Hasta la vista, baby? "Always be careful what you ask for, you just may get it! One of the many headaches that the U. S. has had was the Puerto Rican
Island of Vieques.
In the waning years of the Clinton administration, Protesters demanded that the US Navy abandon bombing and naval gun fire exercises that had taken
place on the largely uninhabited island for nearly seventy years.
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 Olomos, Michael Moore and Ramsey Clark, just to name a few.
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."
The following Feb, 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 Governor Sila Calderon, held a news conference in San Juan, protesting the base closure as a serious blow to Commonwealth's
fragile economy. The governor stated that "The people of Puerto Rico don't now or never did have an interest in closing the Vieques bombing range or
the Roosevelt Roads naval base. We are interested in both staying in Puerto Rico."
When asked, the 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 vista, baby!
On February 21, the Secretary of Defense also 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?"
I don't know who to credit for this since I got it in an email from Valhall, BUT I think it is SWEET!