Wednesday, July 4, 2007
Ronald Reagan Knew How To Cut and Run
It was in 1982, under President Ronald Reagan, that a "coalition of the willing" (the MNF - Multinational Force) was sent to Lebanon to quell violence and stabilize the country. About a year later came the infamous Beirut barracks bombing, which killed 241 Americans and 58 French.
The MNF had initially adopted a defensive posture, but the barracks bombing soon changed that. What resulted was a back and forth series of retaliatory strikes, and the MNF soon found itself caught in the middle of a civil war. When the Lebanese government eventually collapsed, chaos engulfed the region and Reagan got the hell out of Dodge (source), in the middle of a civil war he helped create.
Reagan understood the insanity of maintaining an aggressive military force against the "irrationality of Middle Eastern politics." Instead of "staying the course," he decided to "cut and run," and it was the best decision he made during his command of the MNF. Israel didn't get smothered, the Middle East didn't coalesce into the dreaded Ottoman Empire, and America wasn't pummeled with Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Maybe the Republicans could learn a thing or two from the man they love (at least in claim) to emulate and respect. It's doubtful though, because that requires a perusal of history, something the Republicans think is unpatriotic and a threat to national security.