BY EDWARD MILLER
A dangerous attitude pervasive in Washington is that acting as Israel's errand boy in the Mideast carries little or no risk. Experience suggests otherwise.
During Israel's 1982 genocidal War in Lebanon, while she was butchering some 30,000 Palestinian refugees, destroying Beirut and forcing that city's half a million citizens to flee to the suburbs, Israel's Washington lobbyist talked President Reagan into joining the slaughter. Reagan obliged by ordering his battleship, the USS New Jersey, sitting off Lebanon's coast, to hurl shells into those towns around Beirut to which the refugees were fleeing. The Lebanese did not forget this little gesture and not long after, on October 23, 1983, 264 US Marines in our security force paid with their lives for Reagan's act when a car bomb exploded next to their barracks.
In another little episode, just ten years go this month, long forgotten by Americans, but still alive in the minds of thousands of Mideast peoples, our CIA's William Casey, attempting to murder Sheik Muhammed Fedlallah (spiritual leader of Lebanese Shiites), which a truck bomb placed outside a Beirut mosque, killed 81 innocent bystanders and injured hundreds. The Sheik escaped. Bob Woodward in his carefully-researched 1987 book Veil reported Israeli agents had manufactured and set off that bomb for our CIA. The well-laundered funding for the disaster had been deposited in Casey's secret account by none other than the Saudi's Prince Bandar. (Spotlight, July 15)
Now, in a repetition of the 1980s, 19 U.S. Marine have just been killed and another 30 injured by a bomb in their barracks in Dhahran. Washington is frantically pointing fingers in all the wrong directions. While we are still starving thousands of Iraqi children and Clinton with his friend Peres on the Whitehouse lawn has just celebrated Israel's recent slaughter of 208 Lebanese while driving 400,000 from their homes, has it occurred to Washington that someone in the Mideast might take offense?
On March 26th, 1989, Ex-President Jimmie Carter, in an interview for The New York Times, said: "You have only to go to Lebanon, to Syria, to Jordan to witness first-hand the intense hatred among many peoples for the United States, because we bombed and shelled and unmercifully killed totally innocent villagers, women and children and farmers and housewives, in those villages around Beirut...as a result, we have become a kind of Satan in the minds of those who are deeply resentful. That is what precipitated the taking of hostages and that is what has precipitated some of the terrorist attacks."
"International terrorism," a term carelessly bandied about in our Capital these days has always been in response to either our own or Israel's barbarism. Those U.S. Marines were killed, neither in Lebanon nor in Saudi Arabia but in Tel Aviv and Washington.