On October 23, 1983, a suicide bomber drove a truck packed with explosives into the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 241 U.S. military personnel: 220 Marines, 18 U.S. Navy sailors, and three U.S. Army soldiers.
It was the deadliest, single-day death toll for the U.S. Marine Corps since the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II, and the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States Armed Forces since the first day of the Tet Offensive in the Vietnam War. It forever changed the way we view Islamist terrorism. Or should have.
Forgive me for the atrocious typos.
@realDonaldTrump SIR,THE BEIRUT BARACKS BOMBING WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN, 241 MARINE WARRIORS LOST THEIR LIFE’S, IN DEFENSE OF AMERICA ISLAMIC TERRORISTS COMMITTED A MASSIVE ATTACK ON U.S. MILITARY, THEIR WAS INTELL, BUT WE BLINKED WE MUST NEVER BLINK AGAIN. pic.twitter.com/fesaogiAky
— J.S (@J_S21_) October 24, 2018
As reported by USA Today in 2013, the Americans were in Lebanon as part of a peacekeeping mission to bring stability to the war-torn nation. Then-President Barack “Red Line” Obama said: “They came in peace.”
Needless to say, as I began to write — actually before I started, which is why I wrote the article —my mind drifted (immediately shot) to another, much more recent suicide terrorist bombing that killed U.S. troops.
Flag-draped coffins of service members killed in action are loaded onto a transport aircraft during a ramp ceremony at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. Handout photo release by Central Command today pic.twitter.com/rCzFbsbwqq
— corinne_perkins (@corinne_perkins) August 29, 2021
In hopefully the last “nation-building” adventure the United States foolishly chooses to attempt — every one of which has failed — American forces first went to Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, to track down Al-Qaeda and 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden was finally killed by Navy SEAL Team 6 on May 2, 2011 — but American servicemen and women remained in the war-torn country.
On April 14, 2021, hapless Joe Biden announced the withdrawal of all U.S. military personnel remaining in Afghanistan, which began on May 1 and concluded in September. The rest is history — a terrible history that will forever stain the presidency of Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. and damage respect of and trust in America for years to come. It didn’t have to end that way.
On August 26, two suicide bombers and gunmen attacked frenzied crowds of Afghans flocking to Kabul’s airport in the waning days of an airlift of those fleeing the Taliban takeover. The attack killed at least 60 Afghanis and 13 U.S. troops, Afghan and U.S. officials said. It didn’t have to happen that way.
It didn’t need to be that way, period. It was never about leaving. It was about how Biden left, inexplicably abandoning strategic locations and leaving untold numbers of American citizens desperately trapped behind the enemy lines of the Taliban, the most despicable band of terrorists on the planet.
As reported by the History channel website, after the barracks bombing in Lebanon, many Americans questioned whether President Ronald Reagan had a solid policy objective in Lebanon. Serious questions also arose over the quality of security in the American sector of war-torn Beirut.
The U.S. peacekeeping force occupied an exposed area near the airport, but for political reasons, the Marine commander had not been allowed to maintain a completely secure perimeter before the attack.
In a national address on October 23, President Reagan vowed to keep the marines in Lebanon, but just four months later he announced the end of the American role in the peacekeeping force.
On February 26, 1984, the main force of marines left Lebanon, leaving just a small contingent to guard the U.S. embassy in Beirut.
Ring any bells?
Incidentally, Joe Biden was unavailable for comment.