TheBlaze has a great piece that makes the lessons of the First Barbary War relevant to today: “We Learned Why Appeasement of Iran Won’t Work…In 1801″
The Barbary War
A Steep Price for Peace
The Barbary War marked America's first overseas conflict. For reasons both ideological and practical the country had remained isolationist following its war of independence. But, after years of Barbary pirate attacks on American ships in which they extorted America by demanding tribute, the nation finally took a stand. The First Barbary War was significant both in terms of our military development and in marking the nation's first battle against jihadists. The attacks by the Barbary pirates prompted Thomas Jefferson, a president initially against such foreign entanglements, to build a navy to attack Tripoli.
Christopher Hitchens, the late leftist turned war hawk, wrote an interesting piece at Manhattan Institute’s City Journal in which he argued that the first Barbary War had a deep and lasting impact on the nation’s foreign policy.
This video from The MacNeil/Lehrer News Hour discussing Thomas Jefferson and his approach to Islamic fundamentalism in context of the Barbary wars is refreshing for its candor and the fact that a mainstream media source actually took the time to examine the topic.