The last time a U.S. Flag vessel was taken on the high seas by pirates was in 1804. Barbary Pirates viewed our fledgling Republic as weak. Thomas Jefferson, an 18th Century Rock Star if there ever was one, determined to put America's interests over the opinion of other States.
Thomas Jefferson's Navy and Marines wiped out the pirates. Pirates, Barbary or otherwise,never again attacked United States merchant ships - until this week.
Somali pirates, Khat chewing, AK-47 waving sociopaths, understand weakness. They also understand tough Indian sailors who had the political will to blow them out of the water at Christmas time. President Obama's response to a question from a reporter yesterday was most unsettling, "Thanks guys, but we're talking about housing." ?
The Rand Corporation think tankers believe that it is time to hit the pirates where they live, but perhaps President Obama is a afraid of offending the Legalize Drug Crowd that wildly supported his candidacy. After all the Khat chewers are the targets of such a strike. Perhaps that might make Americans rethink the 'Dope is harmless' nonsense being trumpeted by lawyers, community activists, Hollywood, and stoners.
This much more disturbing revelation of President Obama's second challenge from International thugs ( remember N.Korea?) invites greater scrutiny. This distraction joins the 'nothing' on the N.Korean missile launch and denial of a bow to a Saudi Prince. This is not Sesame Street and if it is, it is controlled by the Gang-bangers of the world.
I like President Obama. I liked him as a State Legislator. I did not support President Obama as a Democrat and worked for John McCain, because I did not believe that Barack Obama had the qualities to be President - aside from wearing a great suit and having the good sense to marry a lovely woman.
These events seem to bear out my unease over Barack Obama's leap over the political gradus.
Thomas Jefferson had a thick resume, before coming to the Presidency - a political theorist, Revolutionary leader, crafter of the Declaration of Independence, agriculturalist, University founder, inventor, vintner, writer and above all proven Patriot.
Thomas Jefferson took action. Jefferson would never have said,"Thanks guys, but we're talking about design for Monticello."
In 1804 President Thomas Jefferson said "Enough" to paying 20 percent of the US national budget as tribute to Barbary pirates. His response was clear and successful – build a strong naval task force, equip it with a sizeable contingent of Marines, and send it to attack and defeat the pirates in their lair. The sailors and Marines sent on that mission did just that – and in the process wrote a stirring page in our nation's early history.
The problem today is that we have refused to take the Jefferson model. We've confined our anti-piracy efforts to the open seas and left the pirates' home bases on land as a sanctuary. Thus, the pirates continue to operate with relative freedom and stealth. We and our allies only respond, never seizing the initiative.
The Jefferson model is a better answer: Take on the pirates where they are, rather than guessing where they will be. In short, attack them at their home bases.
That was Thomas Jefferson. This is the Obama Presidency.