“Paradise Isn’t Too Strong a Word”

For Romania?

That’s what some in the military are saying, as Rummy and co. ponder putting bases there. From the NYT:

July 16, 2003
U.S. Eyes a Willing Romania as a New Comrade in Arms

CONSTANTA, Romania — Kurt Sanger is only a captain and so he will leave to higher-ups the question of whether Romania would make a good ally as the United States sets about a historic reordering of its military, relying less on its old friends in Western Europe and more on new ones in the east. He does, however, have some thoughts about Romania as a place where American soldiers like him may find a new home, perhaps soon.

“Paradise isn’t too strong a word,” said Captain Sanger, 31, a Marine reservist on leave from his job as a lawyer in Manhattan.

It is cheap, he said, and the food is excellent. So are the beaches near this Romanian port on the Black Sea. But more important, he said, Romanians really like Americans, and his worries, as an officer in charge of protecting United States soldiers on an exercise here, are not the ones he might have elsewhere.

I know a coupla things about my girlfriend’s home country. Pretty places, pretty women, an admirable disdain for puritanism. That’s the good part. It’s cheap because the locals are poor, hence their apparent desire for U.S. handouts. But maybe they should look at Okinawa and Aviano before selling out for an ephemeral boost to their economy.