Sunday, 6 December 2009

Somebody should have told Dubya!

I came across this fascinating snippet of info about the Treaty of Tripoli:
Passed by the U.S. Senate on June 7, 1797 and signed by President John Adams on June 10, 1797.

Article 11 reads:

As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity ... against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.

If only we'd known sooner...


  1. Amazing! One of our Founding Fathers states it clearly. Too bad the neo-conservatives have forgotten the basis of our First Amendment. I might say, though, that it's possible they would dismiss John Adams' remarks since he was a Unitarian and obviously not a friend of Fundamentalism.

  2. Yes, fine. Nice sentiment from a politician.

    Shortly followed by the First (1801-1805) and Second (1815) Barbary Wars.

    You might call them "police actions against pirates". They might call them something else. Probably something along the lines of bringing the "Dar al-Harb" back to the "Dar al-Islam", to paraphrase the USMC t-shirt.

    In 25 years of service, I have never been in a war zone that wouldn't be considered "Dar al-Islam" by the purists. From Kuwait to Kosovo (being slightly too young for the Falklands). It might just, only just, not be horrid imperialist Western Islamo-phobic aggression.


  3. Ah, I was unaware the Yanks had gone and walloped the Corsaits then (Will that be the "Shores of Tripoli" the Leathernecks go on about?).

    One man's police action is anothers act of imperialist agression. Twas ever thus.

  4. Indeed - 1st Barbary War:

    "The turning point in the war came with the Battle of Derna (April-May 1805). Ex-consul William Eaton, who went by the rank of general, and US Marine First Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon led a mixed force of eight United States Marines and 500 Greek, Arab and Berber mercenaries on a remarkable overland march across the desert from Alexandria, Egypt to assault and to capture the Tripolitan city of Derna. This is the first time in history that the United States flag was raised in victory on foreign soil. This action was memorialized in a line from the Marines' Hymn — "the shores of Tripoli."

  5. But theey're awfully quiet about getting whupped by the Bootnecks in 1812 when we enabled Dolly Madison to redecorate the White House!