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Should the U.S. Navy Resume Live-fire Exercises on Vieques?

March 29, 2002
Copyright © 2002 PUERTO RICO HERALD. All Rights Reserved. 

In early April, the U.S. Navy is scheduled to begin a 3-week training exercise at its controversial facility on Vieques, Puerto Rico.

They will be shooting blanks.

Even the duds will be unacceptable to many Vieques residents and to the coterie of earnest protesters that regularly roam the base’s perimeter, with one eye looking for breaks in the fence and, the other, the location of the TV cameras.

Puerto Rican Navy supporters, mainly Statehooders, will be assembling the stanchions and unfurling the stars and stripes, vigilant to counter any perceived lack of American patriotism in the Territory with vigorous flag waving.

La Forteleza will be rummaging through the files, looking for evidence to demonstrate the Governor’s stated commitment to both the readiness of U.S. Forces after 9/11 and her absolute determination to rid the island of the Navy, forever.

The White House will be temporarily shutting off the Right Wing Direct Line, using that phone to check the polls in Florida, Texas and California to ascertain if any potential Hispanic voter has heard the distant thump of dummy bombs in Puerto Rico.

Conservatives in Congress, their red pencils sharpened, will be fuming as they scan funding proposals, poised to chastise the insolence of Puerto Rico’s voteless American citizens for their failure to recognize the demands of Empire.

The Pentagon "brass" want to see the sparks fly once again on Vieques.

Without the fire and brimstone of live-fire, they say, their pilots and grunts will be unprepared for the hell of war. They have been "keeping a list" of every incident of "collateral damage" in Afghanistan and they will be "checking it twice" on their next visit to friendly committees on Capitol Hill, as proof that the impotent ordinance of Vieques is not the tonic for manly/womanly warfare.

Meanwhile the endangered ocean turtles will be hunkering into their shells to snooze through another bombardment, the local fishermen will be repairing their nets and the U.S. Fleet will again be storming the oft-conquered -- but now quieter -- beachhead of Vieques.

This Week's Question:
Should the U.S. Navy Resume Live-fire Exercises on Vieques?



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