Reagan's Struggle Against Terrorism

In 1986, Reagan took violent action to win a battle in his war against terrorism. Reagan started serving his presidential term. The United States had been struggling with foreign nations, such as Libya, specifically relations with Muammar Gaddafi (El-Gadhafi, Quadaffi, Qadhafi). Gaddafi, the Libyan dictator first came to power in 1969. Over the past few decades, the United States tried to solve conflicts with Libya diplomatically (SOURCE). Once Reagan was elected, he tried to continue the tradition of solving conflicts diplomatically. However, Gaddafi refused to take Reagan’s threats seriously. The conflict with Libya and the United States escalated when the United States discovered that Gaddafi was behind the discotheque bombings in …show more content…
Gaddafi’s residence was a target because the United States attempted to assassinate Gaddafi. However, Gaddafi was warned of the attack, and was away from the residence during the attack (Rob Nadeau: Libyan Bombings 1986). His family was not warned of this attack as his daughter was killed and his two sons were injured (“April 14, 1986…”). Ironically, this attack was seen as a success for both Libya and the United States. The United States saw Operation El Dorado Canyon as a success because Gaddafi knew the United States was not afraid to take military action. As Reagan said in his Address to the Nation, “When our citizens are abused or attacked anywhere in the world, we will respond in self defense. Today we have done what we had to do. If necessary, we shall do it again” (“Address to the Nation…”). Libya thought that their actions during the attack were successful because they were able to shoot down an American F-111. Although the French Embassy in Tripoli was hit accidentally, Libya retaliated. The next day, Libya tried to shoot missiles to US Navy Communications at Lamedusa, however the missiles fell short (“April 14, 1986…”). Reagan’s values came out after these attacks. It showed how although he acted to benefit the country, he also did what he personally felt was right, showing how human agency controls our …show more content…
While addressing the nation, Reagan explained the Gaddafi received a warning a few weeks earlier, while he was in New Orleans that we would take action if he did not stop (“Address to the Nation…”). Yet, Gaddafi did not listen to Reagan’s countless warnings, and Gaddafi’s attacks needed to end. This attack was an act of self-defense, and was justified by Gaddafi’s previous terrorist attacks on America and other countries. The United States hoped that Operation El Dorado Canyon would give Gaddafi an incentive to stop attacking innocent people. Reagan could no longer carry out threats diplomatically as he states in his address, “ Qadhafi continued his reckless policy of intimidation, his relentless pursuit of terror. He counted on America to be passive. He counted wrong” (“Address to the Nation…”). Reagan’s address to the nation reaffirmed the nation of his views on military, and that he believes violence is necessary for terrorists to stop their actions. In my interviews, one of the interviewees was clearly a strong Republican that believed everyone loved Reagan, when in reality he was not “universally loved” as this interviewee stated (Maureen Donohue: Libyan Bombings 1986). Reagan, as the other interviewee said Reagan “ had a message the country need to hear at the time, after Watergate, Jimmy Carter being a weak president, and the Iranian hostage situation” (Rob

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