Monday, December 04, 2006

Navy to San Fran: Toodles!

From "Thann Franthithco":
Secretary of the Navy Donald C. Winter vetoed plans to commission the Makin Island, the Navy's newest and most powerful warship, in San Francisco in 2008 because of a perception that the city is anti-military.

Retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. J. Michael Myatt, chairman of a high-powered committee that was to support a commissioning ceremony for the Makin Island, said he has been informed that the ship would not be commissioned in San Francisco, as scheduled, but in San Diego.

Myatt said he had been told that the Navy was concerned about San Francisco's refusal to provide a homeport for the retired battleship Iowa, which would be turned into a museum, and for the city school board's decision to abolish junior ROTC training in San Francisco high schools.

One of the factors that turned the Pentagon against San Francisco, he said, was widely quoted anti-military remarks made by various city politicians. Some of the remarks got considerable attention, especially ones made by Gerardo Sandoval, a member of the Board of Supervisors, who was quoted on national television as saying national defense should be left to "the cops and the Coast Guard."
San Franistan's anti-military hostility is well known, and Sandoval's comments that the military was unnecessary is indicative of the city's mindset. Plus, San Diego is definitely a more logical choice, given its pro-military sentiments. Continuing:
Myatt said the Navy had mistaken the views of some political leaders for the views of the majority of citizens in the Bay Area. "There are lots of veterans living here," he said. "One in every nine members of the military now serving come from California. (Are most or all of them from San Fran? Doubt it. - Ed.) These people in Washington don't understand.

"Bringing this ship here is a great opportunity to showcase what great people we have in the military. Instead, they are trying to poke a stick in the eye of local politicians. I think it is shortsighted."
"Local politicians" are the elected leaders of San Fran, which tells me that the citizens likely agree with their policies and views. Therefore, were I the Secretary of the Navy, I wouldn't want to go where I wasn't wanted either.

By the way, congrats to San Diego. Your support is welcome.