US Presidents and the Middle East: Teddy Roosevelt and the Perdicaris Affair, 1904

This two-year old post always gets a little extra interest around President’s Day, and while I’m still technically out of the usual blogging routine until tomorrow, I figured I could re-blog this so people could find it more easily. It’s obviously relevant to the holiday, but there’s also some historical context around the often repeated but only infrequently applied standard that America never negotiates with terrorists. Enjoy!

and that's the way it was

On President’s Day, people who write about other parts of the world often write about curious historical anecdotes involving some past American head of state and whatever part of the world they write about. Basically, on President’s Day you’re exponentially more likely to read about Thomas Jefferson’s war with the Barbary States or about the time Abraham Lincoln turned down the King of Siam’s offer of war elephants (Can you imagine, though? “Hey, Pickett, charge this!”) than you are on any other day of the year. This seems perfectly reasonable to me, which is why I’m getting in on the action, even though Michael Collins Dunn’s idea to celebrate the Fillmore administration by doing nothing does have its appeal. Today, let’s talk about the 1904 Perdicaris Affair, a relatively minor but interesting little dust-up involving a (former) American citizen named Ion Perdicaris, then-US President Teddy Roosevelt, and a…

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Author: DWD

writer, blogger, lover, fighter

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