Why Did This Happen?

A wayward missile that strikes a U.S. frigate causes reverberations

In a sweltering helicopter hangar at a naval station in Florida, faced by more than a thousand tearful mourners, Ronald Reagan performed one of those tasks he does best. Honoring young Americans who have lost their lives in one of their country's fitful attempts to assert itself in a troubled world has, alas, become for him a practiced ritual. Speaking somberly of the latest tragedy, and of the latest set of victims he called heroes, the President asked, "Why did this happen?"

It was a question that had reverberated on many levels throughout the week, as the nation tried to understand...