The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 17, 2008

Statement by the President

On April 18, 1983, the Islamic Jihad Organization, known today as the terrorist group Hizballah, detonated a massive car bomb at the American Embassy in Beirut, killing 52 people -- 17 Americans and 35 Lebanese citizens. The Beirut Embassy bombing was at the time the most deadly terrorist attack against the United States in our history. On the 25th anniversary of that bombing, we mourn for those who perished, and we honor the sacrifice of their family and friends and of the many who were wounded. This occasion is a timely reminder of the danger our diplomats, military personnel, and locally employed staff bear in their service to the United States.

Since the Beirut attack, we and citizens of many countries have suffered more attacks at the hands of Hizballah and other terrorists, backed by the regimes in Tehran and Damascus, which use terror and violence against innocent civilians. All nations should condemn such brutal attacks and recognize that the purposeful targeting of civilians is immoral and unjustifiable.

The people of Lebanon have spent the better part of three decades living under the threat of violence, assassinations, and other forms of intimidation. Despite this, they and their leaders continue to work for a peaceful and democratic future, even as Syria, Iran, and their Lebanese proxies seek to undermine Lebanese democracy and institutions. The United States will continue to stand with the Lebanese government and the Lebanese people as they struggle to preserve their hard-won sovereignty and independence, endeavor to provide justice for victims of terrorism and political violence, and continue to seek the election of a president committed to these principles.

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