Monday, February 27, 2017

US Terrorism Fight: 19th versus 21st Centuries (Part II)

5. Before Jefferson, the United States piracy policy consisted of paying ransoms to free sailors in bondage and paying bribes for the passage of American merchant ships. This policy also failed to work because Tripoli would not hold up its end of the bargain. Tripoli pirates would respect bribes and treaties for only a short period of time before moving back to their criminal ways. Why? Because they knew America was being weak (diplomatically and militarily) and would pay more money. The same was true with most European nations during the reign of Barbary pirates – they did not want to fight them. Today, has Iran held up its end of the bargain in the new treaty they have with the US? We have paid them ransoms and relaxed sanctions but Iran may be more confrontational than ever. They are violating terms in the treaty with regards to their nuclear buildup and they continue to harass our ships in neutral waters. Why? Because we have shown ourselves to be too weak in both diplomacy (giving in to Iran demands) and warfare (we have taken military action off the table).

6. Both Muslim terrorists and pirates want/wanted to put enemies in bondage and or convert them to fight their battles. This is of course is a huge problem in the modern fight on terrorism. Terrorists use technology to reach out to people around the globe in an effort to convert them to join their cause. Extreme Muslims take every provision in the Koran literally – to hate other religions and their followers. Nothing has changed over the centuries.

7. The Barbary and present day fight against Islamic extremism is happening in the same area. In fact, one ISIS strong hold is in the old Barbary nation of Tripoli or present day Libya (thanks to a failed Obama and Clinton policy). Barbary countries (except Morocco) where part of the Ottoman Empire (present day Turkey) which is in the heart of the Middle East.

8. Both Jefferson and Madison understood that Tripoli would only respond to military force both by land and sea after the blockade did not work. They were right, one show of American might and Tripoli and other Barbary nations were ready to surrender (after Americans and allied forces won a battle at Derna). This is something that Obama has failed to grasp. Obama has scaled back our nuclear arsenal in a time when Iran is trying to garner nuclear weapons. Obama never wants to commit enough troops on the ground to be successful to fight Muslim extremism in Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Obama’s only strategy is to control the air space and to make strategic strikes using drones. That has proved to be ineffective as terrorism has expanded dramatically under his watch.

What can learn from the present day fight on terrorism and the Barbary Wars? The chief thing is that Muslim extremism has been going on for a long time and will persist to go on for a long time. Those people who tell us that the American presence on Muslim soil is the reason they are fighting us are wrong. This was not the case in the Barbary Wars and it is not the case today. Muslim extremists do not like anyone and do not need to be provoked to dislike Americans (that hatred has and always will exist). The Koran tells Muslims that American (Western) values and everything we stand for are not just wrong, but they are evil. Those people who tell us that Trump immigration rhetoric is a great recruiting tool and a reason to fight the United States are also wrong. Muslims want to fight all Americans, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, and even moderate Muslims. Muslim attacks occur all around the globe. They do not discriminate and it has nothing to do with Trump statements. They have been attacking people long before Trump became a politician. Islam intolerance has to do with a truly profound hate of people regardless of ethnicity, gender, or nationality. Those who tell us that America mistreats enemy combatants are wrong. It is Muslim extremist’s persistence to want to put Christians and Jews into slavery and to keep women and minorities oppressed who are the civil rights violators. The only reason any terrorist is incarcerated at the Gitmo Hotel and Suites is because they chose to be war criminals.

History does not lie, unfortunately, we never learn our lessons from history and are repeating the same mistakes for one of two reasons: we do not care about history or we are just plain ignorant.

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