There is something profoundly disgusting about President Obama’s October 23 anniversary statement on the 1983 attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut that killed 241 Americans. Here is Obama’s statement in its entirety:
We remember today the 241 American Marines, soldiers, and sailors who lost their lives twenty-six years ago as the result of a horrific terrorist attack that destroyed the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. The military personnel serving in Beirut were there to bring peace and stability to Lebanon after years of internal strife and conflict. The murder of our soldiers, sailors, and Marines on this day on 1983 remains a senseless tragedy.
We pay tribute on this day to the courage and sacrifice of those whose lives were lost in the Beirut attack, as well as their families and loved ones. We also wish to honor the brave service of all members of the United States military who are protecting Americans and promoting freedom and security around the world, as well as those international peacekeepers who serve in harm’s way.
In remembering this terrible day of loss, we are at the same time hopeful that a new government in Lebanon will soon be formed. We look forward to working with a Lebanese government that works actively to promote stability in the region and prosperity for its people.
What’s wrong with this picture? Barry Rubin provides context and notes Obama’s omissions:
–That the bombing was carried out by cadre of Hizballah under the guidance of Syria and Iran.
–Today, attacks are being carried out against U.S. military personnel in Iraq under the guidance of Syria and Iran, and
–Iran is trying to stage such attacks in Afghanistan.
–The current and previous Iranian defense minister were involved in the attack: Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar (defense minister, 2005-2009) was head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps force in Lebanon and in charge of carrying out the attack while his successor, General Ahmad Vahidi, was involved in planning the attack.
–Hizballah was involved in other attacks on U.S. citizens and servicemen in Lebanon.
–It is also the anniversary of the killing of three U.S. security agents by Palestinians in the Gaza Strip who the Palestinian Authority never punished and Hamas is now protecting. There is no apparent effort by the U.S. government to bring these killers to justice or to press the Palestinian Authority and Hamas to cooperate in doing so or to punish them for not doing so.
All of these forces, however, are left anonymous. No one is named for involvement in that “horrific terrorist attack.” And, of course the attack was not “senseless” but part of an Iranian-Syrian-Hizballah campaign to take over Lebanon and drive U.S. influence out of the region. In fact, it was counted as a great victory for these forces since it showed America’s vulnerability to being hit by terrorism–an inspiration for September 11?–and did succeed in paralyzing the U.S. effort in Lebanon. Ultimately, this lead to the withdrawal of the peace-keeping forces altogether, paving the way for Syria’s turning Lebanon into a satellite state for two decades at a great financial and strategic profit. .
None of these attacks were perpetrated by al-Qaida, the only group that remains a target of this administration’s version of a war on terrorism, a phrase which is no longer used.
It is bad enough the administration doesn’t say any of this. Is it aware of these factors at all?
Rubin also explicates the final sentence of Obama’s statement:
“We look forward to working with a Lebanese government that works actively to promote stability in the region and prosperity for its people.”
While negotiations are complex and ongoing, the government being discussed for Lebanon would include a large contingent of Hizballah cabinet ministers and would give Hizballah veto power over government decisions.
Now it could be argued that this would not constitute, in U.S. eyes, a gover[n]ment promoting stability and prosperity. But who knows? Without even naming Hizballah as an adversary, however, the implication is that the United States does not oppose a government including Hizballah, which is one more step to having such a government.
Via Ed Driscoll.