April 27, 2016

Is America Still At War With Islam?

From the Halls of Montezuma, To the shores of Tripoli
We fight our country’s battles, In the air, on land, and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom, And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title Of United States Marine.

Marine’s Hymn

Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon at Derna.

               U.S. Marines Defeat Muslims at Derne, Libya (1805)

Two Hundred and Eleven years ago on April 27, 1805, the United States Marines defeated the Muslims of the Barbary States (Algiers, Morocco, Tunis, and Tripoli) in Derne, Libya, and for the first time in history the flag of the United States flew over a fortress of the old world.  “From the shores of Tripoli” in the Marines Hymn is a direct reference to this battle.

On 14 May 1801, the Pasha of Tripoli indicated his extreme dissatisfaction with American “tribute” by having the flagstaff cut down in front of the U.S. Consulate. This act led to a declaration of war against Tripoli and the sending of more U.S. war vessels to the Mediterranean. During a storm, the USS Philadelphia, went on the rocks and her crew was captured and imprisoned by the Muslims at Derne.  The bombardment of Tripoli by U.S. vessels and the offer of $100,000 ransom for the crew of the Philadelphia failed to sway the Pasha.

On 29 November 1804, Army Officer William Eaton, First Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon (USMC), Midshipmen George Mann (U.S. Navy) and seven Marines landed at Alexandria, Egypt, from the USS Argus, and proceeded to Cairo.  On 8 March, Eaton and his motley army of about 500 men, 100 camels and a few mules started the long march across the Libyan desert. They arrived at Derne the night of 25 April, and the next day, under a flag of truce, offered terms of amity to the Governor of Derne.  The reply to this offer was “My head or yours.”

On April 27, 1805, the USS Nautilus, USS Argus and USS Hornet commenced their bombardment, and Lieutenant O’Bannon, with his Marines, a few Greeks, and as many of the cannoniers passed through a shower of enemy musketry, took possession of one of the enemy’s batteries, planted the United States flag upon its ramparts and turned the guns upon the enemy. After two hours of hand-to-hand fighting, the stronghold was occupied.

The Tripolitans counterattacked the fortress a number of times, but were repulsed with heavy losses. Finally, on 28 May, Eaton’s forces launched a spirited bayonet charge which drove the enemy from the vicinity of Derne.

Presley O’Bannon was presented with a jeweled sword with a Mameluke hilt by the newly installed pasha.   The Mameluke swords are still carried by Marine Officers today.

In the first battle and victory for the U.S. Marines and the U.S. military on foreign soil, President Thomas Jefferson and America defeated the Muslims of the Barbary States.

Today, the Global Jihad continues and Derne is the headquarters for Ansar al Sharia and the place from which many Muslim martyrs depart for operations in Iraq.

If only America and Marine Corps leadership had the clarity President Jefferson and hero/Marine 1st Lt Presley O’Bannon had in 1805, we might be victorious again.

Lieutenant Presley Neville O'Bannon

Lieutenant Presley Neville O’Bannon

[Special thanks to the Marine Corps History Division for the historical material used in this article]

Civilization Jihad, Congress, deception, Designated Terrorist, Dying in Islam, History of Islam, Islamic Law, jihad, sharia ,
About JG
John Guandolo is a US Naval Academy graduate, served as an Infantry/Reconnaissance officer in the United States Marines and is a combat veteran, served as a Special Agent in the FBI from 1996-2008, and was recruited out of the FBI by the Department of Defense to conduct strategic analysis of the Islamic threat. He is the President and Founder of Understanding the Threat (UTT).
  1. […] Jefferson, who waged the first war America fought after the Revolution against the Muslims of the Barbary States, must be rolling over […]

  2. “Is America Still At War With Islam”–that’s a no brainer. We’re at war today, even if our “leaders” haven’t chosen to acknowledge it. (Unlike tango, it only takes one to war. It’s interesting to read FDR’s speech after Pearl Harbor; he asked Congress to affirm that a state of war existed, not to create a war. He was asking them to acknowledge an existing fact. It takes one to war.)

    The more difficult question is when did the war start? Certainly we were at war in the early 1800s. Was there ever a respite? When I think about it, I don’t believe the answer matters. We are at war today, and it really doesn’t matter how long that has been true (though if pressed I’d say the current war has been running since 1979 at least). What are we going to do about it today? THAT is what matters.

  3. […] Is America Still At War With Islam? […]

  4. America is under attack ,or soon will be, we need to be ready when the SHTF,
    Its hard to beat a 12gauge , 00 shot shells, High brass. this has been brewing
    forever, I thank John Guandolo for enlightening us, telling us more of what we
    need to know, Thanks John, please tell us more, best regards and God Bless.

  5. […] By John Guandolo Originally published in Understanding the Threat (UTT) on April 27, 2016 […]

  6. Right on target. But as said above (Klein), indeed, war” or conquest has many facets. Kinetic military plus guerilla plus terrorism is one sector. But subversive jihad via infiltrating incrementally, proceeds and will surely defeat us in a long time-frame if we do not awake and respond. This allied with demographic jihad, accomplishing in Europe what they could not do in Vienna in 1683. (No snubbing of the Marines intended…)

    Bruce Thornton has a book Wages of Appeasement (title accurate I think), studying appeasement in ancient Greece, Europe and UK of the 1930’s, and yes Barack Obama.


    As to the core issue, my answer (respecting adults) is an unequivocal “yes”. Of course America is still at war with Islam; and indeed (by default) so are each of the other populous increments comprising the 5.9 billion non-Muslims who inhabit the earth. And in spite of willful denial and/or whether one chooses to believe it or not, the other 1.6 billion, the Muslims, are at least acquiescent warmongers controlled by sharia adherent killers who seek our destruction. Simply consider the correlation between what Islam has been advocating for 1400 years and the ongoing barbarism being used to advance that diabolical agenda in the 21st century.

    Task-1 the United States faces though is to purge the federal government of Muslim Brotherhood operatives and other subversives while concomitantly seeking to indict & imprison (or execute) American quislings found guilty of treason.


    No other sight imaginable to the American mind so eloquently inspires the true meaning of duty, love of country, bravery and pride as do formations of United States Marines in dress blues marching past the White House in step to their magnificent hymn.

  9. Keep fighting your good fight.

    However – recognize that even then this was not a serious opponent. Never mind present day.

    So why is this happening?

    Perhaps our defenses are compromised by in effect an immunovirus that allows trifling pathogens to endanger the entire system.

  10. Andrew Yasenovsky III April 28, 2016 at 5:52 am Reply


    My (earthly) Dad proudly served our Country in the U.S. Air Force for twenty-five years. Our youngest son stills serves America active-duty Army after two combat tours in the Middle East. It is both shameful and criminal what BHO has done to our military and our Country as a whole – all the while, a complicit “all talk, and no action” Congress pretends to be concerned for our military and for our Nation’s founding Judeo/Christian values.

    “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing” – E. Burke

    I know that we still have millions of “good” men (and women) here and abroad, but we all need to cast away our fears and begin speaking up and speaking out!

    Most importantly, we need to act for righteousness and not be merely hearers…, but also doers of the Commands contained in the Christian Bible. That sure worked well for the first 200 years of America.

    And yes…, America (We the People) and her allies ARE at war with the adherents and activists of Islam. The enemy has entered our gates via Trojan Horse strategy and now lives amongst us.

    Andrew Y. III
    New York

  11. Good word, John!

    After his presidency, but before he was elected to Congress in 1830, John Quincy Adams wrote, “While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace on earth and good will towards men.” Unfortunately, we have failed to learn the lessons of history and now we are reliving them.

    It is amazing how much smarter we are 186 years after Adams penned those words. Brief respites in the conflict notwithstanding, from the time that Ponce de Leon landed on northeast coast of the present state of Florida in 1513, unto this very day, America has never not been at war with Islam.

    Unfortunately, our Commander in Chief seems to share greater esprit de corps with this enemy than with the brave men and women under his command.

  12. […] O’Bannon and his men took “possession of one of the enemy’s batteries, planted the United States flag upon its ramparts and turned […]

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