As Portugal assumes its role as the commander of the NATO South Atlantic flank, the Portuguese Minister of Defence, Castro Caldas, states that Portuguese policy is made in Lisbon, not Washington. Vice-Admiral Americo Silva Santos has been appointed Commander of NATO’s South Atlantic Command (Cincsouthlant). The Portuguese Defence Minister, Castro Caldas, affirmed that Portugal will continue its missions, whatever happens in Washington and whoever wins the elections in the USA. While Albert Gore promises a line of policy which could be described as “more of the same”, the Republican Party candidate, George Bush (Junior), favours a withdrawal of US forces from the Balkans and intervention in arenas around the world which are designated “only in the interest of the United States of America”. The Portuguese press has shown concern recently about the geographical position allocated to the Portuguese soldiers in Kosovo – the area in which NATO concentrated its attacks with weapons containing depleted uranium. The Italian soldiers in the same area have already shown signs of radiation sickness. It is feared that exposure to areas in which depleted uranium has been used causes increased risks of accumulating radioactivity in the lungs and bones, giving rise to the development of several types of carcinoma. Actions of vandalism are condemned by all but when this act is perpetrated by states which are constantly speaking about “the rule of law”, with the aggravation of having used radioactive materials, such legitimacy is put to question, to say the least. It is therefore best that Europe, East and West, pulls together as a union in a climate of sincere friendship and brotherhood, which would probably have already happened if certain influences had not been used to divide and rule, leaving the more bellicose states of the world to hibernate in their own union – the United States.

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey, Lisbon

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Author`s name: Editorial Team