The Federal Government, ie; the Harper Conservatives, have just let it be known that we Canadians will be spending $10 billion on 65 new f-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin. This is the company that brought the world the Trident missile. Just ask anyone in Iraq how fucking effective at killing other human beings the Trident is. Or the F-16, Hercules, Orion, etc., etc. While researching the stellar 'products' of Lockheed Martin, I was astounded to find out that there is awards to be won for producing the most effective weapon of war. Can you imagine an auditorium full of people vying for awards being given out for the most productive product that can kill the most people in one go? It turns out that Lockheed Martin has won many such awards and I bet they are really proud of that.
The contract was not tendered. It was through what is called a sole source contract. I am not sure what this weapons contractor did to get such a good deal from Canadian taxpayers but down in the U.S., they are known for lining the pockets of people in power, contributing hundreds of thousands of dollars to campaigns. In fact, they give more than all the other defense contractors. Just saying...
And I hear that fucking asshole, Tony Clement saying that the Liberals had the whole deal set up as early as 2001. The Liberals are known for a lot of bullshit but overt military spending is not one of them. They know that most Canadians (outside Alberta and small towns in other provinces) don't have much of an appetite for war. Hell, most Canadians wrong-headedly believe that Canada is still a peace-keeping nation, parachuting into troubled nations and handing out popsicles and democracy.
I think that this new wave of Canadian military expenditures is for many reasons. And here are just a few of them:
1. The Harper conservatives are embarrassed by Canadians' distaste for firing weapons at poor, oppressed people around the world. The Americans seem to have no problem with this kind of aggressive military action and Harper wonders why Canada isn't involved in more conflicts with third world nations. All in the name of democracy, of course. I think they call it 'freedom'.
2. There is no better way to say,"I love you", like buying weapons from someone. Especially if that someone has repeatedly made overtures that you are a 'pussy', a 'commie', a chickenshit'. I think Canada suffers an extreme inferiority complex when it comes to our brothers to the South. One way to remedy that is to go to war alongside them. Brothers in arms, if you will. Harper wanted so fucking badly to involve Canada in the Iraq war in 2003, when he was leader of the opposition, that he was publicly chastising Canadians for their stance. He was out of touch then and he is still out of touch.
3. "...increased Russian bomber and fighter activity." Really? There are reports lately about Russia exerting influence over the Arctic, with increased tactical missions into the Arctic circle. This, coupled with all the stupid fucking hype about Russian spies, means that the spin doctors are hard at work trying to create a threat that is just not there. What, the fucking terrorist stories are getting old? What about the drug lords? The Chinese? The North Koreans? Iran? There has to be an enemy, or at least a perceived enemy, to justify all this spending on weapons of war. What about Denmark? I hear the Danes are angling for a piece of the Arctic pie! Take that, Copenhagen! Never mind that the fucking Conservatives have denied climate change completely and the Ice caps are melting. Instead of working on that, they are going to buy war planes to bomb or attack anyone who tries to trespass in our newly-thawed waters. That's just good public relations, people!
4. The contract to build the warplanes is $9 billion but the maintenance and upgrades and other shit is going to cost an additional $7 billion. $16 billion fucking dollars for war weapons and the government is telling us we are taking 'austerity' measures because of the global economic meltdown. I am surprised we even heard about this program because all the defense spending is legislated into secrecy because of bullshit national security laws. A vast amount of public money is funneled into the coffers of the government and then is unceremoniously spent, in secret, on weapons and personnel and we are not privy to this information because it is confidential. Sounds like a license to print blood money, if you ask me.
5. To do what the Federal Liberals have not been able to do: Pull the country together in a time of a real or perceived threat. It seems as though the government wants to relive 9/11 as if it were our tragedy. Most of us know that America was attacked and not our nation of hockey and apologies but the government tries to use this horrific event to stir fear and emotion from us. And they use it to justify our continued existence in the mission in Afghanistan. Though, the reasons for war often change throughout the course of a battle, there is always a reason given for continued occupation. At the end of the day, that reason is to fire weapons. Because, who is going to make money from that? Unfortunately, human beings are the collateral damage as a result.
6. War is a very difficult thing, ethically, morally and culturally. Each and every country and society has a different take on war and what it means to engage in warfare. The percentage of people that believe that war is not the answer, no matter what, has grown quite drastically in a short time. Future generations may eventually disregard war altogether as a final means to settle a disagreement. I guess mutually assured destruction started us on the course for that. Fear of total wipe-out is the only thing that can warn us away from each other. For now, anyway. And I guess that having 65 F-35's improves your chances, somehow, of becoming one of the tougher kids on the block. I always hated those fucking kids.