"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
The fledgling United States' campaign against the Barbary Pirates, recalled in the Marine Hymn and in the legacy of the USS Constitution, offers a noteworthy historical backdrop to the modern-day struggle against the pirates' cutthroat heirs.
One wonders what today's peace-and-justice mavens would say were they transported to the early 19th century. Would they seek the root causes of the pirates' discontents? Would they suggest the looted ships had it coming? Would they counsel against fighting back, urging instead the payment of tribute?
Now consider the Barbary Pirates were with us today – and were able to strike far beyond the shores of Tripoli, not with scimitars but with weapons of mass death.
Would a restrained response be the order of the day? How about walking around for a bit inside the pirates' curly-toed slippers to understand why they hate us? Perhaps an apology for having affronted the pirates, or the odd bit of ransom? Or an appeal to an international law-of-the-sea tribunal?