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This will be brief.  I can recommend reading this article about the early United States versus the Barbary Pirates.

Yes, we indeed paid tribute and ransoms.

True: Thomas Jefferson spoke out about that and tried to fight back.  But...

(below the fold)

When Jefferson became president in 1801 he refused to accede to Tripoli's demands for an immediate payment of $225,000 and an annual payment of $25,000. The pasha of Tripoli then declared war on the United States. Although as secretary of state and vice president he had opposed developing an American navy capable of anything more than coastal defense, President Jefferson dispatched a squadron of naval vessels to the Mediterranean. [....]

[...] However, it was not until 1805, when an American fleet under Commodore John Rogers and a land force raised by an American naval agent to the Barbary powers, Captain William Eaton, threatened to capture Tripoli and install the brother of Tripoli's pasha on the throne, that a treaty brought an end to the hostilities. Negotiated by Tobias Lear, former secretary to President Washington and now consul general in Algiers, the treaty of 1805 still required the United States to pay a ransom of $60,000 for each of the sailors held by the dey of Algiers, and so it went without Senatorial consent until April 1806.

(emphasis mine)

The payments finally stopped in 1815.

I find it interesting that slogans ("We don't negotiate with terrorists") are equated with actual knowledge.

I can recommend the book Faith, Power and Fantasy by Michael Oren for more details.  It makes for interesting reading.

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Comment Preferences

  •  the Founding Fathers were terrorists (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    onanyes, NE2, Gooserock, old mark, OooSillyMe

    at that time. They upset the social order, they caused bloodshed and mass dislocation of the population. Any one of them was a traitor and could be hanged under existing law.

    200+ years later, it seems like it was a good idea.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

    by Karl Rover on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 07:32:24 PM PDT

    •  While They Were All Traitors, I Doubt Many Were (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jasan, Phoenix Woman

      terrorists. Terrorists try to win via violence and terror what they can't achieve through legitimate means like politics and formal military war.

      Colonists and Euro Americans did engage in terrorism toward Natives at times, and toward Blacks especially after emancipation, to keep them in their place.

      I think today's Patriot Act would probably define the Boston Tea Party as an act of terrorism.

      But the war of independence was overall a legitimate war.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 08:32:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Prisoner swaps happen all the time! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman, worldlotus, onanyes

    People are so woefully uninformed.

    Dumb Demystifier of the Day.

    "The Pentagon is making the argument that American soldiers would become targets for kidnapping," says a senior administration official. "We pushed back on that. They already are - the Taliban and Al Qaeda have been using their resources to kidnap Americans for years." Prisoner exchanges take place at the ground level all the time in Afghani­stan, and Gen. David Petraeus, now the head of the CIA, has pointed out in discussions about Bowe that U.S. forces made distasteful swaps in Iraq - including one involving Qais Khazali, a Shiite extremist who orchestrated the kidnapping and execution of four U.S. soldiers in Karbala in 2007. Even a hard-line Israeli nationalist like Benjamin Netanyahu has recognized the value of a single soldier: In October, the prime minister agreed to free 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli corporal who had been held captive by Hamas for five years. The move was overwhelmingly supported by the majority of Israelis. "The Israelis really care about the value of one life," says a senior U.S. official. "Does the American public?" [Rolling Stone, 6/21/12]
    "There's little that's actually new here," said Mitchell Reiss, who worked in the State Department under President George W. Bush and served as national security adviser to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. "It may be new to certain individuals. Whether it's new or not is not as important as whether it's sound policy and promotes national security. That's the ground where there's a more legitimate debate."

    In his book, Negotiating with Evil, Reiss wrote that America actually has a detailed history of negotiating with terrorists and rogue regimes that support terrorist activity.

    [...]

    ·         After the North Koreans captured the U.S.S. Pueblo in 1968, President Lyndon Johnson apologized for spying as part of negotiations to secure the release of 83 American prisoners.

    ·         In 1970, President Richard Nixon pressured Israel, Switzerland, West Germany and Britain to release Palestinian prisoners after two airlines were hijacked by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

    ·         During the Iran hostage crisis of 1979 to 1981, President Jimmy Carter agreed to unfreeze $8 billion in frozen Iranian assets after more than a year of negotiations with the Iranian revolutionaries.

    ·         In perhaps the most famous swap, after seven Americans were captured in Beirut, Lebanon, President Ronald Reagan agreed to send missiles to Iran in what became known as the Iran-Contra scandal.

    ·         President Bill Clinton's administration sat down with Hamas in attempts to negotiate peace with Israel. His administration also worked directly with the Taliban nearly two decades ago on several occasions to see if the group would hand over Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders.

    Reiss also noted that President George W. Bush engaged in negotiations with Iran and North Korea even after decreeing them part of the "Axis of Evil." [PolitiFact, 6/1/14]


    ___________
    My Latest: Bowe Bergdahl : The Long Road Home. Evolved Human Consciousness in Action.

    by Pluto on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 07:57:22 PM PDT

  •  Yes and That's the GOOD News of That Conflict (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phoenix Woman, eastsidedemocrat

    for the Reich Wing (as Thom Hartmann sometimes pronounces it).

    There's the infamous Article 11 of the treaty:

    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 Musselmen,-and as the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan 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.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Wed Jun 04, 2014 at 08:36:44 PM PDT

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