Dennis Reust

Stillwater

To the editor:

Does anyone else hear people on the national stage calling out the President for standing up to a bully? Do you hear them calling for continued appeasement so we don’t make the bully angry? Nothing has changed.

Before George Washington became President, Barbary Pirates from the Muslim nations in Northwest Africa patrolled international waters of the Mediterranean capturing ships and enslaving their crews. The English and French paid tribute as “protection money.” America needed money to pay war debts and run the country, and could scarcely afford the tribute, We tried without success to negotiate, but paid for years. The Muslim rulers were “polite” to emissaries until it came down to business when they were unrepentant and their demands kept changing and increasing.

Many American politicians opposed the use of force. They kept pressing for diplomatic solutions and paying tribute. Can you guess how the problem was finally resolved after years of debate, frustration, tribute, and failure? The Marine Hymn tells it: “. . . To the shores of Tripoli; We fight our country’s battles. . .” Force was the only effective option. Sadly, nothing has changed.

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