Puerto Rico - Be Careful What You Wish For!
Original source of these comments is not known to me, but they make the point!
LEARNING A LESSON THE HARD WAY
Another lesson learned the hard way! Always be careful what you ask
for, you just may get it!
One of the many headaches that George W. Bush inherited from his
predecessor was the Puerto Rican Island of Vieques. In the waning years
of the Clinton administration, protesters demanded that the U.S. Navy
abandon bombing and naval gun fire exercises that had taken place on
the largely uninhabited island for nearly seventy years. It became a
Liberal icons bumped into one another to fly to Puerto Rico, boat over
to the island, trespass (but never on a day that there was an exercise
scheduled) and get arrested for the benefit of the New York Times or
Newsweek. They included the Reverend Al Sharpton, Mrs. Jesse Jackson,
Joan Baez, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Edward James Olmos, Michael Moore,
and Ramsey Clark, just to name a few.
Hillary Clinton, then running for the U.S. Senate in New York,
chastised the U.S. Navy for not bowing to the "will of the citizens of
Puerto Rico," until her husband, a week before the election, issued an
executive order to phase out the facility by 2003, despite
recommendations to the contrary by his own Secretary of Defense and the
Chief of Naval Operations.
In 2002, the bombing exercises were transferred to an Air Force bombing
range in central Florida, not far from the Jacksonville and Pensacola
Naval Air Stations. In January, many of the protesters were back in
Puerto Rico, celebrating the final bombing exercise on Vieques and
waved Puerto Rican flags and placards that read "U.S. Navy, get out of
Puerto Rico." On February 21, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
announced that the U.S. Navy will close the Roosevelt Roads Naval Air
Station in Puerto Rico in
2004, eliminating 1200 civilian jobs as well as 700 military positions.
This naval facility is estimated to put nearly $300 million annually
into the local economy. The next day a stunned Puerto Rican Governor
Sila Calderon, held a news conference in San Juan, protesting the base
closure as a serious blow to the Commonwealth's fragile economy.
The governor stated that "The people of Puerto Rico do not now and
never did have an interest in closing the Vieques bombing range or the
Roosevelt Roads naval base. My government is interested in both staying
in Puerto Rico."
When asked, Admiral Robert J. Natter, Commander-in Chief, Western
Atlantic Command, said, "Without Vieques, I see no further need for the
facility at Roosevelt Roads. None."
So, Yanqui go home? Fine.. But we'll take our dollars with us. Hasta la
... and then, this:
On February 21, the Secretary of Defense announced that starting this
year, the U.S. European Command would begin moving most if not all of
its active combat and support units from bases in Germany to others
being established in Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Turkey to
"better position them for rapid deployment to likely hot spots in those
parts of the world".
Immediately the business and government leaders in the German states of
Hesse, Rhineland, and Wurttemburg protested the loss of nearly $6
billion in revenue each year from the bases and manpower to be
displaced. A spokesman for the Foreign Ministry speculated that the
move may be "what the Americans call 'payback' for the actions of this
government in opposing military action in Iraq."
Does anyone know the German translation for "Hasta la vista . . .baby?"
Thats what I did at first then I remembered! Hillary and Schumer will get pressure from PR voters in NY, then they will pressure DOD to keep it open.
They will then make an agreement with Republican Senators to scratch each other's backs.
Then 3-400 lucky military people will be stationed there to make wind and temperature observations for the next few years.
No wonder Rumsfeld is like a bear with a sore uhhhhh, elbow all the time.
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