Archive for ‘Americas’

06/26/2020

IN DEFENSE OF JEFFERSON MEMORIALS

While people busily remove statues to treasonous Confederate generals, let’s review 10 reasons why monuments to Thomas Jefferson should not only be preserved and protected, but celebrated.

1) 1776: Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence with the famous phrase: “All men are created equal.”

2) 1776 Jefferson’s original draft of the Declaration (before others edited it), accused the king of waging a cruel war against human nature by carrying a distant people into slavery in another hemisphere.

3) 1777 Jefferson supported a bill in Virginia to outlaw the importation of slaves. It didn’t pass, but he tried.

4) 1783 Jefferson drafted an amendment to the Virginia Constitution to end slavery. Once again other lawmakers wouldn’t agree.

5) 1784 Jefferson in the Continental Congress proposed the “Ordinance of 1784,” which would have barred all slavery west of the Appalachians, but it was defeated by just one vote. Virginia slave-owner James Monroe assisted Jefferson in that effort.

6) 1785 Jefferson wrote a book entitled: “Notes on the State of Virginia” in which he denounced slavery as “doomed to extinction.”

7) 1787 Jefferson recommended slavery be outlawed in the territories covered by the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Again with the help of James Monroe, his idea was adopted and slavery became illegal in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin.

8) 1787 Jefferson urged Madison to include in Art I Sec 9 of the U.S. Constitution language stating the importation of slaves “shall not be prohibited by Congress prior to” 1808. By saying it couldn’t be banned “prior to,” they cleverly implied when it could be outlawed. Without those words, the slave trade may have continued well beyond 1808.

9) 1791 Jefferson urged Madison to amend the Constitution with a Bill of Rights to protect the freedoms of speech, assembly, and the rights of the accused.

10 1807 Jefferson as President signed a federal law banning the importation of slaves.

Americans should recall that in Virginia in the 1700s, all governors were plantation owners with slaves. Back then, abolitionists weren’t on their ballots. Men like Jefferson, Washington and Monroe were the best of the bunch, for they were trying to end slavery.

Jefferson inherited 30 slaves at age 14 in 1757. He was born into a slave culture, where he was indoctrinated into thinking there was nothing wrong with it. But he also became one of our most well-read Presidents. His childhood thoughts on slavery evolved and he became a voice of abolition. We should applaud his progress despite his slave ownership.

No historical evidence suggests that he ever personally whipped a slave. He was actually known for respecting their wishes. His policy was not to sell them against their will. History shows he helped some reunite with their families.

But the Jefferson slave story would not be complete without addressing the topic of his slave girl Sally Hamings. When some hear that he had a sexual relationship with his slave, they quickly write him off, but the story is much more interesting and complicated.

After Jefferson married Martha Wayles (1749-82), her father John Wayles (1715-73) had an affair with a mixed-blood slave, who gave birth to Sally Hemings (1773-1835). Martha and Sally thus shared the same father and were half-sisters. When John died in 1773, Sally was inherited by Martha and Tom. Since Sally looked like a Wayles and not like a black African, she became a privileged house slave.

Nine years later, as Martha was bleeding to death from a tragic delivery, she told Tom that she didn’t want their two daughters raised by a stepmother. She asked Tom to vow that he would never remarry. Deeply in love with his wife, he agreed to her terms on her deathbed. He was only 39.

Years later, when he was Minister to France, Jefferson commenced a sexual relationship with Sally, his deceased wife’s half-sister. Historians say Martha had auburn hair and hazel eyes and that Sally had similar features. Since interracial marriages were illegal in Virginia, Jefferson very discreetly kept his common law bond secret.

Tom and Sally began raising a family when she was 22 in 1795. They had Harriet-1 (1795-97); Beverly (1798-1873), Unnamed Girl (died 1799); Harriet-2 (1801-63), Madison (1805-77) and Eston (1808-56). Jefferson’s affair was finally exposed in the media while he was President in 1802. Modern DNA later confirmed his paternity.

So was Jefferson naughty for falling in love with a black woman, who happened to look like his deceased wife? When he looked into Sally’s eyes, was he seeing Martha? As a slave owner, Jefferson could have had sex with every female on his plantation, but it appears he instead chose a long-term relationship with Sally, extending at least 31 years from 1795 until his death in 1826. Instead of taking on a new playmate of the month, he impregnated the same woman over two decades.

It appears Jefferson’s relationship with Sally was honorable. While she technically was a slave who had to satisfy Tom sexually, her station probably wasn’t that much different from a white married woman, who also had to obey. As to sex, one might say, being a “slave wife” or a “white wife” was a distinction without a difference.

One could argue Jefferson was really about 175 years ahead of his time, as the Supreme Court did not declare the ban against interracial marriages unconstitutional until 1967. Tom followed his heart and engaged in civil disobedience as he disobeyed the “black code.” He and Sally should be celebrated for their love affair. Since three of Sally’s children, Harriet (1801), Madison (1805) and Eston (1808), were born while Tom was in the White House, perhaps it’s time we erected a monument to Sally Hemings (Jefferson), as the first black First Lady.

06/24/2020

LET WASHINGTON MONUMENTS STAND

When George Washington inherited 10 slaves at age 11 in 1743, did he have a choice? As a child, how insightful was he supposed to have been? When he received another slave and a horse for his 15th birthday, should have given them back? Would any teenager have done that in colonial Virginia? When Washington married Martha Custis in 1759, should he have instructed her not to bring the 255 slaves owned by the Custis estate, 170 of whom were legally the property of her two children?

Raised in a slave culture, the real question is why did Washington order his overseer not to lash slaves without his express written consent? Why did he refuse to break up slave families? Why did he stop buying slaves in 1772? Why did he begin auctioning them off in 1774? Why did he stop selling them altogether in 1778? Was it that he realized they could end up worse off? Can we agree not all slave plantation owners were the same?

Why did Washington propose to the Continental Congress in 1773 a suspension of the importation of slaves, saying he wanted to see: “An entire stop forever put to such a wicked, cruel and unnatural trade”? Wasn’t his evolution in the right direction?

Isn’t Washington deserving of a monument for leading us to independence from Britain? Shouldn’t we honor his willingness to serve as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in 1775? Few would have had the courage to take on the most powerful military in the world. Shouldn’t we recall that that at that time all Americans, white and black, were slaves to a tyrannical master in England?

After some initial Revolutionary War loses reduced the American army to just 3,800 men in 1776, why didn’t Washington just give up and go home? What propelled him to cross the Delaware for our great victory at Trenton? After additional disappointments in Penn, how did he keep his troops together during the harsh winter at Valley Forge?

When slave owning legislatures in South Carolina and Georgia both refused to send 3,000 black troops as requested in 1778, why did Washington proceed to arm black regiments from MA, CT and RI? As the Americans defeated the British at Yorktown, why were some of the heroes from the 1st Rhode Island Black Regiment? Who was the white commander who let them bear arms?

After the war, why didn’t Washington make a serious effort to recover all of the 15 slaves the British freed from his plantation? Why did he write the following to John Mercer on Sep. 9, 1786: “I never mean to possess another slave by purchase, it being among my first wishes to see some plan adopted by which slavery in this country may be abolished…”

Yet Washington still brought some of his black “servants” to the White House in 1789. Although he lacked the authority to free slaves owned by his wife’s family, as President he signed a “Slave Trade Act” (1794), which outlawed the construction of ships fitted for slave trafficking. He could have vetoed that bill, but he didn’t.

Upon leaving the Presidency in 1796, a statue sculpted by Jean Houdon of France was erected to him in Richmond. As a private citizen, Washington then asked the Virginia lawmakers to abolish slavery in 1797: “I wish from my soul that the legislature of this state could see the policy of a gradual abolition of slavery. It would prevent much future mischief.”

On Aug. 17, 1799, four months before he died, he pondered the fate of his slaves as well as the “dower slaves” owned by the Custis estate. He wrote to Robert Lewis: “To sell them…I cannot, because I am principled against this kind of traffic in the human species. To hire them out is almost as bad, because to disperse the families I have an aversion. What then is to be done? Something must or I shall be ruined.”

In his last will and testament, Washington decided: “Upon the decease of my wife, it is my will that all the slaves that I hold in my own right shall receive their freedom.” George died four months later on Dec. 14, 1799. Within a year of his death, Martha ordered all the slaves free.

We must remember that George did not create the institution of slavery. His immigrant great-grandfather John purchased them as he became a Virginia planter in 1656. His grandfather Lawrence inherited them in 1677. His father Augustine likewise inherited them at age four in 1698. Slavery was simply an integral part of the Virginia economy.

It’s unfair to George to argue that he needed to be the lone voice against slavery when he inherited slaves as a child. What is noteworthy is that he evolved. It took a lifetime, but he said the right things and did the right thing in the end. We should not judge Washington on the sole issue of slavery, as that was not the key issue in his day.

We memorialize Washington for liberating America from the tyrannical rule of an un-elected king. Without that first step, Lincoln could not have made the second. While history often does not move fast enough, it moves. While statues to Confederate traitors should be removed, because they sought to preserve slavery, all of us should honor Washington for defeating the King of England. We should preserve and protect his monuments. Washington’s face should forever remain in granite at Mt. Rushmore.

12/17/2014

Guantanamo Bay Base: Give It Up

The U.S. has a Navy Base at Guantanamo Bay, on the island of Cuba, has been operated illegally, against the wishes of the Cuban government for 117 years, should now be torn down, and the port should be returned to the Cuban people.

As far back as 1854, the U.S. has made frivolous claims to Cuba. When Franklin Pierce (1853-57) was President, future President James Buchanan, a member of his administration, issued the Ostend Manifesto, which claimed the U.S. had a right to seize the island by force, if Spain refused to sell it. Buchanan was afraid a slave rebellion would turn the island into a disorderly republic, like Haiti, but his real motive was to create another slave state.

After a revolt broke out in 1895 between the Cubans and colonial Spain, the Maine, an American ship, was blown up in Havana Harbor in 1898, and though there was no proof the explosion was caused by the Spanish, the U.S. invaded the island and won the Spanish-American War.

When the Americans first occupied the island, they were greeted as liberators, but the mood soon changed, as the newly liberated people were forced, under the Platt Amendment (1901), to grant the U.S. a right to intervene in their internal affairs. Although President Theodore Roosevelt granted independence, under the Cuban-American Treaty (1903), the catch was the Cubans had to give the U.S. a perpetual lease to Guantanamo.

A generation later, President Franklin Roosevelt offered to annul the right to intervene, provided the Cubans signed the Treaty between the U.S. and Cuba (1934), which continued the unwelcome U.S. military presence at Guantanamo. Realizing they would never get a better offer from conservatives in America, the Cubans accepted a half a loaf from the liberal FDR, instead of nothing at all.

The Cubans have since continued protesting the American military presence on the island. When Fidel Castro took over in 1959, he escalated the objection by shutting off the water to the base, in an attempt to get the U.S. to go home, but the Americans started filtering seawater through a desalination plant (1964). Cuba does not cash rental payment checks from the U.S.

The U.S. has no legitimate right to use the Guantanamo Bay Navy Base, as the lease was forced upon Cuba under what international law would refer to as an unequal treaty. Since President Obama promised to close Guantanamo, now would be the perfect time to give it back.

12/17/2014

Cuba: End of U.S. Trade Embargo

The U.S. has had a trade embargo against Cuba since 1962 and it is time to end it. After 52 years, it has no purpose and most people now have no idea why it was imposed in the first place.

The story begins with Gen. Batista, who came to power in a coup backed by the U.S. (1952). He ran a dictatorship that censored the press and suspended constitutional rights (1953). Fidel Castro, a lawyer, led the overthrow of Batista’s regime in the Cuban Revolution (1953-59). While Castro’s dictatorship had some of the same faults as Batista’s, most Cuban people accepted Fidel, because at least he eliminated illiteracy and provided health care.

Anger at Cuba from abroad was not because Batista was removed, but instead due to Fidel’s subsequent confiscation of land from foreigners and the nationalization of U.S.-owned oil refineries, sugar mills, casinos and utilities. What Castro did was not however unique. Scores of nations that declared independence at that time also nationalized their natural resources and industries.

In any event, diplomatic relations with Cuba were severed. When President Kennedy took office, anti-Castro exiles unsuccessfully staged a military invasion at the Bay of Pigs (1961). Once the U.S. banned trade with Cuba (1962), Castro turned to Moscow for help. The Soviets said Cuba had a right to be free of foreign interference and supplied Cuba with weapons for their defense. This is when U.S. reconnaissance observed nuclear weapon sites in Cuba, triggering the Cuban Missile Crisis (1962). Although the weapons were removed when the U.S. Navy blockaded the island, the friction between the U.S. and Cuba continued.

The U.S. now trades with the People’s Rep. of China, Vietnam, and other communist countries. There is no logical reason not to trade with Cuba. Fidel Castro recently turned the presidency over to his brother Raul (2008), and soon both of them will be gone.

Today, the streets of Havana still show the effects of 1962 embargo. Most cars pre-date the 1959 revolution and there are no recreational boats in the harbor. Opening trade would not only benefit the Cuban people, it would create jobs for many U.S. businesses and their employees.

04/19/2013

Roots of Chechnya Separatism

Towards the end of the Soviet War in Afghanistan (1980-88), Mikhail Gorbachev withdrew troops from what was Russia’s Vietnam. He proceeded in 1988 to advocate reform from within, as he promoted glasnost (openness) and perestroika (rebuilding). Open elections in the Soviet Union followed in 1989, for the first time in 70 years. 200,000 marched in 1990 before the Kremlin, calling for an end to the central Soviet government.

Independent satellite states, like Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary and others that had been occupied since the end of World War II, insisted on freedom and demanded that the Russians get out.

More significantly, the Soviet Union itself, comprised of 14 Republics, forged together in the 1920s after the Russian Revolution, also demanded independence from centralized Soviet control. The USSR soon imploded from within, as states like the Ukraine, Estonia and Latvia, and 11 others gained independence. A reactionary coup tried to reassert control, but the Soviet egg had been broken, and it couldn’t be put back together again.

After Russia lost control over the states occupied since 1945, and the 14 Republics that formed the Soviet Union, all that remained was the Russian land that predated the Russian Revolution. The problem was the separatist spirit was alive and longstanding religious or ethnic forces sought to break up Russia. This is where the Russians drew the line and fought to hold their territories.

After Boris Yeltsin replaced Gorbachev in 1991, as President of the new Russian Republic, he presided over the 1st Chechen War (1994-96). He tried to stop a secessionist revolt in Chechnya, which borders North Ossetia to the west, and the Republic of Georgia to the south. When a 2nd Chechen War (1999-09) erupted, Islamic forces invaded Dagestan, and the Russia people turned to former KBG Chief Vladimir Putin to replace Yeltsin. Putin promptly took a hard line to subdue the separatists, as he bombed the Chechnya capital at Grozny. The war later migrated into Ingushetia in 2007, located between Chechnya and North Ossetia.

Although Chechnya is a part of Russia, its people differ ethnically and have beliefs at odds with the Russians in Moscow. While they say they are freedom fighters, Russia calls them terrorists.

After the World Trade Center attack in 2001, the U.S. and Russia became allies against their respective terrorist enemies. Since Chechnya is opposed to the Russian government, and the U.S. is allied with Russia, the U.S. is now a target of some Chechnyans.

06/11/2012

High-Speed Rail: Why Opposed by Right?

It’s always surprising when high-speed rail projects are rejected by people who call themselves conservatives, since they are, when compared to cars, a much more efficient mode of transportation.

In an effort to stimulate jobs, President Obama proposed high-speed rail for Florida, between Orlando and Tampa, and from Milwaukee to Madison in Wisconsin, but right-wing Gov. Rick Scott of Florida rejected his plan, and Wisconsin’s Tea Party Gov. Scott Walker likewise pushed away the Badger State blueprint.

To wealthy Republicans like Florida’s Rick Scott, transportation is no problem, for he has always had his own private jet, and can go wherever he wants without delay. Money is no object for him. The problem with Scott Walker of Wisconsin is he examined only one part of the equation, the start-up costs, while failing to consider the international risk of oil and gas embargoes, the plight of youthful or impoverished people who don’t own cars, and the many environmental costs created by gas-combustion engines.

Europe has always been a much easier and efficient continent, when compared to the U.S., in terms of transportation and travel. Trains generally run on time and connect all the major cities in the Old World. One can connect on buses at train stations, without all of the hassles or expenses related to cars. A little walk or bike ride now and then in Europe keeps them from becoming obese, like their overweight American counterparts.

So what happened? When did the conservatives in America stop caring about conservation? In the early years, it was the Republican Party in the industrial north that expanded the network of railroads. The Union Pacific, started in 1865, was connected to the West Coast in 1869. Businesses needed trains to remove lumber from the forests and resources from the mines. They hauled coal, livestock, and machinery, just to name a few items.

The advent of the electric subway and elevated trains around 1895 was a major source of efficiency for our major cities, as they provided a relatively cheap way for millions of ordinary people to travel in places like Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Chicago.

While the airplane has replaced the train for some purposes, and the mail for example can be delivered more efficiently by air, trains still have a purpose, and they should be used in the U.S. much more than they are at present. They are not obsolete.

America would be a much more efficient and better place if all of our major cities had subway systems, and if our national passenger trains were improved so they could enter the class of high-speed lines used in France, Japan, or China, for example. The first step in moving in the right direction, would be to elect people from the left, who have a vision of what the U.S. could be.

04/16/2012

Guantanamo Bay Base: Give It Up

The U.S. Navy Base at Guantanamo Bay, on the island of Cuba, has been operated illegally, against the wishes of the Cuban government for 114 years, and it should now be torn down, and the port should be returned to the Cuban people.

As far back as 1854, the U.S. has made frivolous claims to Cuba. When Franklin Pierce (1853-57) was President, future President James Buchanan, a member of his administration, issued the Ostend Manifesto, which claimed the U.S. had a right to seize the island by force, if Spain refused to sell it. Buchanan was afraid a slave rebellion would turn the island into a disorderly republic, like Haiti, but his real motive was to create another slave state.

After a revolt broke out in 1895 between the Cubans and colonial Spain, the Maine, an American ship, was blown up in Havana Harbor in 1898, and though there was no proof the explosion was caused by the Spanish, the U.S. invaded, and won the Spanish-American War.

When the Americans first occupied the island, they were greeted as liberators, but the mood soon changed, as the newly liberated people were forced, under the Platt Amendment (1901), to give the U.S. a right to intervene in their internal affairs. Although President Theodore Roosevelt granted independence, under the Cuban-American Treaty (1903), the catch was they had to give the U.S. a perpetual lease to Guantanamo Bay.

A generation later, President Franklin Roosevelt offered to annul the right to intervene, provided the Cubans signed the Treaty between the U.S. and Cuba (1934), which allowed the unwelcome U.S. military presence at Guantanamo to continue. Realizing they would never get a better deal from a conservative American President, the Cubans accepted a half a loaf from liberal FDR, instead of nothing at all.

The Cubans have since continued to protest the American military presence on the island. When Fidel Castro took over in 1959, he escalated the objection by shutting off the water to the American base, in an attempt to get the U.S. to go home, but the U.S. Navy started filtering seawater through a desalination plant in 1964. To this day, Cuba does not cash rental checks from the U.S.

The U.S. has no legitimate right to use the Guantanamo Bay Navy Base, as the lease was forced upon Cuba under what international law would refer to as an unequal treaty. Since President Obama promised to close Guantanamo, now would be the perfect time to give the port back.

04/06/2012

American Samoa: Reunite with Samoa

American Samoa, some 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii, and nowhere near the continental U.S., is an American territory in the South Pacific, which should either become an independent free state, or be reunited with the separate island-nation of Samoa, 84 miles to the west, from which it was forcibly severed by the United States in 1899.

Western intervention in Samoa dates back to the 18th Century. After Dutch navigators first sighted Samoa (1722), French sailors arrived (1768), followed by English missionaries, who erected a permanent settlement (1830). A visit by an American Expedition in 1839, was followed by a U.S.-Samoa Friendship Treaty (1878).

In the First Samoan Civil War (1886-94), the German Navy raided the island, causing the U.S. and Britain to support the opposition in 1887. A battle between the U.S. and Germany was narrowly avoided in 1889, as a typhoon damaged both fleets. A resolution was reached, under the Treaty of Berlin (1889), which created a three-power protectorate to jointly govern the islands, but soon the deal fell apart, and fighting resumed.

In the Second Samoan Civil War (1898-99), Germany, Britain, and the U.S. finally settled the dispute, by partitioning the islands under the Tripartite Convention (1899), which transferred Fiji to the UK, Western Samoa (now Samoa) to Germany, and Eastern Samoa (now American Samoa, east of the 171st meridian) to the U.S. Republican President McKinley, an imperial expansionist, had no trouble annexing the islands, even though his conduct went against the grain of over 100 years of anti-colonial U.S. policy.

In WWI, New Zealand seized German Samoa, renamed it Western Samoa, and governed for 48 years (1914-62), under a League of Nations mandate (1921), and subsequent UN Trust (1945), until independence was granted in 1962. The name Western Samoa was later shortened to simply “Samoa” (1997).

Although the U.S. has not granted independence for American Samoa, in 1967, self-rule was allowed, and in 1981, the territory received a non-voting seat in the U.S. House. Since American Samoans are not U.S. Citizens, they cannot vote in American elections, or hold public office, but as U.S. Nationals, they may reside or work in the U.S. without restriction, and may apply for U.S. Citizenship, as resident aliens.

The colonial relationship between the U.S. and American Samoa should now come to an end. It started in 1899 when there was no Panama Canal, and ships needed to sail around the horn of South America into the South Pacific, to ultimately reach the West Coast. The reason we took American Samoa is now long gone.

American Samoa, 4,770 miles from San Diego, has no chance of becoming a U.S. state, and it should now either merge with the nation of Samoa, or gain recognition in the UN as an independent country. Their population of 65,628 could easily assimilate with the 219,998 who live on one of 14 inhabited Samoan islands, and it is time for the U.S. to let go and allow American Samoa reunite with Samoa.

04/05/2012

UK Falklands Violate Monroe Doctrine

The Falkland Islands, a British territory in the South Atlantic, is a cold, windy, and rainy place (more than half the year), as temperatures range between 30 F and 55 F. They neighbor Argentina, 300 miles to the west, the uninhabited Sandwich Islands, to the southeast, and Antarctica, 700 miles to the south. There is virtually no work here, except fishing and shepherding.

The Falklands War broke out in 1982, some 30 years ago, when roughly 3,140 English citizens on the islands witnessed an invasion by thousands of Argentine troops. After ignoring a UN Resolution calling for a withdrawal, a British submarine sank the Gen. Belgrano, an Argentine ship, causing 362 sailors to die at sea, and soon thereafter, Argentina’s military junta surrendered. 13 years later, a different government agreed not to invade again, as weekly flights between the islands and Argentina resumed.

Today, Argentina continues to assert that they own the Falklands. They point out Spain was the first European power to claim them, when Magellan sailed past in 1502. Although Englishmen erected a settlement in 1766, they argue Spanish forces evicted them in 1779, just four years later. While a 1771 treaty gave Britain a right to return, they note the English voluntarily gave up the place again in 1776. Argentina asserts Spain subsequently governed the islands, until Argentine independence was declared in 1811. Argentina alleges an unbroken chain of title flowing through Spain, their predecessor-in-interest, all the way back to Magellan.

Britain, on the other hand, has a claim traced back to Capt. Davies who visited in 1592. After Viscount Falkland, a Royal Navy treasurer, went ashore in 1690, the islands were named after him. Although a newly independent Argentina opened a penal colony on the islands in 1828, it was closed down when British citizens started arriving in 1833. The UK argues English descendants have continuously occupied the Falklands since 1833, and the islanders have voted to remain a territory of the United Kingdom.

At the time of the 1982 Falklands War, President Reagan, a light-weight in international affairs, sided with Britain’s Margaret Thatcher, and her Conservative government, because he simply did not know any better. He could have reminded Britain that when the people of Latin America rose up against Spanish colonialism, in the early 19th Century, and won their various wars of independence, the U.S. through President Monroe, issued the Monroe Doctrine in which the Americans sided with Argentina, and the other newly independent Latin American republics.

President Monroe declared in 1823, ten years before the British started colonizing the Falklands: “The American continents, by the free and independent condition which they have assumed and maintain, are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers.”

When the British started colonizing the Falklands in 1833, they were in direct violation of U.S. Foreign Policy, under the Monroe Doctrine. At that time, Monroe would have sided with the Argentines and against the British, and if he were alive in 1982 or today, he would take the same anti-colonial stand.

While giving the islands to Argentina now would go against 179 years of ongoing British rule, and the self-determination rights of the islanders, the Falkland Islands will have a more stable future, if they established permanent relations with Argentina, their only real neighbor. The era of colonialism is over, and it is time for Britain, Argentina, and the people of the Falklands to work out a new arrangement.

03/26/2012

Army Bases in U.S. Could Close

With the growing National Debt, many of the multitude of Army bases in the U.S., as listed below, could be closed.

HAWAII: The Pohakuloa Training Area is on the big island. On Oahu, the Honolulu area has several duplicitous facilities: 1) Fort Shafter; 2) Fort DeRussy; 3) Wheeler Army Airfield; 4) Schofield Barracks; 5) Tripler Army Medical Center; and 6) the Hale Koa Hotel on Waikiki Beach, which they say gets no federal funding, but I am sure it is subsidized one way or another. The army should not be running a beach hotel. Close it.

ALASKA: Fort Richardson, in Anchorage, is shared with the AF, Fort Wainwright is in Fairbanks, and Fort Greely is a missile base, 100 miles SE of Fairbanks.

CALIFORNIA: Southern California has the Los Alamitos Army Airfield in Orange County. A Desert Training Center is east of LA County in the Mojave Desert. The duplicitous Fort Irwin National Training Center is also in the Mojave. Camp Cook is in Santa Barbara. Camp San Luis Obispo is on the central coast. In Northern California, the Sierra Army Depot is near Reno. The Presidio-Monterey hosts a defense language institute. Monterey is houses Fort Hunter Liggett, as well as Camp Roberts. The Parks Reserve Forces Training Area is in Alameda County by the Bay. Camp Beale is in greater Sacramento. The Army uses the Military Ocean Terminal-Concord. The army also operates the Sharpe Army Depot and Tracy Army Depot.

OREGON: The Umatilla Chemical Depot is to be closed by 2015. Oregon also has an Army National Guard base at Camp Rilea.

WASHINGTON: Fort Lewis is a joint base with the AF, 9 miles from Tacoma. The Yakima Training Center is south-central.

IDAHO: Idaho reportedly has Gowen Field, and Orchard Range, both in Boise, and Edgemeade at Mountain Home.

MONTANA: Fort William Henry Harrison is where the Montana National Guard train.

WYOMING: Guernsey Maneuver Area is an Army National Guard post.

COLORADO: Fort Carson is in Colorado Springs; Pueblo Chemical Depot is in Central Colorado; and the Fort Logan National Cemetery is in Denver.

UTAH: While the Utah Guard uses Camp Williams, 25 miles from Salt Lake, the Dugway Proving Ground is 85 miles SE of Salt Lake, and Tooele Army Depot, near Salt Lake, is for storage.

NEVADA: Hawthorne Army Ammunition Depot is an ammunition storage facility in western Nevada.

ARIZONA: Fort Huachuca is 15 miles from the border, the Yuma Proving Ground is southwest, and Camp Navajo is a National Guard base up near Flagstaff.

NEW MEXICO: Rockets are tested at the White Sands Missile Range, covering parts of five counties in southern New Mexico.

NORTH DAKOTA: Camp Grafton, in the northeast, is used by the National Guard.

NEBRASKA: Camp Ashland is a National Guard post.

KANSAS: Fort Leavenworth and Fort Riley, are both in northeast Kansas. The state also has the Munson Army Health Center, and Nickell Barracks.

OKLAHOMA: Fort Sill is 85 miles SW of Oklahoma City. Camp Gruber, and the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, are both in is in the eastern part of the state.

TEXAS: Corpus Christi Army Depot is in southeast Texas. Camp Bullis and the Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston are both in San Antonio. Camp Mabry is in Austin. Camp Swift is in SE Texas. Fort Hood is between Austin and Waco. Red River Army Depot is northeast in Texarkana. Camp Wolters is a National Guard training center in the north-central area. Fort Bliss is our west near El Paso. Camp Bowie is an active training station.

LOUISIANA: Camp Beauregard and Fort Polk are in the central or west-central areas.

ARKANSAS: Fort Chaffee is in the northwest, while the Pine Bluff Arsenal is in the south-central area.

MISSOURI: Fort Leonard Wood is a major military base in the south-central part of the state, where many did boot camp.

IOWA: The Fort Des Moines Training School, as well as Camp Dodge, are both in Des Moines. The Army Ammunition Plant is on the Mississippi in the SE.

MINNESOTA: Camp Riley, in the center of the state, is used by the Minnesota National Guard.

WISCONSIN: Fort McCoy, in Sparta, is used as an Army training center. Camp Williams, a National Guard facility in the town of Camp Douglas, is also in western Wisconsin.

ILLINOIS: Charles M Price Support Center is located east of St. Louis. The Rock Island Arsenal is on the Mississippi.

INDIANA: The National Guard uses Camp Atterbury, in the center of the state, and is opening a duplicitous facility at the site of the old Fort Benjamin Harrison.

MICHIGAN: Camp Grayling trains the National Guard. The Detroit Arsenal Tank Plant is where Chrysler makes Army Tanks. Fort Custer, in the SW, is also used by the Army National Guard.

OHIO: Camp Perry is a National Guard facility on Lake Eire. The Camp Ravenna Joint Military Training Center is in northeast. Camp Sherman is a Guard base in southern Ohio.

PENNSYLVANIA: There are many facilities in south-central PA including Carlisle Barracks, founded in 1757, which conducts army training and hosts a War College. Fort Indiantown Gap, near Harrisburg, trains the Guard. The Harrisburg Military Post is a historic site. The New Cumberland Army Depot, 3 miles from Harrisburg, is called the Eastern Distribution Center. The Letterkenny Army Depot is south-central. Tobyhanna Army Depot (NW) repairs and upgrades surveillance and reconnaissance systems.

WEST VIRGINIA: Camp Dawson West Virginia Training Area is near Morgantown.

KENTUCKY: Fort Campbell, on the Tennessee border, is the home of the 101st Airborne. Fort Knox is south of Louisville. Conventional and chemical weapons are stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot, in the state’s center.

TENNESSEE: Explosives are manufactured at the Holston Army Ammunition Plant. The predecessor to the Kingston Demolition Range, known as the Clinton Engineer Works, is where uranium for the atomic bomb was enriched in WWII. Milan Army Ammunition Plant is in western Tennessee.

MISSISSIPPI: Camp Shelby is a training site in Hattiesburg.

ALABAMA: Anniston Army Depot (N) is where chemical weapons are stored, and track vehicles are repaired. Aviation training occurs at Fort Rucker in southern Alabama. The Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville is involved in the space program, and does missile testing.

MAINE: The state reportedly has Guard bases at MTA Deepwoods; MTA Riley-Bog Brook; TS Caswell; and TS Hollis Plains.

VERMONT: Camp Ethan Allen Training Site is a Guard facility.

MASSACHUSETTS: Camp Curtis Guild, Fort Devens, and the Natick Army Soldiers Systems Center are all in Middlesex County, in the north. Camp Edwards is near Cap Code.

NEW YORK: Fort Hamilton is in Brooklyn. The U.S. Military Academy, which should be kept, is 50 miles north of NYC. The Watervliet Arsenal is further up along the Hudson River. Fort Drum is way up at the northeast end of Lake Ontario.

NEW JERSEY: Fort Dix near Trenton is now a joint base. Picatinny Arsenal, in northern NJ, is a facility where research and development is conducted.

DELAWARE: The Guard uses the Bethany Beach Traning Site.

MARYLAND: The Aberdeen Proving Ground is in northern Maryland. Fort Detrick is in the western part of the state. Fort Meade is the home of the National Security Agency (NSA).

WASH DC: Fort Lesley J McNair was founded in 1791.

VIRGINIA: Fort Myer is across the Potomac; Fort Belvoir, in Fairfax County, is also near DC; Fort Hill, one of the largest installations on the East Coast, is 90 miles from DC. Fort Lee is in metro Richmond. Fort Eustis is a joint base at Langley in Newport News. Fort Story in Virginia Beach is a subdivision of Eustis. Fort Pickett is a Guard facility in the south-central part area. The Radford Army Ammunition Plant, in western Virginia, is where explosives are manufactured.

NORTH CAROLINA: The south-central area is home to Fort Bragg, a major installation, Pope Army Airfield, and Camp MacKall, the home of the 82nd Airborne. The Guard uses Camp Butner, in the north-central part of the state. The Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point is 26 miles south of Wilmington.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Fort Jackson is in Columbia, SC.

GEORGIA: Fort Benning is a major installation, midway along the Alabama border. Fort Gordon is on the South Carolina line. Hunter Army Airfield is in Savannah, and Fort Stewart is also in southeast Georgia, near the Atlantic.

FLORIDA: Camp Blanding, in greater Jacksonville, is used by the Florida National Guard.