Sunday, May 18, 2008

The enduring threat to our people

in 1786, Thomas Jefferson, then the Ambassador to Paris, and John Adams, then our Ambassabor to Great Britain met with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, envoy of the Barbary States along the Mediteranean to London. In an attempt to bribe our way to safe passage to the ports of Cairo, Gibraltar, Athens, Rome, and many other important points along the Mediterranean, they where told the following.
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.
This was reported to John Jay, then the Secretary of State in the Washington Administration. Shortly afterwards, the first "Terrorist Attacks" then not much more than Pirate Attacks on shipping began to be directed at the United States of America.

Thus began the First and Second Barbary Wars. Jefferson had advised Jay that to pay tribute would only encourage more attacks to raise the tribute. He knew then what many on Capitol Hill still refuse to see. Dealing with these people will not result in resolution. The more you recognize the party you are fighting as a legitimate group, the more that you will encourage them, and thew more appeasement you will need to send later on.

Though we agreed that the funding of the barbary states in the long run was a bad idea, we where forced to do it. For 15 years, the nation was forced to pay $1,000,000 a year. A massive sum in the day's currency. It was not until we had a proper naval force with which to protect our merchant ships that we ceased payment of the tribute.

Following a massive naval campaign in the all important sea, we laid low the men terrorizing our people for over 100 years. It was not until the aftermath of the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan that the threat from Islamic Fundamentalists, and in some case Facists, became a problem again. Now, we are fighting the same war that we fought in the dawning years of the 19th Century here in the 21st. Though this war will be much larger than that forgotten war, the enemy is the same, but now he is more widespread, better armed, better trained, and filled with the burning desire to see the free world set ablaze, and our nation pillaged. Those we are fighting today are the same as those we fought oh so long ago.

We cannot falter, for to do so is to show weakness. We cannot fail, for to do so would mean the end of our democracy. We cannot abandon the people of Iraq, for to do so would be to condem them to a fate worse than death, slavery at the hands of a militaristic death cult.

If we fought reasonable men, this war would be over. But we do not, we fight zealots who seek nothing more than the destruction and enslavement of the non-Islamist world. Not even their brothers and sisters in the faith, or their cousins "Of The Book" are safe.

However, that does not justify the use of torture. I quote Nietzche, "He who fights with monsters should take care, lest he become the monster which he faces." For truly, it is against monsters that we struggle. Monsters who rape teenage girls in Chechnya. Monsters who cut the children from the womb and slaughter them in the Sudan. Monsters who execute a girl for being in a car with a man who was not her brother or father as she was being gang raped. Monsters who conduct "Honor Killings" if a girl so much as talks to a man she does not know. The fight will continue. If not in Iraq, then Afghanistan. If not in Afghanistan, then in the streets of Paris and Amsterdam. And should they fall, then here, in the streets of Kansas City and New York and Los Angeles.

Though I hate to say it, McCain is right. We will have a roll in Iraq for the next hundred years or more, advising and bolstering a Republic, a true representative state, and the Armed Forces that it calls upon for defense for the next hundred years. The war is slowing down, the forces of Freedom are slowly but surely winning, and every time that an innocent person is slaughtered by a terrorist in a crowded market square, 15 people realize just who these monsters are, and realize that only through an open government, made stable through institutions designed to outlive any one man, can they truly have the government that they, as humans, deserve.

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