Rotten Times in Reykjavik

Our thanks go out to David Rennie of London’s Daily Telegraph for clueing us in to the anger of those Icelanders. Rennie’s story, published today, is titled “American Pullout Leaves Iceland Defenceless.” It says the US “stunned the country in March when it announced that it would be closing its bases on the island, withdrawing its F-15 fighters and thousands of servicemen in the space of just six months.” As Rennie told it, “This bombshell was dropped in a single telephone call from an underling at the State Department, followed by a letter from the US ambassador.” The article goes on to lament “the brutally swift American pullout” and the “tactless” acts of Washington. We also get criticism from “Iceland’s leading defence hawk,” who is identified as one Bjorn Bjarnason, the minister for justice and ecclesiastical affairs, who oversees the coastguard and police. Iceland is a NATO signatory, but hasn’t fielded an army in a long, long time. The US still plans to protect the island.