Monday, October 25, 2004
On this day:

Remembering the Grenada Invasion

The U.S. invaded the Caribbean island of Grenada on this day in 1983.

Of the invasion, columnist George Will wrote in Newsweek:

Grenada, although small, is 15 times the size of Iwo Jima and of large symbolic value. U.S. soldiers' boot prints on Grenada's soil have done more than the MX (missile) will do to make U.S. credible and peace secure. President Reagan's defense budgets are not, by themselves, a fully effective signal to the Soviet Union of U.S. seriousness. The boot prints prove that the United States will not only procure sophisticated weapons systems but also has recovered the will to use the weapon on which its security rests: the man with a rifle.

Reagan Secretary of State George Schultz wrote in his memoirs, Turmoil and Triumph:
There were many signals sent by the Grenada operation. In many different parts of the world, people began to get the message: Ronald Reagan is capable of action beyond rhetoric. Latin Americans in particular saw that if a country went nose to nose with Uncle Sam, Fidel Castro could not, or would not, come to its rescue...

The United States took a lot of heat over the Grenada operation. We were opposed by the British and the French and many others throughout Europe and by Congress, particularly before they heard from the folks back home.

One of those in Congress who criticized the Grenada invasion was Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, who said:

The invasion of Grenada represents the Reagan policy of substituting public relations for diplomatic relations . . . no substantial threat to US interests existed and American lives were not endangered . . . The invasion represented a bully's show of force against a weak Third World nation. The invasion only served to heighten world tensions and further strain brittle US/Soviet and North/South relations.

Hmmmm...bad diplomacy resulted in military action against a nation that represented no substantial threat to the U.S., resulting in heightened world tensions and a strain on U.S. relations with other nations around the world. Sounds familiar.