriving on the shore of the most powerful Barbary state, Decatur was able to force peace on American terms ("dictated at the mouths of our cannon," as he later said). The U.S.'s infant Navy had scored a victory that had eluded European powers for nearly three centuries.
"America's quick victory embarrassed the Europeans and demonstrated that there was no reason to fear the Barbary pirates. Within months, England battled to free British subjects enslaved in Tripoli and soon the entire system of paying tribute to the pirates came crashing down. The American example gave Europe the backbone to fight the terrorists rather than appease them."