My jaw dropped when I heard the following statement made by the 44th President of the United States, Barack Hussein Obama during a speech in Cairo this morning:
The first nation to recognize my country was Morocco. In signing the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, our second President, John Adams, wrote, ‘The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims.’
Now, there were many things that bothered me in the President’s speech. Going on and on about the wonders of Islam, while downplaying the contributions of America for one. Ignoring the Muslim community’s treatment of women was another. Downplaying the suffering and persecution of Israel in the Middle East conflicts, while depicting the Palestinians as their moral equivalent despite the one-sided acts of terrorism committed by Palestinians against Israelis also annoyed me. Then there was the much-delayed admission by Obama that he comes from a long line of Muslims and was greatly influenced by Islam growing up. During the campaign, you’ll remember, it was racist to even remotely bring this subject up. Now, the President spoon feeds this morsel to an audience clamoring for more.
Today, however, I would like to address that “Treaty of Tripoli” and how great Morocco was for signing it with us.
The President would have you believe that this treaty was a wonderful contribution to our history by a loving ally and friend.
History, however, tells us the opposite. Frankly, I am surprised that the great scripted one would even want to go there. But, go there he has, and so shall we.
This Treaty of Tripoli marked an early foreign policy challenge for Thomas Jefferson. The treaty had been negotiated by President George Washington and signed by President John Adams. Bill Bennett fills us in on the backstory in his book, “America, The Last Best Hope”:
Jefferson faced a lingering foreign crisis early in his administration. For more than twenty years, he had been urging military action against Arab corsairs on the Barbary coast. These were fast, cheap warships that preyed upon merchant shipping along the northern shore of Africa. Various Arab rulers there would regularly declare war against European countries and then begin seizing their ships and men. The captured crews would then be held for ransom or sold in the market as slaves. “Christians are cheap today,” was the auctioneers cry.
Good thing America is a “Muslim nation” according to Obama. Bennett continues:
This practice had been going on for centuries. As many as a million and a quarter Europeans had been enslaved by Muslims operating out of North Africa. When he served as America’s minister to France in the mid-1780s, Jefferson once confronted an Arab diplomat, demanding to know by what right his country attacked Americans in the Mediterranean.
His response? Christopher Hitchens’ “Thomas Jefferson: Author of America” quotes Jefferson as saying:
The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered 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.
Bennett explains the Washington and Adams approach to the situation:
The Washington and Adams administrations had gone along with the European practice of paying off the Barbary rulers. It was a protection racket, pure and simple. Adams believed paying tribute was cheaper than war.
Thus, this treaty that Obama celebrates as a cordial recognition of our nation was negotiated and signed between 1796 and 1797. Below are articles 9 and 10 from this treaty between peaceful allies:
Art. 9. The commerce between the United States and Tripoli; the protection to be given to merchants, masters of vessels, and seamen; the reciprocal right of the establishing Consuls in each country; and the privileges, immunities, and jurisdiction, to be on the same footing with those of the most favored nations respectively.
Art. 10. The money and presents demanded by the Bey of Tripoli, as a full and satisfactory consideration on his part, and on the part of his subjects, for this treaty of perpetual peace and friendship, are acknowledged to have been received by him previous to his signing the same, according to a receipt which is hereto annexed, except such as part as is promised, on the part of the United States, to be delivered and paid by them on the arrival of their Consul in Tripoli; of which part a note is likewise hereto annexed. And no pretense of any periodical tribute of further payments is ever to be made by either party.
You see, after the U.S. had agreed to pay blackmail money to Algiers to stop the Muslim pirates, Tunis and Tripoli wanted in on the cash cow. The Treaty of Tripoli was America negotiating with terrorists and paying Tripoli money to stop the piracy. Articles 9 and 10 are pretty clear about that. “The money and presents demanded by the Bey of Tripoli” being some key words there. Some would argue that when someone demands money to protect you, it isn’t all in warm and fuzzy friendship.
Oh, how America paid! Bennett writes that:
Paying off the Barbary rulers was not cheap. When Jefferson came into office, the United States had already paid out nearly $2 million. This was nearly one fifth of the federal government’s yearly income!
Then, like Obama’s friend Bill Ayers, the Barshaw of Tripoli declared war on the United States in 1801. In Obama’s view, that’s the mark of true friendship where America is concerned. Thankfully, President Thomas Jefferson wasn’t down with paying them any more money and was determined to fight this act of terrorism with force.
The United States sent our Navy to take care of business, along with a band of rough and tumble Marines. Years earlier, it was Thomas Jefferson himself that urged creation of a strong Navy for just such a purpose. By 1805, according to Bennett, “the pirates had enough.” According to Joseph Wheelan’s “Jefferson’s War: America’s First War on Terror, 1801-1805” we see that “Jefferson’s willingness to use force had triumphed in America’s first war on terror in the Middle East.”
This victory brings us the famous line in the Marine hymn, “to the shores of Tripoli.”
President Obama’s bringing this treaty up as a sign of friendship and contribution to the American cause by the Muslim world is just frighteningly idiotic and dangerous. No serious reading of history could ever come up with that assessment of the treaty. It is consistent with Obama’s viewpoint regarding the threat of terrorism however. Keep in mind, also, that Obama’s speech outing his Muslim heritage, celebrating Muslim contributions to America and undermining Israeli and American persecution at the hands of Muslim terrorists, comes mere days after the brutal assassination of a U.S. soldier in Arkansas by a fanatical Muslim. On that subject, Obama remains silent. Yet, he can still find it in his heart to celebrate Muslim piracy in early American history as something worthy of praise. Perhaps that is why he was to hesitant to speak out against about the Somali Muslim pirates earlier in the year. Perhaps our dashing Barack fancies himself a would-be Jack “Hussein” Sparrow.
Regardless, it sure makes John Adam’s words in reluctantly agreeing to pay the Barbary rulers sound prophetic:
“We ought not fight them at all unless we determine to fight them forever.”
Obama’s skewed view of the world and moral equivalency, combined with his “see no evil” and “hear no evil” approach to Muslim terrorism places America on very dangerous footing. We are headed for a dramatic wake-up call, and I’m afraid, unlike Thomas Jefferson, our current Commander-in-Chief is not up to the task. Militant Islam is at war with America, and her leader is, at best, asleep at the wheel.