To this day, the only thing that Marine Lance Corporal Eddie Dee Franco can remember about the man who drove past him on the morning of October 23, 1983, was like "he looked directly at me [and] smiled ...". A few seconds later, at 6:22 am, the smiling driver rammed his bright yellow, explosive truck into the Marines' headquarters in Beirut. The subsequent explosion was later identified as the most powerful non-nuclear explosion since the Second World War. 241 Americans were killed, crushed, as the whole structure collapsed to the top of sleeping Marines. They were killed by an enemy that could not be stopped. Not because he had any technological or traditional advantages over his opposition, but because he was completely committed to his destruction. He was a suicide bomber. But who was the suicide bomber? What does he/she represent, and what would force him to kill himself and so many other people? Hezbollah quickly claimed the credit for the attack, and subsequent investigations led the US authorities to believe that this was true. Hezbollah, considered a terrorist organization by the US State Department, is a Muslim Shiite group that often resorts to violence to advance its political goals. Founded in 1983, the organization grew out of a population enraged by Israel's invasion of its country. The Marine Corps was moved to Lebanon as part of the multinational peacekeeping force by President Regan in 1983. The goal of the peacekeepers was to help stop a huge amount of violence along the border between Lebanon and Israel....
Terrorism, as defined by Title 22 of the US Code, Section 2656f (d), is an act of "premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience." This definition clearly fits things such as the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 and a separate 1983 suicide attack in Beirut, which targeted the US embassy. In these cases, the victims of the attacks were civilians ("noncombatants"). Because of this, the above definition does NOT fit for the Beirut bombing that is discussed in this paper, which was an unconventional attack on United States military forces, specifically the Marine Corps.
To this day, the only thing Marine Lance Corporal Eddie DiFranco can recall about the man who drove a truck past him on the morning of October 23, 1983 was how "he looked right at me [and] smiled". Seconds later, at 6:22am, the smiling driver rammed his bright yellow, explosive laden vehicle into the Marine Headquarters at Beirut. The blast that followed was later determined to have been the single most powerful non-nuclear explosion since WWII. 241 Americans were killed, crushed as the entire structure collapsed on top of the still sleeping Marines. (U.S. Marines, 2005, n.p.) They were killed by an enemy who was impossible to stop. Not because he had any technological or traditional advantages over his opposition, but because he was completely committed to bringing about his own annihilation. He was a suicide bomber. But who was the suicide bomber What did he / does he represent, and what would push him to kill himself and so many other