Saturday, December 17, 2005

Barbary Pirates and Al-Queda

Joshua E. London's column on NRO has some interesting comparisons between the Barbary pirates and our current war on terror. One of the more interesting paragraphs:
[Jefferson and Adams] questioned the [Tripoli] ambassador as to why his government was so hostile to the new American republic even though America had done nothing to provoke any such animosity. Ambassador Adja answered them, as they reported to the Continental Congress, “that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, 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 who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”
And then the "money" quote:
Note that America’s Barbary experience took place well before colonialism entered the lands of Islam, before there were any oil interests dragging the U.S. into the fray, and long before the founding of the state of Israel.
It's a good point to remember. I don't necessarily agree with everything he says, but he brings up some ideas worth considering.

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