Disaster Recovery: Reagan Spared Us One War At Least

Oh, To Be In Beirut!  beirut-bomb.JPG

The New York Times recently turned over a substantial chunk of it’s op/ed page to exploring the murky Reagan administration intervention in Beirut, where hundreds of Marines died.

The lesson learned?   It was terrorism, and the giant who tumbled the Berlin Wall with a single breath  turned and ran.

But some hold fast to the mythical decisiveness they associate with Ronald Reagan.

marines-beirut-stamp.png  The preferred Marines in Lebanon image is “peacekeepers,” perhaps because pulling-Isreael’s-chestnuts-out-of-the-fire-then-sitting-at-the-airport-until-people-we-were-attacking-blew-us-up-ists don’t roll off the tongue.

Randy Gaddo was there, and does the Shiite Sunni shape shift seamlessly:

“Had we stood our ground 25 years ago instead of pulling out after the bombing, it is possible that 9/11 would not have happened. Likewise, anyone who thinks we can pull back into a shell now and hope terrorism will go away simply isn’t looking at the lessons history offers.”

The apparent lesson being that shelling Muslims is its own reward. 

Joining the Age of Reagan nostalgia is former Reagan National Security Advisor Robert “Bud” McFarlane.


McFarlane portrays himself as quite the go-getter back in the day, urging the President before the bombing to send the Marines into the hills above Beirut to get a jump start on Middle East quagmiring. Left unsaid is McFarlane’s starring role in the Iran/Contra affair, his travel to Tehran with a bible and a cake to deal arms to the Ayatollahs,  the profits going to our off the books war on Nicaragua.


He presents a spectacularly passive Ronald Reagan. The man who wasn’t there got into the loop on invading Grenada after McFarlane, who himself was briefed on the scheme by Vice President George H.W.Bush. McFarlane’s Reagan let the Marines sit at the Beirut airport until blown up, and then let Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger prevent massive retaliation.

McFarlane plead guilty to charges growing out of Iran Contra, Weinberger lied about it and hid his notes on the crime. President George H.W. Bush was to be a Weinberger trial witness, but both were providentially pardoned by Bush on his way out of office,  Christmas Eve 1992.

McFarlane joins the chorus lumping the Sha we were then fighting in Lebanon with the Sunni we were then arming against the Reds inAfghanistan, and extracts the lesson that we missed the early bus to the Clash of Civilizations:

“missing an early opportunity to counter the Islamist terrorist threat in its infancy”

So unlike Grenada, where our bold invasion of an island with the population of Trenton  showed, um, something.



Bud McFarlane, innocent at home:

“Just after midnight on Friday, Oct. 21, I was awakened by a call from Vice President George H. W. Bush, who reported that several East Caribbean states had asked the United States to send forces to the Caribbean island of Grenada to prevent the Soviet Union and Cuba from establishing a base there. I called the president and Secretary of State George Shultz, who were on a golfing trip in Augusta, Ga., and received approval to have our forces prepare to land within 72 hours.” 

Comments are closed.