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He’s been called the 10th most successful President as Commander-in-Chief¹

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Here’s how President Ronald Reagan handled things: For, example, take Lebanon…

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   “The Gipper was a nationalist, a militarist, unworldly, and blindly patriotic, but he was not a warmonger.”

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For more use the DOOR.

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[MORE]

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   It wasn’t just taking a stand against the Soviet Union…

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 “Though [Reagan] took many opportunities to flex American muscle across first, second, and third worlds, he never overcommitted nor overstayed an engagement, preferring to speak loudly and carry a small stick. In his first term alone, he deployed advisors, troops, and/or aircraft to Chad, Egypt, El Salvador, Granada, Lebanon, Libya, and the Persian Gulf. None of these engagements escalated beyond a few sorties, skirmishes, or short occupations. Even his IRAN-CONTRA operation, though immensely illegal, was minuscule compared to the arms and money that LBJ and Nixon poured into Saigon…The consummate actor, Reagan knew when it was time to exit a scene².

   “On October 23, 1983, a suicide bomber plowed through the gates of U. S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 of the peacekeeping forces and injuring more than 100. Within two days, Reagan ordered a military offensive, not in Lebanon, but against the tiny Caribbean island of Granada, fearing that 800 American medical students there were in danger of a violent Cuban Marxist takeover. It took forty hours for a carrier task force and army rangers totaling 5000 officers and men to conquer the island and its 800 Cuban defenders. The short, successful invasion was widely popular among the U.S. population, and it masked the pain if Beirut. Three months later, in a move favored by his cabinet and his country, Reagan pulled all remaining U. S. Marines out of Lebanon³.”

   “[Reagan's] most successful and least costly operations involved Libya and its [then] verbose Islamic president Muammar Qaddafi [whose name can be spelled about 6 ways…].” Among his multiple idiocies [our words] he proclaimed a “line of death” on waterways near Libya. Reagan sent in a modest armada in spring of 1986 to test the waters. There was “an exchange of rockets.” Then, taking the cue from the death of an American serviceman in a Berlin nightclub on April 14, the U. S. Air Force and Navy dropped 90 tons on high explosives on Tripoli and Benghazi sending a message. With “no American losses, or long-term occupation on the ground, Reagan effectively neutered the Libyan leader’s war of words.”

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   ¹ From The History Buff’s Guide to the Presidents by Thomas R. Flagel (Cumberland House, 2007). All quoted material is from this source unless otherwise indicated.

   ² Reagan quoted in Cannon, President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime, 339.

   ³ Schaller, Reckoning with Reagan, 138-39.