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« Is It Vietnam Yet? | Main | Diehard Macintosh Fans »

Boo Hoo

Having successfully ended live-fire exercises on Vieques, Puerto Ricans are now whining about the decision to close down Roosevelt Roads Naval Base.

It apparently never occurred to them that one of the primary purposes of Rosie Roads was to support the Vieques range.

Sila Calderon overplayed her hand. She seems to want it both ways, generally expecting the benefits of being a commonwealth, while demanding the privileges of independence, and now she wanted to end the exercises but keep the money.

The imperceptible sound you hear is the strain of a nanoviolin.

Posted by Rand Simberg at July 27, 2003 04:55 PM
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Wanting your cake and bomb it too.
Excerpt: Transterrestrial Musings I've heard of talking out both sides of your motuh, but dammit, you dind't want us there, and now that we're leaving, you're greiving over the loss of revenue. GET. OVER. IT. Damn people....
Weblog: Ramblings of SilverBlue
Tracked: July 30, 2003 12:36 PM
Wanting your cake and bomb it too.
Excerpt: Transterrestrial Musings I've heard of talking out both sides of your mouth, but dammit, you dind't want us there, and now that we're leaving, you're greiving over the loss of revenue. GET. OVER. IT. Damn people....
Weblog: Ramblings of SilverBlue
Tracked: July 30, 2003 12:38 PM

"Economic revenge"? I love it.

There's no way these Puerto Rican politicians didn't know that without the Vieques Range, there was absolutely no reason for the Navy to keep Roosevelt Roads open. Sure, some other activities went on at the base (one of them being underwater demo training, but that could have been a while ago), but none that couldn't have been done elsewhere. The only reason to keep the base open was to support the Vieques Range. My guess is that Calderon and her band knew that, but cared about flexing their "independent" muscle more than they cared about Puerto Rico's economy. Now that the chickens are coming home to roost, they're blaming the Navy for it.

Posted by Jeff Dougherty at July 27, 2003 05:20 PM

Of course. Or at least, it's got to be something like this. Anyone with a functioning brain would've known the base would be shut down at least a year ago.

Posted by Rick C at July 28, 2003 07:23 AM

They knew the Navy would pull out and they foolishly hoped to get the land for cheap and develop it which would make a few people rich and still provide jobs for the locals.

Of course the risk of unexploded shells makes that a very stupid idea and the cost of ensuring there are no unexploded shells is prohibitive, so the NAVY is giving the land to the interior deparmtent and making the area a natural preserve instead of cleaning it up and auctioning it off.

Brilliant move on the Navy's part.

Posted by ruprecht at July 28, 2003 11:00 AM

The Navy doesn't play softball on basing politics. After being abused by Bay Area politicians for years ("oh no, you can't park nuclear weapons here"), when it was time to shut down bases in the 1980s and 1990s, the Navy gutted northern California (Mare Island, Alameda NAS, Moffett Field NAS, among others) and all the California leftoids bitched about it.

Posted by Andrew at July 28, 2003 01:29 PM


I absolutely love this story, and I think Senator Inhofe had it right. Seems I read something once about not being able to have your cake and eat it too...and still something else about caution in asking what you wish for. Yet another perfect example of what can go horribly wrong when you allow boneheaded whacko lefties to wag the proverbial dog. So sorry Puerto Rico, but your economy will just have to make fricking do, and sleep in the bed that your idiot leaders and activists hae made for you. If the economic drawbacks outweighed kicking out the Navy, then maybe you shoulda thought of that BEFORE kicking them out and staging violent protests.

Posted by Chris Whittaker at July 28, 2003 04:46 PM


Interesting anecdote- I hadn't heard about that angle of the Mare Island and Alameda base closings. Do you have any more information on this? I've always been a little murky as to why so many bases in one area were selected for closure.

Posted by Jeff Dougherty at July 29, 2003 07:51 AM

I wouldn't bet the farm on this theory, but it certainly fits the data -- Federal politicians who disliked the military (Sen Cranston, Rep Dellums (Alameda), Rep Edwards (Moffett), Rep Miller (Mare Island) and local politicans (Mayors Feinstein and Agnos of SF, Mayors Wilson and Harris of Oakland) who caved to the whims of their antimilitary constituencies (you can base here, but you can't have nuclear weapons, blahblah... when New Zealand is more friendly to our atomics than is the Bay Area, the military isn't going to pal around with us)

I don't know that the Navy said, "let's close Mare Island and not Bremerton because of those pinkos in San Francisco" --- but San Diego and Washington State had always been very much more friendly to the Navy, and so when it was time to close bases, I can't imagine you had lots of folks in the Pentagon fighting to keep anything in San Francisco.

Posted by Andrew at July 29, 2003 08:46 AM

BRAC is more of a Congressional money grab I mean negotiation than it is what the Navy wants. Example: the best boot camp of three was definitely not the hundred-year-old, unimproved Illinois base in the middle of nowhere. Orlando was much better, and so was San Diego. The Great Lakes base was the one to live only because of the fighting amongst senators and congressmen.

Posted by at August 2, 2003 05:41 PM

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