The following Associated Press report appeared in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on October 29, 1983.
WASHINGTON—Five days before the terrorist bombing in Beirut that killed more than 200 American troops, President. Reagan wondered aloud if the world wasn’t approaching Armageddon, according to a lobbyist called by the president.
Thomas Dine, executive director of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, confirmed Friday that Reagan had called him October 18 to thank him for help in striking a war powers compromise with Congress over the Marine peacekeeping mission.
According to Dine, Reagan said that the night before, he had talked to parents of a Marine killed in Beirut, then went on to say:
“You know, I turn back to your ancient prophets in the Old Testament and the signs foretelling Armageddon, and I find myself wondering if—if we’re the generation that is going to see that come about.
“I don’t know if you’ve noted any of those prophecies lately, but, believe me, they certainly describe the times we’re going through.”
Actually, it is in the Revelation, the last book of the New Testament of the Bible, in which Armageddon is prophesied as the site of the final, destructive battle between good and evil, to occur on Judgment Day.
The White House press office had no comment when asked about the conversation, which originally was reported by Wolf Blitzer in the Jerusalem Post.
Blitzer, Washington correspondent for the Israeli newspaper, said, “Someone gave me a transcript, which I believed to be authentic.” Dine confirmed its authenticity Friday.