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New Guantanamo: the ideal solution for Iceland

OK, if you thought Max Keiser was off the wall, check out this guy in the Financial Times. He blames the closure of the US Naval Base for the Icelandic economic meltdown and proposes the perfect solution for Iceland to rise from the ashes: reopen Guantanamo on the abandoned base.*

The challenge for Iceland today is to reopen the US base. It would no longer have a military function but could be an ideal solution to President Barack Obama’s problem of where to place the Guantánamo prisoners. […] The American people do not want any suspected terrorists in their backyard. There are less fortunate countries that would accept Guantánamo prisoners in return for cash. Iceland is ideal to play such a role because it was the closure of a US military base that allowed its financial collapse. Iceland could escape from default and depression if the base were to reopen.

Errr, yeah.

Read the whole article here. And thanks to Richard for the link.

* abandoned being a slight misrepresentation, since there is actually a university operating there now.

Comments

comments

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  • Sigvaldi Eggertsson February 1, 2010, 10:53 am

    There is actually a whole range of companies operating there at the moment and with the new filming facilities and the Verne holdings buliding I doubt there is any room left for the prisoners.

  • Silvia Planchett February 1, 2010, 10:55 am

    The U.S. did not have an Air Force nor Army base in Iceland. It was a U.S. Naval station.

  • alda February 1, 2010, 11:01 am

    Naval base! That’s what I meant … 🙂

    (God, am I getting sloppy or it is just me …?)

  • Bromley86 February 1, 2010, 11:11 am

    He makes a good point about taking the prisoners though. If the going rate is $17m per terrorist (alleged!) for the ones sent off to that Pacific island, then you’d only need to take on 300 or so to pay off the whole Icesave thing.

    And, anyway, it’s not like you don’t have too many universities as it is.

  • alda February 1, 2010, 11:15 am

    Hm. Only 300, huh?

    D’you think they like putrid shark and singed sheep’s heads?

  • kevin o'connor waterford Ireland February 1, 2010, 11:34 am

    What a great Idea 17m a pop they wont be there for ever then the whole place could be tourist attraction sort like Alcatraz, If you called it San Quentin then you could hold Johnny Cash revival concerts there, the possibilities are endless it could be the Icelandic Botany Bay NSW.

  • Tom Harper February 1, 2010, 11:43 am

    LOL, this clearly shows that people that don’t make an attempt to delve deeper than the average headline think Iceland is just a bankrupt, helpless country. Clearly, you should take whatever offers you can get and LIKE IT.

    Although, I have wondered why some group of dollar billionaires hasn’t tried to “buy Iceland” yet, or at least finance Iceland’s debt in return for favours.

  • Andrew (the other one) February 1, 2010, 1:18 pm

    Yep, even more off the wall than Mad Max, who I note also runs an investment fund and is therefore either part of the economic terrorist conspiracy, or a vulture preying on the victims of said conspiracy. He has his own agenda to be sure… Also think about it, if you were planning a deep secret conspiracy to destroy the Icelandic economy, would you tell a TV pundit ( and blabbermouth) what you were doing? I think not.

    Attracting more tourists would seem to me to be a much more sensible idea! But you need a good advertising slogan for Iceland. Any suggestions?

  • Sigvaldi Eggertsson February 1, 2010, 1:48 pm

    Silvia, the US Army was initally operating the base, then the USAF took over until handing it off to the USN in 1961.
    People in Iceland rarely differentiate between different commands of a foreign military structure, so people usually called it the Army (“Herinn”) although that term sometimes means the Salvation Army.

  • Joerg February 1, 2010, 6:47 pm

    Apparently, it’s time for freaks to pop up and put in their two cents worth of rubbish.

    But then, if plans are put into action to allow investors to build a couple of new Kárahnjúkar-style hydropower dams, aluminium smelters, oil refineries, waste disposal sites or other heavy industry icons to get out of the crisis, a Guantanavik on the premises of the old US (whatever) base wouldn’t really matter any more.

  • JoeInVegas February 1, 2010, 6:52 pm

    Our president promised to close Guantanamo, so this would be a perfect solution! The big trail scheduled for terrorists in New York City is now off, because NYC did not want the expected $2,000,000,000 expense. Perhaps Iceland could offer to put on the trial for half price!

  • sylvia hikins February 1, 2010, 7:30 pm

    I’ve only seen a couple of Silfur Egils TV shows and frankly I’m not impressed. Does this guy always allow highly controversial views to be aired without asking any really probing questions, or having one or two others on the programme that can give a counter view? Perhaps I have been brainwashed by a lifetime of BBC viewing, but I would expect not neutrality, but counter views. After all, the arguments are serious!!!! Guantanamo, capital punishment….where is this American maverick coming from and what is HIS agenda?
    sylvia from viking wirral

  • David G February 1, 2010, 10:14 pm

    The US did have a joint Navy/ Air Force base when I was there in the 60’s. The Air Force tracked and intercepted Russian bombers coming down from above Norway. The Navy (planes) tracked Russian subs coming from the same area.

  • Andrew (the other one) February 2, 2010, 12:41 am

    @Sigvaldi

    Reactivating Keflavik under the command of the Salvation Army looks like the best option 🙂

  • TMCD February 2, 2010, 2:55 am

    Having spent a few years on the Base, I can only smile. 🙂

  • John Hopkins February 2, 2010, 3:35 am

    Technically it was a US Naval Air Station (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Air_Station_Keflavik) ….

  • idunn February 2, 2010, 8:42 am

    This world needs far fewer wars, and prisoners. The USA should take care of its own messes, and leave Iceland out of it.

    Believe me, nothing good will come from turning your land into a Gulag.

  • elín February 2, 2010, 12:39 pm

    Did anything ever become of this? (Note: I have no idea if Róbert Wessman is a good guy or bad guy. I see Activis and former CEO and wonder who he might be in bed with.)

    http://www.icelandreview.com/icelandreview/search/news/Default.asp?ew_0_a_id=321745

  • Pauline McCarthy February 2, 2010, 10:52 pm

    Over the years I had a lot to do with people living on the base re. the Society of New Icelanders foreigners club. Whenever I refered to it as an American base they were ALL (both military and civilian) quick to point out that it was not an American base but a NATO base. They were so emphatic about this, that I wonder if it was a directive from the top brass to emphasise to the native population that it was not just an American Base?

    Still its shops sold everything in $US, the base used the American electrical system, the water had chemicals put in it according to American laws (even though our water is the best in the world and this polluted water they made was also used by the neighbouring towns). Only every couple of years there were NATO exercises held there.

  • Sigvaldi Eggertsson February 2, 2010, 11:57 pm

    Pauline, the water used by the neighbouring towns was diverted off before the chemicals were put in.
    The base was a NATO base in some ways, NATO funds paid for some of the construction, pipelines from Helguvík etc. but it operated as NAS (Naval Air Station) Keflavík after the USAF handed command over to the Navy in 1961.

  • Tom Thumb February 4, 2010, 5:24 pm

    I think that beyond the fact that my country of origin is waging illegal wars and probably was behind the economic collapse of the world economy; and probably is the world headquarters for financial predator corporations and banks; that beyond that the suggestion to ask Iceland to become a Gulag so that Americans do not have to have their own close to home, is a morally bankrupt idea.

  • TRACEY March 22, 2010, 8:54 pm

    I think this idea is brillant. My husband was stationed there for 2 years when they closed it down and I would do just about anything to be stationed there again. As most of the old base is now a college (or something along those lines) they would have to open a new base. They should go to the middle of the country where there is no cilization and build a base there, it would be an ideal place for a prison.

  • Bob Reed March 10, 2012, 4:34 pm

    When I was there ( mid-eightys ) , there was roughly 4500 Navy (Marines), and 1500 Air Force. It was officially a NAS but the Admiral in charge took care of the Navy side of the business and left the Air Force mission to the Wing Commander, a full bird Col. Enjoyed my tour ( based at Kef ) very much, spent some time out at Rockville, but much of my time at Hofn. Worked with and met alot of good people.