December 18, 2005


America’s Earliest Terrorists: Lessons from America’s first war against Islamic terror. (Joshua E. London, 12/16/05, National Review)

At the dawn of a new century, a newly elected United States president was forced to confront a grave threat to the nation — an escalating series of unprovoked attacks on Americans by Muslim terrorists. Worse still, these Islamic partisans operated under the protection and sponsorship of rogue Arab states ruled by ruthless and cunning dictators.

Sluggish in recognizing the full nature of the threat, America entered the war well after the enemy’s call to arms. Poorly planned and feebly executed, the American effort proceeded badly and at great expense — resulting in a hastily negotiated peace and an equally hasty declaration of victory.

As timely and familiar as these events may seem, they occurred more than two centuries ago. The president was Thomas Jefferson, and the terrorists were the Barbary pirates. Unfortunately, many of the easy lessons to be plucked from this experience have yet to be fully learned.

Mr. London's book on the topic was one of our picks for the best of 2005

America's First War on Islamic Terror (Orrin Judd, 11/14/2005, Tech Central Station)

Joshua E. London's new book on America's Barbary Wars -- Victory in Tripoli : How America's War with the Barbary Pirates Established the U.S. Navy and Shaped a Nation -- draws fascinating parallels to the current War on Terror. The following is an interview with the author, conducted in October 2005.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 18, 2005 3:56 PM
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