The Shores of Barbary– A republic that will not defend its citizens will not last long
The American Spectator ^ | September 13, 2012 | Rober Kaplan
Posted on Thursday, September 13, 2012 7:20:36 AM by Cincinatus’ Wife
They are murderers and, yes, they are Muslim murderers.
When President Jefferson decided to send a naval expedition to Tripoli to rescue American seamen and punish the Barbary pirates, the opposition to him was practical: did we have the naval vessels and if not did we want to raise taxes to pay for them? Did we have allies with whom to embark on such a difficult campaign? Assuming success, what were we supposed to do next to insure the pirates did not lie low, regroup, begin their trade as soon as we looked the other way?
The third president’s answer to the first set of issues was to remind Americans that we already were being taxed due to the lawlessness in the western Mediterranean: the reason our ships were attacked by proto-Islamist terrorists (they justified their criminality with Koranic references, as Jefferson, who studied the Koran, was aware) was that it was lucrative to attack them, steal the goods they carried, and ransom their crews. Admittedly, it could be argued (it was) that spending on the navy was in effect a way to socialize risk, to use an anachronism; no one was forcing merchants to sail along those dangerous routes. But the president did not underestimate the value and importance of free trade to general economic growth. He also was well aware, of course, that a republic that did not defend its citizens would not last long. The slogan “Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute” rallied support for Jefferson’s policy,….
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