On Oct. 23, a grinning suicide bomber had driven a yellow truck full of explosives through the guard gate of the Marine headquarters at Beirut International Airport, killing 241 US troops. The next few days, Reagan was involved in post-tragedy and pre-invasion meetings.
“Operation Urgent Fury” was an embarrassingly clumsy success. The world’s ranking superpower, hampered by old tourist maps and incompatible radio frequencies, needed two full days to overcome the resistance of an island not much bigger than Washington DC. Democracy was restored, and some damp Cuban documents impounded, along with 24,768 signal flares-clear evidence of incendiary Red activity.
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