example of the latter hit the news briefly last week. It seems
that since 1965 the U.S. Navy has leased Nanoose Bay on Vancouver
Island in British Columbia from the province as a torpedo testing
ground. Apparently the muddy seabed there makes it feasible to retrieve
the torpedoes after testing.
the lease about to expire, British Columbia's government wants to
demand as a condition of renewing the lease a pledge that no nuclear-armed
ships enter the strait where the bay is located. But the U.S. Navy
has a policy of neither confirming nor denying the presence of nuclear
weapons aboard its ships which probably but not absolutely means
at least some ships entering the strait do carry nuclear weapons.
the provincial government is being stubborn about the issue, Canada's
federal government hass expropriated the 140-square mile area around
Nanoose Bay so it can continue to be used by the U.S. Navy. This
has led to bitterness on the part of some British Columbians who
complain that their federal government is more concerned about the
U.S. government's defense policies than about the concern of Canadians
who actually live in the area.
I'm not saying that this incident is likely to trigger overt and
outright hostility between the United States and Canada of the kind
that might jeopardize the peacefulness of what has long been advertised
as the longest peaceful and unguarded border in the world. But it
does create a completely unnecessary source of friction between
two countries whose relations have not always been utopian but have
generally been better than merely cordial.
insist on keeping that testing station open in the post-Cold War
era when the locals in another country object? I submit it is at
least in part because of the imperial impulse that drives so many
U.S. policy-makers. We might not have communism to kick around anymore
but we have responsibilities and burdens. If that means purposely
alienating a bunch of Canadians, that's just tough.
U.S. Canadian relations take a hit almost certainly not a fatal
one, but a hit nonetheless. A significant number of British Columbians
now have more tangible reasons to view Washington as arrogant and
out of touch and some will transfer that hostility to American
tourists and visitors. Peace and amicability are at least slightly
with its position between the Middle East and Europe and its tattered
levels of civil society and formal government, was a haven for drug
smugglers before the war. Indeed, more than one commentator noted
that the Kosovo Liberation Army was in part financed by Kosovar
Albanian drug smugglers with headquarters in Switzerland and used
some of its operations to lend a hand to the drug traffickers.
the war in Kosovo has turned the province into an outright magnet
for international traffickers and mafiosi. More operations have
been conducted across the borders with Albania and Macedonia and
those borders have become more reliably permeable. The modicum of
authority exercised by Serbs in Kosovo has been disintegrated and
NATO troops aren't close to establishing their own authority, let
alone becoming familiar with the region and its hidden byways. So
a bad situation has been made worse.
170 people in Kosovo have been killed or injured in the past months
in accidents involving land mines and unexploded bombs in Kosovo
according to a World Health Organization report. More casual casualties
of the imperial impulse.
there's the $30 billion in infrastructure damages (most of which
will be repaired, when all is said and done, at the expense of the
most passive of casual casualties, U.S. taxpayers).
to all this the undermining of the 1999 European Month of Culture,
now underway in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, as
reported in the Christian Science Monitor might seem
like a small matter. But there's no question that the war, which
destroyed corridors through Yugoslavia between Bulgaria and the
rest of the Europe, has turned the festival from a beacon of hope
for beleaguered Bulgaria into a bust.
is especially sad in that Bulgaria, which historically has influenced
Thracian, Greek, Roman and Turkish culture, had hoped the Month
of Culture would be a significant symbol of the country's reorientation
toward the West. In 1992 60 percent of Bulgaria's exports went to
Russia but now only 4 percent do. The country groaned under a particularly
egregious version of communist dictatorship for years it
was used as something of a "safe house" for international
plots and plotters by the KGB and desperately wants to move
in a different direction. It even brought in the University of San
Diego Law School's Bernard Siegan, author of Economic Liberty
and the Constitution to help fashion a constitution that protected
property rights and economic freedom.
NATO's war cut off land routes between Bulgaria and the rest of
Europe. So Bulgaria finds itself in the ironic position of having
its hopes of closer ties with Western Europe dashed at least for
the present by the institution that to some extent symbolizes
the very hopes and dreams of westernization many Bulgarians cling
was a long way from out of trouble before the latest setback. If
it reverts to authoritarianism it won't be solely because of the
Kosovo war ruining a little festival. But the war won't have helped.
contribution of $20 or more gets you a copy of Justin Raimondo's
Into the Bosnian Quagmire: The Case Against US Intervention in
the Balkans, a 60-page booklet packed with the kind of intellectual
ammunition you need to fight the lies being put out by this administration
and its allies in Congress. Send contributions to
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