Grenada The U.S. invasion of Grenada and the fall of its Marxist government can be viewed as part of a greater regional conflict. This conflict involved the U.S. and it’s Central American and Caribbean allies on one side and Fidel Castro’s Cuba, the Sandinista government of Nicaragua and Marxist guerrilla armies on the other. President Reagan and his administration were somewhat worried that the Marxist government of Prime Minister Maurice Bishop was allowing Cuba to gain influence in Grenada.
The fact that Grenada constructed a military-grade airport with Cuban military engineers really was a red flag for President Reagan to take charge. Apparently, there were a lot of soviet weapons being stored at the newly constructed airport. While we as a nation often have good intentions of helping out countries in need, I do believe there were some ulterior motives in this particular war. I would venture a guess, and say that President Reagan made this unwise, and brash decision, largely in part, because he wanted to take the attention off the 240 U.S. Marines that were killed by a Muslim suicide bomber in Beirut.
Of course President Reagan had his own words to say on the reasons for such an attack, he told a national television audience “That the invasion aimed to restore law and order and constitutional government on the island, where a brutal group of leftist thugs violently seized power last week.” Reagan said the overriding purpose of the invasion was to protect lives. He was largely concerned with safety of the 1000 Americans that lived in Grenada. Of the 1000 Americans living in Grenada about 600 were students at St. Georges Medical School Hospital in the southern end of the island. Administration officials said that they had not been harmed or threatened, and were in no immediate danger.
This is a very confident statement and partly untrue. The students would have been in grave danger if they were not rescued so quickly. Think about how the Marxist leftist thugs would have treated them if they had gotten to them first. The medical students were a perfect target for terrorist activity. For the Americans living there, they endured a high degree of anxiety because the new rulers of Grenada had imposed a 24-hour curfew and had ordered violators to be shot on sight. The Americans wanted out, and Reagan did come trough for them.
They were seized upon arrival of the 1900 troops. This war received a lot of attention nationally as well, as internationally. On a national level Americans were mostly supportive because of the buzz on the Cuban built airstrip and its hundreds of Cuban “worker-fighters” that were claimed to be “looming at their back door.” Americans felt threatened by the soviet weapons being stored at the new “Cuban built” airport in Grenada. On an international level the U.S. was not fairing so well.
Europeans were not at all happy with Reagan’s self- absorbed decision. Leaders across the world were alarmed as well as embarrasses that President Reagan would take such a drastic action after consulting with only one partner, Britain. In fact Britain was involved in the situation only to be ignored. Margaret Thatcher advised President Reagan to lay low in the situation, that military action seemed unwarranted. He did not listen. West Germany was another key U.S.
partner in Europe; they did not get so much as a phone call from Washington and were caught by surprise when the marines landed. Hans Jurgen Wischnewski, a member of the German parliament, declared in a debate, “This is a dark day for the alliance.” All of the governments of the European countries were mad and felt betrayed. Britain, West Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden and Greece all made a point of distancing themselves from the U.S. action. Italy’s prime minister was not afraid to say what was on his mind; he condemned the U.S. invasion of an independent state as, “A grave violation of international law.” The U.S. forgot one important aspect of their alliance, they changed the rules of the game, and did not even let the rest of the team know.
This is a sure way to gain a bad rap for being a trigger – happy, bully, nation. I personally think that our country often rushes into things, without any concern for our men who are going off to fight for whatever little country that may be in need. War is a terrible thing. It should only happen when there is no other alternative. We should really try to worry about ourselves a little more.
We need to pick our battles better, and stop trying to save the world. History.