Obama twisted history a bit in Cairo speech, says Max Boot

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Obama ... twisted history when, for example, he mentioned how “Islam has always been a part of America’s story.” He said: “In signing the Treaty of Tripoli in 1796, our second President John Adams wrote, ‘The United States has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of Muslims.’ ” That made the treaty sound like a celebration of American-Muslim partnership when in reality it was a treaty whereby the U.S. paid substantial bribes to the ruler of Tripoli in return for a cessation of attacks on American shipping by his corsairs. Tripoli didn’t keep its promises, and the result was America’s first overseas conflict — the Barbary Wars fought against the Muslim states of North Africa.

Should Obama have summarized the real — as opposed to the air-brushed — history? Probably not. His point wasn’t to settle historical accounts but to put the best face forward to the Muslim world, and he did that, while still tactfully criticizing Muslim countries and defending the United States.

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