Cutting and Running - A History Lesson:
As the frothing right madly pounces on any intimation that the United States should get the fuck out of Iraq before it engulfs us into a swirl of dusty insanity, screaming "Cut and run" with all the pathetic force of "flip-flop" before it, it would do us well to remind the right that they are, essentially, saying that Ronald Reagan was a big pussy. For history is a harsh motherfucker. It'll drag you by the short hairs into the alley and beat you unconscious before it fucks your anus raw so that you wake up, bruised, sphincter bleeding, confused, only thinking, "Goddamn, history just kicked my ass."
'Cause nobody'd accuse Caspar Weinberger of being a limp-wristed lefty when he was the Gipper's Secretary of Defense. Tough-minded son of a bitch oversaw Reagan's massive, budget-wrecking build-up of the military, wanted him some Star Wars, and kicked commie surfer ass in Grenada. Say what you will about Cap Weinberger, he had the backs of the military a great deal more than, say, Donald Rumsfeld, getting them pay raises, benefits, and outlining the Weinberger Doctrine of military intervention (later appropriated by Colin Powell). And, perhaps just as importantly, he wanted the United States to get the fuck out of Lebanon months before the Beirut barracks bombing in October 1983.
From Lou Cannon's book President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime, page 361: With Secretary of State George Shultz and National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane "making patriotism the test of U.S. commitment in Lebanon, Weinberger was on the losing side of the national security argument. 'He [Reagan] was being told all this stuff,' Weinberger said. 'Marines don't cut and run. Americans don't run when the going gets tough. Americans don't pull down the flag. I said, "Nonsense, they're not doing any good over there." But these arguments appealed to the president.'" This was in the spring of 1983.
The Marines were in the middle of a goddamned civil war, sent there in July of 1982 to keep the peace. On February 4, 1984, months after 241 Marines were killed in that explosion, Reagan made a radio address where he said, "Yes, the situation in Lebanon is difficult, frustrating, and dangerous. But that is no reason to turn our backs on our friends and to cut and run. If we do, we'll be sending one signal to terrorists everywhere: they can gain by waging war against innocent people."
Then, quite interestingly, Reagan continued, "The men and women who patrol our streets here at home also face great dangers every day. But the greatest danger of all would be to yank those police officers off the streets and to leave our neighborhoods and families at the mercy of criminals. If we're to be secure in our homes and in the world, we must stand together against those who threaten us. This is a time for unity, not partisan politics."
Of course, Weinberger eventually got McFarlane on his side, and Reagan pulled the U.S. troops out of Lebanon at the end of that same month. Man, what a punk ass bitch Reagan was.
The script never changes for Republicans. Without fear and projected machismo, they have nothing. By instilling fear and spouting bravado, they can go on getting Americans killed for as long as they want.
By the way, Lebanon's not doing too badly these days as a kind of democracy in the Middle East. Of course, the civil war lasted for fifteen years. But the United States was only there for less than two of them.