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U.S. Navy To Bomb Coast Of Scotland
Over here, over here! The Yanks are coming...that is, a task force headed by the USS Dwight Eisenhower to bomb the hell out of a piece of Scotland in the spring.
Over 8,000 military personnel will be involved, along with two guided missile carriers, four guided missile destroyers, and two frigates, as they use Cape Wrath on the northern tip of Scotland as a practice firing range after being ejected from Puerto Rico.
The U.S. had used the Puerto Rican island of Vieques as a range for 58 years but a series of incidents (bombs and depleted uranium-tipped missiles were fired off target, as well as the accidental killing of a security guard) led to a massive campaign that spread to mainland U.S., thus forcing President Clinton to withdraw and locate in Scotland instead.
John Ainslie of Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (SNP) said: This move says a lot about the special relationship between Britain and America, whereby the UK government tallies along behind the U.S. Which other European country would let the Americans in after Puerto Ricoa U.S. protectoratehad got rid of them? What is so special about this relationship is how unequal it is.
The people of Puerto Rico rallied behind the protest to get rid of this and we hope something similar happens in Scotland. Prime Minister Tony Blair obviously thought it was fine and George Robertson, the secretary general of NATO, sees it as fine to bomb the north of Scotland. It is unacceptable that the U.S. is practicing their war-making techniques off our coast, says an SNP spokesperson.
Cape Wrath is a remote area that has been used by the British military for decades as a firing range. John Jappy of Dingwall CND said: The remoteness is the key and with such an isolated population there will not be much of a local protest. But people are generally not aware of the intensity of what happens there.
Two months before the Falkands campaign, the RAF had a full rehearsal bombing of Port Stanley in black-out conditions at Cape Wrath. In 1991 when Germany objected to NATO low-flying exercises they tried to switch it to Lossiemouth. We wrote to every local paper demanding it be called off. If it was not good enough for the Germans, it was not good enough for the people of Northern Scotland. That worked, as did the alert we put out on behalf of the Faroes government when the USS Ulysses entered their waters, a nuclear free zone, the next year. They had to withdraw and apologize to the Faroes. These two examples show something can be done.
Can the massed ranks of Dingwall CND stop the might of the U.S. military machine? Z