Wednesday, April 7, 2010

TF - Chapter 6 - Invasion

Chapter 6 is entitled Invasion and it starts off as militaristic as the last chapter ended.  Colson starts the chapter talking about his part in the 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état.  Here is how Colson describes it:

The officers were briefed in the wardroom in preparation for a landing, ostensibly to protect American lives and property.  The planned invasion was labeled "Hard Rock Baker" - a covert plan to restore Guatemalan government to its pro-American leaders.  The CIA was directing the operation against the newly installed leftist-leaning government of President Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán - a classic case of gunboat diplomacy.  We listened on the shortwave radio to Radio Moscow and Pravda denouncing the American "invasion" in Central America, while President Eisenhower and his secretary of state, John Foster Dallas, denied Americans were anywhere in the area.  "Hard Rock Baker" was not publicly disclosed, in fact, until the mid-1990s.
Once again, as it seems with a lot of this book, there is so much wrong in such a short amount of space.  So one sentence at a time.  What American lives were at stake in Guatemala?  What America was doing there was protecting its own special interests, it had nothing to do with American lives and properties.  The United States was there chasing down a supposed communist threat.

The invasion was not called "Hard Rock Baker", it was called PBSUCCESS.  PBSUCCESS was the selling of weapons to resistant groups and helping them overthrow the Guatemalan government.  Operation HARDROCK BAKER was a naval blockade searching for weapons so that the Guatemalan government couldn't be better armed.  HARDROCK BAKER had nothing to do with setting up an invasion.  This was an illegal act by the US in order to intimidate President Guzmán and the Guatemalan government.  The only thing covert about it was the denial by the US government that it was happening.  US military boarded and searched British and French freighters ignoring International Law.

The CIA was directing the operation, but calling the government newly installed sounds like President Guzmán and his people took over.  Guzmán was elected president in only the second-ever universal-suffrage election in Guatemala.  He was elected peacefully, a first in Guatemalan history, and democratically.  The US was overthrowing a democratically elected government to set up a government that is loyal to us, some might even say a puppet government.  People today wonder why Iraq and others are worried about us doing the same in Iraq.   It's because we have a history of doing it.  Colson also throws in leftist-leaning because liberals are scary and should be feared, yet more political agenda thrown into a book about religion.  Can anyone show me in the Bible where it says Christians should try and manipulate the government?

Guzmán may not have been entirely innocent.  He did meet with the Guatemalan communist Labor Party to discuss a new land policy.  He was able to put that policy into affect before the US ousted him.  The policy had the government take land from the elite rich land owners and give it to the poor.  There were stipulations, the land could not be currently in use and the owners were paid for the land.  It was forced but the land owners were also properly compensated at fair market value for the land.  Guzmán was forced to sell some of his own land.  This was the communist entanglement that the US feared.  Also the policy took some power away from US friendlies inside Guatemala.

It was not just the Soviets that were denouncing our actions but allies like Britain and France.  Also if you call it an invasion and then someone you don't like uses the same word.  You can't just throw their use of the word in quotes to try and discredit their views of your actions, because you have the same view.

The rest of what Colson writes in this paragraph is actually true.  He did misspell HARDROCK BAKER again.  What all this has to do with Christianity, I don't know, nor does Colson explain.  Instead he goes on to talk about the invasion of Normandy and the lives lost there.  He finally concludes this opening section of Chapter 6 basically claiming that the attack on Normandy and the battle against Germany appears preordained and somewhat miraculous.  Basically he is saying God was on the side of the Allies in WWII, without saying it.  Funny, the Germans thought the same, "Gott Mit Uns".  Colson can say he is right because he won, might makes right of course.

No comments: