"Many will recall with pain what we went through in the Reagan administration in 1983, when the Marine barracks were bombed in Beirut-241 Marines and Navy corpsmen were killed. We immediately got an intercept from NSA [National Security Agency], a total smoking gun from the foreign ministry of Iran, ordering the murder of our Marines. Nothing was done to retaliate.
"Instead, we did exactly what the terrorists wanted us to do, which was to withdraw. Osama bin Laden has cited this as one of his dawning moments. The vaunted United States is a paper tiger; Americans are afraid of casualties; they run like cowards when attacked; and they don't even bother to take their dead with them. This was a seminal moment for Osama.
"After that, we had our CIA station chief kidnapped and tortured to death. Nothing was done. Then, we had our Marine Colonel [William R.] Higgins kidnapped and publicly hanged. Nothing was done. We fuelled and made these people aware of the tremendous effectiveness of terrorism as a tool of jihad. It worked. They chased us out of one place after another, because we would not retaliate."
Hat Tip; A Collection of Thoughts
Added to the Beltway Traffic Jam on Outside the Beltway.