But if he trended to the south he might reach Spain and the Barbary States
. To his north would be Flanders and the country of the Eastlanders and of the Muscovites."
1801: The American Navy schooner USS Enterprise captured a Tripolitan polacca at the start of the First Barbary War, fought by the US and Sweden against four North African states known as the Barbary States
Decatur was famous for his daredevil acts of valour, especially for the burning of the frigate USS Philadelphia, which was in the hands of pirates from the Barbary States
. Having captured the ship with just a handful of men, Decatur set the ship on fire and came back victorious without losing a single man in his army.
Both state and state-sponsored actors working under the deys, beys and bashaws of the Barbary States
were active in slave raiding and seizing trade vessels.
The four Barbary states
demanded payment for the right to enter the Mediterranean.
President George Washington asked for the ships in 1794 to force the Barbary States
of North Africa to stop capturing American merchantmen and enslaving their crews.
President Thomas Jefferson observed more than 200 years ago, when American merchant ships were being attacked by pirates from the 'Barbary States
' and their crews held to ransom, "The surest way to create peace at sea," was to "impose rule of law on the land where pirates hid."
No nation dares to attack us or our allies because they know that's the path to ruin." It may be hard to believe that two centuries ago, the US did not have a credible navy or army, and the country was so weak that it could not protect its merchant ships carrying goods to Europe from ragtag pirate ships operating from the Barbary states
of North Africa - Morocco, Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli.
Navy states a mission for "deterring, disrupting and suppressing piracy." Whether by the Barbary states
, Somali pirates or the Israeli Navy, seizing a ship in international waters and abducting its crew and passengers is an act of piracy flagrantly violating international maritime law.
While the Caribbean proved fertile ground for piracy and privateering, the rampant extortion of commerce by pirates in the Mediterranean, operated by the independent Barbary States
of Morocco, Tripoli, Algiers, and Tunis, was what first spurred the new United States to action.
I have heard excuses for terrorist behavior ranging from, "If they weren't so economically downtrodden then they wouldn't attack anyone'' to, "If the United States were nicer, then they would be nicer in return.'' This is incorrect because the Barbary States
used the Quran to justify the enslaving/killing of American ship workers when we had no quarrel with them in the past.