• Good News! We’re Sorta Now at War in Guatemala

    August 30, 2012

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Democracy, Military

    For older readers, that headline should bring back fond memories of the 1980’s: The Breakfast Club, synthpop music, asymmetrical haircuts, cheap cocaine and of course, the US in a semi-shadow war in Central America. Why, the Gipper’s terrier Jeanne Kilpatrick said in 1981 that “Central American is the most important place in the world today for the United States.”

    So it seems like old times to learn that US Marines, obviously with free time on their hands given how nothing ever happens in Afghanistan anymore, are gettin’ ready to put them down some whoop ‘ass in Guatemala. Yes, that’s right, we’ll be a huntin’ down drug traffickers in Guatemala with some tropic thunder baby!

    Wired.com reports that 200 Marines have entered Guatemala, on a mission to chase local operatives of the murderous Zeta drug cartel called Operation Martillo, or Hammer. That operation began earlier in January, and is much larger than just the Marine contingent and involves the Navy, Coast Guard, and federal agents working with the Guatemalans to block drug shipment routes. For years, the Pentagon has sent troops to Guatemala, but these missions have been pretty limited to exercising “soft power” — training local soldiers, building roads and schools. Operation Martillo is something quite different.

    The Marines’ share of the operation involves chasing drug traffickers with UH-1N Huey helicopters. The Marine contingent has four of the choppers, and the Marines are carrying weapons. “It’s not every day that you have 200-some Marines going to a country in Central and South America aside from conducting training exercises,” Staff Sgt. Earnest Barnes, the public affairs chief for Marine Corps Forces South, told Wired. It was not reported whether he concluded his statement with or without a lusty “rebel yell.”

    All foreign policy problems are now resolved by the military. Please make a note of it.

    So scorekeepers, please add Guatemala to your every-growing list of countries where the US is engaged in killing local folks (albeit non-Muslims), and stay tuned!

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...


      08/30/12 12:53 PM | Comment Link

    • David Macadam said...


      Thank you again for drawing attention to small corners of American foreign activity. The Munroe doctrine in action….

      09/1/12 11:27 AM | Comment Link

    • marc said...


      Always a lot of “collateral damage” when the U.S. military goes all kinetic in poor third world countries. We prioritize force protection don’t you know, boilerplate regrets are always kept at the ready and besides you can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs. Also if the past is any indication our local partners will have their own agendas and scores to settle. Like in Afghanistan When fed the right misinformation the Marines sometimes make a handy tool in that regard.

      09/1/12 5:04 PM | Comment Link

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