Cliff May

In 1988 Al-Qaeda carried out the dual suicide bombings of two of America's embassies in Africa. Two years later, the USS Cole would be attacked by suicide bombers using a small boat. And one year after that, 19 al-Qaeda combatants would hijack four passenger jets and use them in the most devastating terrorist attack on the U.S. homeland ever.

While a second attack has not been successfully launched on American soil over the seven years since, Iranian-backed militias have killed American troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Islamist regime in Tehran has provided support to a range of terrorist groups.

At dawn on October 23, Geraghty writes, "at the foot of the Beirut Memorial, nestled in the pines of North Carolina, families, veterans, and friends will gather to pay tribute to those who ‘Came in Peace' on this, the 25th anniversary. ... Later, a more formal ceremony will include military music, pageantry, and speeches commemorating the legacy of the peacekeepers who paid the ultimate sacrifice."

On the same day, Geraghty observes, at "the Iranian Behesht-E-Zahra cemetery in southern Tehran, there will be a ceremony at a monument erected in 2004 to commemorate the Beirut suicide bombers. In attendance will likely be some dressed as suicide bombers, chanting the standard ‘death to America' and ‘death to Israel.'"

The good news, if there is any, is that Mughniyeh will not be joining the festivities this year. In February, he was killed by a car bomb in Damascus. No individual, group or government has claimed responsibility.


Cliff May

Clifford D. May is the President of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.