Monday, June 9, 2014

Hezbollah's First USA Soldier Kidnapping, Lt. Col. William Higgins

Nadene Goldfoot                                            
The Lebanese Shiite terrorists, Hezbollah, kidnapped and murdered an American Lt. Colonel Marine in 1988.  It was on February 17, 1988, 26 years ago,  that Lt. Col. William Higgins came up missing as the Chief, Observer Group in Lebanon for the United nations Truce Supervision Organization.  He was driving on the coastal highway between Tyre and Naqoura in southern Lebanon, going home from returning from a meeting with a local leader of the Amal movement, when he was pulled from his vehicle by armed men. The Amal movement was a political group.  It is, by a small margin, the largest Shia party in parliament, having thirteen representatives to Hezbollah's twelve.  

 Amal is currently in an alliance which includes the Free Patriotic MovementHezbollah, and the Progressive Socialist Party. The Greek Catholic Archbishop of Beirut, Mgr. Grégoire Haddad, was among the founders of the Movement.

 I wonder if Major Haddad of Lebanon, of the Christian Militia was a relative of his.  He was a friend of Israel and guarded the border with his men.  He took his R and R in the Hospital in Haifa, Israel.  Israel promised to take care of his family if anything happened to him.  "Saad Haddad's daughter Arza (meaning "Cedar Tree" in Arabic) as a researcher in ballistics and rocket science at the Technion University in Haifa. She obtained master's degree in aeronautics in June 2012.  

The Hezbollah captors called themselves the "Organization of the Oppressed on Earth" and announced his execution 529 days after his capture.  Being he was a Lt. Col. Marine, he knew a lot of important information.  This kidnapping must have been pre-planned, not a random move.  They might have thought of him as a walking encyclopedia and with that much info, should not have even been in Lebanon, but he was very interested in Lebanon and had wanted to be there.

This Marine was interrogated and tortured during his captivity, then finally murdered.  He was hung by his neck.  The UN adopted a Resolution 618 and demanded his release, but he was held only 1 1/2 years and was murdered.  Pictures were shown of his body by the terrorists and were televised around the world by videotape from his captors.  On July 6, 1990 he was declared dead.  His remains were dumped beside a mosque near a south Beirut hospital.  William was finally buried at Quantico National Cemetery on December 30, 1991.

This was pure terrorism.  There was no reason to kidnap a UN officer.  Also responsible were Iran and Syria, countries that gave sanctuary to the terrorists.

Lt. Col. Higgins was born in Danville, Kentucky and earned a Bachelor's degree from Miami U in Oxford, Ohio.  He was a scholarship student in the Navy ROTC.  He got his Master's degrees from Pepperdine U and Auburn U.  He also graduated from the Army Infantry Officers Advanced Course, the Air Force Command and Staff College, and the National War College.

He served in Vietnam in 1972 as an infantry battalion advisor to the Vietnamese Marine Corps and the next year served as a rifle company commander with B Companiy, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines.  .

Myths and Facts, a concise record of the Arab-Israeli conflict by Mitchell G. Bard and Joel Himelfarb, p. 108-109

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