From Beirut to 9/11

[New York Times] Robert C. McFarlane - Twenty-five years ago, Iranian-trained Hizbullah terrorists bombed the United States Marine barracks in Lebanon, killing 241 Americans who were part of a multinational peacekeeping force (a simultaneous attack on the French base killed 58 paratroopers). The attack was planned over several months at Hizbullah's training camp in the Bekaa Valley in central Lebanon. Once American intelligence confirmed who was responsible and where the attack had been planned, President Reagan approved a joint French-American air assault on the camp - only to have the mission aborted just before launching by the secretary of defense, Caspar Weinberger. Four months later, all the marines were withdrawn, capping one of the most tragic and costly policy defeats in the brief modern history of American counterterrorism operations. The writer was U.S. national security adviser from 1983 to 1985.

2008-10-23 01:00:00

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