On October 23, 1983, around 6:20 am, a yellow Mercedes-Benz delivery truck drove to Beirut International Airport, where the 1st Battalion 8th Marines, under the U.S. 2nd Marine Division of the United States Marines, had set up its local headquarters. The truck turned onto an access road leading to the Marines' compound and circled a parking lot. The driver then accelerated and crashed through a barbed wire fence around the parking lot, passed between two sentry posts, crashed through a gate and barreled into the lobby of the Marine headquarters. The Marine sentries at the gate were forbidden from using live ammuntion, for fear that a discharge might kill a civilian, so they were powerless to stop him. According to one Marine survivor, the driver was smiling as he sped past him.Hey, George? Um, if Ronnie could be persuaded that it was a mistake to tangle with Arabs in the Middle East, why do you think a wimp like you will fare any better?
The suicide bomber detonated his explosives, which were equivalent to 12,000 pounds (about 5,400kg) of TNT. The force of the explosion collapsed the four-story cinder-block building into rubble, crushing many inside.
[...]Besides a few shellings (ed. note: by the French!), there was no serious retaliation for the Beirut bombing from the Americans. In December 1983, U.S. aircraft attacked Syrian targets in Lebanon, but this was in response to Syrian missile attacks on planes, not the barracks bombing.
The Marines were moved offshore where they could not be targeted. On February 7, 1984, President Reagan ordered the Marines to begin withdrawal from Lebanon. This was completed on February 26; the rest of the MNF was withdrawn by April.
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Another "cut-and-run" Democrat...
Posted by Carl at 8/10/2006 08:49:00 PM