Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead"

Note: Today it was reported that a former President of the United States went hat in hand to a genocidal, Stalinist thug and kissed the thug's hienie enough that said thug released two kidnapped American news reporters.]

Just a reminder: we didn't always submit to thugs like bathhouse Ganymedes in the face of kidnappings of our people.

From Wikipedia:

On May 18, 1904, [Greek-American playboy and businessman Ion] Perdicaris and [his wife] Ellen's son Cromwell were kidnapped from their home [in Morocco] by the bandit band of Mulai Ahmed er Raisuli. Several of the Perdicaris's servants were injured by Raisuli's men, and Ellen was left behind alone. Shortly after leaving Tangier, Perdicaris broke his leg in a horse fall. Raisuli demanded of Sultan Abdelaziz of Morocco, $70,000 ransom, safe conduct, and control of two of Morocco's
wealthiest districts.

Despite the circumstances, Perdicaris came to admire and befriend Raisuli, who pledged to protect his prisoner from any harm. Perdicarus later said: "I go so far as to say that I do not regret having been his prisoner for some time... He is not a bandit, not a murderer, but a patriot forced into acts of brigandage to save his native soil and his people from the yoke of tyranny."

U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt was angered by the kidnapping, and felt obliged to react and his Secretary of State, John Hay, described the demands as "preposterous". At the urging of Hay and the Counsel-General of Tangier, Samuel R. Gummere, Roosevelt dispatched seven warships under the command of Admiral French Ensor Chadwick, and several Marine companies, commanded by Major John Twiggs Myers, though with little idea of what U.S. forces could achieve on such hostile foreign soil. They were not to be used without express orders from Washington; the only plan for using them was to seize the custom-houses of Morocco, which supplied much of its revenue, if the Moroccan government did not fulfill the demands of the United States, which were to make the concessions necessary to persuade Raisuli to release Perdicaris, and to attack Raisuli if Perdicaris were killed
anyway. The only Marines to actually land onshore were a small detachment of a
dozen men, carrying only side-arms, who arrived to protect the Consulate and
Mrs. Perdicaris.

Roosevelt's resolve weakened still further when he was advised on June 1 that Perdicaris was not a U.S. citizen, in fact he had forfeited his American passport for a Greek one many years earlier; but Roosevelt reasoned that since Raisuli thought
Perdicaris was an American citizen, it made little difference. Roosevelt tried
to get Britain and France to join the U.S. in a combined military action to rescue Perdicaris, but the two countries refused, France actually reinforcing its garrison in anticipation of an American assault. Instead, the two powers were covertly recruited to put pressure on the Sultan to accept Raisuli's demands which he agreed to do on June 21. Hay saw the need to maintain face so he issued a statement to the Republican National Convention:

"This government wants Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead."

According to all witnesses, the Convention, which had been lukewarm towards Roosevelt up until then, went wild at this remark. One Kansas delegate
exclaimed, "Roosevelt and Hay know what they're doing. Our people like courage.
We'll stand for anything those men do." This famous catchphrase quickly caught on, and helped Roosevelt secure his election.

Perdicaris and Varley were met personally by Gummere and Chadwick, who had spent much of the time of their capture with Perdicaris's wife. When Ellen Varley asked for the Admiral to provide a doctor for her husband, every medical officer in the American fleet volunteered.

That's not quite what Mr. Clinton did today. Of course, the difference between Morocco and North Korea is that we let North Korea make a nuke (we think).

Somehow, in this circumstance, patriotism swells not in the heart of the American bear.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep it clean for gene.