Hitchens: Jefferson Versus the Muslim Pirates

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. It’s a bit of a wonky article, but there is some good history and interesting perspective; for example:

“Perhaps above all, though, the Barbary Wars gave Americans an inkling of the fact that they were, and always would be, bound up with global affairs. Providence might have seemed to grant them a haven guarded by two oceans, but if they wanted to be anything more than the Chile of North America—a long littoral ribbon caught between the mountains and the sea—they would have to prepare for a maritime struggle as well as a campaign to redeem the unexplored landmass to their west. The U.S. Navy’s Mediterranean squadron has, in one form or another, been on patrol ever since.”

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