Dean's World
 Defending the liberal tradition in history, science, and philosophy.

.:: Dean's World: America's First War On Terror (by Paul Fallon) ::.

October 17, 2002

America's First War On Terror (by Paul Fallon)

That familiar bell's been going off in my head--the one that tells me when I'm being told something wrong. I’ve heard it a lot lately, ringing out though the fog of words—hollow, shallow and misinformed. Saying, in effect that the war on terrorism is “unprecedented” and “the United States has no right to take out its moral outrage on a sovereign nation,” or “we should seek diplomatic solutions.” Tired sentiments, and dead wrong on all counts. The US has done it before, done it well, and done it largely alone in spite of lackluster support from Congress and no help from European “allies.”

The first time the American flag flew over foreign soil taken in battle came in a war against international terrorists. Unlike today’s brigands, they were not driven by ideology or religion, but by a baser and perhaps more honest lust: gold. But terrorists they were, and our war against them was fought long and hard, in somewhat unconventional but still very real ways. And it was long before all of us were born...

They were known as the Barbary pirates.

Their name came not from the native Berber people of North Africa but from Khair ad Din, known in the West as Barbarossa--or, in English, Redbeard. Coming from the ancient Mediterranean piratical tradition, Barbarossa seized Algiers in 1510, effectively making himself the first sovereign of a modern pirate state. His territorial grab should have been a direct threat to the sultan in Constantinople, but when he pledged his fealty to the throne in exchange for a large cut of the action, he was given regency of Maghrib. His descendants—both biological and methodical—maintained control over the shores of Northern Africa for the next two hundred years.

Forget all the swashbuckling Technicolor imagery of buried treasure and naval battles featuring galleons firing cannons at equally matched opponents conjured up by Hollywood and cheap rum ads. Those are great movies, and fun myths. But the Barbary pirates were murderers, rapists and slave traders. Ransoming hostages, and demanding tribute from merchant princes who wanted to avoid anything “unfortunate” happening to their cargos, were among their favorite tactics. They essentially ran protection rackets, and controlled every form of vice from Alexandria to Gibraltar. Just like modern mobsters, their services were often called upon by a prince-ling here and there who wanted to harass his enemies without showing his own flag.

In 1662 the English crown upped the stakes and began an annual tribute of gold, jewels, arms and supplies, sparing all ships sailing under the crown's flag. The same practice was taken up by France, Spain, The Holy Roman Empire and the Papal states, enabling the Barbary pirates to enrich themselves by playing the old world powers against the other. Both St. Vincent De Paul and Miguel Cervantes (author of Don Quixote) were at one time ransomed by the pirates. Others were not so lucky. Most captives were sold into slavery or prostitution (and I don’t refer here to exclusively female prostitution). The French Christian religious order of Mathurins collected money for the specific purpose of paying ransom for hostages just to spare them from “taking up the turban” (i.e. converting to Islam at the point of the sword).

By the late 1700s the Barbary States included Morocco, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli, and all points in between, were ruled by a series of Pashas, Beys, Deys and petty potentates all requiring tribute for safe passage. During the colonial period, American ships had sailed under the protection of the British flag. During the War of Independence, safe passage was secured by France, but by 1783 the pirates had turned their attention to “the fat ducks” of the American mercantile fleet. They forced the young republic to shell out $80,000 in annual protection for its ships. These payments were arranged by America’s most prominent diplomats in Europe—John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson—over the strenuous objections of the latter.

In his autobiography, Jefferson wrote that he unsuccessfully “endeavored to form an association of the powers subject to habitual depredation from them. I accordingly prepared, and proposed …articles of a special confederation.” Jefferson argued that “[t]he object of the convention shall be to compel the piratical States to perpetual peace… Portugal, Naples, the two Sicilies, Venice, Malta, Denmark and Sweden were favorably disposed to such an association,” Jefferson remembered, but there were “apprehensions” that England and France would follow their own paths, “and so it fell through.” [1]

The idea of payments to terrorists was as repugnant to Jefferson’s sensibilities as it is to ours. It also begs a question about the extent of early American trade with North Africa (let's not go there for now). However, by this time the Barbary pirates did not limit their assaults to the southern shore of the Mediterranean; they ranged as far north as the west coast of Ireland and eastern Africa, imperiling all American commerce with the Old World.

In 1785 the Dey of Algiers captured an American ship and seized its crew. By 1794 he would take eleven more ships and would hold 119 crewmen for ransom.

Exasperated, Jefferson wrote to Congressman James Madison in 1786 that, despite his personal misgivings concerning a standing military: “[t]he states must see the rod; perhaps it must be felt by some one of them. . . . Every national citizen must wish to see an effective instrument of coercion, and should fear to see it on any other element than the water. A naval force can never endanger our liberties, nor occasion bloodshed; a land force would do both.” [2]

As Secretary of State under George Washington, Jefferson urged the President to halt the payment of further tributes, arguing it would only encourage greater demands. Unfortunately, the young republic could not afford, and the national sentiment argued against, fighting a war while memories of the War of Independence were still fresh. While Washington himself was vehemently against entanglements in affairs beyond American waters, he none-the-less lobbied Congress to build six new frigates under the aegis of fighting piracy. Jefferson was compelled to instruct his emissary, John Paul Jones, to negotiate the price of freedom of the seas from the pirates--only to have his entreaties rejected.

The Adams administration continued the practice of paying tribute to the pirates despite building a stronger navy. “In 1795 Congress authorized the equivalent of $642,500 in cash, munitions, and a 36-gun frigate, besides a yearly tribute of $21,600 worth of naval supplies. Ransom rates were officially set for those Americans already in Barbary prisons--$4,000 for each passenger, $1,400 for each cabin boy. But Congress would only pay $200 for their freedom. The rest of the money had to be raised privately.” [3] (Read the treaty here.)

After the hostages were released, the story of their captivity finally made an impact on the national consciousness. “They were fed near-starvation rations, beaten regularly, and put to work breaking rocks on chain gangs, or scraping barnacles off ship hulls. Some of them had been imprisoned for 12 years, waiting for their countrymen to save them…. It was too late for 31 of the hostages, who had died in captivity.”[4]

Further humiliations were in store. When Captain William Bainbridge sailed the frigate George Washington into the harbor of Algiers in 1800 to pay America’s tribute, his ship was commandeered by the Dey’s forces. The crew was coerced into hauling down the American flag, raising the Dey’s banner, and sailing on to Constantinople to convey the Dey’s homage to the sultan. Bainbridge refused at first but was rebuffed, “You pay me tribute, by which you become my slave, and therefore I have a right to order you as I think proper.” [5]

Upon returning to Algiers Bainbridge escaped further service only by brandishing his pistol at the Dey. Returning to America he wrote the secretary of the Navy: “I hope I shall never again be sent to Algiers with tribute, unless I am authorized to deliver it from the mouth of our cannon.” [6]

The other Barbary States were buoyed by the Dey’s success: “Yusuf, the Pasha of Tripoli, seeing the weakness of the Americans, decided to increase demands on the United States. Among the trifles he ordered as part of the American tribute were several diamond-studded guns. On the occasion of the death of George Washington, the Pasha informed President Adams that it was customary when a great man passed away from a tributary state to make a gift in his name to the crown of Tripoli. Yusuf estimated Washington to be worth about $10,000.” [7]

The tide of events turned when Jefferson became president, following “The Revolution of 1800”. Sentiment had shifted. The slogan of the day became: “Millions for defense, not a penny for tribute.” Jefferson immediately put an end to the payment of Barbary blackmail, which had exceeded approx. $2,000,000 (at a time when the annual income of the United States was approx. $10,000,000) and dispatched Commodore Dale to set sail for the Mediterranean leading a task force: the frigates Philadelphia, Essex, and President, and the sloop Enterprise.

“By the spring of 1801, Yusuf had heard nothing about his $10,000 and his impatience with America had grown to a fine rage. The Pasha summoned the American representative to his court, made him kiss his hand and decreed that, as a penalty, tribute would be raised to $225,000, plus $25,000 annually in goods of his choice. If refused, the alternative was war. To make his point, Yusuf had his soldiers chop down the flagpole in front of the American consulate, a significant gesture in a land of no tall trees--and one that meant war”. [8]

Little was achieved at first. Since Congress had not declared war on the Barbary pirates, there was little that could be done but blockade ports along the 1,200-mile coastline and harass the pirate corsairs. In one successful engagement, the captain of the Enterprise had a the guns and booty of an Algerian cruiser thrown overboard, forcing the crew to return to port and resulting in the public torture and ritualistic humiliation of the captain. But since naval enlistment only lasted for one year and allies were absent, the taskforce was required to return to American waters for fresh provisioning and a new crew.

In 1802 a larger compliment commanded by Commodore Richard V. Morris, consisting of the frigates Chesapeake, Constitution, New York, John Adams, Adams, (both named for John Adams, the “father of the American Navy”) and Enterprise, patrolled the southern Mediterranean. Tripoli harbor was blockaded in May, and the Chesapeake destroyed a Tripolitan flotilla and fired upon the on-shore cavalry. These actions, and the demonstrably greater show of force convinced Algiers and Tunis to break their alliance with Tripoli.

Despite success against the pirates, Congress still refused to declare war. but had no compunction against raising a special tax for “protection of commerce by the navy.”

Commodore Edward Preble was able to compel the sultan of Morocco to abandon hostilities in 1803 by sailing to Tangiers and pointing his cannons at the sultan’s palace. However, Preble’s command was undone by a serious setback when the luckless Captain William Bainbridge, who ran aground while trying to single-handedly blockade Tripoli harbor and was quickly surrounded by the Pasha’s men. The three hundred and seven crewmen of the Philadelphia were taken prisoner. The officers were held for ransom, the enlisted men were pressed into slavery. Preble offered to pay first $50,000 and then $100,000 for the safe return of the Philadelphia and her crew. Pasha Yusuf would have none of it. He was re-rigging the Philadelphia and planned to turn it on the American fleet. Something more effective would need to be done.

That something came in the person of the first true hero of the Barbary War—Lt. Stephen Decatur. Using a captured Turkish ketch renamed Intrepid, and disguising his seventy-four volunteers as Arabs, they sailed silently into Tripoli harbor on the night of February 15, 1804. They came alongside the Philadelphia and scaled its hull with grappling hooks. Taking advantage of the element of surprise, they pounced on the sleeping crew screaming and brandishing only hand weapons. Twenty pirates were dead within minutes. The rest of the crew were compelled to abandoned ship in the most efficacious manner (i.e. jumping overboard) while as Decatur’s men set about laying charges. The fire set by the raiders had already reached the Philadelphia’s powder magazine, and Decatur was almost out of the harbor when the Pasha’s cannons opened up on them. The Intrepid outmaneuvered the bombardment, and the corsairs sent to intercept them. They made it safely back to Malta with all hands. Stephen Decatur was promoted to Captain at age twenty-five, and to this day remains the youngest person ever to command a vessel in the history of the United States Navy.

When British Admiral Lord Nelson heard of the raid, he called it “the most bold and daring act of the age.” [9]

Despite the size of Preble’s armada, which now included the Constitution ("Old Ironsides"), he was hopelessly outmanned and outgunned by the pirates. Nevertheless he continued to take pirate vessels, and bombarded Tripoli harbor five times over the course of the next seven months. But the Pasha still refused to negotiate a hostage exchange. On September 3, 1804, the Intrepid, coated with pitch and turpentine and outfitted like a floating bomb, was towed into Tripoli harbor. The idea was to blow her up in the harbor and blockade the pirate fleet. Sadly, the guns guarding the entrance to the harbor opened fire and destroyed her before she could accomplish her mission.

Time had run out for Preble. When he heard of the grounding of the Philadelphia, Jefferson decided to replaced Preble with Commodore John Rogers. Word of his firing did not reach Preble until after the loss of Intrepid. He returned home and was awarded a gold medal by Jefferson, receiving only perfunctory “thank yous” for his service, before the full story of his bravery and his many accomplishments became fully known. His crews had loved him and proudly identified themselves for years after as “Preble’s men.” Sadly, he died a year later of tuberculosis. Pope Pius VII said that under Preble’s orders Americans “had done more for the cause of Christianity than the most powerful nations of Christendom have done for ages”.” [10]

Time was also running out for Thomas Jefferson. The ongoing cost of foreign adventures and the price of real estate west of the Mississippi eroded Jefferson’s credibility with an increasingly hostile and partisan Congress. Appropriating more money for a war for with no foreseeable end in sight would be impossible. The time for drastic action had come.

Six frigates, seven brigs and ten gunboats under the command of Rogers sailed into the Mediterranean in1805. It was the largest American presence yet, but there was one other weapon unique to the conflict—the United States Marines.

The first companies of Marines were formed in 1775 by act of the Continental Congress through a resolution sponsored by John Adams. They were officially reactivated as a permanent force on July 11, 1798 during Adams’ presidency. Surprisingly, the entire company consisted of only eight Marines, led by Lt. Presley O’Bannon and a Navy midshipman named Pascal Paoli Peck. The real goal of the contingent was not a frontal assault on Tripolitan positions, but to participate in a covert action. That action was conceived by the former American Consul to Tunis, William Eaton.

While Eaton’s plan involved a land assault on the port city of Derna, it didn’t call upon the Marines to storm the beach Guadalcanal-style and take the citadel. Rather, they’d raise an army of locals and mercenaries to support a pretender to the Pasha’s seat, who would in turn be backed up by the tiny American force. Eaton and the Marines traveled to Alexandria on the brig Argus, and met with Hamet, the brother of Pasha Yusuf. Eaton found the $20,000 in gold he carried with him very useful. He was able to raise a motley crew of mercenaries made up of Arab cavalry, Greek revolutionaries and even some French soldiers of fortune left over from Napoleon’s adventure in Egypt.

“To avoid an exhausting 500-mile march Eaton wanted to transport the American force by sea, but Hamet insisted that his flighty followers might disappear if the Americans did not march with him….The expedition would be supplied by sea, and the Argus would pace the marchers just offshore. The Argus’ cannon would provide Eaton with minimal naval support, and her eight marines were added to the rabble army.” [11]

They left Alexandria on March 25, 1805. Along the way, they faced hunger, thirst and mutiny. At one point they lost contact with the Argus and were driven to eat some of the pack camels to stave off hunger. The North African siroccos were a constant threat. O’Bannon’s Marines faced down mutineers and deserters with a mixture of the bayonet and unwavering fidelity to Eaton. “Wherever General Eaton leads, we will follow,” O’Bannon insisted. “If he wants us to march to hell, we’ll gladly go there.” [12]

A month later after being rejoined by the Argus and the Hornet, they arrived at Derna. “My head or yours!” was the cry of the captain of the defenders, and the battle commenced. Eaton’s only cannon was unwittingly destroyed by the Greek mercenaries, who left the ramrod in the muzzle. Fourteen of Eaton’s men were killed, including two Marines. Eaton himself took a musket ball in the arm.

The final assault came at dawn two days later. The fort was taken, and the American flag was raised for the first time over foreign soil taken in battle. A friendly potentate was installed, ready to challenge the enemy regime. The Marines’ valor inspired the second line of their hymn. Mission accomplished. Unfortunately, it was too little too late.

Jefferson had already opened negotiations with Yusuf through Tobias Lear, former Secretary to George Washington. There was to be no assault on the Pasha’s capital, and America would drop its support for any pretenders. Eaton’s mercenary army was denied the opportunity of the spoils of war and rebelled. The Marines and the Greek mercenaries were compelled to withdraw. $60,000 bought the release of all prisoners and a pledge from Yusuf to cease attacks on American ships. He was allowed to keep his throne and was otherwise free to resume his piratical activities. The fleet returned to American waters and the public largely forgot about the Barbary threat.

In 1807 three ships were taken by the Algerians and ransomed for $18,000. Piracy and tribute had returned and would last on and off for another seven years.

Following the War of 1812, Stephen Decatur entered the Mediterranean with ten tall ships and the steely determination that made him a hero. Like Preble before him, he let his cannon do the talking. Fighting fire with fire, he took 486 prisoners and forced the Algerians to pay a ransom of $10,000, to release all captives immediately, and to cease and desist all demands for further tribute from America forever. Such insurmountable logic was not lost on the Dey. Likewise the Dey of Tunis paid Decatur $46,000 to not hurt him, and the Pasha of Tripoli contributed $25,000 to see the last of the Americans. Decatur finally broke the Barbary threat with the only weapon the pirates understood.

Writing in American Heritage, Kevin Baker wrote: “It had taken the United States three decades and plenty of missteps to finally rid itself of the terrorists of the Mediterranean, but in the process it had become a stronger, wiser nation, with some invaluable new institutions.” [13]

The specter of Barbary piracy again reared its head with more bluster than substance a hundred years later. Ion Perdicaris, a naturalized US citizen, was kidnapped by a Moroccan Berber chieftain Sherif Ahmed er Raisuli and ransomed for $70,000. American President Teddy Roosevelt called Raisuli “the last of the Barbary Pirates”, though he was hardly that.

But TR was a Naval Historian and had even written a book on the naval engagements of the War of 1812. Well acquainted with the career of Stephen Decatur, he knew the only language understood by terrorists. TR waved the big stick. President Roosevelt threatened to send the White Fleet and the Marines to rescue Perdicaris, and Roosevelt even declared "Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead!" to the Republican National Convention of 1904. Persuaded that Roosevelt was serious, the government of Morocco paid the ransom out of fear of war with America. (The 1975 movie The Wind and the Lion was based on this incident. Brian Keith--believe it or not--portrayed TR magnificently. Sean Connery played Raisuli, and Perdicaris—in reality a short, fat, middle-aged businessman—was played by Candice Bergen. Go figure.)

When I embarked on this essay, I thought the parallels to the current crisis were too obvious, and that everyone would see it. But it turns out little has actually been written on it, and that mostly within the last year by people like myself—amateurs who take Santyana to heart. So, in no particular order, here are some references for those who'd like to learn more:

Paul Fallon lives in a landlocked suburb named for one of the States of the Hanseatic League. He is interested in taking sailing lessons.

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Discuss This Article!


Sing it along at home:

From the Halls of Montezuma
To the Shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country's battles
In air, on land, and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
of United States Marine!

Posted by Dean Esmay on October 16, 2002 at 3:18 PM

I would like to dedicate this article to the memory of the late Stephen Ambrose and the brave people who inspired it.

Posted by Paul Fallon on October 16, 2002 at 4:04 PM

I dunno Dean, it looks like to me that we almost lost to the Barbary Pirates, and the victory was incomplete and fleeting.

Never realized that you were such a pessimist.

Posted by Michael Gersh on October 16, 2002 at 4:31 PM

Wow. What a great article. Yet more evidence that the more things change, the more they stay the same. The line about dealing with terrorists in the only language they understand is an important one that most people forget.

Posted by Aaron W. Thorne on October 16, 2002 at 4:52 PM

Good piece. I wrote a slightly shorter piece that brings up the Barbary pirates as well. It's amazing that people even today think that tribute payments and bribery will do anything less than encourage a murderous foe. The closing paragraphs of my piece are as follows:

The US has had to face such violent lunatics since its founding. The Barbary pirates continued escalating their tribute demands over the years until we negotiated with them at the point of the guns of our newly built navy that there would be no more tribute payments and no more accosting of our trade ships (and we stationed warships in the Mediterranean to ensure this). And lo and behold there were no more tribute payments and there was no more molestation of US ships by Barbary pirates.

Two hundred years ago the cry was "Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute!" I stand by that statement. "Wealth redistribution" to allay "root causes" is blood money, nothing more than tribute payments to terrorists. We. Will. Not. Pay.

Posted by Robin Goodfellow on October 16, 2002 at 8:04 PM

Woohoo! And the good guys won... Decatur's guns came though in the end. Great post, Dean....

Posted by Jason Rubenstein on October 16, 2002 at 9:52 PM

And if I am not mistaken, this was the FIRST instance of several where the United States took "preemptive" action.

Posted by Gary Utter on October 17, 2002 at 1:34 AM

Actually, the US took preemptive action in the revolutionary war.

(Though, some might quibble as to whether that could be called an action of the United States, nevertheless, the Declaration of Independence names the colonies as the "United States of America", so I think I'm on firm nit-pick-proof ground.)

Posted by Robin Goodfellow on October 17, 2002 at 4:19 AM

Gary, I wouldn't call suppressing the Barbars "preemptive" as it was a reaction to an ongoing depredation.

Check out Jerry Pournelle's site ( for an interesting take on the current situation.

Posted by Casey Tompkins on October 17, 2002 at 3:33 PM

It was a reaction to ongoing depradations, yes, but it was also preemptive, as we had not been attacked directly. Yes, there was "provocation", but we certainly have provocation from Iraq, as well.

And I'm a subscriber to Jerrys site. :)

Posted by Gsry Utter on October 18, 2002 at 4:44 AM

Great article! Your blog rocks and I will be back often. Also do you have a tip jar to give you a dollar or two?

Posted by JimC on October 18, 2002 at 8:10 AM

If you look on the top of a Marine officer's cover (or hat), you will see a flower-like decoration. This came from the days of fighting aboard ships such as discussed above, and it was a way of ensuring that no Marine would be fired upon from the masts above with "friendly fire". The decoration on their covers marked them as Marines.

Posted by chari on October 18, 2002 at 12:31 PM

I didn't know that, Chari! But did you know that the much prized mamaluke swords of the Marine Corps were inspired by those taken in battle against the Barbery pirates?

Posted by Paul Fallon on October 18, 2002 at 12:57 PM


I almost forgot to credit for your summary. This is quite a nifty bit of history.

Posted by Kevin Brehmer on October 19, 2002 at 1:30 PM

"Despite success against the pirates, Congress still refused to declare war, but had no compunction against raising a special tax...."

I had no idea the Democrats had been in Congress that long!

Posted by Barbara Skolaut on October 20, 2002 at 8:04 PM

Very nice posting, thanks.

Think of the "axis of terror" including the states that sponsor terror, and the terror networks, as the new Barbary Pirates. Think of Clinton as the enabler, willing to pay tribute.

Posted by RB on October 23, 2002 at 10:23 AM

I've read a lot about the political and military exploits of the Barbary conflict, but I have only seen minsule bits of information on the american prisoners. Does anyone have a suggested course of research to discover the who the Barbary prisoners were, how they survived, and who died.

Posted by Dave H on November 02, 2002 at 1:09 PM


I am outraged and appalled that you could write such an article when the US is teetering on the brink of war.
This article is nothing more than an attempt to justify war against a poorly misunderstood group of terrorists. Articles of this nature tend to thwart the efforts of thousands of well meaning, drum beating, “Politically Correct” lemmings to humanly prevent war through philosophical enlightenment. You should be ashamed.


Posted by Lee Daniels on February 15, 2003 at 3:38 PM

I would compare the Barbary Pirates to North Korea. I find it extremely hard to fathom that the world does not see the current situation for what it truly is, extortion of a worldwide scale. We are basically feeding Kim Jong Il's army in exchange for the non-proliferation of North Korea's nuclear arsenal. You do not stop behavior by reinforcing it. Kim Jong Il will continue to produce nuclear weapons no matter how much we "negotiate" with him. Meanwhile, the North Korean people languish in poverty in starvation.

Maybe its time to speak to Kim in his own language.

Posted by Mark Kelly on March 01, 2003 at 9:47 AM

I found the article very interesting, and informative. However, I really don't see the connection between our attack on Iraq and our attack on Tripoli. Was Iraq holding American prisoners? I agree with the "slogan" "Millions for defense, not a penny for tribute". As a matter of fact, trying to find out "who said it" is how I came across your site. No matter. Your article was well written.

Posted by Maxine Rose on June 06, 2003 at 3:33 PM

I found the article very interesting, and informative. However, I really don't see the connection between our attack on Iraq and our attack on Tripoli. Was Iraq holding American prisoners? I agree with the "slogan" "Millions for defense, not a penny for tribute". As a matter of fact, trying to find out "who said it" is how I came across your site. No matter. Your article was well written.

Posted by Maxine Rose on June 06, 2003 at 3:33 PM

I enjoyed this article very much. I am preparing a message for delivery on Sept. 11th and having known a bit about the Barbary Pirates, was doing research when I came across your article. Interestingly enough, I had come to the same conclusion, that they were terrorists of old! Jefferson had it right - don't pay. Osama and his gang are the new pirates, both off the North Africa coast and in the waters around Singapore. It is time to stop them and to always be vigilant. The price may be high, but we must prevail!
God Bless us all!

Posted by Rev. Mark Brown on September 09, 2003 at 11:53 PM

Many history revisionist and Liberals tend to accuse America as a "War Mongering" nation, but in REALITY any conflict we have been engaged in was for the betterment of mankind. At NOTIME did America wage war for personal gain, but to help MANY Nations gain Freedom.
Robert F Kopfer

Posted by Robert F Kopfer on October 19, 2003 at 12:48 PM

I once believed that the Soviets were the best propagandists, where the Nazis had failed. But with Hollywood on the US side, no one can touch American style propaganda. Had my fill of the Chinese Communists trying to feed me their slop, but you in America are so brainwashed by your cheap propaganda, it sickens my stomach. Please don't ever think that you Americans are God's gift to humanity. That was proven by the Atomic bombs you dropped on civilians at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan in August 1945. I also have met with people who saw your soldiers throw men women and children over cliffs in Okinawa and Iwo Jima. Not to speak Mei lie, Than thot and of recent times the atrocities by Tiger Force 321 carried out on innocent unarmed men, women and children in Vietnam. To put the icing on the cake they cut the ears of their victims as souvenirs. Bravo America! You really are no different to the Nazis. Keep up your murder of the innocent and one day soon your country will pay for it.

Posted by Kenneth T. Tellis on October 26, 2003 at 8:33 AM





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