Jefferson’s War 214 Years On…

Go Ahead, Make ...

Go Ahead, Make …

Not the least of the points in Bernard Lewis’ superb “The Crisis of Islam” is that contrary to Western thinking (where we are separate and defined countries with various religions) the Islamic Jihadist Muslim world is a religious ideology residing like a bowl of entangled spaghetti within various countries. As Daniel Greenfield has espoused on numerous occasions, the loyalty of the Islamic Jihadist Muslim is to the ummah, the Muslim collective, not to a specific country. We would be well-advised to heed this fact as we foolishly accept an ever-growing number of Islamic Jihadist Muslims into this country; it isn’t that they are dishonorable as such, but rather that their definition of honor, of loyalty, of commitment to patriotism, character and freedom, differs widely from ours.

It is also why the idea of a “moderate Islamic Jihadist Muslim” has no meaning. If “moderate” is taken to mean loyalty to a country, or to the local society, at the expense of the ummah, then “moderate” is equivalent to our treason. Islamic Jihadist Muslimism is totally incompatible with Western ideals of individualism, comradeship, patriotism, and loyalty to a country. Since we depend, in the words of the Constitution, on those qualities for domestic tranquility, why in the world would we desire to import adherents of a hostile philosophy which can never be reconciled with our values?

Believe it – The whole world has been entangled with Islam since its inception. The French for example, have been battling Islam since the 8th century, when Charles Martel turned back the Islamic Jihadist Muslim tidal wave at the Battle of Poitiers in 732 AD. Study a map of Europe and understand just how fast the scourge of Islam advanced. The Gates of Vienna in 1683 was another watershed moment of Europe turning back the barbarity of Islamic Jihadist Muslimism. Now it’s our turn.

Joseph Brandt, 'Return from Vienna'

Joseph Brandt, ‘Return from Vienna’

As we’ve discussed many times in this ongoing discourse, Thomas Jefferson had his “Islamic Jihadist Muslim” moments during his presidency, and had the wisdom to educate himself on their barbarous ideology; the fortitude to stand up to, and defeat them; and the pragmatism to understand that this was a threat that would never, ever go away, and would need a strong and forceful army and navy to keep this evil enemy constantly at bay. More’s the pity of course, that we now have an Islamic Jihadist Muslim occupying We The People’s Mansion, constantly inviting the devil to the party through the Muslim Brotherhood, who manage to visit with him several times a month.

Just remember – There were no Islamic Jihadist Muslims, no Mosques, no Shar’iah Law, and no Islamic Jihadist Muslim terrorism in 17th/18th-century America, whose governments of the people, by the people, for the people, and for God, were based upon His unchanging moral laws, beginning with the First Commandment.

When the late 19th-century Supreme Court replaced the First Amendment with the First Commandment-violating “Free Exercise Clause”, America was quickly transformed from what, in the 1600s, was a predominantly Christian nation (a united nation under one God, Yahweh) into arguably the most polytheistic nation ever to exist on planet earth (a divided nation under many gods, including Islam’s Allah).

In today’s FrontPageMagazine, David L. Hunter brings forth the dilemma faced by Jefferson, and how he went about resolving it…

frontpage_logoThose that assume that radical Islam is a modern phenomenon that became prominent during Bill Clinton’s tenure as president in the 1990s merely scratch the historical surface of America’s complicated political entanglement with the Middle East’s supposed “religion of peace.”  In truth, the tentacles of radical Islam go all the way back to Thomas Jefferson.

Historically, Thomas Jefferson was the first U.S. president to go to war against belligerent Islam.  The American Revolution from English imperialism had left the fledgling republic deeply in debt.  Trade of America’s vast natural resources of lumber, animal skins and crops with Europe was the economic answer.  However, European markets, a traditional mercantile system, were not open to American commodities.  Complicating matters was the fact that America had no navy to protect American cargo ships from Barbary pirates who were known to kidnap foreigners for ransom.  Further, due to American independence, the U.S. could no longer depend upon the British Royal Navy—the greatest in the world at that time—nor the King of England, who customarily paid “tribute” (protection money) to North African pashas and the Sultan of Morocco.

In May of 1784 the Continental Congress dispatched Jefferson to Paris first as trade commissioner and later as ambassador to France. Very early on in the process he became aware of an unexpected reality: Christian-American hostages were being enslaved by violent Muslims. Contrary to rumor and the popular belief of the time, these North African predators were not the stereotypical pirates out for booty: wine, women, adventure and song.  These “Barbary Pirates” were in fact just typical Middle Eastern Muslims known then as Mahometans or Mussulmen who did not consume alcohol and prayed to Allah several times a day. They crewed the ships of the Mediterranean Sea’s Islamic city-states and their efforts to capture cargo and passenger vessels were both economic and religious. Like today’s terrorists, these predecessors called themselves Mujahidin or “soldiers in the Jihad” and engaged in holy war against the West.  Not much has changed in 200 years.

The Mujahidin knew the Union Jack, but they didn’t know the Stars and Stripes.  Not that it mattered then or now: All foreigners and non-Muslims were targets.  Jefferson foresaw the danger and spent the fall of 1784 studying Islam as well as fellow diplomats’ treatment of the long-standing issue.  Specifically, in March of 1785, future presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams went to London to negotiate with Tripoli’s envoy, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman. When they inquired into the Mujadhins’ propensity “to make war upon nations who had done them no injury,” the ambassador replied:

It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every Mussulman who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise. He said, also, that the man who was the first to board a vessel had one slave over and above his share, and that when they sprang to the deck of an enemy’s ship, every sailor held a dagger in each hand and a third in his mouth; which usually struck such terror into the foe that they cried out for quarter at once.

Jefferson argued correctly that paying “tribute” to Muslim extremism would encourage further malfeasance: “infidel” enslavement, hostage-taking and ship hijacking had already plagued Europe for a thousand years.  Although John Adams concurred, as America had no standing navy, the circumstance forced the new, debt-ridden nation to pay a hefty 1 million dollar tithe (approximately 10% of the U.S. government’s annual revenues in 1800), a government entitlement program for terrorists that went on for 15 years.  Like the monarchies of Europe, Jefferson’s Democratic-Republicans were focused on Western expansion and did not want those efforts stymied by useless armed conflicts in the Old World.  The money guaranteed safe passage of American ships and/or the return of American hostages.

Jefferson's War...

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Like today in the West’s continuing quest for crude oil instead of developing comparable domestic resources, the price remains high to do business with the barbarous Middle East.  In Jefferson’s time, British merchants, British and French royalty and virtually every maritime trading country in Christian Europe capitulated to the extortion rather than shift resources from burgeoning global empire-building elsewhere.  However, Jefferson realized that any peaceful arrangement with the Mujahidin was a temporary fix, which would ultimately lead to greater and greater demands.

Unlike the Obama doctrine of continued appeasement and hollow political “victories” not worth the paper they are written on, Thomas Jefferson wanted to fight.  However, certain precincts of the U.S. government reacted haphazardly to continued acts of terrorism.  In late 1793, the mass hijacking of U.S. ships by Muslims had a 9/11 effect on the U.S. economy.  Four months later, on March 27, 1794, Congress—after debating the subject periodically over a decade—finally decided to build a fleet of warships: six extra-large frigates.  In essence, the United States Navy was born in response to unprovoked Muslim aggression.

After 17 years of calling for war against Islamic extremism represented by Barbary piracy, it was not until 1801 as America’s third president that Mr. Jefferson dispatched a naval squadron of four warships to the Mediterranean to engage in a four-year war off the shores of Tripoli.  Sporadically, a Western power would bombard Muslim port cities in response to the ongoing threat, but nothing ends the seemingly endless Christian-Islamic religious conflict.  As history demonstrates, Obama’s political realities mirror Jefferson’s.  However, Mr. Obama’s cowardly head-in-the-sand reaction is in direct opposition to Jefferson’s Reaganesque show of strength.

Given the terrorist atrocities of September 11, 2001, the historic date of September 11, 1683 also comes clearly into focus. That was a turning point in human history: the defeat of the Islamic armies of the Ottoman Empire and the Islamic caliphate by Christian forces at the gates of Vienna.  From that moment until the recent times, Christian or Western powers would dominate the Muslim world. Radical Islam seeks to violently overturn that arrangement through modern savagery and continuous warfare.


David L. Hunter is a DC-based freelance writer whose work has been published in The Washington Times, The Washington Post and “American Thinker.”