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 Rico—a U.S. protectorate—had
got rid of them? What is so special about this relationship is how unequal
“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
“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