Profiteering arms dealers have a captive audience when it comes to selling indolent NATO leaders over priced and inappropriate weaponry.
A recent Nanos poll shows that 68 % of Canadians oppose the purchase of the F-35. 56% of those identified themselves as conservative supporters, “and only 27 per cent of those surveyed thought the federal government should ‘purchase now to prepare for the future.’ ”
The Harper conservatives have never been known to care what Canadians think so this goes down as just one more example of its contemptuous indifference to sane and sensible policy. The need for these fighters really has nothing to do with Canada and its specific needs. It does have to do with sustaining the military industrial complex and maintaining America’s leadership as the world’s leading arms dealer.
It is well known US military spending is out of control. This is because it has become the sacred cow that is to be fed endless bundles of cash to generate jobs, corporate profits and help to mitigate US trade deficits. Building these over priced anachronisms from the Cold War is just a bad habit that has gotten out of control- the tail is wagging the dog.
At a time when there is a peace dividend to be rendered global annual military expenditures are 1.4 trillion dollars and most of this is spent by the US and its NATO sycophants. The alleged enemies, Russia and China are bit players when it comes to military spending. Where the fatuous Canadian government would have us believe the Russians are a military threat they are nothing of the sort- the USSR collapsed twenty years ago but Ottawa appears indifferent to this fact. Militarily, Russia is a pale imitation of its former self. China, for its part, has stated it has no interest in military imperialism- and why would it when it is practising such a successful economic imperialism.
To justify its hyper-militarism Washington has become all to adept (and held unaccountable by its kowtowing NATO allies) at manufacturing and exaggerating threats to justify redundant and totally irresponsible military spending. The war on terror and the war in Afghanistan are mere deceptions to justify neo-imperialism. The invasion and utter destruction of Iraq in 2003 after ten years of brutal sanctions was a momentous war crime blotted out by our flagrant denialism.
NATO, egged on by the US behaves like a bunch of crazy cowboys shooting up the town. In Libya, French pilots have been starved for targets to shoot at and unwilling to risk civilian casualties. Laudably, Canadian pilots have also held back dropping their bombs for fear of “collateral damage.” This appears to be an instance where the pilots have more sense than the politicians who deployed them. Just maybe these pilots are aware of all the bad press their colleagues have earned in Iraq and Afghanistan. Maybe they are some how aware of the fact that in recent wars civilian casualties far exceed military casualties: The reason being that jet fighters are an inappropriate response to the current type of warfare and are embarrassingly counterproductive.
It has been suggested that the appropriate intervener in the Libyian conflict should have been the Arab League nations. But of course NATO now has a confirmed record of rushing in where angels fear to tread-another subject for another time.
It is no the coincidence the F-35 is a JSF- a Joint Strike Fighter; in other words an aircraft for all services, all seasons and all countries. It has clearly been designed for massive global marketing. Like the F-16 before it, the F-35 is going to be sold to every tin pot dictatorship from here to Timbuktu. NATO leaders each in turn will be the most obliging of customers making their dutiful contribution to the corporate welfarism that underlies these obscene expenditures.