Saw this conservative republican Ronald Reagan meme tonight …
… and because it is SO wrong, I just had to post this response. Just how wrong is it? Let us count the ways:
1 — April 18, 1983 — Bombing of U.S. Embassy in Beirut
A suicide truck bomber rammed into the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 63 people, including 17 Americans. The American dead included eight employees of the Central Intelligence Agency, including chief Middle East analyst Robert C. Ames and station chief Kenneth Haas.
The attack was carried out by Hezbollah, an anti-American militant Lebanese Islamic group. President Reagan ordered no American military response to the embassy bombing.
2 — October 23, 1983 — Bombing of U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut
Another suicide truck bomber attacked the U.S. Marine barracks at the Beirut International Airport … 241 U.S. Marines were killed and more than 100 wounded. U.S. intelligence sources suspected Hezbollah of committing this attack, as well, though Hezbollah denied any involvement.
President Reagan’s security team devised a plan of military action, but Secretary of Defense Casper Weinberger aborted the plan. President Reagan ordered no American military response to this bombing and four months later, our Marines pulled out of Lebanon. The 9-11 attacks are the only terrorist attacks ever to have killed more Americans than this bombing.
3 — December 12, 1983 — Bombing of U.S. Embassy in Kuwait
The bombing of the American embassy in Kuwait was one of several attacks, which also targeted the French embassy, the airport control tower, Kuwait’s main oil refinery, and a residential area for employees of the American corporation Raytheon. In the bombing of the American embassy, five people were killed and more than 80 injured.
This attack is believed to have been carried out by an Iranian-backed, anti-Saddam Hussein Shiite group. President Reagan ordered no American military response to this embassy bombing.
4 — March 16, 1984 — CIA Station Chief William Buckley kidnapped in Lebanon
Buckley was kidnapped by militant Islamic extremists in Lebanon and was one of 30 Westerners kidnapped between 1982 and 1992. In October 1985, Islamic Jihad claimed to have executed Buckley, though American officials later claimed that he died of a heart attack.
Because American officials believed that Hezbollah was behind most of these kidnappings, the Reagan administration devised a covert plan to secretly trade weapons to Iran in exchange for the release of hostages. Congress had banned the sale of American weapons to Iran, but the U.S. secretly sent 508 anti-tank weapons to Iran and three American hostages were released. The proceeds of these sales were secretly … and also illegally … funneled to American-backed Contra rebels fighting the Sandanista regime in Nicaragua. This program has come to be known as the “Iran-Contra Affair”.
However, President Reagan ordered no military response to the kidnapping and death of Mr. Buckley.
5 — September 20, 1984 — Bombing of U.S. Embassy Annex Northeast of Beirut
Another suicide truck bomber attacked the U.S. Embassy annex in Aukar, northeast of Beirut, killing 24 people including 2 U.S. military personnel. Hezbollah is suspected to have been involved in the bombing.
Although some CIA covert operations were carried out in response to this incident, President Reagan ordered no American military response to this embassy bombing, and the covert operations were ultimately suspended.
6 — December 3, 1984 — Hijacking of Kuwait Airways Flight 221
Kuwait Airways Flight 221 was hijacked by Hezbollah and diverted to Tehran. The hijackers demanded the release of the perpetrators of the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Kuwait (known at the “Kuwait 17”). When Kuwait rejected this demand, the hijackers killed two American officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development.
President Reagan ordered no American military response to the murders of these Americans.
7 — June 14, 1985 — Hijacking of TWA Flight 847
Athens to Rome TWA Flight 847 was hijacked and forced to land in Beirut. The hijackers held the plane for 17 days, also demanding the release of the “Kuwait 17”, as well as 700 other Shiite Muslim prisoners held in Israeli and southern Lebanon prisons. These demands weren’t met and hostage Robert Dean Stethem, a U.S. Navy diver, was shot and his body dumped on the airport tarmac. U.S. sources once again implicated Hezbollah.
Eventually, the hijackers released the hostages and Israel released some of the Shiite prisoners. However, President Reagan ordered no military response to the kidnapping and murder of Robert Dean Stethem.
8 — October 7, 1985 — Hijacking of the Cruise Ship Achille Lauro
Four gunmen hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro off the coast of Lebanon and demanded the release of Palestinian prisoners in Egypt, Italy, and elsewhere. These demands weren’t met and the kidnappers killed Leon Klinghoffer, a 69-year-old disabled American tourist. U.S. officials linked Libya to the Palestine Liberation Front and the hijacking.
The hijackers escaped the Achille Lauro and left Egypt by air. U.S. Navy fighters intercepted their plane and forced it down in Italy. The four hijackers were found guilty by an Italian court. The mastermind of the hijacking, Abu Abbas, was released by Italy despite an American request that he be held for trial.
President Reagan ordered no military response to the kidnapping and murder of Leon Klinghoffer.
9 — December 27, 1985 — Bombing of Rome and Vienna Airports
U.S. officials linked Libya to the bombings of airports in Rome and Vienna, in which 20 people, including five Americans, were killed. In January 1986, the U.S. Navy and its warplanes were ordered to patrol the Gulf of Sidra — in territorial waters claimed by Libya. President Reagan warned Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi that Libyan forces which moved more than 12 miles from shore were subject to attack.
Ultimately, however, President Reagan ordered no military response to the killings of these five Americans.
10 — April 5, 1986 — Bombing of La Belle Discotheque in West Berlin, Germany
In another bombing linked to Libya, a West Berlin discotheque popular with off-duty American servicemen, one American and a Turkish woman were killed and nearly 200 others wounded.
After U.S. intelligence intercepted Libyan government communications implicating Libya in this attack, President Reagan ordered retaliatory air strikes on Tripoli and Benghazi. Operation El Dorado Canyon, executed on April 15, 1986, involved 200 aircraft and over 60 tons of bombs. One of the residences of Qaddafi was hit in the attack, 37 people were killed and 93 injured. This was the only time during Ronald Reagan’s presidency that he ordered a military response to the terrorist murders of American citizens.
Two days after the U.S. attack, three American University of Beirut employees were found near Beirut, shot to death. The Arab Revolutionary Cells, a pro-Libyan group of Palestinians affiliated with terrorist Abu Nidal, claimed to have executed the three men in retaliation for Operation El Dorado Canyon.
President Reagan ordered no further military response to the killings of these three Americans.
11 — December 21, 1988 — Bombing of Pan Am Flight 103
The bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which was traveling from London to New York and exploded over the small town of Lockerbie, Scotland, resulted in the deaths of 259 people on board the plane and 11 others on the ground.
The U.S. government accused Libya of being behind the attack. There were also reports that Syria and Iran also played significant roles, though U.S. officials were never able to tie the two countries to the bombing.
In 1999, Qaddafi turned over to UN officials two men suspected of involvement in the bombing and they were tried in the Netherlands. One was convicted and sentenced to life in prison and the other was acquitted and set free. In 2003, Qaddafi accepted responsibility for the attack and paid reparations to the victims, though he continued to deny that he ordered the attack.
Of the 270 people killed in this bombing, 189 were American citizens. It is the third deadliest terrorist attack (in terms of American deaths) ever … only 9-11 and the Beirut Marine barracks bombing resulted in more American deaths.
President Reagan ordered no American military response to this bombing.
Hezbollah, of course, continues to operate to this day … President Reagan did little or nothing to “WasWas” Hezbollah.
Islamic Jihad also continues to operate to this day … and President Reagan did little or nothing to “WasWas” Islamic Jihad.
The Palestine Liberation Front (PLF) continues to operate to this day … and President Reagan did little or nothing to “WasWas” the PLF.
Muammar Qaddafi was killed in 2011, after being deposed as dictator of Libya. A convoy in which he was traveling was attacked by U.S. and NATO forces and he was forced to flee the attack and hide in a culvert. He was found there by Libyan National Transitional Council forces and killed shortly thereafter (there are varying reports of exactly how this occurred). In any event, of course, this came on President Barrack Obama’s watch and President Reagan did little or nothing to “WasWas” Qaddafi.
The Arab Revolutionary Cells, following the terrorist activities in the 1980’s, faded into obscurity and it is currently unknown if any part of that organization continues to operate. Abu Nidal was killed (or committed suicide, depending on who you believe) during a 2002 interrogation in Baghdad. President Reagan did little or nothing to “WasWas” either the Arab Revolutionary Cells or Abu Nidal.
The 468 Americans killed by terrorists during the Reagan administration is the highest total of such deaths during the term of any president other than George W. Bush:
President Ronald Reagan – 468
President George H.W. Bush – 0
President William Clinton – 37
President George W. Bush – 2982
President Barrack Obama – 28
President Ronald Reagan certainly had ample motivation to utilize American military forces in response to terrorist attacks that resulted in the deaths of Americans. Only once did he do so (the 1986 attack on Libya). There is nothing about his presidency which suggests that he would have dealt with Isis in such a way as to render it WasWas.