Benghazi: 4 Dead; Beirut: 231 Dead
Waterstreet 2013 reminds us at Kos that Ronald Reagan was president when 281 Marines lost their lives in Beirut in 1983. But it was Ronald Reagan, so it can’t be as big a deal as anything that happens when Barack Obama is president.
What stood out then, particularly on television, was the toll of 241 dead at Marine BLT Barracks at Beirut Airport. Yet on the 30th Anniversary last week, in 2013, nothing appeared on television to commemorate those losses. Not a word on network news or the commentary shows.
These were revenge killings; for Muslims, the term “retaliation” is more appropriate. In all, four truck bombs killed 398 people to take revenge for months of Ronald Reagan using the offshore guns of the U.S. Navy to shell Lebanese villages. Those bombardments killed more than a thousand people, slaughtering Druze and Muslims indiscriminately. The technology for the bombs was provided by Iran. There, for the Iran-Iraq War, Reagan had reversed Jimmy Carter’s Executive Order and taken to supplying material support for Saddam Hussein. This despite Saddam’s use of nerve gas to kill tens of thousands of Iranians, including civilians.
“Teach them a lesson” from Reagan in the Oval Office had produced unanticipated consequences.