Home History 23 October, 1983

23 October, 1983


Twenty five years ago today, at about 0620 a truck bomb was detonated at the USMC barracks of the 1st Battalion 8th Marines under the 2nd Marine Division at Beirut International Airport. A few minutes later, a second bomb detonated at the barracks of the French 3rd Company of the 1st Parachute Infantry Regiment. 241 Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers (mostly Marines) were killed and another 60 wounded. The French had 58 fatalities and 15 wounded. A small number of civilians were also killed.

The Armorer has more and better information.

Despite protestations to the contrary, the US forces were withdrawn from the area four months later. This move, probably the biggest error made by President Reagan during his term of office (my opinion) emboldened Hezbollah and other Muslim terrorist organizations and convinced them that the US was a paper tiger that would withdraw from any conflict where US blood was shed. Hezbollah was then, as it is now, heavily supported by the government of Iran.

The ramifications of the attack and response resonate to this day and will for years. Hezbollah and Iran remain serious threats to Israel and the United States. There is more about that here, at Fox News.

A sad and significant day in US history.

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After a long career as a field EMS provider, I'm now doing all that back office stuff I used to laugh at. Life is full of ironies, isn't it? I still live in the Northeast corner of the United States, although I hope to change that to another part of the country more in tune with my values and beliefs. I still write about EMS, but I'm adding more and more non EMS subject matter. Thanks for visiting.


  1. It’s amazing how we as Americans tend to forget the events that have lead us to our current positions in the world. A read that I found to be rather enlightening can be found here:http://www.versagivoice.com/World_affairs/wakeup.htmMany people that I’ve shown that to tend to change their thoughts at least slightly when things are laid out in a clear and concise manner. You sir, I think would completely enjoy this short read if you haven’t read it yet.Keep up the good work and fantastic writing. I look forward to continued reading.

  2. Thank you for commenting. America is and always has been an essentially peaceful nation. The down side of that is that historically we did not constantly prepare for war. The worst example of that was before World War II when the US was woefully unprepared for the coming conflict. We saw that also during the Carter and Clinton administrations when military spending was cut significantly. One of the mistakes that GWB has made is to not instill a sense that was are at war in the minds of the American public. Other than higher gas prices, there is no sense of shared sacrifice as their was in WWII. As the saying goes, “America is not at war, the US military is at war. Americal is at the mall”. The legacy media has only made the situation worse. Good read, thanks for sending along the link.

  3. Media does only make situations worse since they can’t seem to report local events with any accuracy, never mind those that occur on foreign territory. Sadly, quite often I get to see the errors first hand through work as I’m sure you do as well.America is still at the mall. As the economy hinges on depression and a war that most don’t understand occurs…we refuse to change our ways. I think part of the public not understanding the war stems from our lack of control in the government. As a society, we have removed ourselves from controlling our own destiny’s and placed faith blindly in a government that has a questionable track record at best. The United States was founded on a government “for the people, by the people.” With the advent of career politicians and corruption, we’ve lost sight of those founding principles. There is no longer a freedom of information that the general public can count on to be accurate allowing them to make informed decisions. Everything is hidden from public view. The cliche phrase “out of sight, out of mind” comes to the front of my mind. Many Americans are completely happy burying their heads in the sand unless something has a direct impact on them. This causes a lack of direction once you can longer see where you’re going. We tend to place emphasis on moving on from major incidents, yet in the moving on process we tend to forget as well. The lesson’s we’ve lost over the years is disheartening at best.The United States is a peaceful nation and will continue to be so. However, there comes a time where one must take action to ensure that the peace will remain. Sadly, the public is ill-informed which leads to knee jerk reactions.It seems we have lost the ability to oversee our own government. Hopefully in the future, we can regain that oversight and get control of this great ship once again. Sometimes to get to where you’re going, you have to look to where you’ve been. It’s time we review the founding principles of this country and reassess our own situations.I’m glad you enjoyed the read. I found it to be a good one myself.

  4. A couple of friends and I were discussing this early this evening. The American public unfortunately has a very short attention and memory span. No one seems to remember that Bill Clinton campaigned on the same middle class tax cut. We know how that worked out and Obama will be worse.

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