After the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut, the President said in his autobiography that the “price we had to pay was so great, the tragedy at the barracks so enormous, and the virulent problems of Lebanon were so intractable, that it wasn’t possible to continue with the policy that had put our marines in without taking a second look at it. As President, he had very few choices and none of them easy. He didn’t want to turn tail and leave. He believed if we did that, it would say to the terrorists of the world that all it took to change American foreign policy was to murder some Americans. And, the President was a man of his word. He didn’t want to give up on the moral commitment to Israel that had originally sent our marines to Lebanon. And if we left, after more than a year of fighting and mounting chaos in Beirut, the biggest winner would be Syria, a Soviet client. The president wrote that “the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics forced us to rethink our policy there.” By early 1984, the President gave an order to evacuate all the marines to ships anchored off Lebanon. So in this podcast we’ll hear the President’s beautiful eulogy when the bodies of the slain marines were returned home…along with those Americans who were lost in the Grenada maneuver. And then, in the second half, we’ll cover how the president chose to review the Terms of Engagement after the Beirut tragedy.

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