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The First Barbary Wars, Terrorism in Early American and the Similarities of the War on Terror between "Then" and "Now"

Reader comment on item: In 1796, U.S. Vowed Friendliness With Islam
in response to reader comment: Relevance of the Barbary Wars in the early 19th Century

Submitted by Suzanne Sahl (United States), Mar 20, 2007 at 14:11

The First Barbary Wars- Terrorism in Early America; And the Similarities of the War on Terror between

"Then" and "Now"

On September 11, 2001, I became aware for the first time that our country was vulnerable to terrorism. Although I knew we have been attacked by terrorist on other occasions on foreign soil I never gave much thought about how vulnerable we were on the continental United States. It was just a few weeks ago while I was searching the web that I found out about the Barbary Wars and how we as a young country were terrorized even before the Constitution of the United States was written. While we were under the British rule, before 1776, American merchant vessels had enjoyed the protection of the Royal Navy. After the "Treaty of Alliance" our alliance was with France, not England. With the help of our new Allie, France, we won the American Revolution culminating at the Battle of Yorktown when the British surrendered October 19th, 1781. By 1783, after the signing of the Treaty of Paris, America became solely responsible for the safety of its own commerce and citizens. America's place in the world after 1783 was a far cry from the one Americans had hoped would follow their independence. While the British recognized American sovereignty, on the one hand, they continued to treat the new republic as a commercial colony on the other hand. Britain continued to subject the U. S. commerce to the restrictions of the old Navigation Acts without extending the benefits of free access to British markets. There was no reciprocal trade agreement between the British and the Americans. To the American's dismay the British did not help restrain the Barbary pirates in the Mediterranean Sea but rather let them loose to prey upon American merchants. While Americans viewed free trade as a natural outgrowth of their revolution, Europeans had a different perspective. Britain's goal was to regulate American trade by restricting its access to markets. They feared that the United States was a commercial competitor. Parliament refused to consider any negotiations of a commercial treaty that was favorable to the new republic and instead excluded Americans from the lucrative West Indian trade.

The postwar Confederation at home led the newly formed Nation to little national unity. Contrary to the terms of the Treaty of Paris, Britain continue to maintain garrisons at frontier posts they had promised to abandon, and the Barbary States now regarded American vessels for the first time as "fair game." By demanding the full measure of independence at home, the American states undermined the independence of American in the Atlantic world. The Articles of Confederation made Congress dependent on the states to advance and protect American interests abroad. Without a national resolve and power, commercial independence would not be protected.

When America became independent they believed that free trade in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean would materialize. They believed that when they severed ties with Great Britain, becoming free from the old colonial trade restrictions they would encounter free trade. Before declaring political independence in July 1776, the Continental Congress had declared commercial independence in December 1775. When they won their independence they also envisioned also that they won their commercial independence as well.

After the War of Independence, Thomas Jefferson charted the course of American trade in the Mediterranean because he believed the United States would find their best markets in the Mediterranean ports. The American dream of free trade soon faded when small bands of pirates brought commerce to a standstill on October 11, 1784 when the American merchant ship Betsey was captured by Salle Rovers, state-sponsored pirates operating out of the ports of Morocco. Algerian pirates quickly seized two more American ships, confiscating their ships and holding their crews captives and demanding ransom for their freedom. The meaning of American independence and free trade was brought into question by these acts of terror. The American conflict with the piratical states of the Barbary Coast runs through the presidencies of Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison, lasting thirty-six years. During this time Adams and Jefferson took opposing viewpoints in how to handle the situation of terror in the Mediterranean. During this time of terror, from 1785 to 1805, the United States adopted the Constitution and constructed a full-time professional navy, thus taking steps away from American's shaky emergence in the Atlantic world towards their dream of commercial independence. The Barbary Wars are sometimes called "American Forgotten Wars" as the wars passed out of popular memory within a generation. I did a search in our text book, "Out of Many" on the topic "Barbary Wars" and found nothing. I do not recall having this war addressed in any of my previous history classes. . This war was only brought to my attention as I came across an Article on the web: "A Historical Perspective on a Muslim Being Sworn into Congress on the Koran" by David Barton, January 2007. This article was written as a result of Keith Ellison from the 5th Congressional District of Minnesota who was sworn in as a Democrat Member of the 110th congress as the first Muslim elected to Congress. It was written out of the controversy of using the Koran rather than the Bible for his swearing-in ceremony. He ended up using the Koran owned by Thomas Jefferson. No doubt Thomas Jefferson had a copy of the Koran to gain understanding of the Barbary Wars. No doubt it was hard for them, as it is hard for us, today to understand the justification of terrorism. To gain such understanding one must understand some of the basic teachings of the Koran as the Koran is used by the Islamic nations to attack indiscriminately against the property and interests of those who claim to be "Christian" nations. The Barbary Powers conflict began during the American Revolution when Muslim terrorist from four different Islamic nations, Tunis, Morocco, Algiers and Tripoli began to attack commercial merchant ships and enslave their crews who were considered Christians by the attacking Muslims.

In 1784, Congress authorized American diplomats: John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson to negotiate with the Muslim terrorists. Negotiations were made even though Jefferson and Adams disagreed when making the terms. Jefferson advocated war with the Islamic countries while Adams advocated coming to terms with treaties and paying tribute. Jefferson believed that the republic could defend its interests by employing a small navy and a few privateers patrolling the waters. While Jefferson continued to advocate war against the Barbary States, Adams grew ever testier in opposition. His opposition rested on financial and political considerations believing fighting a war would cost money the republic did not possess and offered no guarantee of victory. It was as a result of this debate that Madison saw a need for a new U.S. Constitution, and as a result in the summer of 1787 the first draft was created to allow for a national government with sufficient power to deal with the Barbary pirates. Thus, we can see the importance of these wars as it was the result of the Founding Fathers frustrations to handle these wars that resulted in them writing up the U.S. Constitution. The new constitution stripped the states of their powers to enact navigation acts governing overseas trade and gave the power to Congress over commerce. In addition it granted Congress the authority to levy taxes, giving the central government an independent source of revenue. Third, it gave Congress the power and the means to build and maintain a navy. This new taxing authority allowed the United States to raise funds abroad. With this new constitution resisting the Barbary pirates by force became a viable option.

While this new Constitution provided America with the power to resist and negotiate a peace treaty with Algiers and secure the release of the captives, it took a total of nine years before this goal was attained. Like today, there were many heated debates in Congress, disputes over fiscal policy not only created bi-partisan politics but it created political factions within the Administration itself. The more I read about the struggles of the war of terror and the bi-partisan politics played out the more I see the similarities between "then" and "now".

In 1784, Congress authorized American diplomats John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson to negotiate with the Muslim terrorist. Negotiations proceeded and in 1786 Adams and Jefferson asked the Ambassador from Tripoli the motivation behind their unprovoked attacks against the Americans. The response was: "The Ambassador answered us that it was founded on the laws of their Prophet (Mohammed)—that it is written in the Koran that all nations who should not have acknowledge their authority were sinners, that is was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found and make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Muslim who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise". No doubt this was the incentive to make war and enslave our seamen. The enslavement of Christians by Muslims was not new at that time. It was widespread and practiced for centuries. Ransoming Americans, demanding tribute was a very profitable trade for the Muslim terrorist. Over a period of twenty six years diplomatic negotiations secured several treaties of "Peace and Amity" with the Muslim Barbary Powers to ensure protection of American commercial shops sailing in the Mediterranean. Because at this time America did not have a strong navy or a threat of force she was required to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars, which in today's money is tens of millions, in "tributes". Not only money was paid for tribute but at times the Muslims demanded additional "considerations" such as building and providing a warship as a "gift" in which they could do further warfare on us. Because at that time Americans lacked military power to defend themselves the only solution they had, if they wanted to continue to trade in that part of the world, was to pay "tribute". The tributes were costly, costing at the time of Washington's presidency some sixteen percent of the federal budget.

It was not till the last year of Washington's presidency that he urged Congress to undertake the construction of the U. S. Navy to defend American interest in the high seas. When Adams became the next president he too vigorously pursued the same plans and earned the title "Father of the Navy". While Adams supported the Navy he resorted to pay tribute rather than a military solution because he did not think the people would support that option. Like today, there was a lot of bi-partisan politics and as a result the Adam's Administration paid tribute rather than force, giving into the popular opinion of the time. Does some of this sound familiar? Is this the first time or the last time that the entire population did not totally agree as a whole on the matters of war? What about the recent Revolutionary War when only 1/3 agreed to go to war with Britain, 1/3 wanted to remain loyal and the other 1/3 remained indifferent. What about today? While we are currently using force in the War in Iraq to fight the war on Terror, bi-partisan politics is the norm heard on the daily news showing the polls are split on the support of the ongoing war. While the polls may appear that most of the general population would like to pull out of Iraq and negotiate, the current Administration, unlike the Adam's Administration, wants to remain in Iraq surging their forces. At the end of Adams' administration extortion payments were up to twenty percent of the federal budget.

In 1801 when Jefferson became president, having personally dealt with the Powers of the Barbary Wars for almost two decades, he concluded there were only three solutions to the terrorist problem: 1) continue to pay tributes/extortion money 2) cease trading by keeping American ships out of international waters which will deeply hurt or even destroy American commerce. 3) Used military force to stop the attacks. He discarded the first option by stating: "I was very unwilling that we should acquiesce in the …humiliation of paying a tribute to those lawless pirates." He supported the third option, acknowledging: "I am early thought it would be best to affect a peace through the medium of war." He believed by using force we would not only gain our freedom of trade but regain the respect back of the other European countries, including France and England. Now that he became President he determined to end the two-decades-old terrorist attacks he selected General William Eaton to the post of U. S. Naval Agent to the Barbary States, with the assignment to lead an American military expedition against the four terrorist nations. When the offending nations were confronted with military action, all but Tripoli backed down. General Easton therefore led a successful military campaign against Tripoli that freed the enslaved captured seaman who were taken prisoners and then crushed the terrorist forces. This was no small undertaking and it did not happen without some heavy duty bi-partisan politics on the home front. On the home front, the word of the daring feat fostered an outpouring of national pride while rekindling partisan rancor. While Federalist heralded the heroics of Decatur and his seamen, they gave no credit to the man they were trying to oust from the White House, Jefferson. Again, does any of this ring a bell? It is debatable if our War in Iraq is winnable and if and when it is won would the current Administration be accredited for its decision to go to war? Do I not hear the word "impeachment" yelled among the protestors or this current war trying to oust the man responsible for this war from the White House? Does not history repeat itself?

The similarities between these wars and the current war on Terror are many. First, many Americans at the time of the Barbary Wars felt that the fighting was a continuation of the American Revolution as they did not have the freedom they believed they would have on the seas in their free trading. In fact, soon after this war, the War of 1812 commences, making it as if it was one continuous war of Independence. Likewise, the War in Iraq by many refers it to as a necessary war to finish up the Golf War. . Some believe that the Barbary Wars of terror were a clash of cultures or religions, just as much of the war in Iraq and the war on Terror, as a whole, is based on Islamic beliefs that the Koran promises Paradise as a reward for enslaving, killing and warring against the infidels, the great Satan, which is the United States. Another similarity between "then" and "now" is the "surge:" Towards the end of the War of Tripoli Jefferson was determined to end the war with a military victory. He knew that doing such would mean a "surge" in the war, increasing the troops and adding a final squadron, which resulted in draining the national treasure. Jefferson, on May 26, 1804, called his cabinet together to discuss the question of possibly negotiating with Tripoli or to surge the war hoping that a joint sea and land offensive would succeed and thereby American would demand that Tripoli turn over all prisoners without ransom. Everything depended on the surge, the final campaign of the outcome of Preble's strategy. From partisan politics of that day to the nation's finances to American's international standing, much depended on the success of this surge, Preble's strategy. Like today, there are many ongoing debates on the home front about our current surge and if it would make a difference and enable us to win the war. There was a concern, at that time that the surge of the final land-sea operations would pose a "death blow" to the Barbary System; and to withdraw and settle too soon would be a "wound to the National honor." Today we debate many of the same issues. While there are some who demand an immediate pull out of our troops or a redeployment there is a real concern that doing this would not only put our country in danger but we would lose respect of other nations. At times, with all the negativity of this present war, not supporting the surge and demanding immediately that we "cut and run, I question if there are some who hate President Bush so much that they would rather lose the war than to have victory as they consider this "Bushes' War" and not an "American" war. It appears to me that some have crossed the line of "bi-partisan politics" and now are driven by "hate". Debates and disagreements are healthy, however once a person is driven by hate than it becomes unhealthy for the Nation. Hate causes blindness and thereby rational decisions can not be made. It is a serious decision to pull out before a war is won or before a country is stabilized. We saw the consequences of that decision in the Vietnam War when millions of civilians were slaughtered after we pulled out.

I often ask myself why would anyone who remembers or is knowledgeable of the negative consequences of the pulling out of Vietnam before victory would even consider the seriousness and the consequences of pulling out too early in Iraq. After giving much thought trying to put the events of the "then" and the "now" into perspective my speculation is that some people only look at "today" and think of only "themselves" and their "politics". Since the pull out of Vietnam did not affect most civilians on our home front some may think that this time would be the same, that we could go back to business as usual when our military troops return home, out of harms way. In other words, when we pulled our troops out of Vietnam that war did not follow the troops home. There were no attacks or killings on the home front when the troops returned. They may have not received a warm "welcoming back" and some may have been verbally attacked and even "spit upon", but the enemy did not follow them and attack anyone on American soil. But this time most likely will be different. I , along with many others fear that a current pulling out before the Iraqi military and police are strong enough to defend and stabilized their government there will be some real negative consequences for both the civilians of Iraq and for us, living on the home front, the continental United States. If we leave too soon not only will there be thousands and maybe million of civilians murdered; but there is a real chance that many of our own civilians will die if/when the insurgents, terrorists, Jihadists follow the troops home. I do not believe we can come to the table and reason with the insurgents as they are blinded by their hate for us as the "infidel". As mentioned before "hate" blinds people and as a result of hatred one can not see clearly enough to "reason". Like the Barbary Pirates of "then", we "now" are dealing with unreasonable people as our present war is not with the people of Iraq but rather with the insurgents. I personally believe that the only answer at this time is a military answer not diplomacy; coming to the table attempting to negotiate a realm of "peace" is not a viable option. We must stay the course and continue to take resolute action.

America's involvement in the Tripolitan War suppressed pirate terrorism in the Mediterranean only after resolute action. It also saw the development of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps with their proud traditions, and for the first time America made its presence known, not as a "fat duck" but as an "eagle" in the world of the old empires. The Marines Hymns contains a reference to this conflict in the opening line: "From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli..."

It should be noted that while the Muslims throughout the extended conflict of the Barbary Wars viewed their actions in terms of a holy war against Christians much like the Terrorists of today view their war of Terror on us as a Christian nation, the infidel or the "Great Satan". It also should be noted that America did not engaged in a religious war. To the contrary, American officials steered clear of any language that would even suggest that their country's quarrel with Barbary had anything to do with religion. In fact, wishing to avoid any cultural conflicts that might jeopardize the commercial agreements they so eagerly sought, they went to some lengths to convince the Barbary States that this was not a religious war. Aware of the long history of enmity between the Muslims and the Christians in the Mediterranean, American negotiators assured the Barbary leaders that religion was a nonissue. While Barbary draftsmen included in their treaties such phrases as "in the name of Allah" U.S. negotiators made no reference to God or religion. Indeed, in its Tripoli Treaty of 1797, the United States explicitly declared that it was not a Christian state.

By insisting that the United States was not a Christian state, President Madison and Congress had distanced themselves from European Christian powers that had a long history of religion-inspired animosity toward Muslims. Madison hoped that America had succeeded in removing religion as an issue between the United States and the Barbary States. For him, the two sides were not, nor had they ever been, engaged in a holy war.

Frank Lambert, the author of "The Barbary Wars, American Independence in the Atlantic World" believes that the conflict of America with the Arab world during the Barbary Wars was not a holy war, nor was it a clash of cultures or religions but a struggle for economic advantage. For the Barbary regencies, piracy became more than forays against the "infidels"; it became the center of their economic and political life. Pirating in the Barbary States was a capitalist enterprise. The pirate's fleets were small, built for raiding commerce rather than trading it. Entrepreneurs invested in building and furnishing a raiding ship, sometimes selling shares to armadores, usually small shopkeepers.

The motivation of the Barbary Wars on the behalf of the Muslims is debatable, just as the motive of the United States to enter the War Iraq is debatable. Many believe that the war in Iraq was commissioned by President Bush, our Commander and Chief , due to the threat of Weapons of Mass Destruction and the fact that the leader of Iraq, Saddam Hussein , at the time of the onset of the war was in violation of UN demands that were imposed after the Golf War. After years of non compliance it was decided by both the President and Congress to go into Iraq. Today, exactly fours year later, we are still there with no sure "end" in sight of Victory. On the home front we now hear an outcry to "get out of the war", much like what was heard towards the end of the Vietnam War. Some have even accused this President and his Administration that the motive for War was for economic gain that is oil. Some believe that the pre-emptive war against Iraq is not only unconstitutional but it is in the violation of international law. Likewise, on August 1st 1801 one of our new schooners from the newly developed Navy, the "Enterprise" engaged in a battle with a Triipolitan corsair, the "Tripoli" and while the victory over the pirate ship Tripoli was a glorious moment for Americans, it revealed a flaw in the Constitution allocation of war-making powers. The Lieutenant Sterrett aware that he was not engaging the enemy under a congressional declaration of war released the defeated vessel and did not take it as a prize. After that incident, Jefferson asked the legislature for greater war-making powers. While respecting the constitutional requirements that the legislature declare and define war, Jefferson sought greater authority to defeat the Barbary States. Like today, the congress at that time was divided. Though Congress was divided over whether to extend the president's war making powers, it was united in recognizing Sterrett's for a great victory. However this unity was short-lived. While the Federalist hailed the given victory they were quick to attack Jefferson for not taking the Tripolitan ship as a prize. Jefferson's long time political enemy, Alexander Hamilton, led the opposition. While Jefferson hailed the defeat of the Tripoli as a tribute to the American naval power, Hamilton saw it as evidence that Jefferson was unfit for office. What does this sound like? Do I hear the voices of Gore and Kerry saying worse things than that about President Bush? Hamilton charged Jefferson with going far beyond what was reasonable in the war conceding that the Constitution limited the executive's war-making power.

When it was decided to fight back with their new Navy some Americans did not believe that the engagements were under the congressional declaration of war. Finally on February 6, 1802, Congress passed legislation authorizing the president to use all means necessary to defeat the Tripolitans. While not a formal declaration of it eliminated constitutional reservations and signaled American's determination to use its full force on the high seas. Under the law was the recognition that America was in the state of war, thus there was no need to declare it. Furthermore, because Tripoli had declared war on the United States, the act empowered the president "to cause to be done all such other acts of precaution or hostility as the state of war will justify, and my, in his opinion, require." In other words Congress gave the president full authority to take whatever offensive as we as defensive measures necessary to defeat Tripoli and protect American interests.

Later in another battle, once again Jefferson was criticized. In the reporting of the capture of the frigate "Philadelphia" with a crew of 307 now in captivity, American newspapers focused more on Jefferson's handling of the war than on Captain William Bainbridge's unfortunate accident when his ship had to surrender to the enemy. It was 1804, a presidential election year, and the bad news from the Mediterranean could only help the Federalist unseat Jefferson. Partisan newspapers called upon the American people to place the blame where it belonged: on the "weak and pusillanimous administration", reintegrating their charges that Jefferson lacked the courage and spirit required of a commander in chief, the Federalist indicted the president for placing a frigate and more than three hundred sailors in the "power of the pirates of the Mediterranean." Again does this sound familiar? Remember the 2004 election and the "blame Bush game". What about the 2008 election? No doubt that will not be free of bi-partisan politics. The heat is already on and even those among the same parities are now "dissing" each other before the primaries. All I can say is that history does repeat itself and in war time politics play as much as a part of war as policies of engagement.

On June 10, 1805 hostilities ended when a peace treaty was agreed on and signed by Yusuf. It took almost another year for our Senate to ratify this Peace treaty. On April 12, 1806 the Senate voted to ratify the Tripoli Treaty by a vote of 21 to 9. With ratification, the Senate approved a treaty of historic significance, not only for the United States but for all nations treated by the Barbary powers. By waging a determined, sustained war, the Americans had forced Tripoli to accept a pact with neither annual tribute nor customary presents to the bashaw.

During the months that it took for the ratification of this hard earned treaty there were a lot of bi-partisan politics taking place in both the courts and in the congress as well as a lot of bickering and jealously among the three returning naval officers, Preble, Decatur and Eaton, who were responsible for the operation and the victory of final stages of the war. There were several heated debates among the Washington politicians over who should receive credit for the war's successes and who should be blamed for its setbacks. Republicans regarded the outcome as a glorious victory attributing Jefferson for his policies he implemented during the war, but the Federalists charged the commander in chief with indecision, deceit and betrayal. Do these words sound familiar? Two federal judges were impeached, Federal judges Samuel Chase and John Pickering. The bickering continued not only between party lines but also among the parties themselves. Does that sound familiar? We can see that today, especially now that the primaries for the 2008 election is in full force that the candidates from the Democratic party are fighting each: Obama vs. Hillary, and the same goes for the Republicans: McCain vs. Giuliani!

Before closing I would like to address how much the media plays in policy making and politics during the "then" and the "now". While the "venues" of media have changed greatly from the 1800's to that of the present the "menu" of daily events propagated by the political media remains much the same. Today, newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, computers, telephones, cell phones, smart phones, text messaging and the internet are our main sources of media information. Even before events have come to an end, movie contracts and movies are in the making. We live in "instant" I "need to know NOW" mentality. Even before the election polls are closed the media has been known to report the results. We saw what a disaster that was in the 2000 election when Gore's Presidency was announced.

Almost weekly I see shows like "Jericho" or "24" that portray the makings of terrorism and the nuking of our great Nation. We are saturated with political news and commentaries of "today's events", and by the means of the internet, TV, and radio we can get news as the events unfold, often followed by a few commentators giving their slant or interpretations. While our ancestors of the 1800's did not have access to our current technology they did have several venues to get out the "news" and to "propagate" their perspectives or slants. In early 1806, just after the end of the Tripoli War, New York Theater presented a play called "Patriotic Celebration," which linked the recent sacrifice of American sailors in the Mediterranean with American revolutionary hero General Joseph Warren. Oil paintings and portraits were painted to portray important political events instead of digital photography. After the victory of Tripoli a famous painting was painted, titled "Tars in Tripoli" which exhibited the American fleet in the Tripoli harbor bombarding Yusuf's defenses and thereby shattered his despotic power. Instead of having blogs; verses and poems were written such as "The Musselman Humbled", a theme in verse celebrating the bravery displayed by the Americans in the contest of Tripoli. Oil paintings preserving history was available only for the "elite" and those who had "means". President George Washington was one of the first to have an extensive collection of oil paintings which can be seen in his home in Mt. Vernon. At the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, in Washington D.C. Washington's most famous portrait, the "Lansdowne" portrait, by Gilbert Stuart, 1796 is displayed for the public. This is the same portrait that Dolly Madison rescued when she fed from the White House in 1814 when the English burnt down Washington D.C. This portrait was considered as an advertisement in his day and tells a story about the man and his country. It is a full length portrait of Washington dressed in civilian clothes, a black suit depicting himself in his glory, yet portraying him as a citizen and a leader as opposed to a monarch. No doubt this portrait presents him as a model for all future presidents and is one of the most important documents from the times of our Founding Fathers. In this portrait Washington is surrounded with allegorical emblems and symbols of his public life in the services of his country and is illustrative of the great and tremendous storms he and the country prevailed. The "Star and Strips" draped on the chair speak of "Victory", the Eagles on the table and legs of the chair speak of "war" and "peace" and the united political efforts of his Administration, the sword is ceremonial and a symbolic reference to Washington as a Head of State, the books represent his role as Commander and President. The rainbow is introduced in the background as a sign of his confidence of the great future of this great country. This one portrait speaks volumes in a very eloquent fashion.

The newspapers of their time were far from eloquent and must have resembled some of our periodicals which are often referred to as "rags". Their version of "National Inquirer" was called "National Intelligencer" which reported the latest gossip of those in the "Who and Who". In early December, 1805 the "National Intelligencer" reported the events taken place in Washington, D.C. at a dinner party that was given in honor of Eaton for his heroic deeds performed at Derne. The article written carried a scathing Federalist attack on Jefferson's conduct of the war and asserted that the expense and procrastination of the Barbary War should have been charged to the imbecile measures of the Executive, Jefferson. Another Federalist newspaper, the "New-York Post" printed articles that implicated Jefferson of withholding naval support during the war. A lot of controversial articles between parties were published in those days as it is today "washing out our dirty laundry" for all of the public to see. Sometimes Big Media reveals their bias and their propaganda by "omission" rather than by "commission". I have noticed that since our surge in Iraq "Big Media" hasn't said much, other than to continue their negative slant on all things related to the war.

After some 30 days of sending reinforcements into Baghdad there has been a tremendous reduction of Iraqis killed in Baghdad. From February 14th to day, March 14, some thirty day later 265 Iraqis have been killed in Bagdad, down from 1,440 in the 30 days before the surge. Car bombings dropped from 56 to 36, and mortar attacks and kidnappings have also declined. And, perhaps most importantly of all, the number of military deaths also declined to 17, compared to 32 in the 30 days before the reinforcements arrived. No doubt the "naysayers" will say 30 days does not prove anything other than this: but we can say for "now" the hated "Bush" plan has saved lives. While our current day historical literature portrays Jefferson in a favorable light the media of "then" had a heyday making Jefferson appear weak, inconsistent, dumb, and even treacherous. Some say that while President Bush currently is not portrayed favorably among many I have heard a few say that President Bush's legacy may portray him as one of the best Presidents in United States history. Only time will tell….

I am updating this report, today, March 15, 2007 as today's news once again is related to the topics at hand. The information I shared above came yesterday, March 14, 2007 through the media of the internet, by e-mail. Today, while I was watching the daily news, a special report came on informing the public about an ongoing trail of a terrorist, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who claims he was responsible for the operations of the attack on September 11, 2001 from A-Z. In addition he claims that he had plotted plans to assassinate former President Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

I find it almost ironic that both Jimmy Carter and Bill's Clinton's wife, Hillary, who is presently trying to win the primary for the democratic presidency of the 2008 election are among those who presently are opposed to the "surge" of the War in Iraq. I wonder now that they are informed that they were targets on a terrorist "hit" list that their support of the war may change. Will it take a personal tragedy to wake some people up about the reality of the "terrorists" intentions? I know that immediately after 9/11 that our country was more unified than on 9/10. That one event unified the country and the congress even said the "pledge of allegiance" to the "Stars and Strips"publicly on the out stairs of our Nation's capitol. That was over six yeas ago and once again the congress is divided and bi-partisan politics are not only has returned as usual but has, among, some crossed over the line to "hatred". Will it take another attack on our soil or have an assassination of one of them for our country to be united once again? Is there a time in which duty calls for offensive and preventive measures?

The more I study our history, especially during periods of war time, the more I see the similarities of the "then" and of the "now". I am sure if I continue my studies of this war and the other many American wars that we, as a country, have engaged ourselves in during our short history I would find "more of the same" as the wisest man to ever lived, King Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 1:9 ". . .there is No new thing under the sun."


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