There is a grisly background to the Nov. 12 car bombings of Iran’s embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. That blasts killed 23 people, including an Iranian diplomat, and were aptly denounced as “despicable” by Secretary of State John Kerry.
Iran introduced that indiscriminate weapon, the car bomb, into Lebanon 30 years ago. Apparently in Beirut, what goes around eventually comes around.
Iran’s new defense minister, Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan, was the man in charge of the Iranian-backed car and truck bombings in Beirut of the U.S. Embassy in April 1983 and U.S. Marine and French army barracks in October, 1983, killing 375, including 271 Americans.
Gen. Dehghan played a major role in building Iran’s stronghold in Lebanon, the Hezbollah militia.
In 2005, Syria, Iran’s key ally in the area, helped solidify that dominance when it arranged for Hezbollah to set off the massive car bomb in Beirut that killed the anti-Syrian Lebanese Prime Minister, Rafik Harriri.
As former Sen. Joseph Lieberman wrote in a Washington Post guest op-ed Thursday, Iran has long pursued the goal of dominating the Middle East through such terrorist tactics.
So the assault on the Iranian embassy in Beirut could be considered a grim form of poetic justice.
But it was also a dangerous sign that Syria’s civil war is spreading beyond Syria’s borders.
A second chance
A pilot program geared toward giving young offenders a second chance should provide a promising outline for the future.
The initiative, being tested in Aiken County and three other counties in the state, aims to decrease juvenile crime by preventing youth from being stuck in a path of delinquency.
This program doesn’t appear to be directed at cushioning the blow of the judicial system for violent, repeat offenders. These are youth who have committed criminal offenses such as shoplifting, or status offenses, such as being repeatedly absent from school without permission or running away from home.
As part of the initiative, appropriate intervention and support services for youths are applied to avoid prosecuting a juvenile and reduce the likelihood of a youth further entering the system. ...
If it proves successful, this program can prevent at-risk youths from a life of trouble with the judicial system. Closing that pipeline should be a goal of any community.