Wednesday, July 6, 2016

America's Libya and ISIS Policy

America's Libya and ISIS Policy

Image result for Enterprise v. Tripoli

The Tripoli and the Enterprise

By William E. Kelly, Jr.

America's Libya and ISIS policy, the subject of much confusion and debate in Washington, was set over 200 years ago when the radical Islamist and Basha of Tripoli Yusuf Karamanli was the first to declare war against the United States by chopping down the American flag pole outside the residence of the American ambassador.

Rather than pay him tribute to stop pirating American merchant ships, Americans took up the slogan "Millions for defense but not one cent for tribute," and President Madison said, "If we are to fight them now we better be prepared to fight them forever."

Using the same tactics they use today - pirating ships, enslaving women, beheading Christians infidels and imposing Shara law wherever they conquer, the Barbary pirates were the ISIS terrorists of their day.

They were the ones to pick a fight with us and we responded by sending over a fleet of warships, the schooner Enterprise the first to arrive in Mediterranean waters, under the command of Lt. Andrew Sterett.

It didn't take long for the Enterprise to encounter the latine rigged pirate ship Tripoli, a captured American merchant ship in tow, its crew having been killed and thrown overboard.

The Enterprise carried the baton of what would become the Sixth Fleet, and had orders to intercept pirates, and that she did, with a well trained crew and tenacious skipper, the Enterprise raked the Tripoli with multiple broadsides, and the Tripoli's treacherous captain feigned surrender twice before pushing his first officer overboard. Sterett didn't take the Tripoli as a prize because Congress had yet to declare war, and left the pirates one sail to return home and tell the basha what America's policy was. The captain of the Tripoli was striped naked and placed backwards on a donkey and paraded through the streets of Tripoli.

The Enterprise was then transferred to Lt. Stephen Decatur, who captured the pirate ship Moscato, renamed the USS Intrepid, and used in daring raids against the pirates.

On the downside, the frigate USS Philadelphia ran aground chasing a pirate ship outside the Tripoli harbor, its guns facing into the sand and sky, so it's captain William Bainbridge surrendered without a fight, its 300 officers and men held for ransom.

Renaming the Philadelphia "Gift of Allah," the basha offered to free any of the American sailors who would convert to Islam, take muslim wives and teach them how to sail the square rigged frigat, and five of them did.

Decatur then used the Intrepid to sink the Philadelphia and Richard Somers died in the explosion of the Intrepid in Tripoli harbor, both early special ops missions that would today be undertaken by Navy Seals.

Shortly thereafter Sgt. Presley O'Bannon and eight US Marines lead an army of Arabs and Greek Christians across the desert to attack and take the coastal city of Derna, the first time the stars and stripes would fly above a captured foreign city. But before they could march on Tripoli, the basha sued for peace.

The Libyan city of Derna is now a hotbed of radical extremists and was the first Libyan city to fall to ISIS and have Islamist Shara law installed, enslaving women and beheading infidels.

The aircraft carriers Intrepid and Enterprise were named after the original ships, and Sterrett, Decatur, Somers and Bainbridge have all had ships named after them.

It was from the fantail of the USS Bainbridge that three US Navy SEALs simultaneously shot and killed three north African pirates who were holding the captain of an American ship hostage, continuing American policy in the finest traditions of Sterett, Decatur and Somers.

The first cruse missile fired by American forces during the NATO intervention in the Libyan revolution against Gadafi was fired from the USS Steritt.

American ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, before he was killed by radical Islamists, saw his entrance into Libya aboard a cargo supply ship as a continuation of the Barbary Wars of 200 years ago.

More recently an American navy vessel broke down in Islamic Iranian waters and was captured, its ill-trained crew humiliated.

Will American policy towards Islamic extremists in Libya and elsewhere be one of broken down, untrained surrender and humiliation or will it be a continuation of the spirit and determination of Sterett, Decatur and Somers?

And the first continuation of this policy should be to bring home Richard Somers and the men of the Intrepid from Tripoli, where today they are surrounded by the same radical Islamists who they died fighting and would desecrate their Graves and remains if they only knew they were there for the taking. On the Shores of Tripoli.