War! What Is It Good For? Quite A Lot, Actually…

IMG_20150908_135717

 

This argument keeps getting repeated because it sounds complex – but it’s actually simplistic bullshit. You can’t blame everything on some power conspiracy and the media.

Hitler needed to die. Saddam needed to be spanked. ISIS needs to be wiped off the face of the Earth.

Someone a lot smarter than me once said that ‘war is politics by other means’ – that at some point all the pretty words and good intentions will mean absolutely fuck all and that violence is the only way to achieve a better world.

To think anything else is childish and naive.

There are monstrous people and entities out there in the world that will not listen to reason… will not answer the call to be civilized… will not value human life and dignity – and the only way to fix the problem is to forcefully remove them from their positions of power since no megalomaniac will just step aside when you ask nicely.

Let’s examine my three examples from above.

1403862318499.cached

Adolf Hitler.

Yes… in many ways Hitler was the almost unavoidable result of the restrictions and penalties that were slapped upon Germany at the conclusion of The Great War (World War 1) – which in itself was a wholly avoidable conflict that sprung from complex and nefarious machinations by a several political entities… but it was a war that happened all the same, and Germany was by far the worst offender.

In short, the Allies reaped the whirlwind.

But… but… Hitler used this excuse to further his own agenda by co-opting the anger and destitution of the entire German population so that he could “cleanse” the world of people he did not care for: primarily the Jews, but also Gypsies, Negroes, homosexuals, those with mental or physical handicaps, etc etc etc.

Terrifyingly, Hitler and his Nazi pals would have succeeded if it hadn’t been for two things… a major blunder on his part, and something happening on the other side of the planet that he had no control over.

At the start of hostilities, Hitler signed a non-aggression pact with the Soviets – essentially promising Stalin that Nazi forces wouldn’t attack bona fide Russian territory as long as the USSR stayed out of Germany’s way.

It sounded nice on paper, full of flowery language that established Nazi Germany and the USSR as best of pals – but as with all promises, it didn’t carry a whole lot of weight with one of the parties: Adolf engineered the pact for the express purpose of gaining territory without worrying about Soviet resistance… and when the Nazis had conquered pretty much all of Europe, they tore up the pact and attacked Russia with everything they had.

During The Great War, the Russians had lost something like 14 million fighters – which lured Hitler into thinking that Russia would be easy pickings, but he failed to understand how much the Soviets loved their snow-ridden country, and how they would muster 12 million more soldiers to fight for their Motherland (8 million of which who would die).

Also in World War 2, the Nazis were allied with Imperial Japan – so much so that the two countries were constantly swapping gold reserves to prop up each others economies… despite the fact that Hitler held a great deal of disdain for Asians of all colours.

Unfortunately for Hitler, the Japanese decided to attack the U.S. of A. four years into his battle for world domination – which only enraged the Americans and brought them into World War 2 properly (they had supplied weapons to Britain and its allies for quite some time).

It became quickly clear that the Nazis were going to be fighting wars on both the Western front (the British, the Americans, the Canadians, etc.) and the Eastern front (the very angry Russians, who had more fighting men/women than the entire Third Reich) – which was a tactical situation grave enough to give any leader a moment of pause… but not Hitler: he doubled down on all fronts because he was not going to give up any of his ill-gotten territory, nor was he willing to give up the opportunity to commit genocide.

In the face of daily briefings by the German Wehrmacht that Nazi forces were getting their asses handed to them by the Allies, Hitler refused to accept reality – and it was at this point that it became clear that Hitler needed to die.

Hell, even members of his own Nazi party wanted Adolf dead – trying on a few occasions to do it themselves.

Thankfully, Hitler himself did humanity that favor by blowing his brains out after his wife Eva had poisoned herself – but only after realizing that the war was truly lost… which had been made evident by Allied forces breaching Germany’s pre-WW2 borders.

Could the bloody, wholesale violence of the WW2 conflict have been avoided? No chance whatsoever.

72903523.0

Saddam Hussein.

Let me say from the outset that Saddam didn’t need to die – so I’m going to restrict this section to the First Gulf War (2 August 1990 – 28 February 1991) and not the latter Gulf War II that eventually lead to his capture and execution.

The First Gulf War was really the end result of the cessation of American-Russian Cold War posturing when the former Soviet Union collapsed.

You see, throughout the Cold War, countries in the Middle East were used as pawns by the American and Russian governments – sometimes to great effect, but mostly it was a draw… maintaining a power balance between Communism and The West.

For example, the Americans armed Iran with the best weapons the U.S.A. could export – that is until the Iranian Revolution overthrew the Iranian royal family (The Shah) in favor of strict Islamic rule.

Fun fact: to this day, the Iranian Air Force still flies F-14 Tomcats that were gifted to the Shah – despite that the Americans retired the aircraft from service a number of years ago, which means there are no new spare parts to keep those planes flying once they break down… not that the Americans would ever let Iran buy said parts.

Anyhow, Saddam’s Iraq vacillated back and forth between the Americans and the Soviets – essentially choosing whoever would give him the most toys for his military… which in the end was the Soviets: there used to be a running joke that Iraq had more Russian-made T-38 tanks than the USSR did.

By choosing to accept the Soviet “philanthropy”, Iraq alienated itself from The West – and the The West made good on this by drastically slashing the amount of oil Saddam was allowed to sell on the open market (yes… Iraq sold a lot of oil to their Russian benefactors, but Soviet currency wasn’t worth a whole lot).

When the Cold War drew to a close, The West continued to see Saddam as a nuisance and thusly kept the oil embargo in place.

At this point, Iraq was the equivalent of the spoiled brat who throws a tantrum when nobody pays them enough attention – despite their having every toy in the Sears Wishbook.

Seeing that he had more tanks than any of his neighbours, Saddam decided to invade Kuwait – not really for the territory, but for the oil wells that the Kuwaitis possessed… oil wells that produced a good deal of the crude that made the world run.

His reasoning was pretty simple: by controlling the Kuwaiti oil, Saddam could pressure OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries – but you can call them the Oil Cabal) into lobbying their Western patrons for lifting of the embargo on Iraqi oil exports.

If Kuwait hadn’t had any oil, it’s highly unlikely that there would have been a military intervention by The West… but Kuwait did have oil, and that oil went towards powering big American SUVs, European diesels, Italian sports cars – while also being turned into the plastics Asian nations turned into manufactured goods.

With OPEC charging more money for less oil, a military coalition was formed to free Kuwait.

At this point, the war was still avoidable.

Saddam could have seen reason and pulled his forces back into Iraq – but he had surrounded himself with “yes men” by executing anyone who disagreed with him… which meant that there was nobody in his cabinet to point out that all his Soviet-made military hardware had a glaring flaw: The West had spent decades developing weapons and tactics designed specifically to destroy the Soviet military.

And so, Saddam needed to be spanked… to be forcibly shown the error of his ways.

Oh… and just in case you’re asking why Western forces didn’t warn Saddam about his out-of-date military, let me assure you that they made that very clear before shipping a single HUMVEE to the Middle East – warnings that fell on self-assured, deaf ears.

The rest is history: within 6 months, Iraq’s military was blown to bits… its military morale shattered… and its forces driven back inside Iraqi borders.

Despite being thoroughly beaten, Saddam was still defiant… ordering his war chiefs to mount continual attacks with what little armaments that they had left – and to set fire to the very oil wells that Iraq had invaded for in the first place.

If you can’t win the war, you might as well punch Mother Nature in the cunt, right?

It took a further month to negotiate an end to hostilities – and by that time, the Iraqi forces were pretty much stuck with throwing rocks at Coalition troops.

Was it all about oil? No: Saddam had shown the world his willingness to commit genocide by using chemical weapons against Kurdish rebels in Iraq’s northern territories – but it was mostly about oil… and Saddam’s monumental ego.

Of my three examples, the First Gulf War was the most avoidable… and the Second Gulf War was a crime committed by the American Republican Party (for which nobody was punished, by the way).

If Saddam had had a single, discordant voice of reason in his political cabinet, he might have been convinced that invading Kuwait was pure folly.

If the world hadn’t entrusted the pricing of oil to the OPEC Oil Cabal, there would have been less impetus for squabbling over Iraq’s seizure of the Kuwait oil fields.

However, we must also take into account the feelings of Kuwaiti citizens – who were, for the most part, overlooked in the conflict: a Kuwaiti person had every right to refuse Iraqi rule… the right of every sovereign nation to be free of harassment by foreign powers.

So, in the end, the war had to happen.

is_insurgents_anbar_province_iraq

Finally, we have ISIS.

The rise of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh was a foregone conclusion – the direct result of the Second Gulf War… which, as I stated above, I think was wholly avoidable.

By the very nature of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, rogue Islamic groups were not allowed to form in Iraq – since they would be seen as a threat to the ruling Baathist party… which necessitates the destruction of said Islamic movements by the elite Republican Guard.

There’s probably no way to determine how many Islamic factions were put down by the Iraqi government – what with most of its leadership dead and all – but with all that violence, a particular type of anger began to fester in one extremist vein of Islam… and unfortunately, it was the most dangerous.

You see, groups like Al Qaeda and the Taliban are all about strict adherence to Islamic tenets – but a very narrow interpretation of Islamic texts that can be lumped into a catch-all called Sharia Law.

While the implementation of Sharia Law is both brutal, inhuman, and anachronistic – the jihadis that follow Al Qaeda and the Taliban have a fairly well-defined end game: possess a territory and rule it.

Yes, expansion of that territory is always an option – but global conquest isn’t the driving force, regardless of how much Osama bin Laden called for the death of Western infidels.

This is where ISIS differs: while they have the same adherence to Sharia Law, ISIS also wishes to conquer the entire planet… just so that they can usher in Ze End Of Ze World.

Yes, folks: ISIS is a Doomsday Cult Of The First Order – but this time around, the bad guys want the entire planet to drink the poisoned Kool-Aid.

When asked, an Al Qaeda jihadi fanatic will tell you that ISIS is much too fanatical for their tastes: while 72 virgins in Heaven sounds like a good idea, how are they supposed to get those virgins if the entire human race is dead?

And because of this fundamental goal… the whole foundation of their existence… it will be forever impossible to negotiate with ISIS: your desire to keep living is incompatible with their desire to kill you and everyone you love.

Fun fact: ISIS has taken possession of territory from other Islamic nations – and then proceeded to destroy Islamic historical sites located therein… purely because ancient Islam wasn’t Islam enough (which is a form of logic so preposterous as to defy explanation: Mohammed, source of all things Islam, wasn’t tough enough – despite ISIS waging war in his name).

Want another fun fact? ISIS agents specifically recruit mentally handicapped persons to employ as suicide bombers.

And of course, there’s all the raping and murder of children… but who’s counting? Certainly not the liberal Peaceniks who think these ISIS animals can be reasoned with.

I’m not a bloodthirsty guy.

If a sensible peace can be arrived at through non-violent means, I will always vote for that – but if you take away any hope for that kind of pie-in-the-sky resolution, then by His Noodliness, I’m 100% for shooting every single last ISIS jihadi in the face… or bombing their encampments into a fine, bloody paste.

Yes, we are reaping the whirlwind that the Second Gulf War set in motion… but that doesn’t mean we have to sit back and let these savages have their way with the world because some of you out there lack the intestinal fortitude.

That’s the thing about war: it happens whether you agree with it or not… especially when it’s for the simple right to exist.

Paris after the ISIS attack

Do I agree with all wars?

No.

There have been some really tragic, drawn-out conflicts that were mostly avoidable – mainly Korea and Vietnam.

Those two conflicts were such drawn-out affairs because of the Cold War… proxy battles between the United States and the Soviet Union (via its fellow Communist nation, China).

Let me be clear: the wars themselves were unavoidable as both the South Koreans and South Vietnamese had the right to defend themselves against the newly aggressive and Communist North, but the wars could have remained regional without international involvement.

However, The West didn’t see things that way: Communism was too dangerous to let spread, so major offensives were required to drive it back… with such large military operations only able to be waged by a military that built solely for that purpose – and The West had been predicting Communist invasions of Continental Europe pretty much since the end of World War 2, and therefore had a surplus of troops and weapons.

I should take a moment to point out that the Korean War was fought with weapons not much advanced from WW2, and hence the combat dragged out for years just as before – but this time, there was the real threat of nuclear exchange hanging in the air.

In the end, no real peace was attainable – and so the Koreans have been managing a cease-fire for sixtyish years… with the threat of war resuming being quite real.

Vietnam, however, was its own thing: military hardware had advanced (we humans never tire in our wish to kill each other more efficiently – right on up from the first caveman to use a club instead of throwing rocks, to the team who first conceptualized the MIRV nuclear warhead) and the Cold War had reached its most deeply entrenched period where both sides had developed firmly seated ideologies that dictated war being fought by third parties on behalf of The West and Communist nations.

The problem with the South Vietnamese was that the financially poor sub-nation wasn’t really equipped to fight Communism at a level of vigor the United States found acceptable – which, at least in the beginning, meant that France, Biritain, and America subsidized the South Vietnamese with weapons and professional soldier training.

But, in an effort to screw Atheistic Communism as hard as Jesus demanded, American boys were eventually drafted for Vietnam to fight a war that America hadn’t spent 20 years preparing for – which essentially turned the conflict into a meat grinder that chewed through 60,000 U.S. soldiers before it was realized that winning was not a possible outcome without using nuclear weapons.

And while Jesus hated Communism, Americans wouldn’t support Nuclear Armageddon – and honestly, they should have said “enough is enough” a lot sooner than their elected officials.

Yes… the tie-dyed, LSD-imbued, and Bob Dylan-powered hippy movement was a direct result of the Vietnam War – but, ultimately, guitars do not beat bombs.

(But rock guitars did win the Cold War – and to argue the point with Americans will just garner you a dismissive eye roll)

Born-US-Bruce-Springsteen

The fact that ‘Born In The USA’ was anti-war is lost on American good ol’ boys.

So, yeah… war isn’t a simple concept.

People who blindly regurgitate anti-war sentiments are the same ones who are anti-gun – which is just as infantile as a mantra, but that’s an article that I’ve already written before.

The world is a big, ugly place.

It’s a place where there are far too many skin colours, religions, political ideologies, and even genders for there to ever be true peace.

Everyone – and I mean everyone – hates somebody… whether they want to admit it or not.

And with hatred comes war.

We’ve gone an amazing 70 years without a truly global conflict.

How much longer do you think that will last? Honestly?

And for the last goddamn time: War is good for business… Peace is good for business. Two sides of the same coin.

Boeing makes more money on airliners than it does on fighter jets.

The Frayed Ends Of The Nuclear Cord

For all it’s faults (byproducts that have to be sequestered for half a million years, for instance), nuclear energy is amongst the best ways to generate electricity known to mankind at this time – discounting any future advances in fusion or solar power generation.

Nuclear doesn’t generate the greenhouse gases that spew forth from coal and natural gas power plants… isn’t effected by cloudy days or winter seasons like solar… has no problems when the air is still and fails to turn the windmills… and it doesn’t reroute entire aquatic ecosystems like hydroelectric dams.

But yes… there is that need to protect humankind and all our friends in the wild kingdom from the nuclear waste on scales of time that are longer than civilization has existed on the face of the planet.

Regardless, nuclear energy’s benefits are vast and every facility constructed to harness the power of the atom is a boon to society as it generally means there are less coal-burning plants toxifying the air we breath.

The problems with nuclear energy fall into two categories: environmental, which I’ve touched on above… and political, which I’m going to talk about below.

Nuclear reactors can be harnessed for electricity generation, yes… but they also can be used to create fissile material like plutonium or enriched uraniums that are necessary to create an atomic weapon.

Generally speaking, the technology required to build a nuclear power station is only affordable to nations that are more or less responsible enough to be trusted with any nuclear weapons that they might create – countries with governments that subscribe to the reality that deploying such weapons in anger would not be in their best interest.

Even the two most volatile neighbor countries that have nuclear weapons – India and Pakistan – realize that exchanging atomic potshots at each other would never be a small, localized engagement… that other nuclear powers greater than their own would most likely intervene with punishments of either military or political varieties.

With India being aligned with the Western superpowers like the United States, Great Britain, and France (don’t laugh… nukes can be dispatched from Parisian bunkers), a marginal country like Pakistan – who’s alliances aren’t clearly defined – would likely be struck with thermonuclear warheads carried by ICBMs or cruise missiles fired by New Delhi’s friends in the event Pakistan somehow came out on top.

The biggest check in the nuclear weapons business is that both the United States of America and Russia have enough nuclear weapons to end human civilization as we know it (or possibly altogether), with China, Great Britain, and France following behind them… and this is clearly enough to discourage smaller countries from developing any sort or atomic weapon.

There would assuredly be dire consequences for launching any sort of nuclear attack – no matter how much you hate the guy you’re pointing them at.

However, reality isn’t a universal concept in some corners of the globe.

There are a few governments that are so removed from society that they have become pariah states – the ones that nobody ever invites to the New Year’s celebrations at the United Nations, and ones that are perfectly happy with their status.

In the context of this discussion on smashing atoms, I’m focusing purely on the communist nation of North Korea and the middle eastern country of Iran.

Both countries eschew the global community (and the realities embraced by it) and have created unto themselves their own version of reality… one that generally places themselves at the center of the universe and deludes the ruling parties into thinking they’re untouchable/invincible.

In the case of North Korea, Kim Jong Il and his buddies (I use ‘buddies’ loosely since there isn’t a person in the country he wouldn’t shoot – including family members) rule the land in an almost empirical manner that really hasn’t been seen since the great dynasties of history: it’s taught to every North Korean child that Kim Jong Il is in fact a God.

In fact, North Korea barely qualifies as a communist state, and it can be argued – I’d imagine quite successfully – that it’s more in line with the leadership of Egypt’s pharaohs… just without the bountiful empire: North Korean citizens are probably the poorest out of any of the developed nations.

Kim Jong Il is so crazy that even his biggest (read: only) supporter at the United Nations, China, keeps him at arm’s length… and even then, they barely touch Pyongyang with their fingertips while wearing eight gloves on each hand.

The fact that this nutbar has access to nuclear weapons is entirely indigestible – and quite hard to fathom when you take into account that North Korea has no real money to speak of to pay for any sort of research program… but I suppose you can afford just about anything when you don’t actually have to pay the people who work for you.

Kim Jong Il is a god, remember? Don’t do what he wants and he’ll smite your ass… and probably your entire family while he’s at it.

If there’s any consolation, it’s that his atomic weapons are very basic and shoddily constructed: when testing them, they have a tendency to fizzle – more of a runaway nuclear chain reaction than an actual detonation.

These North Korean atomic bombs are barely in the same class as those deployed by the United States against the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end World War II… and nowhere near as advanced as even Pakistan’s.

But even the most rudimentary nuclear weapons are devastating… either through their explosive force (see photo below) or through the mass radioactive contamination of the target area.

Click Me

Click Me

In  terms of instability, North Korea is like the guy who was arrested for killing his neighbor because he though the neighbor was telepathically raping his wife.

Nothing said by Kim Jong Ill or his government makes any sense, and North Korea has no qualms about threatening anyone with total and complete destruction… promising a war that will end Western civilization – despite lacking any way to follow through on these threats, even when including the estimated 5 to 8 nuclear weapons that Pyongyang possesses.

The North Korean military may have one of the largest standing armies on the world when compared to it’s national population, but the equipment they are outfitted with is barely any more advanced than it was during the Korean War in the 1950s – at best, it’s equivalent to Soviet designs from the mid to late 70s.

This irrationality is alarming for two reasons:

1) Technically, North and South Korea are still in a defacto state of war since the Korean War ended in a cease-fire treaty – a truce that’s been in place ever since… if only barely on some occasions – and that war could pick up at any time, and that becomes more and more likely as North Korea becomes more and more impoverished.

2) Pyongyang has made no secret of it’s willingness to help political entities that have similar designs to destroy the West… and has routinely shipped weapons and military equipment to those ideological comrades, and it’s not a stretch of the imagination that North Korea would share nuclear weapons technology – or even a finished atomic bomb – with those same comrades.

The only silver lining in the North Korean situation is that ships leaving North Korean waters are some of the most scrutinized vessels afloat: any tub that can carry anything bigger than a refrigerator is fair game for random inspections by South Korean and American naval assets – which makes shipping nuclear weapons, fissile material, or technology to create either of those things by water not really a winning strategy.

This of course doesn’t rule out shipping illicit weapons by land or air…. but similar searches are carried out against trucks leaving North Korea by Chinese and Russian agencies (how effectively, nobody in the West can say for certain), and all air cargo from North Korea is thoroughly screened at airports abroad.

There is only one destination outside of North Korea that North Korean ships and aircraft are welcome – and it also happens to be the other rogue nation with nuclear ambitions: Iran.

I’m sorry, Tehran… were you hoping I’d forgotten you?

Nope.

In many ways, you’re worse than those nutjobs in Pyongyang – mainly because, even though you’re batshit crazy, you’re also very focused on the destruction of those you hold in ill regard.

In Iran’s case, that’s most notably Israel.

There isn’t a day that goes by that Iran’s puppet government and it’s religious masters don’t call for the total destruction of the Jewish state, and it works on a daily basis towards that goal by funding terrorist organizations that operate in Palestinian territories.

If that wasn’t problematic enough, the Ayatollah also sends money to terrorist outfits – including Al Qaeda – that attack other Western nations that are allied with Israel.

And while the Ayatollah isn’t necessarily as committed to destroying the West as Osama bin Laden was, his plans call for weakening the resolve of Israel’s allies by hopefully making it more bother than it’s worth to the United States, Britain, and others.

It’s this fanatical devotion to destroying every single Jew in the Middle East (and everywhere else in due time) that makes Iran more dangerous.

While North Korea is more reactive – as in it puffs itself up and makes threats when it perceives itself to be threatened – and can be calmed down with offers of candy (financial and food aid), Iran is completely proactive in it’s plans… spending nearly all it’s money on weaponry and armed forces.

It should be noted than Iran has a lot of money to use for it’s own military and the funding of terrorism around the globe, and that money comes from the export of oil to the countries that need it – both the export of Iran’s own oil assets, and money from neighboring countries’ oil sales who are agreeable to the Iranian way of things… primarily certain factions inside Saudi Arabia.

While Western nations don’t conduct a lot of oil business with Iran, countries like Russia and China don’t make that distinction and gladly take any oil Iran can send their way to fuel their own economies.

Russian and Chinese weapons technologies have also readily been made available to the Iranian government, and this is why the Iranian military possesses weaponry that’s equal to the West’s technology of the late 1980s to mid-1990s.

You may not think weapons circa 1989 to 1995 would be all that dangerous to Western targets using weapons made in this millennium… but keep in mind, those Iranian weapons are equivalent to what the U.S. defeated Saddam Hussein with in the first Gulf War – so they aren’t to be ignored by the wise.

With all that oil money, Iran has been able to afford a fairly modern nuclear energy program – one that Tehran insists is for purely peaceful purposes and that they’re not at all interested in making fissile material for making atomic weapons.

You know what? Put a kid in a room with both a dart gun and a target to shoot at, he’s going to shoot those darts at the target the second you turn your back – no matter how much you tell him not to, and how much he denies his intention to do so.

The fact of the matter is that Iran has far more centrifuge units required to enrich uranium than are needed for the modest civilian-purposed nuclear reactor that Tehran claims is the only beneficiary – and these enrichment facilities are spread far and wide throughout the country, with some of them located underground in hardened facilities that would be problematic to destroy.

If you’re producing far more enriched uranium than you could possibly use in your nuclear electricity generation reactor(s), then that surplus uranium has to go someplace… and the two options that come to mind aren’t acceptable: a covert weapons program, or for export to other political entities that also have covert nuclear ambitions – Al Qaeda, for example.

The nuclear situation in Iran puts Israel – and by extension it’s Western allies – in a bind: while Iran potentially acquiring nuclear weapons capability is completely unacceptable, unilaterally attacking Iran in a pre-emptive strike would be heavy-handed and most likely to ignite a war that would spread like wildfire across the entire Middle East – and the forces of the Western allies are already exhausted from a decade of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Which leaves Israel to act on its own – and one must also keep in mind that Israel has an arsenal of nuclear weapons of it’s own if the situation got out of hand.

However, while Israel might have enough thermonuclear devices to level Tehran and a few other Iranian cities, the fact is that Iran is the 2nd largest country in the region… and Israel is the smallest, and therefore extremely susceptible to being destroyed in a single nuclear strike.

There’s also the small matter of delivering those nuclear weapons to Iran as – as far as anyone in the West knows – all of Israel’s nuclear devices are in the form of gravity bombs and not mounted on long-range missiles, meaning that Israeli attack planes would have to fly through potentially hostile Lebanese, Syrian, Turkish, or Iraqi airspace before even getting to Iran.

The same holds out for any non-nuclear intervention raid Israel might want to stage against Iran in hopes of derailing the Iranian nuclear program like they did when they pounded Saddam Hussein’s atomic facilities into dust back in the 1980s – there’s just too much territory to cover from Israeli airfields to targets in Iran unless those Israeli pilots commit to a one-way suicide mission… and I wouldn’t put that past the Israeli people as they know the value of sacrifice and are a hardened people after decades of being under attack from all sides.

And yet… all the logistics of attacking Iran pale in comparison to the destructive potential of either the Islamic Republic Of Iran Army, The Army Of The Guardians Of The Islamic Revolution (the elite Iranian Revolutionary Guard), or any other Iranian military body – or any paramilitary body the Ayatollah deems satisfactory enough to share with – possessing nuclear weapons when they are ideologically tuned towards destroying Israel and the Western world.

The situation is untenable and will need to be resolved prior to Iran developing nuclear weapons technology – and that time isn’t all that far into the future.

Am I being an alarmist?

No.

Everything I’ve said here is absolutely true and cannot be argued by anyone outside North Korea and Iran.

The world has been under the illusion up until now that only the big players could afford nuclear weapons, and to be honest, global opinions should have changed once India and Pakistan developed the Bomb.

But we’ve fooled ourselves into complacency again… that we can send strongly worded letters to Tehran and Pyongyang and they will simply throw up their hands with a smile, saying “Well…  it was worth a try, right?” before packing their whole nuclear infrastructure up in crates and shipping it to Russia for disposal.

Without total regime changes in North Korea and Iran, localized or global nuclear attacks aren’t just probable – they’re an almost forgone conclusion because both countries stand today as spiteful (in Pyongyang’s case), hateful (Tehran), and wholly irrational states.

Kim Jong Il and his son to follow him will continue to develop their primitive atom bombs into more effective hydrogen bombs by working their researchers to death at gunpoint while the citizens throughout North Korea – who depend on the government – starve to death in the streets (while Pyongyang’s resident god drinks Hennessy and collects expensive toys).

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his boss, the Supreme Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, will continue on their path to nuclear weapons while they continue to hate on the Jewish people and deny the Holocaust – which was the reason the state of Israel was formed in the first place from land ‘donated’ from the surrounding Arab states – in the face of incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.

To me, that’s the sure sign of Tehran’s insanity and the reason they can’t be trusted: to completely deny the Holocaust when it was thoroughly documented by both the Allies when the camps were liberated, and by the Nazis themselves with their meticulous records of the methodical extermination of the Jews who they deemed as sub-human… and the continued existence of facilities like Auschwitz  and Dachau to remind humanity that the Holocaust was real.

It’s the equivalent of Ahmadinejad looking up and telling the world that the sky is in fact purple and that we’ve been duped by the Jews into thinking it’s blue… which I’m pretty sure he’s already claimed once or twice in his hateful stand-up comedy routines at the United Nations headquarters.

Folks… these are people who can not EVER be trusted with the nuclear genie.

You should be alarmed… you should feel a sense of panic.

These people aren’t going anywhere and won’t change their ways unless we make them.

And believe me… they’re not going to blink when we send them angry emails from the United Nations’ Gmail account.

.

Video Blog: The F-35 Goes To Canada

My video companion piece for the previous blog entry.

Take a look at what you’re buying, Canada!

Available in 720p HD if you click through.

The Joint Strike Fighter

Our next war bird

Canada has said yes to the F-35 Lightning II.

What’s of particular note here is the F-35 is billed as the Joint Strike Fighter – and the ‘Joint’ is applied in many ways when you look at it on a global scale.

For purely U.S. purposes, the Joint Strike Fighter moniker is based on the fact that it’s a ‘joint service’ aircraft i.e. that 3 branches of the U.S. armed forces will be flying it – the Navy (carrier adapted), the Air Force (base variant), and the Marines (vertical take off and landing variant).

When you step back to a macro scale view and look at how the F-35 applies to the global fighter scene, Joint Strike Fighter takes on a new meaning.

Eleven countries from around the world have contributed money to the development of the F-35: the United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, Australia, Norway, Denmark, Israel, Singapore, and the United States (which contributed the lion’s share of spending).

The idea behind this venture was to supply all the countries involved with a common aircraft that would make joint operations between the stated nations more seamless – as well as allowing each state access to cutting edge technologies that they may not have been able to afford independently.

The end part of the previous paragraph is where countries like Canada specifically come in to play: Canada has nowhere near the tax base or military funding to develop a cutting edge fighter that could dominate other world player’s planes.

I don’t say that in an effort to kick my nation’s pride, but to only state an honest fact.

Also, there is some doubt as to whether our southern neighbors would take kindly to our designing and producing an air superiority fighter that could easily compete with their own: think back to Canada’s one proud moment in fighter design history (the vaunted Avro Arrow) and you’ll see how tragically influential the United States can be when it demands to be the kid on the block with the best toys.

Regardless, Canada’s aging fleet of CF-18s are quickly going to surpass their ‘best before’ date as they are all part of McDonnell Douglas’s first production run of the F/A 18 airframe – first flying for Canada in 1982.

In comparison, the United States has mostly moved to the newer F/A-18 Super Hornet – which has many performance upgrades over the Canadian legacy models, including better avionics and softer radar signature which are derived from being completely new planes as compared to modified airframes.

Yes, our CF-18s have been subject to regular maintenance and technical upgrades over the years – but for all intents and purposes, they are dinosaurs when compared to the rest of the G8 countries’ air force assets.

There are anecdotal stories that kick around the global fighter pilot communities of how Canadian Air Force staff had to make the rounds and beg for spare parts during our fighter jet commitments to U.N. and NATO missions in places like Kosovo and missions like Desert Storm – such as asking the Spaniards for spare batteries, etc.

How are we – as Canadians – to take pride in our military forces when they have to depend on the charity of other nations when we get into a pinch?

Does that make your heart swell with patriotism?

On second thought, forget I brought that up…

Canadian F-18s are aging and will soon have flown so many flight hours that their air frames will be considered unsafe to fly by technical standards.

We can not afford to send our top-notch pilots up into the air against threats to our global and national interests if there is a real chance that the jet will disintegrate under the stress loads that tactical maneuvers place upon a plane.

So here we are in 2010, nearly 30 years after we acquired our last fighter.

Why are tactical fighters important to Canadians?

What else will keep the newly ‘assertive’ Russian bombers out of our air space?

How else will we be able to fulfill our duties to NORAD, NATO, and the United Nations when it comes to rogue states?

Are we to just send along Good Luck cards from Hallmark?

No.

We need our boys to be in the thick of it, pulling Canada’s weight when it comes down to the nitty gritty – when some nation out there needs it’s ass kicked and priorities straightened out.

For Canada to have a voice in those kinds of matters, we need something to punctuate our sentences.

And nothing says that like a heat-seeking missile up the bad guy’s tail pipe.

We, as Canadians, are a peaceful lot and desire diplomacy over war – that’s a given… and a lot of us may not find spending $16,000,000,000 on 64 planes (including maintenance costs) to be a very good deal.

However, to paraphrase a very smart man, war is diplomacy when all other means have failed.

Sometimes, you have to stop using the carrot and start using the stick.

Wouldn’t you rather have a bigger stick than our potential adversaries?

The F-35 is that bigger stick.

It will be the first time Canada has owned a stealth fighter – one that is all but invisible to enemy radar… which is a very good thing when our young men are up in the skies against deadly forces – as any advantage in air-to-air and air-to-ground combat can be the difference between a pilot coming home in once piece and coming home in a body bag(s).

No, the F-35 isn’t the razor sharp portion of the cutting edge when it comes to fighter planes – that would be the F-22, and the United States isn’t sharing that aircraft with anybody.

Also, I must acknowledge the fact that the F-35 is years behind schedule and has saddled the U.S. Defense Department with numerous cost overruns – but in the end, the technology is still sound: whereas the F-22 returns a radar signature equal to that of a metal marble, the F-35 bounces back a profile of a metal golf ball  – which is still smaller than most birds.

Plus, the jet comes with cutting edge sensor suites, futuristic situational awareness systems for the pilot, and more weapons carrying capability than any plane of similar size – which leaves the F-35 as a solid No. 2 contender.

And this is where I must part ways with my preferred Canadian political party and the official Canadian Opposition – the Liberals.

The current federal Liberal leader, Michael Ignatieff, says that the Defense Department should have tendered the contract out to more manufacturers – instead of just handing it to Lockheed Martin on a silver platter… perhaps considering the No. 3 contender, the Eurofighter Typhoon.

From a strictly business standpoint, that would be a prudent idea – but when you take that business to the level of a nation state, there are many other things to consider: jobs for Canadians… wise investment of dollars Canada has already spent… how our armed forces will operate when hand in hand with other global players, etc.

Canada’s interest in the F-35 was initiated by the previous Liberal government when it was in charge of Canada’s future – to the tune of more that $100,000,000.

To simply walk away now would be a monumental waste of money, and a missed opportunity of epic proportions.

Iggy calls it a boondoggle, and is threatening to kill the contract the second the Liberal party takes power again.

I’m sorry, Iggy… but I’m going to have to step back and call you an idiot who would prefer to use a think-tank approach to solving skirmishes.

In this one instance, I have to painfully concede that the conservative mindset is correct: the candle with the biggest wick wins.

This blogger may not speak for all Canadians at all times, but I’m pretty sure I speak with one voice when I say this:

We want to win.

.

.

.

See video of the F-35 here

Royal Canadian Air Force

Where’s Waldo?

In today’s installment of Heave Steve, I must posit this question:

Where the hell was he for the past few days?

The majority of the G-20 leaders from around the globe were having a pow wow at the United Nations headquarters in New York City to discuss a varied slew of issues that are relative to global unity and security  – but where was the Right Honourable Stephen Harper?

Not in New York, I can tell you that right away.

Who was in New York?

Among the major players were Barack Obama (United States Of America), Gordon Brown (the United Kingdom), Nicolas Sarkozy (France), Dmitry Medvedev (Russia)… hell, even the world’s snappiest-dressing/Jew-hating/terrorism-endorsing/nuke-wanting and all-around assclown Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was in attendance.

This was a meeting of the United Nations Security Council – the people who penalize countries when they do bad things (whether it be in the form of military strikes, or the more common strongly worded letter) – a council that Canada really wants to be on so it will have a say in how the world works, or at least the illusion of doing so.

The big topic of this meeting?

Nuclear weapons: who has them, who wants them, and who is not allowed to have them.

Sounds like a good conversation that the Canadian people should have a voice in, doesn’t it?

What makes it a great place to be for world leaders is that you get to step up to the dais on – what is quite literally – the world stage and address the peoples of the entire planet, telling them what your particular country plans to do in the coming months and years and what that means to global peace.

click for larger image

From here, you explain to the world how your country’s actions, programs, policies, and military operations will effect nations and people around the world – either for the better, or for the worse.

The big drama this week?

Ahmadinnerjacket – errr, Ahmadinejad – announced to the world that he had a secret uranium enrichment facility (on top of the one the U.N. Security Council was already aware of) humming away at an undisclosed location in the Iranian desert… which is the type of place where you can turn regular uranium into the type of fuel that either powers a nuclear power plant OR a thermonuclear weapon.

1970-french-nuclear-test1

This is somewhat distressing because:

A) Iran is the number one exporter of terrorists in the world.

B) Iran hates Israel and has repeatedly said that it intends to wipe Israel off the map – which is one use for a stockpile of nuclear weapons.

Crazy, eh?

You know… it would have been really great if someone of global import had spoken up on Canada’s behalf during the fallout of that revelation – someone who could step up to the podium and say how outraged we as a Canadian people were at such a unacceptable revelation.

Wouldn’t that have been great?

Yeah, but Stephen Harper – the Canadian Prime Minister who is supposed to be the focused voice of 33,792,000 Canadian citizens – wasn’t anywhere to be found at the United Nations building.

You know what building he WAS found at?

A Tim Horton’s store in Oakville, Ontario – from which he dutifully blasted Iran’s secretive nuclear shenanigans with all the authority he could muster.

At a Tim Horton’s.

I’ll give you a minute to process that information.

Need a bit more info?

He made this declaration after bragging about how Canada was once again the home base for Timmy’s.

Just wrap your mind around it.

You good?

Need another minute?

Two or three?

Okay… I’ll wait.

Got it?

Good.

Some might say that the neighborhood Timmy’s is the best place to make a Canadian statement – and I would agree to a certain extent if it wasn’t a matter of global import where image is everything.

I mean… seriously.

C’mon, man – give your head a shake, Steve!

What the hell were you thinking?!?!

The Smell Of Election Is In The Air

I love the smell of ballots in the morning… it smells like victory.

Yes, ladies and germs, it’s time to heave Steve!

It’s been time to heave Steve for… I dunno… four years?

This may sound petty and small, but the guy has the personality of an empty refrigerator box – looks useful on the outside, but completely empty on the inside… fit for vagrants and the homeless to use as shelter.

Wait.

No.

Harper has no time or compassion for the homeless and destitute, so scratch that last portion.

All Stephen Harper has time for is big business and ways that he and his cronies can help making fat cat C.E.O.’s lives easier.

What else do you expect of a U.S. Republican who was born in a Canadian body?

Ever so long ago, before the years of bad hair and horrible sweaters, I had some hope for Steve because he made some good sounding promises to the body of our military – promising to get them better tools and weapons so that they could go out into the world and spread Canada’s image and values into the global theater through quality peace keeping.

In four years, what has Steve done on this front?

Honestly, the Conservatives have made good in that one area for the most part: new planes, new guns, new jeeps, and new soldiers.

But…

Why is it that as a peacekeeping force, we don’t even rank in the top ten on a global scale anymore?

We used to be THE country people turned to when they needed help…  but now our spot in the big ol’ United Nations Rolodex has been shifted more towards the middle – and that really kind of smarts in the national pride department.

I mean… for crying out loud… the United Nations was pretty much Lester B. Pearson’s (Canadian prime minister from 1963 to 1968) idea to begin with – and they don’t even call? WTF?

Yes, I do realize that for a long while, we were the ones doing all the grunt work in Afghanistan while the Yanks were busy trying to set up Exxon in Iraq – and that’s something to be proud of (and yes, I understand other Commonwealth military outfits were there as well).

However, that’s pretty much the only place we are.

Why?

The reason why is this: Stephen Harper sees peacekeeping as a function of budget i.e. if there isn’t money in the budget for sending our men and women to to far-flung places around the globe, then he can’t really justify having the Department Of Defense issue the order.

This… this I find completely intolerable.

Peacekeeping is a means of projecting compassion around the globe, and showing those in need of help that Canadians as a people care about the situation.

It’s the Canadian way… but not the way of Stephen Harper and the Conservatives – which some would say makes the lot of them un-Canadian (but I’ll refrain from that chorus as it sounds a lot like American politics).

The longer Harper stays in office, the more xenophobic Canada seems – xenophobia being a fear of peoples and cultures different than your own.

Stephen Harper is mostly against trade missions to other countries who’s names don’t rhyme with Texaco or ‘lopsided plates’ – since the majority of Canadian businesses are either owned by or export a lot of Canadian jobs to places that rhyme with those two things.

He’s also pro-Christian, anti-women’s rights, anti-homosexual, and all-around anti-reality- well, any reality that doesn’t precisely match his own beliefs.

In fact, the Conservatives are the kings of being out of touch with reality.

Their membership is chock full o’ cronies that just make shit up.

Take for example the local Conservative goon… err… M.P., Dean Del Mastro – who, aside from looking like he belongs in a movie about organized crime, is best known for making shit up to make himself and his party look good in the eyes of the electorate.

Pretty much the day before the last election was called, he randomly blurted out that he and an anonymous developer had a plan for Peterborough that would brings jobs and tourists to the area – despite not putting anything forward or hinting at this proposal to ANY OTHER LIVING SOUL at any time prior.

The nature of this project? Doing away with green space owned by Parks Canada so a hotel/convention center/amusement park/IMAX theater could be installed just meters from the historic Peterborough Lift Lock.

When confronted about this harebrained scheme, the Honorable Member had very few details to share – saying that he wished to respect the anonymous developer’s privacy.

Right.

The buffoon even wasted tax-payer money on a mail-in ballot over whether the Peterborough electorate would support such a development – to which he received both resounding apathy and ‘no’ votes.

When Global National came to town last fall during election fever to do a broadcast live-on-location, Del Mastro suited up his own squad of goons in hockey jerseys adorned with the Conservative logo and tried to invade the crowd of spectators that were watching Kevin Newman do his broadcast thing (note: this blogger appeared on air in an ‘ask the electorate’ segment).

Needless to say, the Global producers turned back this goon squad and completely ignored them for the most part.

That sort of spectacle is the party signature.

Just show up randomly and spout party beliefs.

Do any of my fellow Canadians remember the random political attack ads (example) trashing the Liberals that Stephen Harper directs the party’s media arm to run at completely random times – regardless of whether there’s an election afoot or any other sane reason to do so… squandering taxpayer’s money in the process?

I do.

Let’s face it, folks.

The Conservatives are not on your side unless you’re male, white, rich, Christian, running a business empire, hate gays and lesbians, believe that laws and regulations exist purely to benefit those in power, that the needy and disabled are only trying to milk the public coffers, the environment can fend for itself (stupid polar bears!), and of the firm belief that the tax burden should be shouldered by only individual citizens.

If that’s you, please disregard everything I just wrote and vote for your local Conservative candidate.

HarperConsWP

Me… I’m voting Iggy and the Liberals.