September 9, 2002

DANIEL PIPES has a list of Americans killed by Islamic terrorists and there are a lot:

In all, 800 persons lost their lives in the course of attacks by militant Islam on Americans before September 2001 – more than killed by any other enemy since the Vietnam war. (Further, this listing does not include the dozens more Americans in Israel killed by militant Islamic terrorists.)

And yet, these murders hardly registered. Only with the events of a year ago did Americans finally realize that “Death to America” truly is the battle cry of this era’s most dangerous foe, militant Islam.

In retrospect, the mistake began when Iranians assaulted the U.S. embassy in Tehran and met with no resistance.

Interestingly, a Marine sergeant present at the embassy that fateful day in November 1979 agrees with this assessment. As the militant Islamic mob invaded the embassy, Rodney V. Sickmann followed orders and protected neither himself nor the embassy. As a result, he was taken hostage and lived to tell the tale. (He now works for Anheuser-Busch.)

In retrospect, he believes that passivity was a mistake. The Marines should have done their assigned duty, even if it cost their lives. “Had we opened fire on them, maybe we would only have lasted an hour.” But had they done that, they “could have changed history.”

Standing their ground would have sent a powerful signal that the United States of America cannot be attacked with impunity. In contrast, the embassy’s surrender sent the opposite signal – that it’s open season on Americans. “If you look back, it started in 1979; it’s just escalated,” Sickmann correctly concludes.

I agree.

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