03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Will We Ever Learn? America's Invasion of Grenada

Mr. President, what catastrophes will you accept in Afghanistan? Huge numbers of deaths and injuries to our personnel and non-combatants? Perhaps leavened by "Friends" who tell you whatever you want to hear? The giving up of Bin Laden (dream on)? The touring of Al Qaeda camps and their weapons, (how about some tequila), etc. ? The first is not a pipe dream. The others, an incomplete list, all are.


Eric Matthew Gairy began the Revolution in 1970 when he negotiated Grenada's independence from Britain. He was the elected Honorable Prime Minister. Maurice Bishop and Bernard Coard who appointed themselves as Prime Minister and Deputy prime minister overthrew him. Although they had worked together since 1976, a rift developed between Coard and Bishop. Coard supposedly had Bishop and his followers imprisoned and killed (1983).

Within days after the murder of Bishop, the Americans arrived, ostensibly to rescue medical students. The actual reason was to rid Grenada of the Cubans who were building an airport, creating a friendly base for their operations in Grenada and making friends. They were seen by Grenadians as allies. The Cubans also supplied training and weapons, to arm and train Grenada's hapless army. The American Marines, having gotten rid of the Cubans, increased to 7,000 troops, and stayed for one year. The US supposedly put Coard in jail along his "henchmen" and set up an interim government with handpicked Grenadians to stage a "democratic" election, including the "most likely Grenadian, Herbert Augustus Blaize, to lead Grenada back to a democracy."

Blaize was elected Honorable Prime Minister and the democracy was supposedly re-established. There was no direct help given to the Grenadians by the US except jailing, and a rigged election, some money ($75,000,000 for the war and $1,500,000) for reparations, in the form of money specifically requested by Grenadians, the Americans sad but usual standard of spreading Democracy.

Of the 17 people who were put in jail after the killing of Bishop, 4 were released in 2008 and the remaining 13 were released in 2009 (including Coard). All stayed in Grenada, except Coard, who went to Cuba to be with his sickly wife. The "Truth and Reconciliation Commission" one member being Maurice Bishop's daughter decided on their release. This commission met in the past two years and voted to forgive the men in jail and had them released. All 16 are still on the island and are treated by most with respect.

The Inevitable Fall from Grace

People, who had talked to me, suddenly stopped. I was avoided at restaurants. Those who had cheerfully talked about Grenada, stopped talking. My search for answers about Grenadian politics that had before been easily answered, now received shrugs and leavings. Those with nothing to hide, should hide nothing. My questions apparently got too close to subjects not to be brought out of hiding. Free Speech is doubtful and fleeting. To this day, many Grenadians do not know the exact events leading to and including Bishop's death.

Communism/Marxism have been present in Grenada for 45 years. It began with the "Revolution" that freed Granada from Britain. The end of the Counter Revolution coincided with the death of Bishop and the imprisonment of Coard. The day the Americans arrived is considered the day democracy was re-established. It is a national holiday and is named "Thanksgiving." It is also celebrated by many citizens to honor the death of Bishop.

In the Grenada "rescue" the ratio of Grenadians to Marines was 10 to 1 (70,000) to (7,000). In Afghanistan, 28,000,000 to 50,000 or 560 to 1. To compare the fighting terrain in Grenada to that in Afghanistan is a joke. In comparison, Grenada might as well be flat. Afghanistan has rocky, rugged mountains, which can hide anyone. In Grenada, 4 official parties and a number of very powerful influence groups exist. In Afghanistan, numerous tribes, "religious" and political, organized groups, etc., often believing it is a great honor to die. This will be a monumental encounter.

Worse yet, we will fight like capitalists as we did in Grenada. We will destroy, not help. Non-combatants will be left high and dry. We will build no roads, no hospitals, no schools, no homes, We will blow up bridges, destroy water systems, electrical systems. And then we will leave and send small amounts of money, not people, to "help." We will create one more stinging argument against Democracy and Capitalism and make no friends. We will make many enemies.

(But for annoying questioners like me, Grenada is a wonderful place to vacation.)