RUSH: Joey in Austin. Joey, great to have you on the EIB Network. Hello.
CALLER: An honor to speak to you, and dittos from Austin, Texas, the black helicopter crowd of the universe.
RUSH: Thank you, sir. (laughing) Yes, I get it.
CALLER: I know how you feel about history, especially the founding of our nation, and I’ll apologize. My daughter just got the first book for Christmas, and we’re starting to work through it, but I’d like to give a little bit of history from the founding of our nation that has very closely to do with the situation in France right now, but I’m not sure if it’s in any of the later books because we haven’t gotten that far yet.
RUSH: No, we haven’t. No, you’re talking about Thomas Jefferson, the Barbary —
RUSH: — pirates, we haven’t gotten —
CALLER: — the Barbary pirates.
RUSH: We haven’t gotten there yet, but I guarantee you, if we do, we’re not gonna run from it. Your daughter just finished reading Rush Revere and the Brave Pilgrims, right? That’s the first book.
CALLER: She just got it for Christmas.
CALLER: And we’re starting to work through it now. She’s six years old, and we’re trying to read it together.
RUSH: Oh, wow, good. Excellent. Well, thank you. Thank you very much for that. Appreciate that.
CALLER: You’re welcome, and thank you for the great book. I’ll trying to do a paraphrased version the best I can. It’s hard to tell these stories on the radio, I understand, but people should know that in 1800 or 1801, the year Thomas Jefferson was sworn in as president, 20% of our federal income went towards paying bribes and extortion to the Barbary States which were the Muslim states of Tripoli and others. He thought this was appalling. It all started 15 years earlier in 1785 when Algerian pirates captured a bunch of our merchant ships, which were no longer being protected by the British for obvious reasons, we had separated, and then asked for $60,000.
Jefferson argued in Congress this was a bad idea, but Congress decided that they would pay the ransom, and we continued paying the ransom to the four Muslim states for years. In fact, in 1786, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met with Tripoli’s ambassador to Great Britain and asked why they felt they could enslave American citizens and why the Muslims held such hostilities towards America. And Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, which was the ambassador, responded with a quote, “Islam was founded on the laws of their prophet that was written in the Koran that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authorities were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners and every Muslim man — Muslim — who should be slain in battle was sure to go to paradise.”
RUSH: Now, let me step in here for just a second, Joey. For those of you who think that a kook has found his way on the EIB Network, disparage yourself of the thought because everything Joey is saying here is true, and there’s more, even. I mean, you could make the case that after awhile Jefferson wanted nothing to do with any of this. He didn’t want to challenge them. His advice was to leave them alone and just ignore them. He didn’t want to take ’em on. He wrote very critically of them, but he was shocked when he found out who they were, the Barbary pirates, Islam. He was very clear about it. It’s something that’s never taught in American history. It’s never brought up.
CALLER: He was quite torn, as I understand, because he was quite a proponent of the freedom of religion at the founding of the country, but he was always perplexed about how far that should go once he had his first real interactions with Muslims, unfortunately.
RUSH: Well, his first interaction was with the Barbary pirates, which were a bunch of murderous kidnappers.
CALLER: Yeah, and as he was named the minister of France, you know, and that was the same year —
RUSH: Yeah, well that was about wine. Everybody knows that’s about wine.
CALLER: It was the same year that the Congress had sought to appease the Muslims. But when he was sworn in president, the Pasha of Tripoli demanded an immediate payment of $225,000 plus $25,000 a year every year forthcoming, and Jefferson was the first president that let the Pasha know that was not gonna happen anymore, and they then tore down the flagpole at the American consulate and declared war on the United States.
RUSH: Right. This is pretty much accurate.
CALLER: Yeah, Jefferson sent in the Marines. We fought a four-year war which results in the “shores of Tripoli” being in the Marine hymn and because of the collars they wore over the back of their neck to keep those large, arch shaped swords from slicing their heads off as Muslims tend to go, they wore leather collars which is why Marines are called leather necks —
RUSH: Now, now, now, now you’re getting dangerously close to what the New York Times is worried about here, and that — (laughing) — backlash against — (laughing).
CALLER: I don’t want to affect your accuracy rating, so I recant that last story as possibly —
RUSH: Yeah, that’s fine.
CALLER: — something that people —
RUSH: But no, for the most part, folks, it is actually, for me it was ’cause none of this, through all of my formal education, which admittedly was just through a semester of college and basically I didn’t even go to that, none of this was ever taught, very little of it, and so I learned all of this much, much later in life. And it was fascinating to learn it. If you Google “Jefferson Barbary pirates” that will probably get you everything you need to know. Maybe not everything, but that would be a good starter if you are interested in exploring this further.
Joey, I appreciate the call, I really do, and I hope your six-year-old is made to love the book. In fact, Joey, hang on a minute. She’s six, we need to send her a Ted-Tea Bear, and you know what we’ll do? I’m gonna send you some audio CDs of me reading the book to give you a break so that you won’t have to read the whole thing to her over and over. So if you’ll hang on we’ll get your address and we’ll get that stuff out to you as quickly as we can.