It turns out that the ‘Perfect 200 Year Record’ I cite above and in the previous article were not quite so perfect and Adams, not Jefferson was the president who finally got it right. And the perfect record is actually a little less than 200 years old, because the issue was not finally settled until after the War of 1812. Jefferson, the first to take on the Barbary States (and they were states), actually paid a final peace settlement to the Deys.
And exactly as Kipling once noted, (post-Jefferson, of course) once you have paid the Dane-geld, you never get rid of the Dane; so we had to try again during Adams’ administration.
Of course, most will recall, that for a period of time, the US did pay indemnities, ransoms, and protection fees to the Deys of Algiers, Morrocco, and Tripoli.
Hitchens writes about it at Townhall, noting the paucity of facts about these events until recently. Wikipedia also has a couple of good articles that may be accurate – search on ‘Barbary Wars’.
Library of Congress in their Jefferson papers, has some instructive history.
It appears that it was after the fact that these events became our vaunted ‘freedom of navigation’ precedents.
Both Jefferson and Adams exercised what we today would call ‘executive powers’ without specific authority from Congress. However today, executive authority for state conflicts of less than 90 days is clear. But this does not rise to the level of a state conflict. The pirates today are actors of no state, and they seek protection or sanction under the flag of no recognized state. Thus it should be easier to reckon with them without recourse to the community of nations or
We shall soon see that the community of nations or the UN are no better equipped to deal with this than an Obama-led US is on its own.
In the recent past, Obama saw his chances of election threatened by his refusal to wear a US flag pin on his lapel. Accordingly, he sought the protection of that same US flag and pinned one on.
More recently, we saw our own elected president heap shame and scorn on our country in a blatant ego-driven bid to drive up his personal popularity in Europe. His temporary popularity arises from the fact that he has validated what Europeans are going to feel about our country regardless of who is US President.
Again, more recently, we also saw Obama propose that the vets who have defended our country pay for their own medical treatment for wounds purchased in service to our country.
Please email your friends and every blog editor you know:
We should demand that Obama remove the flag from his lapel until he is willing to extend its protection to every US Citizen who desires safe passage on the high seas and he forces an immediate resolution to the stand-off in the Indian Ocean.