U.S. Marines Join Guatamala's Drug War

The militarization of the war on drugs is officially underway.

A team of 200 U.S. Marines began patrolling Guatemala's western coast this week in an unprecedented operation to beat drug traffickers in the Central America region, a U.S. military spokesman said Wednesday.

The Marines are deployed as part of Operation Martillo, a broader effort started last Jan. 15 to stop drug trafficking along the Central American coast. Focused exclusively on drug dealers in airplanes or boats, the U.S.-led operation involves troops or law enforcement agents from Belize, Britain, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, France, Guatemala, Honduras, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama and Spain.

Wired has more here.

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    Imperial power. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Robot Porter on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 02:49:19 AM EST
    Some in our government sure love exercising it. Where does that come from?  That drive? That need?  I don't know. But history tells one thing: It will not end well.

    Officially ? (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 09:13:23 AM EST
    Who was chasing Escobar around Columbia and ultimately killed or aided in his killing, the US military, Delta forces.

    Ecuador refused to renew the US air base which was an essential para-military base in 'rooting' out cocaine suppliers.

    The US Coast Guard considers drug interdiction as one of it's official homeland security missions.

    The opium trade has had US military fingerprints all over it, from Vietnam to Afghanistan.

    The war on drugs was militarized long before Guatemala.

    As CIC, Obama could stop this today (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Dadler on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 10:58:46 AM EST
    But he won't. His SCOTUS nominees better turn out to be, every one of them, consensus all-stars. But I ain't holding my breath.

    As CIC (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by jbindc on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 11:04:43 AM EST
    Don't you think he knew about this, and ultimately, authorized it?

    Campaign Season in full swing... (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 11:10:27 AM EST
    Brand D and Brand R ripping each other to shreds on so many issues...yet, strangely, nary a peep about the failed war on drugs and failed occupation of Afghanistan.

    Why?  Because there is no difference between the candidates positions.  Very depressing.


    The Silver Lining... (none / 0) (#8)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 11:57:29 AM EST
    ...doesn't matter from a consumer perspective.  Sure the war is a joke, but sans legalization, this is about the best possible outcome for the consumer.  It's readily available, fairly cheap, and the actual punishment rarely involved jail.

    I don't know if it's location, but the prices I paid in high-school in Wisconsin are higher than today in Houston and the quality is phenomenally better.  I remember when hydro was rare, now it's the standard, and shwag, while not rare, it's in the minority.

    And I would even go so far as saying, if it was regulated, it would cost a lot more, availability would be controlled by tea-toddlers, and the profits would be in corporate hacks pockets.

    I know, but someone's got make some lemonade from this disaster.


    Don't (none / 0) (#2)
    by lentinel on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 06:25:39 AM EST
    we have any say in the matter?

    Do we want our military to be used for this kind of cr@p?

    Worser and worser.

    They don't read their own histories (none / 0) (#3)
    by SeeEmDee on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 07:33:53 AM EST
    General Smedley Butler, one of the highest decorated Marines ever, had this to say about his Central American and Caribbean sojourns:

    "There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its "muscle men" to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war preparations, and a "Big Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.

    It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

        I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

        I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

    During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."

    That was said the 1930's. Not much has changed changed, only the hardware. We're not there to interdict drugs but to pave the way for more bases, from which to interfere in more countries' affairs. At least, until the money finally runs out, or is inflated to such heights it's useless. And we're very nearly there.

    Bad call, wrong call President Obama (none / 0) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 02:07:15 PM EST
    And....it won't be long before poorly paid Marines become a part of the drug funnel.  It always happens this way when you attempt to use a human force in this manner because there is so much money left on the table when you can disrupt the existing power..  They eventually join in, particularly once they realize how they are often being whored out and used too....but whatever, what do I know?

    According to local paper: (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by oculus on Thu Aug 30, 2012 at 03:33:35 PM EST
    More than 20 SD veterans committed suicide this year.  Almost half of crisis calls received by the VA's suicide prevention program are people who have served since Sept. 11, 2001, officials said.