Sunday, October 22, 2006

Beirut, 23 October 1983

"Our former warriors have now joined a long line of Soldiers of the Sea who have given their lives in the service of a grateful nation,"

- Former President Ronald Reagan.

It was actually the second deployment of United States Marines to Lebanon, each time to guarantee a peace. In 1958 the effort was to cut off an attempted putsch by the Syrians disposing of their own Marxist rabble-rousers, and staging a series of violent attacks on civilians to cause factional violence. The effort eerily similar to what the former Iraqi elements, and in all likelihood the Syrians Mukharabat, as well as the Iranians are trying to do to Iraqi civilians today.

In 1983, the effort was to give a new opportunity to the possibility of peace by making safe the exit of both the Israeli Army and the forces of the PLO from Lebanon. The newly created Hizballah would have none of it. The prospect of stability gave them no way to exert their power over the beaten and struggling Lebanese civilians. That method of operation remains one that they use to this day.

"The whole idea of knowing that this person gave his life for something he truly believed in," said Perry, reiterating words spoken by 1st Sgt. James Richard, "how the flood of memories of that person burned into your mind, is lost in people who have never experienced it."

- Former Defense Secretary William Perry

241 U.S. Marines and 58 French paratroopers were lost. UK Royal Marines ran to their aid along with the French and American survivors, Lebanese civilians, and Lebanese Army and Police.

Seduced by unproved methods that amounted to little more than leftist mumbo-jumbo about “an image of provocation”, Americans and French forces took a grave risk by taking a non-threatening posture by being lightly armed and protected. The price they paid for trusting those who gave that indulgent nonsensical advice was dear, and it also caused a sea change in American diplomatic and military tactics. Those inclined to ordain America a hegemon and provocateur have none other than Hizballah’s uncompromising, cruel, murderous methods that lead nowhere to thank.

These men, the dead and the survivors should never be forgotten. Hizballah should never be forgiven. Their victims need not merely be added to Hizballah’s larger trophy death-toll. Even then, the US was taunted not to retaliate, and accused of wanting revenge for the sake of their emotions. They needed to retaliate to remove their incentive to do it again. And they did it again, and again – from Argentina to northern Israel to the rampage they wought on most of Lebanon.

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