June 25, 2014
Benghazi. Benghazi! BENGHAZI!! beirut?

On that April morning of 1983, when Ronald Reagan was presumably in the Oval Office, John Reid was in what remained of his office in our Beirut embassy, lying under the debris of a fallen wall:

“The first thing I heard was Beth in the adjacent office, shouting, ‘John, are you okay?’ I replied, ‘I don’t think so.’ Blood was running from my face and scalp, I had lost my glasses, I could see out of only one eye, and I was pinned to the floor.”

John, later a colleague of mine in Laos, survived his injuries and so did Ambassador Robert Dillon. But 63 others died. The quote above and the picture below are from Reid’s article, “The Deadliest Attack Ever,” in American Diplomacy. More from that article:

Recently, I listened to recordings of some statements to media after the 1983 bombing. I am astonished by some of my mistakes, some of the details I got wrong. I had not seen or remembered things correctly, I had not yet compared with my experiences with those of others, everything was chaotic and confused, and everyone was under enormous pressure to say something, to do something, to understand and explain what had happened. I regret my errors, I am glad that, 30 years later, they don’t matter, and that’s my excuse. I was not engaged in conspiracy or cover-up, nor were people responsible for errors and contradictions in similar circumstances after the September 11, 2012, Benghazi attack. To allege that they were is demeaning, self-serving and ridiculous.

Several months after the embassy bombing (and after Reagan had ignored numerous warnings that the detachment of American troops at the Beirut airport was a magnet for future terrorist attacks) a suicide bomber killed 241 U.S. Marines there. A mere two days later Reagan responded forcefully by launching “Operation Urgent Fury” (Seriously. You can’t make this shit up.) — an attack on Grenada. Eighty-seven people died in Reagan’s hasty changing of the subject, 18 of them American soldiers and sailors.

Most of our troops, however, were luckier:

The Army has awarded 8,612 medals to individual Americans involved in the October invasion of Grenada, although it never had more than about 7,000 officers and enlisted soldiers on the island.

So was Reagan, whose murderous little misdirection worked so well that he was not only not impeached, but re-elected by the fools he had kept safe from the threat to our freedoms posed by Grenada (population 91,000).


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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at June 25, 2014 01:33 PM
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The trouble with Democrats is they're not vicious enough. They should have had secstate George Schultz up before Congress, and then called a bunch of widows from the Grenada "war" to testify in impeachment proceedings. Learn how the game is played, guys.

Posted by: Fast Eddie on June 26, 2014 8:50 AM

I loved your essay.

You are the man!

May your numbers multiply.

Love you,

C

P.S. Fast Eddie,

The game the Dims are playing is not that one.

It's being No. 2 at the $$$$$$$$ table.

And it's a goooood game.

For them.

Posted by: Cirze on June 26, 2014 11:05 AM

It seems politics has become rather Freudian -- or should I say MORE Freudian. Not only is it about who can be the biggest dick, but whenever anything goes wrong, it is certainly "Mommie's" fault. And the Democrats are Mommie -- being mostly in charge, after all, of giving a shit about food, education, and health.

That rock song had it wrong, I guess -- it isn't that everybody must get stoned; in America, everybody (not of the 1%) must get fucked.

Posted by: Syrbal/Labrys on June 26, 2014 12:51 PM
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