President Jefferson, in what has historically become a significant act of foreign policy, stated possibly the most famous statements on pirates: “Millions for defense, not one cent for tribute.” Some say that the statement was not made by Jefferson nor was the statement regarding the Barbary Pirates. Even if Jefferson did not utter those words, his policy aligned with the sentiment. After the United States paid off the pirates for fifteen years, Jefferson said no more and sent the nascent Navy in to establish a rule of law and protect our commercial shipping.
This episode separated the United States foreign policy from that of the entirety of Europe. We were establishing this country in the New World as a new kind of operation. Just because things were done a certain way before did not mean we were going to follow suit.
The current administration has a mistaken fondness for European policies. They somehow feel that working with them will define this situation differently than what life was like during Jefferson’s time. It will not and President Obama needs to realize that; the sooner, the better.
President Obama needs to do what Jefferson did and go it alone, because they will not be following. The French may have some gunboats out on the ocean, but let’s see them provide 2,000 Marines to go ashore and root out the pirates from their lairs. The pirates need to be put out of business, but that is not going to happen without blowing up their bases.
This is a big test for Obama. The pirates have gotten out of hand and this episode needs to come to an end. President Obama will soon learn what Biden imagined he said to President Bush when the President said he was a leader: “Turn around Mr. President, no one is following.” Obama and his people can hold all the meetings they want, but they will turn around and they will be alone. He will be lucky if he can get the Europeans to stop paying the bribes. Leadership is doing the right thing even if it means no one is following.
Hopefully, Obama will emulate Jefferson, do the right thing, send in the Marines and rid the world of these parasites. We are a special country and hopefully our President will understand that. In the meantime, Johnny Depp needs to gear up Captain Jack Sparrow once more. America needs some more fun after a rough few months.