[Editor's Note: This article was written before the TWA800 terrorist attack.]
President Clinton readily gave Israel free advice about taking risks for peace when it was hit by terrorist attacks and suicide bombings which have killed over 224 Israelis since the Oslo Peace Accords. Israel was advised to practice restraint and not to disturb the "Peace Process". Our State Dept., our President simply didn't want Israel to seek justice or take vengeance on the terrorists or their backers. Now, sadly the shoe's on the other foot. We once again hear our President saying that the terrorists who bombed the housing complex in Saudi Arabia, killing at least 19 American Airmen, will be punished. Shouldn't we turn the other cheek as we demanded of Israel? Most Americans want justice - and more.
This has happened before - often. Americans were attacked by Arab terrorists and our politicians jump to center stage promising retribution. They pose heroically for photos; make sad speeches; promise the families left to suffer that America will avenge the loved ones they have lost. After the cameras are gone, so are our politicians. Clinton is the master of the tearful eulogy but his pledges are empty.
They do absolutely nothing except when they cannot duck their responsibility simply because the culprit is caught red-handed. They only arrested Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman and his gang who bombed the World Trade Center killing 6 Americans (wounding 1000) because their secret informants revealed that he was planning to bomb the UN, the FBI building and the Lincoln and Holland tunnels. The diplomats feared that bringing a well-known Islamic terrorist to trial risked future Islamic attacks. The Wall Street Journal March 5,1993 said the US is the latest link in the Arab terrorist network with known Hamas centers operating in Chicago and Springfield, VA. Hizb'Allah is organized in Dearborn, Michigan. (1)
Let us examine US history with respect to avenging terror against Americans. No matter what the Arabs do, the US is motivated to placate them because cash flow and oil outweighs the lives of Americans. The following are only a few examples which stand out - but there are many more:
In 1972, Yassir Arafat's Force 17 (the same that assassinated the Israeli Olympic athletes in Germany) captured American Ambassador toSudan, Cleo Noel and his charg d'affaires. Communiqu s intercepted by the Mossad recorded Yassir Arafat ordering his men to execute the hostages. At Arafat's orders, they were machine-gunned. Reportedly, the Mossad gave the recorded intercepts to their counterparts in the CIA. But apparently the Nixon White House, already mired in Watergate, decided not to prosecute Arafat whose terrorist operations were supported by many Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia. Naturally, you can expect either a vociferous denial by the CIA or simply silence with the expectation that, neither this President nor Congress will demand open hearings on losing an American Ambassador so long ago. Is there a statute of limitations for capital crimes against humanity like these?:
April 18, 1983: Car bomb attack on US Embassy in Beirut kills 62 (49 Americans) wounds 120. A Lebanese military court ruled that 6 men tried in absentia for detonating a truck bomb at the US Embassy committed a political crime and cannot be punished. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility. (2)October 23, 1983: Truck bombs US Command, Beirut, kills 241 Marines wounds 40. April 1984: Car bombs French Forces, Beirut, kills 74, wounds 15. September 20, 1984: Bomb at US Embassy annex, Beirut, kills 20, wounds 16. TWA Flight 847 hijacked: US Navy diver tortured and murdered. April, 1985: Bombing of Madrid restaurant. 18 killed. Islamic Jihad linked to PLO took credit. Nov. 1995: Car bomb Riyadh, Saudi National Guard - kills 5HH Americans, injured many others.
Tracks of all these attacks killing and wounding hundreds of UN and Western forces usually led back to Assad of Syria who used Hizb'Allah (Party of G-d) and other terrorist groups as its proxy. We were supposed to be taught a lesson, i.e., that Syria can terrorize America and its fellow Western Allies at will. We learned the lesson, making no attempt to avenge those deaths. Iran is Hizb'Allah's supreme patron, supplying most of its weapons and finances, training its fighters and provides its political backing. But Syria directly and indirectly runs Hizb'Allah activities, whose command centers and supply bases are located in areas where the 40,000 man Syrian army is deployed in South Beirut and the Beka'a Valley. Here they easily recruit suicide bombers from the young and unemployed in Lebanon.
Syria uses Hizb'Allah as its proxy to carry out terror against Lebanon and Israel knowing that the US ties the hands of Israeli intervention. Syria is on the Congressional list of terrorist nations, also for its drug trade supplying 20% of the drugs pushed to American kids, and for counterfeiting $100 American bills. Syria ought to be on the list Congress and the Western nations sanctions along with Libya and Iran. But it isn't. Why not? Because Syria is expected to give Clinton a foreign policy win by taking the Golan Heights from Israel with a handshake on the White House lawn. Now Clinton is angry with Assad because he was expected to accept the Golan from Peres to aid his re-election but he double-crossed them all.
Assad of Syria is one (if not, the) key power broker of terrorism in the region. Very little takes place by way of covert terror operations without his approval and with his direction or assistance. He is feared by the Arabs because he can bring terror into their domain as easily as he has into Israel.
After the "lesson" of blowing up the 241 Marines, President Reagan ordered a major strike against Syria. "Reportedly", Caspar Weinberger as Sec. of Defense, in deference to his Arab connections countermanded this order. Weinberger even refused Israeli offers of medical assistance. Instead, Weinberger awaited transport from Germany, resulting in round trip time of 20 hours. Some Americans died before they arrived in Germany, when a superior war trauma hospital was available 15 minutes away in Israel. Here again, Syria wasn't blamed by the White House. The 241 Marines were a "sacrifice" to Weinberger's and State Dept. foreign policy favoring Arabs - even if they were terrorists.
Who can forget Pan Am Flight 103? 270 Americans were killed. Our State Dept. outdid itself to avoid identifying Syria as the operational base for planning the Lockerbie bombing. "Palestinian with Lockerbie Link Deported" from Germany to Syria on June 27, 1996. Hafez Kassem Dalkamoni served half of a 15 year sentence for an attack on 2 US military trains in 1987 and 1988 in Germany. A tape recorder with plastic explosives similar to type that blew up Pan Am 103 was found in his apartment.(3)
In most terrorism operations a mix of Palestinians, Iranians, Sudanese, Egyptians, Libyans et al, function as a large network who interchange talents and favors, particularly when they are executing a strike. But, the decision to conduct the operation generally comes from a top source. Some of the known top directors are Syria, Iran, Iraq and the terrorist organizations themselves. Fatah, Ahmed Jabril, George Habash, Hamas, Islamic Jihad are all linked to Syria and Iran, coordinated by/with the PLO.
Back to Pan Am 103. Although the explosives and the general operation led back to Syria, Assad had to be protected at all costs. Two small fry Libyans were part of the operation. Libya became our scapegoat. We 'demanded' the two Libyan terrorists be turned over to the US and, of course, Kadaffi could be depended upon to refuse as he must or lose face across all the terrorist nations' spectrum. So, President Bush urged sanctions on Libya. Bush claimed that "The Syrians took a bum rap on this." (4)
The other Arab states don't care much for Kadaffi, recognize him as a nut - even among themselves. Bush was, therefore, able to shift responsibility for Pan Am 103 to Libya and away from Syria. Again, speeches were made about retribution. Survivors' families had numerous meetings with State Dept. damage control experts whose job it was to keep the folks quiet and out of the news. Needless to say, there never was a satisfactory conclusion, let alone the promised justice/retribution.
CIA Chief William Buckley was captured in Lebanon and tortured, with a pipe down his throat attached to a balloon which was inflated to compress his organs. The agony cannot be imagined. Before his organs burst, he had given his captors (Arab terrorists) everything a CIA Station Chief could have known. His torturers, controlled by Assad, were never hunted down. The fact is that the major players never paid for their crimes and our government did not demand payment.
Col. William Higgins, an unarmed UN peacekeeper in Lebanon was abducted in 1988, tortured and hung as videoed by his captors. Ask his wife, Robin, if the US ever hunted down his Arab killers. Mahmoud Abu Abbas was the organizer of the Achille Lauro hijacking where Leon Klinghoffer, an American citizen was murdered and heaved into the ocean with his wheelchair. Abu Abbas appeared in Gaza in April, on special invitation by Peres, along with a host of other known operatives of terror actions, to supposedly change the PLO Covenant. Abu Abass was welcomed as a hero. He then appeared on CNN telling the world that "I am sorry I killed Klinghoffer". I guess President Clinton surely appreciated this apology, but by not seeking justice he de facto exonerated Abbas. Many American Senators demanded his extradition but Clinton remained silent. The number of terrorists gathered in Gaza exceeded any meeting of the Mafia or Drug Cartel lords ever. They even issued a phony recantation of their terrorist PLO Covenant to destroy Israel. As secretly recorded, they merely sent it to a subcommittee for 6 months, while Clinton and Peres declared this was the greatest breakthrough in 100 years.
President Clinton says on radio and television: "I will not rest until they (the Saudi bombers) are brought to justice". Well, we should be "well rested" by doing nothing for all these years. The President is meeting with the families to console them as much the same as Reagan did for the families of the 241 Marines and victims of Pan Am 103. The US exerted 'retribution' only once when President Reagan bombed Kaddafi's military base for Libyan involvement in night club bombing of GIs in Germany. Libya may have deserved retribution, but this was a phony show of force against a safe-to-hate target.
The American Government, led by career jockeys at State is inextricably tied to a pro-Arabist foreign policy. No matter how many Americans are killed, there is never retribution, justice or vengeance. The rare occasions will only be those times where a nation such as Libya or Iraq falls out of favor with the other Arab nations. Only then will American force be applied. Do you think that the State Dept. has adopted Old Testament religion: "Vengeance is mine", saith the Lord"? They most certainly have skillfully avoided justice or retribution for American deaths by Arab terrorists here on this planet.
1. Wall Street Journal March 5,1993
2. "6 Escape Punishment in '83 US Embassy Blast" Boston Globe 5/1/93
3. "Palestinian with Lockerbie Link Deported" Chicago Tribune 7/2/96
4. "Did Syria & Iran have a role in the Bombing of Pan Am 103?" Philadelphia Inquirer 11/29/91