Even though President Obama publicly has his head in the sand about the growing threat of radical Islamic terrorism, this is not the first time America has had to deal with those who want to kill in the name of “Allah.”
The real truth is that the very first war the new United States fought was against Islamic nations bent on terrorizing Americans and Europeans on the high seas.
Wallbuilders has some background:
The Barbary Powers Wars were the first wars officially declared against America following our victory in the War for Independence. Muslim terrorists from five different Islamic nations (Turkey, Tunis, Morocco, Algiers, and Tripoli) were making indiscriminate attacks against the property and interests of what they claimed to be “Christian” nations (America, England, France, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, etc.). These Muslim terrorists (called Barbary, that is, barbaric “pirates” by most Americans) attacked American civilian and commercial merchant ships wherever they found them, seizing the cargo and enslaving the crew.
The Muslims found they could finance their wars and terror operations by enslaving and then selling captured seamen. (The Muslims took 1.25 million captive slaves in that period.)
This piracy, kidnapping, and extortion went on for the first few decades of the new America.
But, things would come to a head when Thomas Jefferson was elected President.
William J. Federer explains:
When Jefferson asked the Muslim Ambassador what the new country of America had done to offend them, he reported to John Jay, March 28, 1786:
“The Ambassador answered us that it was…written in their Qur’an, that all nations who should not have acknowledged Islam’s authority were sinners, that it was their…duty to make war upon them…and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners.”
Jefferson purchased a Qur’an to understand the enemy.
Nearly 20 percent of the U.S. Federal budget was used to make extortion tribute payments to the Muslim pirates, yet they still continued their piracy.
When Jefferson became President, he finally sent in the U.S. Navy and Marines to stop Morocco’s Barbary pirates.
In his First Annual Message, December 8, 1801, Thomas Jefferson stated:
“Tripoli…of the Barbary States, had come forward with demands unfounded either in right or in compact, and had permitted itself to (announce) war on our failure to comply before a given day. The style of the demand admitted but one answer.
I sent a small squadron of frigates into the Mediterranean, with assurances to that power of our sincere desire to remain in peace, but with orders to protect our commerce against the threatened attack. “
It was in this first American war that both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps distinguished themselves as fighting forces in the world.
William J. Federer has more:
On December 29, 1803, the new 36-gun USS Philadelphia ran aground on Morocco’s shallow coast.
Muslim pirates surrounded and captured it, imprisoning Captain William Bainbridge and his 307 man crew for 18 months.
To prevent the ship from being used by the Muslim Barbary pirates, Lieut. Stephen Decatur, on FEBRUARY 16, 1804, sailed his ship Intrepid into Tripoli’s pirate harbor on FEBRUARY 16, 1804.
Decatur set fire to the captured U.S. frigate “Philadelphia” and escaped amidst fierce enemy fire.
British Admiral Horatio Nelson called it the “most bold and daring act of the age.”
The Navy and Marines later captured Tripoli and forced the Pasha to make peace on U.S. terms.
The Battle of Derna in 1805 became the turning point in the war. It was in this battle that the U.S. Marines became legendary.
Marines.com has the story:
In 1805, the United States government refused to continue paying Barbary Coast pirates to refrain from raiding American merchant ships. When negotiations for a treaty failed, President Thomas Jefferson assembled an expeditionary force of Marines to respond.
Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon and his Marines marched across 600 miles of the Libyan Desert to successfully storm the fortified Tripolitan city of Derna and rescue the kidnapped crew of the USS Philadelphia. The Marines’ victory helped Prince Hamet Bey reclaim his rightful throne as ruler of Tripoli. In gratitude, he presented his Mameluke sword to Lt O’Bannon.
This famous sword became part of the officer uniform in 1825, and remains the oldest ceremonial weapon in use by United States forces today.
The Battle of Derna was the Marines’ first land battle on foreign soil and is notably recalled in the first verse of the Marines’ Hymn: “From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, we fight our country’s battles in the air, on land and sea.”
Many Americans don’t know this story of American heroism over Islamic terrorism. It certainly isn’t “politically correct” in Obama’s America.
But, this really happened and shows Americans have been at war with radical Islamic terrorism for a long time.
President Obama may want to re-write U.S. history to portray America as the oppressors and Muslim nations as the victims, but that is nothing more than left-wing drivel from a neo-Marxist who hates all America has meant to freedom and prosperity in the world for a long time.
About Russ Hepler
Russ Hepler is a pastor, teacher, political activist, author and conference speaker with over 30 years’ experience. He holds a B.A. from Messiah College and an M.A.R. from Evangelical School of Theology. He has been an issues’ advocate, a campaign volunteer for local, state, and federal candidates, Regional Field Director for PA Christian Coalition and president of a county chapter of Pennsylvanians for Human Life. His first book – Yes! We Can Turn This Nation Around! A Practical Guide for Christian Political Involvement – was published in 2012. He and his wife, Sherry, have founded Transformation 1202 Ministries to educate, encourage, and challenge people of faith to get involved in the political and cultural issues of our day.