So Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan is in Australia to spruik the benefits of the F35-A fighter jet. According ABC online he says “one thing you ought to know – and I am pre-empting my speech in front of the Senate – I am not an F35 salesman’. No he is not a salesman he is more like the sales manager. According to Defense-Aerospace he is the head of the F35 Joint Programme Office (JPO) who has the job of presenting in front of congress to discuss the fixes that have been made to the Lockheed Martin built fighter jets many problems. The latest of a long list is the problem it has operating in hot climates. The problem this time is the fact that the F35-A uses its fuel to cool its electronics. The jet won’t start if the fuel is too warm. Yep, that’s just one problem of many. Another less serious problem is the noise level if it is to operate near residential areas, namely Darwin.
Australia is expecting to spend around $17 billion for 72 jets. Lieutenant General Bogdan says “there is no match in the world and there won’t be for 10 or 20 years.” Maybe he hasn’t seen what Russia’s Jets are doing to ISIS in Syria, or the fact that Russia’s radar jamming technology is far superior. US military and intelligence officials have spoken up about concerns over Russia’s PAK-FA fighter jet noting “it has greater agility with its combination of thrust vectoring, all moving tail surfaces, and excellent aerodynamic design, than does the F35”.
Retired US army Colonel Douglas Macgregor said the US Army would be annihilated in a direct confrontation with Russia. Yes this is the Army and not the Air Force but the point is throwing billions and billions of tax payer dollars into the Military Industrial Complex doesn’t necessarily create an exceptional defence/attack force.
John Stillion, a former aviator turned aerospace analyst ‘predicted the F35’s dogfight failure seven years ago in a controversial study that, by some accounts, got Stillion fired from a prominent think-tank’. The practice dogfight over the Pacific Ocean resulted in the F35 not able to get a clean missile shot at a 1980’s F16-D. The F16 then snuck up behind the F35 because the pilot of the F35 could not see behind because of the poorly designed canopy.
There are many more problems with the F35 which can be read here, and here,
So let’s if Australia’s senate puts the people of Australia first ahead of the Military Industrial Complex or will we purchase them and have more austerity put on the poor?
This is an excerpt from a speech in 1933 by Major General Smedley Butler (the most decorated US marine in history);
“War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses. I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we'll fight. The trouble with America is that when the dollar only earns 6 percent over here, then it gets restless and goes overseas to get 100 percent. Then the flag follows the dollar and the soldiers follow the flag. I wouldn't go to war again as I have done to protect some lousy investment of the bankers. There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket.
There isn't a trick in the racketeering bag that the military gang is blind to. It has its "finger men" to point out enemies, its "muscle men" to destroy enemies, its "brain men" to plan war preparations, and a "Big Boss" Super-Nationalistic-Capitalism.
It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.
I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.
I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 (where have I heard that name before?). I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.
During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents”.
And we can’t forget the 34th President of the US Dwight Eisenhower’s warnings of the Military Industrial Complex form his outgoing speech in 1961.