Poetic justice? U.S. relocating military bases-Truth!
The U.S. is Pulling out of Puerto Rico's Island of Vieques, but Now They Don't Want us to Leave-Truth!
Summary of eRumor:The eRumor talks of the history of the U.S. Navy's presence and use of the Island of Vieques in Puerto Rico and the protests in the late 1990's that the Navy should stop using portions of the island for bombing and live-fire military exercises. Now, the Navy is pulling out and the Puerto Ricans are lamenting the loss of jobs and millions of dollars of income from the base. The email also talks of U.S.bases in Western Europe that will be moved to Eastern Europe, perhaps a way of saying to countries like Germany that it is payback for not supporting the war in Iraq in 2003?
We've not found the origin of this email, but the facts seem to be accurate.
A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:
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 gunfire exercises that had taken place on the
largely uninhabited island for nearly seventy years. It became a leftist
cause. 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.
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
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 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. 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 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 spokes-man 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.” Whatever. Does anyone
know the German translation for “Hasta la vista . . . baby?”