In order to understand the attacks of 23 October 1983 you have to understand the events of September '83 when the United States and France conducted fire missions and air strikes in support of the Lebanese factions that we and Israel felt offered the greates chance for future stability. "Peacekeepers" were blatantly supporting one side in the Lebanese civil war over the other, with the USS New Jersey firing on a mountain village and the French dropping bombs in the Bekka Valley, on an airstrike rumored to have been called in by Israeli FACs. (That was never confirmed)
Once again, stupid political decisions resulted in a lot of men getting killed for no reason at all. We lost 241 and the French, in a separate bombing, lost several dozen.
In addition to losing friends I saw one of the finest Marines I ever knew, Colonel Tim Geraghty, watch his career evaporate in front of him when he was blamed for the lack of a timely response caused by rules of engagement that had been imposed upon him by Washington.
Saddest fact? Colonel Geraghty had vemently argued against the naval gunfire mission that we paid for on October 23rd.
More information about formatting options