On Backdrop Of Israel-Hamas War, Article In Hizbullah-Affiliated Lebanese Daily Reminds U.S. Of 1983 Beirut Bombings, Warns Against Direct Involvement: 'Lebanon Has People Expecting You'

October 25, 2023

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On October 23, 2023, the Hizbullah-affiliated Lebanese Al-Akhbar daily published[1] an article titled "Forty Years After Bloody Escape of U.S. From Lebanon, Washington Threatens to Send Marines: Welcome!" Written by Karim Al-Amin, the article reviews the main events that accompanied the military presence of the U.S. in Lebanon since 1958, in light of the dispatch by the U.S. of several warships to the Eastern Mediterranean, augmentation of U.S. Air Force fighter aircraft squadrons in the region, and provision of munitions and other equipment to the Israel Defense Forces to assist in its ongoing war with Hamas, which began with the latter's October 7 surprise attack against the Jewish state.

Framed as a historical review, the article focuses on "one of the most important operations of resistance to the American occupation in the region," namely, the October 1983 truck bomb attacks against American and French barracks in Beirut belonging to the Multinational Force in Lebanon, in which 241 U.S. and 58 French forces were killed. Although the group has never officially claimed responsibility, the attacks were widely blamed on Hizbullah. The article lists several additional attacks against U.S. forces and interests in Lebanon in 1983, including several against Marines forces and an assault against the U.S. embassy in Beirut, noting that these attacks led then U.S. President Ronald Reagan to move U.S. forces from the Lebanese capital to warships off the coast in February 1984, only to complete withdraw them two weeks later.

The Al-Akhbar daily mentions that after initially accusing Russia and Syria of masterminding the attack, after a few years the U.S. began to pin blame on "the jihadis close to Iran," claiming that "the groups which Hizbullah returned and was founded from" had perpetrated it and singling out senior Hizbullah leader Imad Mughniyeh. Noting that former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld referred to the attacks as "the biggest terrorist attack against the U.S. before September 11," the article disputes former U.S. President George H.W. Bush's description of the perpetrators as "a group of treacherous, cowardly terrorists," pointing out that even Rumsfeld said: "I do not think that a group of people prepared to drive a truck, blow it up, and kill themselves is a group of cowards."

Referring to the current situation in the area, the author writes: "Forty years after one of the most important operations of resistance to the American occupation in the region, the U.S. leaders are repeating the same show-off scenario. A few days ago, the U.S. announced that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordered 2,000 American soldiers to prepare for the possibility of participating in the war alongside Israel. Specialists said that this group of militaries would not perform combat missions, only logistical support, but more soldiers might be sent in the future to perform combat missions. If the U.S. decides to directly enter the ongoing war, Lebanon and the region have people expecting their arrival, including Lebanese adhering to the campaign by the Ministry of Tourism, greeting them: 'Welcome.'"



[1] Al-akhbar.com, October 23, 2023.

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