Peacekeepers at War: A Marine's Account of the Beirut Catastrophe

Michael Petit, Author Faber & Faber $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-571-12545-6
According to Petit, he enlisted in the Marine Corps at age 25 to prove himself a true male. He was sent to Beirut in early 1983 with an amphibious unit to join the multinational peacekeeping force, in place since the previous year. He and other members of his unit quickly concluded that their task was futile: the warring Christian and Muslim elements in Lebanon did not seek compromise; they wanted only to fight each other and did not consider that their country might collapse as a result. The Marines stayed in place at the Beirut airport, the targets of bullets, until on Oct. 23, 1983, a car bomb exploded at their headquarters, killing 241 men. Petit's conclusion is that there was no purpose, no ""meaningful and enduring reason'' for their sacrifice, and that the U.S. commitment of forces to Lebanon was a major error. (April 25)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1986
Release date: 04/01/1986
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