PART ONE IS NOT INCLUDED. This 1953 Navy documentary uses colorful artwork to tell the story of the Quasi-War with France, and the Barbary Wars. Part 2 concludes the Quasi-War with France (AT 2:15), and begins the story of the Barbary Wars, including the bold mission led by Stephen Decatur to burn the captured USS Philadelphia. Source: Naval History and Heritage Command, Photographic Section, UMO-39.
SOURCE: America has been fighting Islamists for longer than many realize. Even before independence was declared, American ships were pirated and their Christian crews enslaved by Muslim pirates operating under the control of the “Dey of Algiers”—an Ottoman Islamist warlord ruling Algeria. When the colonists rebelled against British rule in 1776, American ships lost Royal Navy protection. A Revolutionary-War era alliance with France offered French protection to US ships, but it expired in 1783. Immediately US ships came under attack and in October 1784 the American trader “Betsey” was taken by Moroccan forces. This was followed with Algerians and Libyans (Tripolitans) capturing two more US ships in 1785.
Lacking the ability to project US naval force in the Mediterranean, America tried appeasement. In 1784, Congress agreed to fund tributes and ransoms in order to rescue US ships and buy the freedom of enslaved US sailors.
In 1786 Thomas Jefferson, then US ambassador to France, and John Adams, then US Ambassador to Britain, met in London with Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja, the Dey’s ambassador to Britain, in an attempt to negotiate a peace treaty based on Congress’ vote of funding. To the US Congress these two future Presidents later reported the reasons for the Muslims’ hostility towards America, a nation with which they had no previous contacts.
“…that it was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority 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 that every Musselman (Muslim) who should be slain in Battle was sure to go to Paradise.”