"Wimps,” sneers Michael Moore in his book Downsize This, referring to men (and boys, some as young as 16) who 52 years ago this week hit a Cuban beach now known as the Bay of Pigs. “Really just a bunch of wimps. That's right, wimps-- and crybabies too,” sneers Moore. “Ex-Cubans with a yellow stripe down their backs."
“They fought magnificently”, testified a better judge of combat conduct (we’re guessing) than Michael Moore. I refer to U.S. Marine Colonel Hack Hawkins, who helped train the Cuban freedom fighters and (heart-brokenly) assessed the battle. Colonel Hawkins was flagged with medals for heroism at Corregidor, Iwo Jima, and Inchon. “They [the Cuban-freedom fighters] simply ran out of the ammunition and supplies their sponsor, the U.S., had promised them,” continued the Marine Colonel. “They had no choice but to surrender. We abandoned them.”
"They fought like tigers," wrote a CIA officer who helped also trained these Cuban freedom-fighters, and actually hit the beach alongside them. "But their fight was doomed before the first man hit the beach."
That CIA man, Grayston Lynch, also knew a bit more about combat than did Michael Moore (we’re guessing). He carried scars from Omaha Beach, The Battle of the Bulge and Korea's Heartbreak Ridge. But in those battles, Lynch and his band of brothers could count on the support of their own chief executive.
At the Bay of Pigs, Lynch and his band of Cuban brothers learned -- first in speechless shock and finally in burning rage -- that their most powerful enemies were not Castro's Soviet-armed and led soldiers massing in Havana, but the Ivy League's best and brightest dithering in Washington.
Lynch trained, in his own words, ''brave boys most of whom had never before fired a shot in anger." Short on battle experience, yes, but they fairly burst with what Bonaparte and George Patton valued most in a soldier -- morale. They'd seen the face of Castro/Communism point-blank: stealing, lying, jailing, poisoning minds, murdering.
They'd heard the chilling "Fuego!"" as Castro and Che's firing squads murdered thousands of brave countrymen. More importantly, they heard the "Viva Cuba Libre!" from the bound and blindfolded patriots, right before the bullets ripped them apart. They set their jaws and resolved to smash this murderous barbarism that was ravaging their homeland. And they went at it with a vengeance.
Humberto Fontova holds an M.A. in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and is the author of four books including his latest, The Longest Romance; The Mainstream Media and Fidel Castro. For more information and for video clips of his Television and college speaking appearances please visit www.hfontova.com.