Barry and the Pirates

After the brutal murders of four American retirees by Somali pirates, the Obama administration continues its incompetent foreign policy.  Secretary of State Clinton's response of generic rhetoric, adding, "We will honor their memory by strengthening international responses and partnerships to bring these criminals to justice and to more effectively end the scourge of piracy," served only to confound the issue and to attempt reincarnation of the impotent Clinton Doctrine of treating Islamic extremism/ asymmetric warfare as merely a law enforcement issue. 

And the success of the policy of appeasement? Even the likes of CNN International states, "Over 50 pirate attacks have already taken place in 2011. As of February 15, pirates were holding 33 vessels and 712 hostages." Great policy.

Nor do the weaknesses of appeasement amount to anything new. The Clinton Policy of avoiding confrontation was put to test during President Clinton's first days in office during the first World Trade Center Bombing.   Though ample evidence surfaced of a coordinated effort to attack the WTC by foreign actors the administration pursued civilian courts while the DOJ prohibited the sharing of intelligence between the FBI and foreign intelligence gatherers.  The Clinton doctrine hardly produced results that in any way could be linked to any curbing violence.  After the first WTC bombing in 1993, Bill Clinton, Commander and Chief of the most powerful military known in history, presided over  the Battle of Mogadishu, Khobar Tower Bombings, Embassy Bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, USS Cole bombing, and the planning of 9/11. The tacit truth -- appeasement had accomplished virtually nothing.

Well, maybe President Obama understands piracy! The United States, as the well-educated president knows, has been dealing with pirates since the nation's founding.  But, he has has stayed in the background, sadly, and statements made by his Secretary of State during the hostage taking of The Maersk Alabama in 2009 , echoed just as generic, incorrect and empty as the comments made Feb. 22, 2011. The Secretary's remarks, prior to a meeting with her Moroccan counterpart Dr. Taieb Fassi Fihri, were interrupted by her laughter.  Anxiously looking at the Moroccan Foreign Minister, Clinton managed to say "I think Morocco was the very first country that recognized us, going back a long time. And we worked together to end piracy off of the coast of Morocco all those years ago, and we're going to work together to end this kind of criminal activity anywhere on the high seas."  What?

Morocco and the other Barbary states (Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers), did not work with the United States to bring piracy to an end.  The Barbary States extorted Americans by kidnapping citizens and holding them for ransom.  As if to underscore these truths, pirates sold many of the Christian captives on slave markets throughout Ottoman North Africa.  While Mrs. Clinton was correct in saying that Morocco was the first country to recognize US independence, she failed to note that the intentions were not as pure as she would have lead the media to believe.   Morocco, concerned with the Royal Navy's protective agreements with American merchant shipping (responsibility transferred to the French during the Revolutionary War), readily acknowledged the new, feeble country, but for nefarious purposes.

The Naval Act of 1794 was passed as a direct result of the attacks on the merchant shipping.  The United States, still in the early stages, continued to pay tribute to the pirate states until a change in policy was ushered in by President Jefferson.  Analysis of Jeffersonian foreign policy by presidential historian Gerald W. Gawalt provides further insight on how Jefferson would deal with asymmetric warfare, as follows:

"Paying the ransom would only lead to further demands, Jefferson argued in letters to future presidents John Adams, then America's minister to Great Britain, and James Monroe, then a member of Congress. As Jefferson wrote to Adams in a July 11, 1786, letter, "I acknolege [sic] I very early thought it would be best to effect a peace thro' the medium of war." Paying tribute will merely invite more demands, and even if a coalition proves workable, the only solution is a strong navy that can reach the pirates, Jefferson argued in an August 18, 1786, letter to James Monroe: "The states must see the rod; perhaps it must be felt by some one of them. . . . Every national citizen must wish to see an effective instrument of coercion, and should fear to see it on any other element than the water. A naval force can never endanger our liberties, nor occasion bloodshed; a land force would do both." "From what I learn from the temper of my countrymen and their tenaciousness of their money," Jefferson added in a December 26, 1786, letter to the president of Yale College, Ezra Stiles, "it will be more easy to raise ships and men to fight these pirates into reason, than money to bribe them."

Jefferson's policy was continued by Madison and in the 1815 State of the Union Address, after he described a series of naval victories led by Commodores William Bainbridge and Stephen Decatur in the second war with Algiers, Madison declared:

"I have the satisfaction on our present meeting of being able to communicate to you the successful termination of the war which had been commenced against the United States by the Regency of Algiers."

He continues...

"The impressions which have thus been made, strengthened as they will have been by subsequent transactions with the Regencies of Tunis and of Tripoli by the appearance of the larger force which followed under Commodore Bainbridge, the chief in command of the expedition, and by the judicious precautionary arrangements left by him in that quarter, afford a reasonable prospect of future security for the valuable portion of our commerce which passes within reach of the Barbary cruisers."

The Obama administration's distorted view of history tries to lend relevance to diplomatic speak... a failed policy when dealing with lawless nations.  Secretary of State Clinton, at least,  should have learned from her husband's incompetent foreign policy that peace is achieved not through appeasement, but through superior fire power. As Jefferson said, "The states must see the rod; perhaps it must be felt by some one of them."
After the brutal murders of four American retirees by Somali pirates, the Obama administration continues its incompetent foreign policy.  Secretary of State Clinton's response of generic rhetoric, adding, "We will honor their memory by strengthening international responses and partnerships to bring these criminals to justice and to more effectively end the scourge of piracy," served only to confound the issue and to attempt reincarnation of the impotent Clinton Doctrine of treating Islamic extremism/ asymmetric warfare as merely a law enforcement issue. 

And the success of the policy of appeasement? Even the likes of CNN International states, "Over 50 pirate attacks have already taken place in 2011. As of February 15, pirates were holding 33 vessels and 712 hostages." Great policy.

Nor do the weaknesses of appeasement amount to anything new. The Clinton Policy of avoiding confrontation was put to test during President Clinton's first days in office during the first World Trade Center Bombing.   Though ample evidence surfaced of a coordinated effort to attack the WTC by foreign actors the administration pursued civilian courts while the DOJ prohibited the sharing of intelligence between the FBI and foreign intelligence gatherers.  The Clinton doctrine hardly produced results that in any way could be linked to any curbing violence.  After the first WTC bombing in 1993, Bill Clinton, Commander and Chief of the most powerful military known in history, presided over  the Battle of Mogadishu, Khobar Tower Bombings, Embassy Bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, USS Cole bombing, and the planning of 9/11. The tacit truth -- appeasement had accomplished virtually nothing.

Well, maybe President Obama understands piracy! The United States, as the well-educated president knows, has been dealing with pirates since the nation's founding.  But, he has has stayed in the background, sadly, and statements made by his Secretary of State during the hostage taking of The Maersk Alabama in 2009 , echoed just as generic, incorrect and empty as the comments made Feb. 22, 2011. The Secretary's remarks, prior to a meeting with her Moroccan counterpart Dr. Taieb Fassi Fihri, were interrupted by her laughter.  Anxiously looking at the Moroccan Foreign Minister, Clinton managed to say "I think Morocco was the very first country that recognized us, going back a long time. And we worked together to end piracy off of the coast of Morocco all those years ago, and we're going to work together to end this kind of criminal activity anywhere on the high seas."  What?

Morocco and the other Barbary states (Tripoli, Tunis, Algiers), did not work with the United States to bring piracy to an end.  The Barbary States extorted Americans by kidnapping citizens and holding them for ransom.  As if to underscore these truths, pirates sold many of the Christian captives on slave markets throughout Ottoman North Africa.  While Mrs. Clinton was correct in saying that Morocco was the first country to recognize US independence, she failed to note that the intentions were not as pure as she would have lead the media to believe.   Morocco, concerned with the Royal Navy's protective agreements with American merchant shipping (responsibility transferred to the French during the Revolutionary War), readily acknowledged the new, feeble country, but for nefarious purposes.

The Naval Act of 1794 was passed as a direct result of the attacks on the merchant shipping.  The United States, still in the early stages, continued to pay tribute to the pirate states until a change in policy was ushered in by President Jefferson.  Analysis of Jeffersonian foreign policy by presidential historian Gerald W. Gawalt provides further insight on how Jefferson would deal with asymmetric warfare, as follows:

"Paying the ransom would only lead to further demands, Jefferson argued in letters to future presidents John Adams, then America's minister to Great Britain, and James Monroe, then a member of Congress. As Jefferson wrote to Adams in a July 11, 1786, letter, "I acknolege [sic] I very early thought it would be best to effect a peace thro' the medium of war." Paying tribute will merely invite more demands, and even if a coalition proves workable, the only solution is a strong navy that can reach the pirates, Jefferson argued in an August 18, 1786, letter to James Monroe: "The states must see the rod; perhaps it must be felt by some one of them. . . . Every national citizen must wish to see an effective instrument of coercion, and should fear to see it on any other element than the water. A naval force can never endanger our liberties, nor occasion bloodshed; a land force would do both." "From what I learn from the temper of my countrymen and their tenaciousness of their money," Jefferson added in a December 26, 1786, letter to the president of Yale College, Ezra Stiles, "it will be more easy to raise ships and men to fight these pirates into reason, than money to bribe them."

Jefferson's policy was continued by Madison and in the 1815 State of the Union Address, after he described a series of naval victories led by Commodores William Bainbridge and Stephen Decatur in the second war with Algiers, Madison declared:

"I have the satisfaction on our present meeting of being able to communicate to you the successful termination of the war which had been commenced against the United States by the Regency of Algiers."

He continues...

"The impressions which have thus been made, strengthened as they will have been by subsequent transactions with the Regencies of Tunis and of Tripoli by the appearance of the larger force which followed under Commodore Bainbridge, the chief in command of the expedition, and by the judicious precautionary arrangements left by him in that quarter, afford a reasonable prospect of future security for the valuable portion of our commerce which passes within reach of the Barbary cruisers."

The Obama administration's distorted view of history tries to lend relevance to diplomatic speak... a failed policy when dealing with lawless nations.  Secretary of State Clinton, at least,  should have learned from her husband's incompetent foreign policy that peace is achieved not through appeasement, but through superior fire power. As Jefferson said, "The states must see the rod; perhaps it must be felt by some one of them."