Setting the Record Straight: The Beirut Barracks Bombing
Publisher: The American Conservative
Date Written: 09/11/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
The White House wants to blame Iran, but they're wrong. I was there.
By early 1983, the situation seemed to have stabilized until, in April of that year, a car bomb destroyed the U.S. embassy in Beirut. In July, after Israel began a unilateral withdrawal, fighting between the competing militias intensified and violence against the multilateral force, who were now seen as allies of the Christian militias, escalated. As a result, U.S. Marine positions routinely came under small arms and mortar fire which, by late August, the Marines began returning. These skirmishes led to the death and wounding of several militiamen and some Marines even before the attack on the barracks.
The crucial turning point occurred in early September, when the U.S. began providing naval gunfire support for the U.S.-backed Lebanese Armysomething that was opposed, as journalist Nir Rosen has pointed out, by the State Department, the CIA, and even Marine Commander Col. Timothy Geraghty.
The Marines deaths certainly need to be remembered. But the real problem is that when we went back into Lebanon after withdrawing, the U.S. took sides in a civil war that it could not and did not need to win. And while Iran certainly bears some responsibility for the deaths of these brave warriors, this does not mean the Iranians had anything to do with 9/11.
In fact, right after the attack, Iran held a candlelight vigil condemning it, and later provided intelligence to help the U.S. drive the Taliban and al Qaeda from Afghanistan in 2001. And the Iranians persuaded their allies in the Northern Alliance to support the establishment of the Karzai government at the Bonn Conference in December 2001. Moreover, condemning Iran for these attacks in Beirutas Pence and McMaster didignores the fact that we were de facto supporters of Iraq when that country not only invaded Iran in the early 1980s, but used chemical weapons against them.
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