WASHINGTON -- President Joe Biden's disastrous withdrawal from Afghanistan has been compared with the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam. But in the wake of Thursday's suicide bombing at the Kabul airport, what we are seeing in Afghanistan is far worse than a repeat of Saigon, 1975; it is now a repeat of Beirut, 1983.
On Oct. 23, 1983, terrorists detonated a truck bomb at the U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, killing 241 American service members who were participating in a peacekeeping operation. Three months later, after failing to retaliate in any meaningful fashion, President Ronald Reagan withdrew all U.S. forces from Beirut. Reagan's decision to cut and run had disastrous consequences. Osama bin Laden tried to replicate the Beirut Marine Corps barracks bombing with his bombing of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and then to exceed it with the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.