Friday, October 24, 2008

23 October, 1983

The Reagans pay final respect to US Marines from Beirut

I am a day late in observing the 25th anniversary of the attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut.

The global war on terror started, in my opinion, when the Iranians occupied our embassy in Tehran. The Iranians continued their war against us - including this attack in 1983. We cut and run. Reagan should have gone after the Hezbos then and there. Instead we reinforced the lessons the terrorists learned when they took our diplomats hostage: Terrorism works, or at least is low risk. The list of subsequent terror attacks in Lebanon and around the world culminated with 9-11.

25 years ago today I was in Air Force basic training at Lackland AFB. I was near the end of basic, and allowed the minor freedom of going to a recreation center for Coke and junk food. Several Marines where there. And a television. And idiot talking heads. I was mad. As I commented elsewhere:

...and for the first time in my life I saw barely contained Righteous Fury. It wouldn't be too long before I really understood the combination of anger (at the attacker and "higher ups") and the twinge of 'survivor guilt' (an unreasonable emotion if you've done your duty, but if you do your duty you're more likely to feel it, in my opinion).

We continue to honor their memory, even as many have forgotten, and would treat with their murderers "without pre-condition".

We cut and run then, and it brought us 18 years of grief. Soon our nation will elect Barack Obama president. You do the math.

No comments: