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Thread: Barbary Wars - first American wars far from home

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    Default Barbary Wars - first American wars far from home

    First Barbary War (1801-1805) and Second Barbary War (1815) between USA and so-called North African Barbary States. Here is a link to Wiki`s First Barbary War text:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Barbary_War

    Please also read about "Second Barbary War" and about "Barbary Pirates". Many of you will be shocked! Most of you probably never ever heard about "white christian slaves under muslim masters". Please read and comment.

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    Member Solomin's Avatar
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    Isn't this where the Marines Hymn is referring to: "To the shores of Tripoli"?

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    Senior Member Shadowstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomin View Post
    Isn't this where the Marines Hymn is referring to: "To the shores of Tripoli"?
    Yep, it's true.

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    Basically, the US paid tribute to the pirates as was “custom” in Europe at the time. Eventually, because we couldn’t afford the extortion, we grabbed a pair and took a risk that paid off in the end; not only for the United States but for Europe as well.

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    eye candy of death 2Sheds_Jackson's Avatar
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    Great thread. Some nuggets from the article:

    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 mussulman who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise. "
    Jefferson argued that paying tribute would encourage more attacks.
    In response, Jefferson sent a group of frigates to defend American interests in the Mediterranean, and informed Congress. Although Congress never voted on a formal declaration of war, they did authorize the President to instruct the commanders of armed vessels of the United States to seize all vessels and goods of the Pasha of Tripoli "and also to cause to be done all such other acts of precaution or hostility as the state of war will justify."
    Jefferson's own Democratic-Republicans and antinavalists believed that the future of the country lay in westward expansion, with Atlantic trade threatening to siphon money and energy away from the new nation on useless wars in the Old World.
    In agreeing to pay a ransom of sixty thousand dollars for the American prisoners, the Jefferson administration drew a distinction between paying tribute and paying ransom. At the time, some argued that buying sailors out of slavery was a fair exchange to end the war
    However, the more immediate problem of Barbary piracy was not fully settled. By 1807, Algiers had gone back to taking American ships and seamen hostage. Distracted by the preludes to the War of 1812, the U.S. was unable to respond to the provocation until 1815, with the Second Barbary War.
    I love to cite this action to those who would have us believe that the current administration represents the end of democracy in the US. Here it was 1801, and one of our founding fathers, -who by today's standards was a snake handling fundamentalist Christian - waged his holy war against the poor Muslims - all in support of evil imperialist American economic interests, using sanctions, blockades, going to war with no declaration of war from Congress (gasp) and a less-than-successful compromise ending the conflict.

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    A Marine named Presley O'Bannon fought there ans brought home a Mameluke sword. Today it is known as the USMC Officer's sword.

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    Senior Member el borracho's Avatar
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    A good book on the subject:

    Jefferson's War- America's First War on Terror

    http://www.amazon.com/Jeffersons-War...1504840&sr=8-1

    It's an excellent book if you're a fan of early American history. Lot's of great stories including the capture and sabotage of the USS Philadelphia and the Marines' overland march to Tripoli.

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    Giles Miltons book White Gold is a good read on the subject of the Barbary slave trade although it concentrates on the story of a single slave,it also deals with the political action(and inaction) of the countrys affected by the raids of Noth African corsairs .

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    "The charge on Derne". Lt. Pressley O'Bannon and his Marines storm the Derne's harbor fortress, April 27, 1805

    Just to let you know, the force's artillery unit consisted of a single cannon manned by 30 Greek mercenaries. On the night of March 8, 1805, some Turkish mercenaries were found dead (stabbed) and as "it's natural", the blame fell on the Greeks. The Arabs mutinied in order to avenge their dead Muslim comrades (with the ulterior motive to kill the Marines and leave with the gold) and in the small skirmish that followed, the Greeks saved the day (and the entire mission) with their knives.

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    [Older article, but on topic]

    http://www.usvetdsp.com/jan07/jeff_quran.htm

    What Thomas Jefferson learned
    from the Muslim book of jihad


    [SIZE=2][*******#cc0000]By Ted Sampley[/COLOR][/SIZE]
    U.S. Veteran Dispatch
    January 2007



    Democrat Keith Ellison is now officially the first Muslim United States congressman. True to his pledge, he placed his hand on the Quran, the Muslim book of jihad and pledged his allegiance to the United States during his ceremonial swearing-in.

    Capitol Hill staff said Ellison's swearing-in photo opportunity drew more media than they had ever seen in the history of the U.S. House. Ellison represents the 5th Congressional District of Minnesota.
    The Quran Ellison used was no ordinary book. It once belonged to Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States and one of America's founding fathers. Ellison borrowed it from the Rare Book Section of the Library of Congress. It was one of the 6,500 Jefferson books archived in the library.

    Ellison, who was born in Detroit and converted to Islam while in college, said he chose to use Jefferson's Quran because it showed that "a visionary like Jefferson" believed that wisdom could be gleaned from many sources.

    There is no doubt Ellison was right about Jefferson believing wisdom could be "gleaned" from the Muslim Quran. At the time Jefferson owned the book, he needed to know everything possible about Muslims because he was about to advocate war against the Islamic "Barbary" states of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Tripoli.
    Ellison's use of Jefferson's Quran as a prop illuminates a subject once well-known in the history of the United States, but, which today, is mostly forgotten - the Muslim pirate slavers who over many centuries enslaved millions of Africans and tens of thousands of Christian Europeans and Americans in the Islamic "Barbary" states.

    Over the course of 10 centuries, Muslim pirates cruised the African and Mediterranean coastline, pillaging villages and seizing slaves.

    The taking of slaves in pre-dawn raids on unsuspecting coastal villages had a high casualty rate. It was typical of Muslim raiders to kill off as many of the "non-Muslim" older men and women as possible so the preferred "booty" of only young women and children could be collected.

    Young non-Muslim women were targeted because of their value as concubines in Islamic markets. Islamic law provides for the ****** interests of Muslim men by allowing them to take as many as four wives at one time and to have as many concubines as their fortunes allow.

    Boys, as young as 9 or 10 years old, were often mutilated to create eunuchs who would bring higher prices in the slave markets of the Middle East. Muslim slave traders created "eunuch stations" along major African slave routes so the necessary surgery could be performed. It was estimated that only a small number of the boys subjected to the mutilation survived after the surgery.

    When American colonists rebelled against British rule in 1776, American merchant ships lost Royal Navy protection. With no American Navy for protection, American ships were attacked and their Christian crews enslaved by Muslim pirates operating under the control of the "Dey of Algiers"--an Islamist warlord ruling Algeria.
    Because American commerce in the Mediterranean was being destroyed by the pirates, the Continental Congress agreed in 1784 to negotiate treaties with the four Barbary States. Congress appointed a special commission consisting of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin, to oversee the negotiations.

    Lacking the ability to protect its merchant ships in the Mediterranean, the new America government tried to appease the Muslim slavers by agreeing to pay tribute and ransoms in order to retrieve seized American ships and buy the freedom of enslaved sailors.

    Adams argued in favor of paying tribute as the cheapest way to get American commerce in the Mediterranean moving again. Jefferson was opposed. He believed there would be no end to the demands for tribute and wanted matters settled "through the medium of war." He proposed a league of trading nations to force an end to Muslim piracy.

    In 1786, Jefferson, then the American ambassador to France, and Adams, then the American ambassador to Britain, met in London with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the "Dey of Algiers" ambassador to Britain.

    The Americans wanted to negotiate a peace treaty based on Congress' vote to appease.

    During the meeting Jefferson and Adams asked the Dey's ambassador why Muslims held so much hostility towards America, a nation with which they had no previous contacts.

    In a later meeting with the American Congress, the two future presidents reported that Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja had answered that Islam "was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Quran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it 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."

    For the following 15 years, the American government paid the Muslims millions of dollars for the safe passage of American ships or the return of American hostages. The payments in ransom and tribute amounted to 20 percent of United States government annual revenues in 1800.

    Not long after Jefferson's inauguration as president in 1801, he dispatched a group of frigates to defend American interests in the Mediterranean, and informed Congress.
    Declaring that America was going to spend "millions for defense but not one cent for tribute," Jefferson pressed the issue by deploying American Marines and many of America's best warships to the Muslim Barbary Coast.

    The USS Constitution, USS Constellation, USS Philadelphia, USS Chesapeake, USS Argus, USS Syren and USS Intrepid all saw action.

    In 1805, American Marines marched across the desert from Egypt into Tripolitania, forcing the surrender of Tripoli and the freeing of all American slaves.

    During the Jefferson administration, the Muslim Barbary States, crumbling as a result of intense American naval bombardment and on shore raids by Marines, finally officially agreed to abandon slavery and piracy.

    Jefferson's victory over the Muslims lives on today in the Marine Hymn, with the line, "From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli, We fight our country's battles in the air, on land and sea."

    It wasn't until 1815 that the problem was fully settled by the total defeat of all the Muslim slave trading pirates.

    Jefferson had been right. The "medium of war" was the only way to put and end to the Muslim problem. Mr. Ellison was right about Jefferson. He was a "visionary" wise enough to read and learn about the enemy from their own Muslim book of jihad.

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    Senior Member Mordoror's Avatar
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    It wasn't until 1815 that the problem was fully settled by the total defeat of all the Muslim slave trading pirates.
    in fact not.... or not enterely

    piracy continued for a while even after the barbary defeat against US navy (may be on a lower level, but still existing and being a danger for boats if not for european coastal areas)
    That's why (not only, other reasons being also thrown in the hat) France invaded Algeria in 1830
    To fix the level of those scourge of the seas they plundered and pillaged the european coasts from Corsica to Sicilia, from Italy to Slovenia, from Spain to Portugual. It was even assessed that some raiding parties pillaged the coastal areas from England (if it is main Great Britain island or smaller islands remains unclear) and as far as some nordic countries (reached even Island in 1627 !!!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mordoror View Post
    It was even assessed that some raiding parties pillaged the coastal areas from England (if it is main Great Britain island or smaller islands remains unclear) and as far as some nordic countries (reached even Island in 1627 !!!)
    On some occasions they hit the south west of England fairly hard at times carrying of the entire population of some villages,during one raiding season they even set up a temporary base on the island of Lundy in the Bristol channel .

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    Member chuckster's Avatar
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    It's really amazing how little has changed in 200 years, isn't it.

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    Europeans need slavery reparations from the north africans for centuries of slavery and piracy.

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