October 23, 2008, - 1:23 am
By Debbie Schlussel
Twenty-five years ago, today, at 6:22 a.m., Hezbollah terrorists–with help from Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Liberation Organization and Hafez El-Assad’s Syria–murdered 241 U.S. Marines while they slept in barracks in Beirut. A bomb more powerful than 12,000 pounds of TNT was driven into the barracks and blew the Marines to bits.
They were there as peacekeepers–to protect Palestinian Sunni Muslims who invaded Lebanon from Israeli forces who were trying to clean up Lebanon from these Palestinian terrorists, who raped Shi’ite daughters and murdered Shi’ite sons in front of their parents. The mass-murdered Marines were there to protect Muslim barbarians from Maronite Christians who were trying to hold on to their fragile majority in the country and control of its government so their country wouldn’t turn into the extremist hellhole it has now become.
It was a tragic event in U.S. and Marine Corps history. But even more tragic is that 25 years later, America hasn’t learned any of the lessons loudly broadcast in that and related episodes for Americans in Lebanon and in other interactions with Muslims around the world bent on our destruction.
The most basic of lessons should have been learned before President Reagan sent the Marines on this failed mission: No good deed goes unpunished. Even more basic: Why do a good deed for barbarians? We shouldn’t have been there. We should have let Israel and the Maronites finish the clean-up job they began, and things would have been different in Lebanon and the Mid-East today . . . for the better.
Instead, we sent our Marines there, and made them sitting duck targets, ordering them to sit with unloaded rifles and a weak barbed wire perimeter, lest we offend the Muslims. Our Marines were ordered to keep ammunition in their belts, not their guns.
Twenty-five years later, those barbarians are here and their punishment is only beginning. The real punishment will be felt not by us, but by several generations into the future.
The Shi’ite Hezbollah terrorists working in unison with their Sunni allies are not longer confined to the streets of Beirut and South Lebanon. They control the streets of Dearborn and Dearborn Heights, Michigan and are growing like a virus in Southeastern Michigan.
Two key allies of Hezbollah spiritual leader Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah–the man who issued the fatwah for the mass murder of those Marines–are now two of the most prominent Islamic clerics in America, being feted by American Presidents and Presidential contenders and being given regular columns in a major newspaper by an irresponsible, clueless, PC editor.
Not only did President Ronald Reagan–in the biggest misstep of his career–pull up stakes and surrender to Hezbollah after they attacked and murdered our troops in cold blood; but he and his successors surrendered portions of American soil to Hezbollah through lax immigration and rampant political correctness for two-and-a-half decades thereafter.
Where once they only marched in Lebanon’s streets, now tens of thousands of Hezbollah’s minions march on America’s streets. Talk about reverse containment. Hezbollah is containing us, not the other way around. It is spreading.
Donald Rumsfeld, then a special envoy to Beirut, says the lesson he learned about terrorists was that we must
take the war to them, to go after them where they are, where they live.
But we did not do that to them. They did that to us. Over the last quarter-century since the attacks, that’s what they did to us. Now, they live where we live. They took their war to us, where we are.
A quarter century later, Hezbollah has won and continues to spread its victories throughout the Western world. Here’s the scorecard:
* In April, 1983, Hezbollah drove a van bomb into the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, killing 46, including 16 Americans. America was the intended target. But the U.S. did nothing in response.
* In October 22, 1983, the 241 U.S. Marines were murdered by Hezbollah, along with countless others injured. Consistent with the April attack, America not only did nothing to respond, but America packed up and left Lebanon. America’s non-response–for which President Reagan was never called to talk–and its swift pullout were specifically cited by Osama Bin Laden as proof that America didn’t have the will to make its enemies pay . . . or even to survive. He cited:
the decline of American power and the weakness of the American soldier, who is ready to wage cold wars but unprepared to fight long wars. This was proven in Beirut in 1983, when the Marines fled.
Bin Laden had the ethos right, but not the correct group. The brave American soldier did and still does have the preparation and will to fight this enemy. Sadly, the American soldier’s commanders and politicians and law enforcement bureaucrats in America don’t have the will. Their will is to engage in political correctness, allow Hezbollah on our shores through a “peaceful” slow invasion, and bend over backward, forward, and every which way for them.
* In 1985, Hezbollah hijacks TWA 847 and tramples and tortures to death U.S. Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem. His lifeless body is thrown off the plane for U.S. cameras to show nightly TV news audiences. America does nothing to respond.
Today, Hezbollah’s chief negotiatiator, Nabih Berri of Deaborn, is speaker of the Lebanese Parliament and a figure honored with visits by and gushing from American Secretary of State Condoleeze Rice. Berri, who heads terrorist group Harakat Amal (the Shi’ite Amal Militia), brokered his alliance with Hezbollah through marriage, and is also constantly feted by top American Muslim leaders from Dearborn.
In December 2005, Germany released to freedom Mohammad Ali Hamadi, one of the Hezbollah hijackers who tortured and murdered Stethem–a story I broke on this site. Both German leader Angela Merkel and U.S. President George Bush allowed this to happen and neither did a thing to stop it.
* In 1992, Hezbollah and Iran bombed the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, killing 22, and in 1994 Hezbollah and Iran blew up the Jewish Community Center of Buenos Aires, killing almost 100. The target was specific: Buenos Aires has the largest Jewish community in Latin America. Hezbollah was asserting its presence and establishing a base in South America. A decade-and-a-half later, America finally noticed . . . far too late. Hezbollah is already entrenched not only in U.S. soil, but elsewhere on our hemisphere. Hezbollah and Iran paid Argentinian President Carlos Menem, an Arab and “former” Muslim $5,000,000 to cover up their involvement and block any real investigation.
* In June 1998, Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda worked together to bomb and blow up the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. The target was U.S. servicemen living there. 19 of them were murdered. America did nothing to avenge their blood. Once again, Bin Laden was right about America’s will to fight this enemy.
* In 2000, a man named “W.” from Texas runs for President and wins, making his pandering to Hezbollah’s tens of thousands of Shi’ites from Dearborn a centerpiece of his campaign, and garnering their Islamic endorsement. He makes ending of both “profiling of Arabs” and the use of “secret evidence” against Islamic terrorists points in a Presidential debate against Al Gore.
For this, George W. Bush is hailed by Osama Siblani, editor of the Arab American News and brother of a top executive of Al-Manar a/k/a Hezbollah TV. Bush eagerly accepts this, making many trips to fete the Hezbollah crowd of Dearborn, despite the fact that Siblani’s “newspaper” has been identified as Hezbollah’s key publishing house organ and Siblani one of its top agents.
* In 2001, when Bush takes office, he makes Hezbollah’s top friend in the U.S. Senate, Spencer Abraham, his Energy Secretary. No biggie that the defeated U.S. Senator from Michigan just sent $86 million in U.S. taxpayer money to Hezbollah in South Lebanon.
* Also in 2001, on September 11th, America is attacked. John Chipura, who barely survived the 1983 Marine barracks attack by Hezbollah, is a New York City fireman. He is last seen on September 11th running up into the South Tower of the World Trade Center. His scheduled October 2001 wedding would never take place.
* Throughout his first term, George W. invites to his Crawford, Texas ranch, fetes at the White House, and visits in Dearborn, three of Hezbollah’s top Iranian-backed imams–Hassan Qazwini, Mohammed Ali Elahi, and Husham Al-Hussainy. The President is photographedd kissing and hugging each of them at various times in his Presidency.
Despite Qazwini’s frequent trips to Lebanon to hang with Hezbollah spiritual leader Fadlallah–the man who ordered the murders of the Marines 25 years ago today–Bush invites Qazwini to his ranch to help him design the American taxpayer giveaway to his mosque, via the “faith-based funding initiative.”
* Also, in 2000, Republican Congressman Joe Knollenberg, his then-chief of staff Paul Welday, and then-U.S. Senator Spencer Abraham sought almost $300 million dollars in U.S. aid to Hezbollah, at the request of their non-constituent, Jim Zogby of the Arab American Institute. They got $86 million of that and sent it straight to the terrorists that murdered our Marines. Knollenberg is in a tough re-election fight and Welday is seeking a seat in the Michigan House. Remember this on election day.
* In 2002, a New York Times front page story floats the not-so-subrosa Condoleezza Rice-Colin Powell-George W. Bush plan to remove Hezbollah from the State Department Terrorist List and help aid the group in its plans to takeover Lebanon in its entirety politically. Who cares about 241 old blown up skeletons of Marines when we have a “Religion of Peace” to pander to and a Nobel Peace Prize to win?
* In 2003, Marine survivors and relatives prevail over a federal judge, who declares Iran liable for the Beirut bombing of the Marines, awarding $2.7 billion to them and against Iran.
Because of Bush Administration pandering to Iran and Bush Justice and State Department machinations, these survivors and family members have never seen a dime. The Bushies refuse to give them any Iranian assets. At the same time, the Bush Administration has increased supposedly embargoed trade with the Hezbollah patron-state from $8 million per year under the Clinton Administration to almost $150 million per year.
* Also in 2003, President Bush’s hand-picked U.S. Attorney, Jeffrey Collins, discusses with the Detroit News and his friend, “former” Islamic terrorist Imad Hamad, their mutual support for the wearing of Hezbollah t-shirts in the Detroit area. Collins is Hamad’s date to a Detroit News “Michiganians of the Year” banquet. The Detroit News refuses to answer questions regarding why it picked this Palestinian supporter of Islamic terrorism as a “Michiganian of the Year.”
* In 2005, U.S. Attorney Stephen Murphy III joked at a Hezbollah mosque in Dearborn Heights that he doesn’t know why Hezbollah is on the State Department terrorist list, that the group just does great “humanitarian work.” Murphy allowed Hezbollah’s top American financier, Talal Chahine, to flee the country and allowed him to run and collect profits from his American business, even after he was indicted for fleecing American taxpayers of $7 million and laundering $21 million to Hezbollah through that business. Today, Hezbollah praiser and enabler Murphy is a Bush-appointed federal judge whose major ruling has been to allow ineligible voters to cast their ballots in November.
* In 2006, during the Israel-Hezbollah war, tens of thousands of Hezbollah and HAMAS supporters march daily through the streets of Dearborn and Detroit with photos of Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah and swastikas. America pressures Israel to quickly end the war and give a de facto victory to the terrorist group, further strengthening it and its terrorist recruitment efforts.
* In 2007, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff visits Hezbollah’s imams in Dearborn, feting them with his pate and blather. Not long after his protege, Julie L. Myers, fetes the rest of Hezbollah’s key leaders at a banquet at Dearborn’s Hezbollah Social Club, the Bint Jebail Cultural Center.
Their top official in Michigan and Ohio, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agent in Charge Brian Moskowitz transformed an office that went after Hezbollah financiers and smugglers into an office that panders to Hezbollah’s top operatives here and refuses to get in the way of the terrorist group’s Dearborn- and Dearborn Heights-based operations. He also holds regular “apology sessions” in the few cases that there are meaningless, toothless raids on Hezbollah charities that are then allowed to remain open for business.
* In 2008, John McCain invited Hezbollah agent, key financier, and open supporter Ali Jawad to sit atop his campaign finance committee. The McCain will to denounce Hezbollah terrorists who murdered our troops is so weak that McCain wouldn’t release a statement stating why he dumped Jawad, despite Jawad’s declared support for Hezbollah. “We don’t care about the Hezbollah stuff,” declares Ambassador Ron Weiser, who heads up McCain’s finance efforts in Michigan and stands to garner yet another ambassadorship from McCain.
No big deal that Dearborn police caught Jawad selling smuggled cigarettes for Hezbollah, or that he gave about $200,000 in funds to Hezbollah-backed Lebanese Member of Parliament Ali Bazzi to get him elected.
Also in 2008, Jawad is invited to a pandering hour-long interview by airhead Detroit radio talk show host Frank Beckmann, on the station that hosts Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity. Beckmann gushes over Jawad’s fanciful stories and open support for Hezbollah, saying it isn’t a big deal:
“So, you support Hezbollah. But anyway . . . .”
Beckmann even allows on the airwaves, unchallenged and undisputed, Jawad’s claim that Hezbollah was not behind the Beirut Marine barracks bombing. Even Hezbollah admits–in fact, brags and celebrates–that it committed this dastardly act 25 years ago, today. Disgusting and irresponsible. But, today, Hezbollah gets positive play on our airwaves and even has in its corner so-called “conservative” talk show hosts like Beckmann.
Also this year, Arthur Horwitz, a far-leftist and self-hating Jew who owns the Detroit Jewish News, formed a partnership with Hezbollah’s Siblani and his pro-Hezbollah/HAMAS Arab American News.
* Today, Imam Mohammed Ali Elahi–open supporter of Hezbollah, crony of Hezbollah’s Fadllalah who issued the order to blow up the barracks, and former spiritual leader of Ayatollah Khomeini’s Navy in Elahi’s native Iran–has U.S. citizenship, despite the fact that he lied about his ties to Hezbollah on documents to get and remain here and garner citizenship. He was sent here by Iran and Hezbollah to further radicalize the Shi’ite Muslim community. He told The Washington Times that the Jews are behind the 9/11 attacks on America.
Also, today, Elahi is the only Hezbollah agent in America to have a regular column in a major newspaper for his anti-American, anti-Semitic ravings. He was given a regular column by irresponsible, pandering Detroit News Editorial Page Editor Nolan Finley, whose excuse is, “Well, he has a following.” So did Hitler. So does David Duke.
Yes, Hezbollah has done quite well in taking its jihad against 241 U.S. Marines on Beirut soil in 1983 to 300 milllion Americans on U.S. soil over the two-and-a-half decades since. Their actions have been met with silence–and even reward–from a weak, pandering America, every single step of the way.
While America panders to a mass murdering terrorist group, Scherna Sutton lives alone. Her fiance, Cpl. Craig Wyche, was murdered 25 years ago in the Hezbollah attack. She has never found anyone else who measures up to him. All she has left is his letters.
All Cpl. Doug Held’s family has left are audiotapes he sent his parents.
Sgt. Stephen Russell is alive. He sat at the guard booth powerless to respond as he watched the homicide bomber drive the truck through the barbed wire and toward the 1,600 sleeping Marines. As noted, he and other Marines were forced to keep their rifles unloaded.
But he blames himself for the attack and lives with the guilt and frequent nightmares. He told USA Today he can still h ear the voices of the wounded and dying in Beirut and sleeps alone on the floor at night. He hasn’t spent the night in the same bed as his wife in many years.
Read this important piece from last week about what happened that morning of October 23, 1983, and what happened to some who were lucky enough to survive but unfortunate enough to suffer the consequences.
A quarter century later, America barely remembers the lives of 241 U.S. Marines murdered in cold blood by the terrorist group that now has a strong presence on U.S.
The remains of 241 brave U.S. souls are turning over in their forgotten graves.
From my October 23, 2006 post remembering this important anniversary:
A few of the Marines managed to escape. A trucker friend of mine from Michigan was among them. He told me that Palestinian and Syrian gunman with machine guns surrounded the perimeter of the Marine barracks, showering those few who managed to escape the fiery explosion with bullets. . . .
While I admire Ronald Reagan greatly, he made a great mistake after this attack. Not long after, he pulled up the stakes and sent our Marines home. There’s an old saying from Stalin or Lenin:
And you shall probe with bayonets. If you find steel, retreat. But if you find mush, keep digging.
Islamists found mush in America, when they drove us out of Beirut. Then, in 1985, they murdered Navy Diver Robert Stethem and after him, there were the torture deaths of Colonel William R. “Rich” Higgins and CIA Attache William Buckley–actions they would not likely have perpetrated, had we shown the Hezbos who’s boss. But we didn’t. Then they found mush in Somalia, and a cornucopia of other places. Bin Laden and others saw this. And they don’t forget. “The Marines fled after two explosions,” Bin Laden once said of the U.S. in Lebanon. . . .
Read about Armando Ybarra, who lived but is seriously disabled in his right leg. He was awarded a Purple Heart.
Beirut Attack Survivor, Marine Armando Ybarra, Then . . .
Armando Ybarra, Now . . .
. . .
[On one of the memorials to the slain Marines,] “They Came in Peace” is carved on the wall–something you can never say about our Islamist enemies.