Will We Learn From History? America’s First War on Terror
Where did ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups really originate? If we study unrevised world history, the famous quote is affirmed, “There is nothing new under the sun.” The terrorism we read about in today’s headlines has its roots in Genesis 16:10-12. “I will greatly multiply your descendants so that they will be too many to count…you will bear a son and you shall call his name Ishmael…He will be a wild donkey of a man, his hand will be against everyone, and everyone’s hand will be against him.” As predicted, Ishmael’s descendants are indeed numerous and have been in continuous conflict with essentially every nation on the earth at some point throughout history.
Few know that America’s first war after the Revolution, the war against the “Barbary Pirates,” was with Islamic terrorists, the descendants of Ishmael. Involved in this conflict were five Islamic nations: Tunis, Morocco, Algiers, Tripoli, and Turkey. These Islamic nations began aggressive and unwarranted attacks against predominately Christian nations – primarily America, England, France, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, and Sweden. The pirates carried out their unprovoked terror in areas of the Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts of Europe up to the British Isles, Norway, and Iceland. Today, we would essentially define this as state-sponsored terrorism.
Just as Israel’s recent accounts of self-defense has been redefined in some headlines as “aggression,” the Crusades have been blamed as the ignition point of Islam’s numerous wars against “infidels” waged over the centuries since the Crusades ended. Original source documents confirm that the intent of the Crusades was to serve as series of rescue and recovery operations for hundreds of thousands of Islamic-kidnapped and enslaved Christians and to restore the Biblical Holy land taken by Islamic force.
Historian David Barton writes of the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, “They [Islamic pirates] captured Christian nation ships wherever they found them, seized their cargo as loot, and killed or enslaved their seamen. They also often made raids on European coastal towns to either kidnap the wealthy for ransom payments or capture Christian slaves to sell at slave markets in places such as Algeria and Morocco…France, England, and Spain each lost thousands of ships in these attacks, and long stretches of coast in Spain and Italy were almost completely abandoned by their inhabitants until the nineteenth century…All traders belonging to nations that did not pay blackmail in order to secure immunity were liable to be taken at sea. The payment of blackmail, disguised as presents of ransoms, did not always secure safety with these faithless barbarians…For centuries the Roman Catholic religious order of Mathurins operated from France with the special mission of collecting and disbursing funds for the relief and ransom of prisoners of Mediterranean pirates.”
In 1784, these barbaric Islamists, otherwise known as the “Barbary Pirates,” seized the first American ship. The fledgling nation soon found that the customary protection and ransom money of over two million dollars paid to the terrorists quickly grew by 1801 to consume sixteen percent of the young nation’s yearly budget.
John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin were sent by Congress as diplomats to negotiate peace with the Islamists. During the negotiations to uncover the motivation behind the unprovoked attacks on American interests, the Islamists candidly responded as they quoted commands from their Koran. Jefferson wrote, “It was their right and duty to make war upon [infidels] 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.”
America’s diplomats soon determined there was no way to negotiate with terrorists who justified violence as a foundational tenant of their treacherous political system disguised as religion. The basis for unprovoked attacks remains the same in today’s world as it did during America’s founding era.
Jefferson later bought a Koran to read the twisted doctrine for himself. He then backed efforts to publish an English translation of the book and urged that all Americans read it for themselves. Jefferson wrote in the introduction, “Thou wilt wonder that such absurdities have infected the best part of the world and wilt avouch that the knowledge of what is contained in this book will render that [Islamic Sharia] law contemptible.”
Well known as a pacifist, at least in his philosophy, then President Thomas Jefferson wrote, “I was very unwilling that we should acquiesce in the…humiliation of paying a tribute to those lawless pirates. I very early thought it would be best to effect a peace through the medium of war.”
When Jefferson withheld further extortion payments, Tripoli essentially declared war against the United States by intensifying attacks on American ships, capturing the crew, and seizing the cargo as loot. The other offending nations threatened to join Tripoli in declaring war. Jefferson then sent America’s fledgling navy and marines to Tripoli, but when the terrorist nations were confronted with America’s new military might, all backed down except Tripoli.
After four years of fighting, Tripoli finally signed a treaty on America’s terms, ending the war in 1805. The line in the famous Marine Corps hymn “From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli” was inspired by America’s first war with Islamic terrorists – the “Barbary Pirates” descended from Ishmael.
Pope Pius VII then declared that the new 29 year-old nation of America had done more for Christendom against the pirates of northern Africa than all the powers of Europe united. Stephen McDowell of the Providence Foundation writes, “Expressions of submission were obtained from these powers [Islamic nations] by the United States such as had not been obtained by any other nation. America set an example for Europe of chastising and humbling a lawless band of pirates and ended the practice of paying tribute to Muslim terrorists.”
*Article by Karen Lees