Somewhere on A1A...

Monday, September 09, 2002

Stating the obvious, Daniel Pipes says More Americans have been killed by militant Islamics than any other enemy since the Vietnam War. He calls it a mistake that Americans largely ignored the 800 lives lost between Novermber 1979 and 9/11.

Interestingly, a Marine sergeant present at the embassy that fateful day in November 1979 agrees with this assessment. As the militant Islamic mob invaded the embassy, Rodney V. Sickmann followed orders and protected neither himself nor the embassy. As a result, he was taken hostage and lived to tell the tale. (He now works for Anheuser-Busch.)

In retrospect, he believes that passivity was a mistake. The Marines should have done their assigned duty, even if it cost their lives. "Had we opened fire on them, maybe we would only have lasted an hour." But had they done that, they "could have changed history."

Standing their ground would have sent a powerful signal that the United States of America cannot be attacked with impunity. In contrast, the embassy's surrender sent the opposite signal - that it's open season on Americans. "If you look back, it started in 1979; it's just escalated," Sickmann correctly concludes.
It makes you wonder...


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