Saturday, 8 April 2017

Rewriting history

I have detected a recent trend among American political commentators to describe President Ronald Reagan’s bombing raid on Tripoli and Benghazi as retaliation for the attack on Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie. The most recent example is this sentence from an article headlined Is President Trump’s strike on Syria constitutional? by Amber Phillips yesterday in The Bulletin:

“President Ronald Reagan didn’t seek congressional approval when he bombed Libya in retaliation for a bombing of a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland.”

The bombing of Tripoli and Benghazi took place on 15 April 1986. Pan Am 103 was destroyed over Lockerbie on 21 December 1988.

The same article by Amber Phillips appears on the website of The Washington Post. But there the article has now been updated to correct the faux pas.


  1. This morning on BBCV Radio 4's Today programme, a retd US general said "The refugee crisis in Europe is all caused by President Assad.." From the BBC interviewer, silence. If intelligent and supposedly educated BBC correspondents and interviewers do not know their Middle East history, what hope is there for the nations awaiting the next US enforced regime change?

    Meanwhile, the statement by retd four star general Wesley Clarke, that immediately after 9/11, America formed a policy of "bringing down seven governments over five years" - all has been forgotten by the media. And yet it remains a work in progress. Iraq, Libya, Syria, Lebanon... the list ended with Iran.

    Just last week, the White House placed Iran "on notice". More death and destruction to emerge from Washington, I'm afraid. But fear not, God is an integral part of the US military machine. I cannot find out yet which office he occupies. As Reagan said "Into the hands of America God has placed the future of a stricken world." And the world is still there in America's hands. But I do not remember voting for America. Do you?

  2. Dear About Us,

    Well said, I must say. As the director of 'Dr Strangelove' once said: "The great nations have always behaved like gangsters, and the lesser like prostitutes." Unless, of course, one encounters the odd virulent, historically and politically inconvenient tyke (called: Hussein, Gaddafi, Assad - ?) such as folk from Central Asia and The Middle East, who seem to be rather too well connected for the idiots in NATO to cope with. The fact is that, despite the anti-Russian sanctions, a spectacularly pathetic token Western troop force in the miniscule Baltic States bordering the Kremlin.

    Russia is entirely self-sufficient in energy, agriculture and industry (including a copius number of nukes). So, long and short? The west is pissing against an ever drying out wall. Good luck with that!

    Actually, given that the latest offering from Lockheed-Martin (the F35-JSF) is such a total disaster following that fire sale of perfectly serviceable Harriers dating back as far as the 1960s by that true genius David Cameron.

    Hey ho, give a politician a toy (like Ernest Marples and a train set) and watch what destruction can be wrought. In fact, I believe that the only guide is revealed by how rapidly they consign those they are responsible for to committing suicide.

    Forget it. Vlad, however much I raise an eyebrow against him, currently controls The White House. Frankly, I like that. He is a most questionable and dangerous individual. However, he is far from stupid. One does not get to be a Lt Col of the KGB in Dresden, ruling the Stasi, without a certain mindset intact. History has proved this.

    Pip, pip.