Talk:1983 Beirut barracks bombings

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Bank Markazi v. Peterson[edit]

Should be added — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:37, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

Is this really a terrorist incident?[edit]

The Definitions of terrorism page says the following about terrorism: " Generally speaking a definition of terrorism should examine each of the four major criteria, which are as follows:

Target. It is commonly held that the distinctive nature of terrorism lies in its deliberate and specific selection of civilians (or military personnel not on active combat duty) as targets. Furthermore, an act is more likely to be considered terrorism if it targets a general populace than if it purposefully targets a specific individual or group. See also noncombatant and collateral damage. This criterion excludes conventional warfare in accordance with the laws of war, attacks on military targets during time of war, and guerilla warfare and revolution. "

Does anyone really believe that the attack on the Beirut barracks meets this definition? I don't think it does, so this incident should not be classified as "terrorist incident".—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 21:57, 26 January 2005.

I agree, I don't think this was a "terrorist" attack per se. It was a terrorist attack insofar as it was an attack, allegedly, committed by a group that is often thought of as being a terrorist organization, but this is definitely the less accurate, and more misleading, of the two ways to characterize it. I say change it.--Clngre 21:59, May 8, 2005 (UTC)
Attacking a military target is generally not considered as a terrorist action but in this cas the US was part of a multinational force that aimed to restaure peace and was not a party of the war. The attack had a political meaning. Most important, these attacks were done by the islamic jihad (probably an alias for Hezbollah, though there's no proof on this) who deliberately targetted civilians in other actions and thus could be labelled as a terrorist movement. Finally , it suicide car bomber, which is generally an operatory mode associated to terrorism.--equitor 12:28, 10 May 2005 (UTC)
The US supported Israel financially, and Israel attacked Lebanon. Therefore, the US could be said to have been a party of the war. Funkynusayri (talk) 16:50, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
And France? They have not been known for their pro-Israeli policies. --BoogaLouie (talk) 17:30, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
Well, now I'm not quoting anything official, but to a Lebanese Muslim, France would be considered pro-Maronite (Maronites were supported by Israel during the war), since Lebanon was created by the French as a Maronite state in the first place, and they have therefore always been favoured by the French. France occupied Lebanon for many years, so they can't exactly be labeled as neutral. Funkynusayri (talk) 17:36, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

America supported Israel that does make them a party of war, they also supported certain militant groups in East Beirut and didnt disarm them, this was also another goal they didnt achieve nor did they stay in Lebanon to protect the Lebanese and Palestinians of Sabre and Chatila. Both France and America were supporting a war, Christian Phalangist Militants and Israelis, the only neutral party in this is Italy. France and America were as guilty as Iran and Russia but the difference is Russia didnt attack Lebanese villages the way Americans and French did. But like the Iranian they had soldiers who were supporting a side. Seriously if your not Lebanese you will never truly understand Lebanese politics and all of this many of us groupd up in this era during this time, eye witnesses. To a Lebanese Muslim today, France is neutral, and even then France and America were considered neutral until they were seen doing business with the Christian Phalangist Militants who were known to puppets of Israel. The Americans who were there to under the MNF were there to protect Beirut, at one point they started trading information with the Israelis who were in the country illegally and . read Chomski's Lebanon war and especially Pity the Nation Lebanese bebe (talk) 12:16, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Lebanese bebe Could we get a cite for the claim 'who had killed tens of thousands of people' even if it is Chomski? Foamking (talk) 04:11, 23 October 2009 (UTC)
Removed a terrorist category. This was an attack against participants in the war (Americans and the French acted on the side of the Phalangist government against Druze and Shia Lebanese), not civilians. FunkMonk (talk) 15:01, 26 March 2010 (UTC)

Great material. It is either an act or war or a terrorist attack to which it is currently labeled neither. Great material here above though. By this limited myopic POV the Us sends aid to several dozen countries every year and in any of them troops are attacked it is not a terrorist attack. Seriously, keep up the good work. The Wiki project has gone from NPOV encyclopedic material to the world's largest chronicle of epic leftist fail. No, no terrorist attack here, the US was at war with Lebanon, Syria, Iran and Hezbollah.

The US went there to protect a side in a civil war (the government/Phalangist side). That should pretty much be an act of war by itself. FunkMonk (talk) 18:10, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

Exactly, a state sponsored military can commit an act of war of course with US forces currently in 50 countries and conflict taking place in many or in extreme proximity, US is warring all over the world according to the revisionist historians. Was the USS Cole a terrorist attack?-it is not a trick question. How does a non state sponsored entity commit an act of war? Good job though, they terrorized US forces into fleeing but it was not a terrorist attack or an act of war. Keep up the good work!

Did you get lost? There are two kinds of attacks, acts of war and terrorist ones- have a country that committed an act of war here attacks the US barracks? It has to be a terrorist attack. Only in delusional bought and paid for revisionist history world can we just invent new kinds of attacks. Why not explicitly tell the world exactly why it is that you personally have invented a new kind of attack all in an effort to not call this a terrorist attack? Maybe Funkthisandthat and epifunk and littlefunkster can check and corroborate your inventing of new history where there is no act of war since there is no country and it is not a terrorist attack either. No it is some brand new third thing.

  • Are you arguing with yourself? FunkMonk (talk) 07:58, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

They just must be confused on this page? Send my regards to funk jr, little funk and funkenstein.

For the last time-there are only two types of attacks-state sponsored acts of war or terrorist attacks. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:30, 25 July 2016 (UTC)

In the US Department of Defence's report on the attack, it is mentioned that "[P]olitical and military developments on the ground in Lebanon caused the USMNF to be viewed in some quarters not as a peace-keeper, but as a belligerent." and "These then, were the events that led to the LAF's stand at Suq-Al-Gharb. In the view of the Commission, U.S. support of the LAF in that operation, timely and effective though it was, nevertheless confirmed definitively, in the eyes of the LAF's enemies, the belligerent status of the USMNF." [1]. Given these, it is not easy to consider the attack as an act of terrorism.--Xyzrt (talk) 22:12, 4 October 2016 (UTC)


A former defense secretary for Ronald Reagan says he implored the president to put Marines serving in Beirut in a safer position before terrorists attacked them in 1983, killing 241 servicemen.

"I was not persuasive enough to persuade the president that the Marines were there on an impossible mission," Caspar Weinberger says in an oral history project capturing the views of former Reagan administration officials.

Weinberger said one of his greatest regrets was in failing to overcome the arguments that "Marines don't cut and run", and 'We can't leave because we're there'" before the devastating suicide attack on the lightly armed force.

"They had no mission but to sit at the airport, which is just like sitting in a bull's-eye," Weinberger said. "I begged the president at least to pull them back and put them back on their transports as a more defensible position.".

The Joint Chiefs begged Reagan to house those men on ships, where they'd be safe, but Reagan the Idiot wanted the "symbolism" of having them in town where trucks could reach them. This is how Al Qaeda first learned that America will cut and run after you kill a bunch of soldiers. Reagan taught them that.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 23:19, 1 February 2006.

Excellent contribution! The Iranian hostage taking never happened after the Munich attack, after numerous hijackings, it was the Beirut bombing that emboldened them! USS Cole, this disco, that tube, WTC attack I-all because Reagan taught them. Keep up the good work, Wiki the perfect chronicler of epic fail left wing policy.

Deadliest attack?[edit]

The attack remains the deadliest post-World War II attack on Americans overseas.

Can this be true? Wasn't there even a single incident during the Korean War, Vietnam Conflict, Gulf War, Gulf War II, African Embassy Bombings, Kosovo, attacks by Israel and Bin-Laden, or during an airplane bombing that exceeded 241 deaths + 60 injuries?

Lockerbie killed 270, but only 189 were Americans. The Tết Offensive supposedly killed 4,324 allied forces (I dunno how many were Americans, but that wasn't exactly a single attack, anyway, no?), The embassy bombings number 220+6000 (how do deaths vs. injuries account?)

- Eric 13:42, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

The sentence is true as far as I can tell. The only gray areas would be the Korean War and Vietnam War, as I can't find out what the deadliest attacks were in those wars. But I'm absolutely sure no terrorist or enemy attack has even come close to inflicting 241 deaths in the past 30 or so years. PBP 15:11, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

Almost certainly the Battle of Chosin Reservoir[1] during the Korean war had one of its days which saw more casualties than that attack. At the Wikipedia page of the battle one can read that it lasted 16 days, and killed almost 6.000 UN troops (375/day on average. Obviously some days were much more bloodier than others). BUT, though the bulk of this force was the first marine division, I must reckon this was a multinational force (few British and Korean forces) and had some US army units attached to the 1st Marines. In other words, a bit more of research could prove the Korean war had one day which was deadlier for the Marines than the Beirut attack. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:54, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

"Many Believe"[edit]

I noticed the use of that phrase in the article when asserting Hezbollah was responsible. I have no doubt that many do believe Hezbollah was responsible, but I was wondering if that could be better cited? Isn't "many believe", like "some say", an example of uncited writing? Just a thought.The Shrike 23:31, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

There seem to be several POV problems in this entry, I'd say to the point that it needs a cleanup tag. Manys (talk) 21:21, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Hezballah was not a group at this time, there is no reason why anyone should even make that assumption. The fact is simple, people who were in Islamic Jihad, some people later joined Hezballah, same thing with harakeit Amal or the Amal movement, although at one point Amal and Hezballah were enemies eventually some of the Amal men joined Hezballah, so just because someone who would later join Hezballah but was in Islamic Jihad 2 years earlier doesnt mean you can say Hezballah did it, this is biased. And obviously propaganda. The sad part is its not many people who believe this, only America, Israel, Britain and Australia have Hezballah on a terrorist list. You must not forget how Hezballah was created or why. It was created as a result of Israel's illegal invasion and occupation of South Lebanon and the oppression of the Lebanese people. So what will you cite your work with? Biased cites... Lebanese bebe (talk) 12:21, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

it should read imad mugnieh not hezbullah cause thats what you call time paradox.I edited it.--Nader ecl (talk) 15:36, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Your addition is unreferenced. Socrates2008 (Talk) 23:24, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

well it is widely believed to be attributed to imad mugnieh .--Nader ecl (talk) 19:29, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

See weasel words. Socrates2008 (Talk) 03:55, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

minor edit[edit]

Just cleaned up some spelling errors and re-established links in the following section:

In his book "By Way of Deception : The Making and Unmaking of a Mossad Officer, Victor Ostrovsky claims that Mossad knew in advance of the attack, but did not warn the United States [6].There have been claims that Israel wanted US and French troops to leave Lebanon so it could freely operate in Lebanon without restriction. The removal of US and French tropps allowed the Israelis to support the Phalangists in their massacre of the Palestinians in the Shantilla and Sabra camps [2]-- cheers Guss 07:53, 13 August 2006 (UTC)

Dan I am not a member but do your homework! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:43, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Guss Lebanese civilians were also killed in the Sabre and Chatila massacres. Lebanese bebe (talk) 12:23, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

a couple of thousand lebanese shias were also killed--Nader ecl (talk) 15:37, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

The idea that Israel supported the massacre is unsubstantiated. Not only that. Sharon sued for libel in US courts and won his case. Legally, the US courts supported the claim that the media allegation that Israel / Sharon supported the massacre were lies. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:35, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Provocation for Bombing[edit]

I am surprised that no one added the provocation for Hezzbollah's barracks bombing? The bombing was in response to the US Navy firing on Hezzbollah's targets, despite the ship commander's objections. This was just televised and I didn't think to write it down, so I don't have a source yet. Once I do I will post it here. MPA 10:59pm, August 14, 2006

Iranian Involvement[edit]

Until 19 September 2006 this article contained the sentence "In retaliation for the attacks, France launched an air strike in the Beqaa Valley against Iranian Revolutionary Guard positions" under the "Response" section.

There is no evidence that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard had any presence in Lebabon at the time. To claim that the French attacked IRG position in the Beqaa is incorrect and misleading.

With respect to the involvement of Iran, the New York Times reported on 29 October 1983: "Reagan Administration now assumes Iranian Govt played key role in bombing of US and French installations in Beirut; Donald H Rumsfeld or Alfred L Atherton Jr reportedly may be named special envoy to region; US reportedly may ask Lebanon to close Iranian Embassy, apparent nerve center for attack, and may stage commando raid against Baalbek area held by Shiites; illustration". (NYT 29 October 1983 "Reagan Adm now assumes Iranian Govt played key role in bombing")

On 24 October The New York Times reported: "When pressed by reporters about American reports linking the attacks with Iranian groups, the Prime Minister said, 'We don't have information on this point.'" (NYT 24 October 1983 "France has no plans to pull out troops")

The assertion that France bombed IRG positions strongly implied that Iran had a military personnel presence in Lebanon at the time, which is incorrect. Such assertions should not be made without supporting refences. I have removed the assertion from this article. --Richard Scrivener, Centre for Arab & Islamic Studies, Australian National University 07:15, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Do you even know what a Shitte is? I love how people use that word or the word Muslim as if it justifies raids or attacks. Shittes aka Shias are a religious sect of Islam comparable to Catholics, while their counterparts, Sunnis are comparable to Protestants. So rephrase your comment: Donald H Rumsfeld or Alfred L Atherton Jr reportedly may be named special envoy to region; US reportedly may ask Lebanon to close Iranian Embassy, apparent nerve center for attack, and may stage commando raid against Baalbek area held by CATHOLICS; illustration", please dont do that again I dont think you would like that. Muslim doesnt equal terrorist. You spread hate that way, its disgusting

So an area held by Shittes means the U.S is admitting its killing Lebanese Muslim Shitte aka Shia civilians... Lebanese bebe (talk) 12:26, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Is it possible to investigate the role of Keith "Captain Crunch" Hall in the aftermath of the CIA investigation? Does anyone know his role and provide some details around his involvement, investigation and subsequent firing? He was fired from the CIA for "excessive force" in his interrogation techniques (see History Channel's "Heroes Under Fire" Episode "Captain Crunch"). Does this mean torture? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Spyfor (talkcontribs) 00:15, 10 March 2009 (UTC)

Poor intel by the author above. Keith ( a personal friend ) was never SEAL. It was a Marine Barracks that was bombed. Keith was NamEra Marine, then LEO then CIA. His father was a WWII PoW taken on Corregidor, His son a GW1 Marine and now LEO.

Picture of Crunch on a Op in South America: span class="plainlinks"> (( be nice to know how to ad pictures in a simple manner to items like this))

The scandals of the Nixon years put the CIA under unprecedented scrutiny. Over the next three decades spying schools and most human-intelligence networks were gradually dismantled. The United States itself was losing its stomach for hands-on intelligence gathering—and with it, interrogation.

Nobody experienced the effects of this shift more dramatically than Keith Hall, who earned the nickname Captain Crunch before he lost his job as a CIA agent. Now he describes himself as "a poster child for political correctness." He is a pugnacious brick of a man, who at age fifty-two is just a thicker (especially in the middle) version of the young man who joined the Marines thirty years ago. After his discharge he earned a master's degree in history and international relations; he took a job as a police officer, because he craved a more physical brand of excitement than academia had to offer. His nickname comes from this craving.

The CIA hired Hall immediately after he applied, in 1979, because of his relatively rare combination of academic and real-world credentials. He was routed into the Investigation and Analysis Directorate, where he became one of the Agency's covert operators, a relatively small group ("about forty-eight guys, total," Hall says) known as the "knuckle-draggers." Most CIA agents, especially by the 1980s, were just deskmen.

Hall preferred traveling, training, and blowing things up, even though he felt that the rest of the Agency looked down its patrician nose at guys like him. When the U.S. Embassy in Beirut was bombed, on April 18, 1983, eight of the seventeen Americans killed were CIA employees. There were going to be plenty of official investigations, but the Agency wanted one of its own. Hall was selected to carry it out.

"They flew me to Langley on one of their private planes, and delivered me to the seventh floor," he says. "They told me, 'We want you to go to Beirut and find out who blew up the embassy and how they did it. The President himself is going to be reading your cables. There is going to be some retribution here.'"

Hall was honored, and excited. This was a mission of singular purpose, of the highest priority, and he knew he was expected to get results. Having been a police officer and a Marine, he knew that the official investigations had to build a case that might someday stand up in court. His goal was not to build a case but just to find out who did it.

He slept on rooftops in Beirut, changing the location every two nights. It was a dangerous time to be an American—especially a CIA officer—there, and Hall kept moving. He worked with the Lebanese Special Security Force, and set up a computer in the police building.

Hall says he took part without hesitation in brutal questioning by the Lebanese, during which suspects were beaten with clubs and rubber hoses or wired up to electrical generators and doused with water. Such methods eventually led him to the suspected "paymaster" of the embassy bombing, a man named Elias Nimr. "He was our biggest catch," Hall says—a man with powerful connections. "When I told the Lebanese Minister of Defense, I watched the blood drain out of his face."

Nimr was a fat, pampered-looking twenty-eight-year-old, used to living the good life, a young man of wealth, leisure, and power. He came to the police building wearing slacks, a shiny sport shirt, and Gucci shoes. He had a small, well-trimmed moustache at the center of his soft, round face, and wore gold on his neck, wrists, and fingers. When he was marched into the building, Hall says, some of the officers "tried to melt into the shadows" for fear of eventual retribution. Nimr was nonchalant and smirking in his initial interview, convinced that when word got back to his family and connections, he would promptly be released.

When Hall got a chance to talk to him, he set out to disabuse Nimr. "I'm an American intelligence officer," he said. "You really didn't think that you were going to blow up our embassy and we wouldn't do anything about it, did you? You really should be looking inside yourself and telling yourself that it's a good idea to talk to me. The best way to go is to be civilized ... I know you think you are going to walk right out of here in a few minutes. That's not going to happen. You're mine. I'm the one who will make the decisions about what happens to you. The only thing that will save your ass is to cooperate." Nimr smiled at him dismissively.

The next time they met, Nimr wasn't in such good shape. In this case his connections were failing him. No one had roughed him up, but he had been kept standing for two days. Hall placed him in a straight-backed metal chair, with hot floodlights in his face. The agent sat behind the light, so that Nimr couldn't see him. Nimr wasn't as cocky, but he was still silent.

At the third interrogation session, Hall says, he kicked Nimr out of his chair. It was the first time anyone had physically abused him, and he seemed stunned. He just stared at Hall. He hadn't eaten since his arrest, four days earlier. But he still had nothing to say.

"I sent him back to his cell, had water poured over him again and again while he sat under a big fan, kept him freezing for about twenty-four hours. He comes back after this, and you can see his mood is changing. He hasn't walked out of jail, and it's beginning to dawn on him that no one is going to spring him."

Over the next ten days Hall kept up the pressure. During the questioning sessions he again kicked Nimr out of his chair, and both he and the Lebanese captain involved cracked him occasionally across the shins with a wooden bat. Finally Nimr broke. According to Hall, he explained his role in the bombing, and in the assassination of Lebanon's President. He explained that Syrian intelligence agents had been behind the plan. (Not everyone in the CIA agrees with Hall's interpretation.)

Soon afterwards Nimr died in his cell. Hall was back in Washington when he heard the news. He assumed that Nimr had been killed to prevent him from testifying and naming others involved in the plot. Armed with tapes of Nimr's confession, Hall felt he had accomplished his mission; but several months after finishing his report he was fired. As he understood it, word had leaked out about torture sessions conducted by a CIA agent, and the U.S. government was embarrassed.

None of the men charged was ever prosecuted for the bombing. Hall believes that the United States may have paid dearly for backing away from his investigation and letting the matter drop. William Buckley, who was Hall's station chief, was subsequently kidnapped, tortured, and killed. He was among fourteen Western civilians kidnapped in Beirut in 1984. In October of the previous year, 241 American servicemen were killed in the bombing of their barracks at the Beirut airport. Some analysts believe that all these atrocities were committed by the same group, the one Hall believes he unearthed in his investigation. Still bitter about it nineteen years later, Hall says, "No one was punished for it, except me!"

Hall sees the loss of his career as dramatic proof that the CIA sold out to the "tree huggers" two decades ago, and points with scorn to a directive from President Bill Clinton that effectively barred intelligence agents from doing business with unsavory characters. The full-scale U.S. retreat from the uglier side of espionage is well documented—but has, by all accounts, been sharply reversed in the aftermath of 9/11.

Joessoft (talk) 21:06, 13 December 2012 (UTC)


A Washington's federal judge determined in 2003 that Iran orchestrated the 1983 bombing and later ordered to Teheran to indemnify all the families of the victims with 2.7 billion dollars. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:29, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

Mind you, Iran is not a signatory party to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and is in no way bound to respect or even acknowledge the order. Although Iran is evidently culpable for the crime itself, nations are not subject to courts: they are subject to military action and foreign policy. It is entirely a show of good faith as to whether a nation decides to honour or humour such a judgement, something that Iran is most certainly not likely to uphold. -- (talk) 08:08, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

Iran isn't bound to it, but it's still relevant and a piece of news that a judge did order this, finding Iran guilty in the process. --Activism1234 13:19, 11 July 2012 (UTC)

"I've ordered the use of naval gunfire."- Reagan, Sept.11,1983[edit]

diary entries: President Reagan, Sept,11,1983. source: Reagan, Ronald, An American Life: The Autobiography, New York: Simon & Shuster, 1990, p. 446.

I have found a good source in regard to the lead up of US Navy involvements in Lebanon : Lebanon 1982-1984 by John H. Kelly

("John H. Kelly is managing director of International Equity Partners, Washington, D.C. He served as U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon from 1986 to 1988, Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East and South Asia from 1989 to 1991, and U.S. Ambassador to Finland from 1991 to 1994.")

Lebanon 1982-1984 by John H. Kelly : In the weeks following the attack on Marines at Beirut International Airport, U.S. ships of the Sixth Fleet responded with naval gunfire. Two more Marines were killed on September 6. Druze and Palestinian militia forces engaged in intense fighting against Christian forces over areas in the Shuf mountains evacuated by withdrawing Israeli forces. Shultz had wanted the Israelis to remain in the Shuf so as not to reward Syrian intransigence in refusing to accept the May 17 agreement.[40]

As the fighting between Lebanese Armed Forces and the militia groups intensified, McFarlane and his team at the American ambassador's residence came under fire from the battle lines five kilometers away. McFarlane sent a flash cable to Washington stating that "there is a serious threat of a decisive military defeat which could involve the fall of the Government of Lebanon within twenty-four hours." McFarlane urged that the rules of engagement for U.S. forces be modified "to allow our forces to fire in support of the Lebanese Army."[41] Despite Weinberger's opposition (he described the message as "McFarlane's `sky is falling' cable")[42] President Reagan approved the recommendation. The Americans began to fire in support of the Lebanese Army.

Some of the naval gunfire was directed at Druze emplacements. This was widely and correctly viewed in Lebanon as U.S. intervention on the side of the Christians and the government. In mid-September the battleship New Jersey was dispatched to Lebanese waters to bring its sixteen-inch guns into play.

With the death of the two Marines on August 29, a furor arose in the American Congress as to whether or not the War Powers Resolution should be invoked to limit the duration of the Marine deployment in Lebanon. Some members sought a six-month limit. When it became clear that some limiting legislation would pass, the administration held out for and won an eighteen-month authorization. Secretary Shultz defended the U.S. contribution to the MNF in hearings before the Foreign Relations Committees of both houses of Congress. He justified the presence as "to help insure the Lebanese Government's sovereignty and authority . . . to assure the safety of the people in the area and to end the violence. . . . " Shultz described U.S. intervention in the Shuf battles as due to concern "that key strategic positions in the vicinity of Beirut, which are vital to the safety of our Marines, of other American military and diplomatic personnel, and to the security of Beirut, have recently come under attack." [43]

The testimony by Shultz did not square with what was discussed in private, as we now know. President Reagan wrote the truth in his diary on September 11 1983:

"N. S. C. (National Security Council) is meeting . . . on Lebanon re a new cable from Bud McFarlane. Troops obviously PLO and Syrian have launched a new attack against the Lebanese Army. Our problem is do we expand our mission to aid the Lebanese Army with artillery and air support? This could be seen as putting us in the war."

"I've ordered the use of naval gunfire. My reasoning is that this can be explained as protection of our Marines hoping it might signal the Syrians to pull back."

Reagan wrote again in his diary on September 19,1983 on how to describe the Marines' role:

"N.S.C.: Our Navy guns turned loose in support of the Lebanese Army fighting to hold a position on a hill overlooking our Marines at the Beirut airport. This still comes under the head of defense."

In his congressional testimony Shultz went on to say of the Marines: "They are an important deterrent, a symbol of the international backing behind the legitimate Government of Lebanon, and an important weight in the scales. To remove the Marines would put both the Government, and what we are trying to achieve, in jeopardy." In response to a question at the hearing, Shultz replied: " . . . when America sends its forces to perform a legitimate mission . . . and then the minute some trouble arises we turn tail and beat it, I think that sends a gigantic message around the world . . . "[46]

So the Marines were a "deterrent," a "symbol," and an "important weight." They were now involved in sporadic combat. U.S. Naval forces were shelling targets up to ten kilometers away from the Marines because the targets were "key strategic positions" in the words of Shultz. That was a misleading explanation. No matter how it was described in Washington, U.S. military forces in Lebanon had begun to use their fire in support of Lebanese government forces as the Reagan diary entries show. As Richard Haass wrote in his recent book on military intervention, "The Marines and the MNF as a whole had come to be perceived as a hand-maiden of Lebanon's Christian-dominated government. . . . As a result, the MNF became a de facto participant in Lebanon's internecine struggles."[47] continued...

Lebanon 1982-1984 by John H. Kelly :

I added the external link above to main page Guss 09:40, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

In the same vein, I added an internal link to Souk_El_Gharb#Battle_of_Souk_El_Gharb_of_September_1983Godspeed John Glenn! Will 15:33, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

largest non-nuclear explosion DELIBERATELY detonated up to that time[edit]

i had previously made that edit, blindly copying the finding of fact of the federal district court judge. what do these judges know anyway? it was correctly pointed out that it was not, that indeed there is even a wiki page on large explosions. the largest ever was the halifax, nova scotia harbour munitions explosion world war i. What is true though, it that the barracks bombing was the largest, heretofore, deliberately set. Godspeed John Glenn! Will 15:21, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Re: "largest non-nuclear explosion DELIBERATELY detonated up to that time"[edit]

See article: Heligoland#History

I hate to say this but... the "single largest deliberate non-nuclear detonation" occured in Germany. On April 18 1947 British forces attempted to level the German island of Heligoland (also known as Helgoland) using no less than four thousand tons (by conservative estimates) or 6,800 tons (more liberal estimate) of convensional explosives. The detonation re-shaped the island and even made an entry in the Guiness Book of Records. See List of the largest artificial non-nuclear explosions#1901–2000 Mkhkoh 06:22, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

That was the finding of the U.S. district court judge in a U.S. lawsuit. But he also found Hezbollah set off the detonation. And that is not entirely proven. So, he could've been mistaken about the detonation too. if the Helgoland detonation exceeds the tonnage of the Barracks, then make the appropriate edit. I have no problem with. Godspeed John Glenn! Will 09:47, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

The attack on Heligoland used more tonnage, but it was from thousands of seperate explosive devices exploding at different times in different places. The Barrack attack was one bomb, one explosion, so you cannot compare the two attacks. -DM

Actually, the Helgoland detonation made the entry as "the biggest non-nuclear single detonation in history" [2] but i do agree with you in that it wasn't sourced from a single explosive. The article provides proper citation regarding the district court's findings on the issue-- i believe it is relevant and informative and should be kept as is. Mkhkoh 00:50, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

No matter how you parse it, the judge's statement is incorrect. The Beirut bombing involved about 6 tons of high explosive. On May 7th, 1945, in order to calibrate instruments for the upcoming Trinity fission bomb test, 108 tons of a TNT/RDX mixture were detonated [3] 800 yards from where the Trinity test was eventually fired. This was a single, deliberate non-nuclear detonation, of about eighteen times the quantity of high explosives as in the Beirut bombing. John Walker ( (talk) 21:34, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Semi-protection please[edit]

Repeated anonymous vandalisms: - good version. --HanzoHattori 18:41, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Broken citation[edit]

I found that the citation <ref name="wp"> is broken. There is no first instance of this. I'd appreciate help in locating the citation. 21:44, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

I found it looking through the history - from the Washington Post. — ERcheck (talk) 21:50, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

French Barracks[edit]

Anyone know where the French barracks was located? I understand it may have been about 4km away... Socrates2008 02:46, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

The article is still largely US-centric - not a single image of French barracks, injuries or military funeral etc. I know this is the English WP, but that should not result in such bias. Socrates2008 (Talk) 10:04, 22 February 2010 (UTC)

Recent Changes[edit]

Recent changes including naming Hezbollah as perpetrator are problematic. Hezbollah was not constituted until 1985. Moreover there are conflicting theories and evidence that point in several directions as to perpetrators.

Also a background section was added in the last couple of days based merely on Robert (Bud) McFarlane's claims. McFarlane has not just had his claims contested, he has had them thoroughly debunked, and specifically was convicted In US federal courts of four counts lying before congress. McFarlane is currently on the board on the board of Washington Institute for Near East Policy which is closely associated with th AIPAC,and is not a neutral party even today. The McFarlane book cited serves mainly as a polemic against other Reagean officials, Don Regan, Alexander Haig, George Shultz and Richard Poindexter and its presentation as fact our even a valid source is more than a problem without significant multiple source corroboration. —Preceding unsigned comment added by FortunateC (talkcontribs) 10:44, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

changed "According to some observers" (another person who has claimed there was little or no retaliation for the blast was Thomas Friedman. He said it after the 9/11 attack) --BoogaLouie (talk) 19:36, 8 March 2009 (UTC)


The retaliation by the French and Americans was not mere shelling, whoever wrote that has no respect for the innocent dead Lebanese. The retaliation was severe and hundreds were killed. A U.S navel war ship repeatedly bombed Lebanese villages and French planes attacked. Innocent people were killed in the hundreds, people were crushed in their homes.Lebanese bebe (talk) 12:33, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

I have reverted your edits as they are often rambling, unsourced and/or too strongly Hezbollah/Syrian/IRI point-of-view. I will work have tried to re-edited the article to work in your arguements. --BoogaLouie (talk) 15:07, 8 March 2009 (UTC)
Do not delete sourced information. Ranstorp is a noted scholar. --BoogaLouie (talk) 15:19, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

photo is incorrect[edit]

The photograph of Reagan touring the caskets belongs with the U.S. embassy bombing article. The photograph was taken on April 23, 1983 - five days after the embassy bombing (and months before the barracks bombing).

See: Rdhulljr (talk) 23:29, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Mossad involvement[edit]

From the Wikipedia article (with my own emphasis): The former Mossad agent Victor Ostrovsky has accused Mossad of knowing of the plans for the bombing, but not informing the US government (Ostrovsky 1991). It has been suggested that the reason that Israel did not inform the US was that the withdrawal of US and French forces prevented them from interfering with Israeli operations in Lebanon.[45] Supporters of this argument such as Benny Morris, David Wise and others have argued that Ostrovsky's charges are actually true.[46][47]

When following the citation that tells us what Morris thinks about this, you see that he actually argues that the Ostrovsky's story is mostly fabricated. That's quite far a statement from the claim made in the Wikipedia article. For completeness, I quote Morris (again, with my own emphasis): [Ostrovsky] did not have and could not have much knowledge of then current Mossad operations, let alone operational history. [...] To spice up the "product," as it is called in the trade, Ostrovsky threw in sex (orgies at the Mossad guest-house) and the odd (mostly fabicated) "wet" story, such as that the Mossad knew in advance of the 1983 Shi'ite truck-bombing of the U.S. Marines dormitory in Beirut, in which 241 service-men died, but had failed to inform the American in time.

So, in short, I think someone needs to edit the Wikipedia article so that it is aligned with what it cites.

I should also add that the claim that David Wise supports this argument of Ostrovsky is another mistake, which should be fixed as well; just read Wise's cited article. (talk) 09:40, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

The USS Liberty incident is compared to the Beirut Barracks bombing concerning the manner in which orchestrated coverups surrounding both events occurred.[2] It is accepted Israel had prior knowledge of the impending attack and withheld it, costing American lives.[3] Former Israeli intelligent officers have only lent credibility to common knowledge concerning Israel's use of proxies for false flag terrorism to blame their enemies in discussing revelations that Mossad had prior knowledge of the impending Beirut Barracks bombings.[4] Their favorite target for blame are Muslims and Middle East entities so as to keep the United States in their political camp and divided from Israel's opponents in the region.[4]
In Reagan's diaries, he wrote the intelligence wasn't clear who was responsible when the event happened, and was experiencing a difficult relationship with Menachem Begin over Reagan's reluctance to fully comply with their foreign policy desires. Begin's Likud Party is who has ultimately hijacked Capitol Hill militantly and America following 9/11--they're called the Neo-Cons.
  1. ^
  2. ^ "The politics of anti-Semitism", Alexander Cockburn, Jeffrey St. Clair. AK Press, 2003. ISBN 1902593774, 9781902593777. p. 123
  3. ^ "Israeli Secret Services", Frank Clements. Transaction Publishers, 2008. ISBN 1412808146, 9781412808149. p. 18
  4. ^ a b "Iraq, Lies, Cover-Ups, and Consequences", Rodney Stich. Silverpeak Enterprises, 2005. ISBN 0932438229, 9780932438225. p. 331

HJ Mitchell Clone (talk) 02:24, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Dead link 3[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

--JeffGBot (talk) 03:18, 7 June 2011 (UTC)

Dead link 4[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

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Dead link 5[edit]

During several automated bot runs the following external link was found to be unavailable. Please check if the link is in fact down and fix or remove it in that case!

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Dead link 6[edit]

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Dead link 7[edit]

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US bias[edit]

The article is still primarily focused on the attack on the US story when the second bomb was equally cataclysmic for the French. For example:

  • The article name suggests only a single bombing ("1983 Beirut barracks bombing" not "1983 Beirut barracks bombings").
  • Two pictures of the US barracks, and no picture of the French barracks
  • All the pictures and videos are US-centric

Socrates2008 (Talk) 21:11, 22 February 2013 (UTC)

Agree! The main entry 1983 Beirut Barracks Bombing is incorrect. It should read: Bombings with an 's'. I found two pictures: one of the 'Drakkar' building and another of the French memorial to those who died. I uploaded both to use in this article. I could not discover where the French memorial is actually located.
Aspencork (talk) 20:24, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

The "Response"[edit]

The excerpted passage below seems to imply that General Colin Powell is commenting on the U.S.S. New Jersey's February 1984 shelling of Druze and Syrian positions. Such criticism of an event after the BLT bombing seems absurd, so the quote seems to be out of context.

COL Geraghty's notable criticism of the decision to employ naval gun-fire pertains to a September 19, 1983, incident. If this Powell comment is echoing Geraghty's POV, then it makes more sense . . . but as presently written, it does not make sense. Would somebody with more knowledge of Powell's quote please verify and correct.

Note, the U.S.S. New Jersey hadn't yet arrived on the scene by September 19th; so, it was not involved in that naval gun-fire incident. It arrived off Beirut on September 25th.

Excerpted WIKI passage under "Response":

On February 8, 1984, USS New Jersey (BB-62) fired almost 300 shells at Druze and Syrian positions in the Bekaa Valley east of Beirut. This was the heaviest shore bombardment since the Korean War.[34] New Jersey's shells killed probably hundreds of people, mostly Shiites and Druze.[35] In his memoir, General Colin Powell (at the time an assistant to Caspar Weinberger) noted that "When the shells started falling on the Shiites, they assumed the American ‘referee’ had taken sides."[36] Some analysts subsequently criticized the decision to have U.S. warships shell Druze and Syrian forces. They claim that this action forced a shift in the previously neutral U.S. forces by convincing local Lebanese Muslims that the U.S. had taken the Christian side.[37]

Aspencork (talk) 15:04, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

UPDATE: I examined and read this Powell quote within the context of the narrative in his autobiography. Powell was factually incorrect in insinuating that the barracks bombing was a reprisal for shelling by the New Jersey: the barracks bombing preceded all of the New Jersey shellings. Powell was also factually wrong in the numbers he cited as casualty figures.

Aspencork (talk) 20:14, 19 August 2013 (UTC)

Sassy ?[edit]


"In the attack on the French barracks, the nine-story 'Drakkar' building, 58 paratroopers from the 1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment were killed and 15 injured minutes after the attack, in France's single worst military loss since the end of the Algerian War.[5] The wife and four children of a Lebanese janitor at the French building were also killed.[6]"

Can you tell me how it's relevant to write this? thank you ! ~~Swax~~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:16, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

241 U.S. service personnel died[edit]

220 Marines and 21 other service personnel. And no where in the article does it mention numbers.

I think that's pertinent.

241 U.S. service personnel died[edit]

220 Marines and 21 other service personnel. And no where in the article does it mention numbers.

I think that's pertinent.

plagiarism problem[edit]

Citation number 88 is plagiarized in that whole paragraph leading up to the citation in the text. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:36, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

Repaired omitted quotation marks. Aspencork (talk) 04:02, 22 June 2014 (UTC)


I see OJOM has repeatedly added a large amount of detail, including lists, to this article, and also added non-neutral language such as "martyrs", removed links and placed links in citations. It's time to discuss these changes. Overall I agree with the editors who have reverted thse changes; Wikipedia is not a memorial and we must strive to be neutral. But it is possible there are some details that should be incorporated. For example, OJOM added additional French regiments/units? What was the source for that? Yngvadottir (talk) 20:04, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

Article on Lebanese Presidency following visit of French Defense Authorities[edit]

This article brought to you by the Lebanese[edit]

It should unequivocally state that in the header. No it is just a coincidence a bunch of Lebanese edited the same article and are not calling this either an act or war by the Lebanese government which is obviously not the case or a terrorist attack. We invented a new type of attack it is the " just because" attack!

Role of the US State Department[edit]

I'm repeating some "oral history" here, so no sources but it might be worth looking into. The story we were told was that the Marine Commander was prevented by the US State Department from fortifying the compound and arming the guards, in order to prevent preventing a "hostile posture" to the local population. A GS something-or-other over-rode the military commander on the ground's military judgement and as a result hundreds of Marines died. If true, this aspect of the story merits inclusion.Jonny Quick (talk) 01:13, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

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