New Hawaiian island

Just like the late and great Boudewijn Buch, I’m a sucker for small and obscure islands, and today it was announced that the state of Hawaii regains control over a small tiny islet off the coast of Maui, called Kahoolawe – yes it even has its own website. The island was ‘occupied’ by the US Navy since Pearl Harbor and was used for target practice – it has been bombarded by thousands of bombs and bullets and used to be littered by schrapnel and shells, until Bush the elder decided to have it cleaned up in the early nineties. This took a decade and now the islet finally belongs again to the Aloha state. The interesting thing is that it seems to have been the biggest clean-up operation ever by the Pentagon – every day of the clean-up, 300 workers were on the island (the job is actually still not entirely done) – speak of stimulating local employment! Buch would have loved the surreal view of hundreds of people digging up stuff on this bald rock in the Pacific. Full story in the Washington Post.

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