On January 4, 2007, newly elected US Representative Tony Ellison took his oath of office on a Koran originally found in the library of Thomas Jefferson. Ellison, seeming to find vindication for his desire to take the oath of office on the Koran, said “a visionary like Jefferson believed that wisdom could be gleaned from many sources.” Of course the national media lined up for the photo op and trumpeted this great day for multiculturalism. Too bad none of these investigative journalists were interested enough to investigate the truth.
Thomas Jefferson was actually the first President forced to mobilize our military against the attacks of Islamic terrorism. Jefferson did have a copy of the Koran in his library not because he was a “visionary”, but for research to find out about the mindset of America’s new enemy.
After America had won her independence from Great Britain, the British navy ceased providing protection for American merchant ships in the Mediterranean Sea. Pirates from the Islamic Barbary states of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Tripoli plundered U.S. shipping by stealing their vessels, their cargo and selling the sailors into slavery.
Unfortunately, America had no navy under President Washington or President Adams, and the only recourse was to attempt to buy protection by paying these Islamic states to leave American vessels alone. Congress appointed a special commission consisting of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin to oversee the negotiations.
Over the next 15 years, the American government paid these four Islamic nations millions of dollars in order to secure the safe passage of American ships and for the return of American hostages. Even with these extortion payments, American ships were still not completely safe from attack, as the Muslim nations did not feel bound by covenants made with infidel nations. Perceiving the Americans to be weak, the price for peace continued to rise. By the year 1800, the payments in ransom and tribute amounted to 20 percent of the United States government’s annual budget.
By the time Jefferson was elected President, America had built a navy. He determined that the only way to achieve peace with these nations was through “the medium of war.” The United States Marines were sent into action for the first time in foreign lands supported by America’s new navy. The USS Constitution, USS Constellation, USS Philadelphia, USS Chesapeake, USS Argus, USS Syren and USS Intrepid all saw action. In 1805, the Marines marched across the desert from Egypt into Tripolitania, forcing the surrender of Tripoli and the freeing of all American slaves. To this day, the opening line of the Marine Corps Hymn states, “From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli, we will fight our country’s battles on the land as on the sea.”