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The current and ongoing politicizing of the 9/11 attacks on the Benghazi consulate by the political right begs for a study in contrasts to previous incidents that trivializes the tragic aftermath in Libya.  

On October 23rd, 1983 in Beirut, Lebanon terrorists killed 299 American and French servicemen with two truck bombs.  241 of the Americans who were killed included 220 marines, 18 sailors and 3 soldiers.   The reaction of both Francois Mitterrand and Ronald Reagan provided an interesting study in contrast.   The French who are constantly ridiculed by the American right in this country for their lack of military acumen and courage lost a total of 58 military personnel.  Mitterrand’s reaction was swift and decisive as they launched an airstrike in Bekaa Valley against known Islamic Revolutionary Guard positions.  Ronald Reagan’s reaction was slow and awkward:  once Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger lobbied against retaliation none was taken.  

All the marines were finally removed from Lebanon by February 7th, 1984 some four months later.  Robert McFarland had only been national security advisor for six days.   George Schultz was the Secretary of State.  As the Democrats had control of the House of Representatives and the political will no hearings were called.  Reagan appointed a special Defense Dept. commission to investigate and he eventually called out the military for a breakdown in command and a lack of preparation to meet the terrorist threat.

On January 26th, 2006 elections were held in the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza.  The radical Islamic group Hamas, designated as a terrorist organization by most western security organizations, had a sweeping victory taking control of the new Palestinian parliament.  As the Bush State Department was caught off guard Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice was called to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee.  Her response can be crystallized into the Bush refrain for their entire handling of the mid-east under their watch, “No one could have known this would happen.”  Condoleezza Rice made a total of 34 trips to the mid east under her tenure at State and she testified she was clueless this could have happened.  This is of course followed up by her categorizing the August 6th, 2001 PDB warning of Bin Laden’s intent to strike the U.S. as only an historical document, her record as National Security Advisor briefing Colin Powell for his infamous UN testimony leading to the Iraqi war, letting Bin Laden escape, the missing WMD’s in Iraq that was given as the reason for military action, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and an ongoing list of jaw dropping policy failures than have never been investigated.

In the 2011 Obama administration’s budget request for world wide security that included American Embassies, consulates, foreign military installations, and all foreign offices the Tea Party wing of the Republican party refused and demanded the budget request be cut by $440 million dollars.  In a closed hearing on Benghazi before the joint House/Senate Intelligence committee Rep. Gary Ackerman [D-NY] angrily called out the Republicans for chastising Susan Rice who was calling for more security measures but was being denied due to a lack of….wait for it…..funds.  As she was called upon by the MSM to discuss the tragic deaths of four Americans on 9/11 in Benghazi she used approved State Dept. non-classified talking points to help clarify what took place.  During the joint House/Senate Intelligence hearing Sen. John McCain was calling for a hearing on,….wait for it…..Benghazi.

Politicizing these deaths is standard operational procedure for the GOP since the epic policy failures of the Bush and Reagan administrations.  One can only marvel at the intellectual white out needed to mount these criticisms on a daily basis.  We can only hope that somewhere along the way the weight of incompetence will collapse their raison d’etre for being the party of “National Security.”

Originally posted to DuvalDem on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 01:06 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Taking out a foriegn army is not terrorism. (0+ / 0-)

    Do you think that, in the United States of America, having ARMED foriegn soldiers on American soil would be tolarated?

    Of course it wouldn't...and if Americans would have blown a foriegn army away...even in the middle of the night, do you think it would be justifyed?  Of course it would.

    The attack on the American soldiers in Lebanon in 1983 is not a terrorist attack.  There was no reason for them to be armed.  Americans were not at war with Lebanon, and Lebanon is a soverign nation.

    Then too, the Nazis called the French resistors 'terrorists' too.

    Oh...and there as no Hamas then.

    Oaths and alleginaces only become valid after being tested in adverstity.

    by Nur Alia Chang on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 04:32:11 PM PST

    •  Not a fair picture either, I think. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I agree that the US was foolish to intrude militarily into Lebanese civil strife, but it seems unfair to treat the US forces as an invading army. They were there as part of a Multinational Force to secure Israeli withdrawal from southern Lebanon - a goal they achieved - and to keep peace among the warring Lebanese factions - a task in which they failed miserably. Rather predictably, the US was soon seen - with some justification - as siding with the Lebanese Christians, with tragic results. This should have been foreseen and avoided. But to equate the US presence with the Nazi occupation of France seems unreasonable.
        In any case, debate about whether the attack on the barracks can be called terrorism is beside the point. The intent of the diary was not to justify US military intervention in Lebanon, but to contrast the similar incidents with the Republican's politicization of Benghazi. That thesis is, I believe, beyond dispute.

      "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." - Thomas Jefferson

      by Blue Boomer on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 07:49:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please note... (0+ / 0-)

        I posted 'there as no reason for the Americans to be ARMED'.  

        I am sure that the Lebanese were fighting against Americans "helping" the Israelis leave thier soil.

        Again, I am sure that Americans would not take it lightly to have a foriegn ARMED military on thier soil for ANY reason.

        This, in my opinion was not a terrorist attack.

        Then too, I come from a land where 'Americans' were 'helping'.  Maybe this is why I relate to the...well, Lebanese more than the Israelis and thier 'unshakable allies'.

        Oaths and alleginaces only become valid after being tested in adverstity.

        by Nur Alia Chang on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 06:00:13 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Since the President was (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    around 23 and Ms Rice was around 19 when the Beirut bombing occurred, I seriously doubt they spent much time on the question of "what did Reagan do."

    The only question I would ask Ms Rice is "Given what historical and real-time information was available from all sources on the 16th of September [2012], do you believe what you said on national TV was true?"

  •  The reasons for the bombing were the US naval (0+ / 0-)

    support in attacking Druze militia in support of Maronite catholics and for an earlier strike in september 23rd by french aircraft in the Bekaa valley.

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 07:18:25 PM PST

  •  Hear, hear! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skyounkin, timewarp

    Well stated, DD!  I entirely agree.  The hypocrisy - and the GOP record of sheer foreign policy incompetence - is nothing short of breathtaking!

    Are the general public so blind that they cannot see this at all?  Condi Rice has GOT to be the worst Secretary of State in decades - and probably the worst National Security Advisor EVER!

    ~ MM

    Truly knowledge is power. And knowledge of spiritual things is spiritual power.

    by Mystic Michael on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 02:51:57 AM PST

  •  I have been wondering (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    when people would begin to remember that attack in Lebanon!  

    But I had forgotten about the Hamas victory and how CR once again trotted out her stock answer that no one could've possibly have known . . .

  •  The Repugs are totally shameless (0+ / 0-)

    A bunch of hypocrites if you ask me.

    241 dead Americans in Beirut.  2500+ in 2001 and we go to war with Iraq. Obama had to become President to get Obama.

    I used to be a Repug until the Iraq bulidup when I decided to "look under the hood" and was horrified.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Tue Nov 27, 2012 at 11:35:17 AM PST

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