Middle East: Over My Dead Body

A Marine takes a stand, as U.S.-Israeli tensions rise

As three Israeli tanks approached a U.S. Marine position near the old Sidon road to the south of Beirut, Captain Charles B. Johnson, 30, of Neenah, Wis., did not hesitate. He ran toward the heavily armored, British-made Centurions, then took a position in the middle of the road. When the lead tank halted barely a foot in front of him, Johnson told an Israeli lieutenant colonel atop it, "You will not pass through this position."

After a momentary pause, the Israeli commander dismounted, talked with Johnson,...

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