America's Revenge Driven Foreign Policy

This post was written by Russ Wellen

In the same week as The Washington Post ran its landmark series "Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency," Asia Times Online, among other sites, featured a series about the Secretary of Defense called "The Gates Inheritance" by Roger Morris. It seems that, in spite of breaking the spell Rumsfeld cast on the Defense Department, Robert Gates, like fellow Iran-Contra veterans John Negroponte and Elliot Abrams, could do with an exorcism himself.

The CIA deputy director for intelligence in 1985, he was among those who advised Ronald Reagan to sanction a car bombing in Bir el-Abed, a Shi'ite ghetto of Beirut. It was intended as retaliation for the 1983 truck-bombing of the US Marine Corps barracks at Beirut airport that killed 241 servicemen.

For its part, Morris writes, that attack was a "reprisal for earlier US acts of intervention and diplomatic betrayal in Lebanon's civil war that had cost hundreds of Lebanese and Palestinian lives." It also held the world record for the most massive peace-time blowback against the US until 9/11.

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