Ken Collins: History repeats itself
June 2, 2014
April 1983. The U.S. embassy was bombed in Beirut, killing 63, including 17 Americans. Secretary of Defense Weinberger and Democrats urged President Ronald Reagan not to deploy Marines in civil war-torn Lebanon. He did anyway. But he wanted them as "peacekeepers" and not seem "warlike." They were at the airport, in barracks protected by Marine guards with no bullets in their rifles, behind a flimsy plywood and wire barrier, with the Lebanese Army checking incoming vehicles.
Oct. 23, 1983. A truck pulls up, detonates and 241 U.S. Marines are killed, the most in a single day since Iwo Jima. The press went nuts, blaming Reagan for putting Marines in an indefensible situation. House Speaker Tip O'Neill (D) was livid. But in a closed Democratic caucus, told them, "Do not criticize, but support the president." It's a time "for patriotism, not partisanship."
March 1984. U.S. embassy in Beirut was attacked and Station Chief Bill Buckley was kidnapped and tortured and killed. Reagan promised to beef up security.
September 1984. U.S. embassy in Beirut was attacked for the third time in 18 months. Jihadists bombed the annex, which had not yet been reinforced. Reagan's comment to America: "Anyone who's ever had their kitchen done over knows that it never gets done as soon as you wish it would." The Democrats held one inquiry.
1987. Reagan was caught selling missiles to the terrorist state of Iran, in violation of the law and an American arms embargo. He sent the funds to the Contras, a Nicaraguan terrorist group fighting the Sandinistas, a different terrorist group. Secretary of State George Schultz warned him "it was an impeachable offense." Reagan's deed set off more Middle East hostage takings. Reagan flat-out lied to the American public when he denied any knowledge of it. A week later, documents with Reagan's signature, were found that authorized the sale. The Democratically held Congress, again, instead of impeaching, worked with Senate Republicans to drop impeachment plans and work out a deal to allow the president to finish his term.
2014. With midterms coming, we have the GOP, trying for the umpteenth time to find something from the four killed in Benghazi to nail on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and maybe even impeach Obama. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you, today's GOP.
God, please, bless America.