Captain's Quarters Blog

« Critical security report means U.N. must change its ways, Annan says | Main | Chickens Coming Home to Roost Again »

October 25, 2003
Arguing over the Iraqi Victory Must Be Getting Old

The LA Times revists another US military victory to question tactics, strategy, and necessity:

As U.S. troops wrestle with an intervention in Iraq, the success of the Grenada invasion 20 years ago might be seen as inspiring evidence of long-term payoffs for determined campaigns to put a troubled world in order. But even here, where military action was a comparative cakewalk once troops got past 800 Cuban construction workers, deep divisions persist over the value of that Cold War-era intervention.

Are we really going to argue over Grenada again? Wasn't that over in about 15 minutes?

Although most Grenadians agree they are better off as a result of the American action, they tend to see the storming of their tropical shores not as a rescue mission to evacuate students from the U.S. medical school, as the Pentagon claimed, but as an aggressive strike to thwart the spread of communism in the Caribbean.

Excuse me, but, well ... duh. If the US didn't think Grenada affected its own security, why would it have gotten involved? Cuba had set the 1979 coup in motion and was actively fomenting revolution in the Caribbean. The US needed to put Castro back in his box. None of that should surprise anyone who read the papers in 1979 or 1983. Grenada happened on Carter's watch and his lack of response was considered a show of weakness in America's own back yard. Does anyone else remember what happened later in 1979 ... say, in Teheran?

Grenadians had expected easier access to the U.S. after their nation became the site of the proxy superpower confrontation, says Paul Scoon, who as governor-general represented the queen of England here for 14 years, spanning British colonial rule, 1974 independence, Bishop's coup five years later and the 1983 invasion. On the other hand, he argues, leaving Grenada to stand on its own feet was in the nation's best interest, spurring private enterprise instead of fostering dependence.

"Since the intervention, the country has developed tremendously. More Grenadians are coming back here from abroad to retire," he says of a diaspora thought to exceed this nation's 100,000 population. "I don't think the people of Grenada were ever really yearning for socialism."

And there's this from Grenadian intelligentsia:

C.V. Rao, a university professor 20 years ago and now dean of students, says his experience of the Grenada conflict provides him with a yardstick to measure the value and legitimacy of other U.S. military incursions.

"The key to post-invasion economic development here was the gratitude of the Grenadian people," he said. "I hope we will see that happen in Iraq, but that is so much bigger and more difficult."

It appears to me that this is a non-issue, although it does point out the problems of inaction and the benefits of being actively engaged. Does anyone doubt that the Grenadians are better off now than they would have been under 20 years of hard-line Marxism? It doesn't sound like the Grenadians think so; in fact, the Times doesn't present a single Grenadian voice claiming otherwise. Perhaps the Iraqis also feel the same way.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 25, 2003 9:35 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry is

Design & Skinning by:
m2 web studios

blog advertising


Proud Ex-Pat Member of the Bear Flag League!