Monday, February 18, 2013

You want cuts? Cut the Joint Strike Fighter

OK, I’ll give you the cuts. One cut. One cut to rule them all.

The massive boon-doggle, scam, sham, snake-oil shake-down called the Joint Strike Fighter.

For a $35 billion commitment, Australia has so far received nothing, nada, zero, zip, the cube root of sweet bugger-all, except.

Oh, yeah.

Except for a gap in our “air superiority” between the retirement of our current fleet of baby-killing flying machines and the touted-since-the-1980s next-generation of baby-killing flying machines.

All on the presumption that a quarter of the world is waiting, itching, champing-at-the-bit to wage war on Australia.

Just to remind you: the JSF talks started in the 1980s. The money Australia has so far handed over have achieved nothing more than development work on what looks, to all intents and purposes, like a complete failure that won’t be delivered in its current form, nor to its current timetable, nor to its current price.

The F-35 finally managed its first flight in 2006, two decades after it was conceived. Right now, its airworthiness is under question, not for the first time, because it can’t fly through thunderstorms for fear of lightning strike. Its delivery date remains as uncertain as its eventual capabilities. 

Its price is as excremental as the whole veil of bury-the-skeleton secrecy over who-scammed-who in twenty years pf vile alchemy turning the manure of bad public policy into the gold of shareholder value.

And Australia remains irrevocably committed to it.

To defend Australia.

Here are two snippets of fact for you.

  1. Australia is a continent
  2. In all of recorded history, no continent has been successfully invaded by a strike force, except in the presence of an overwhelming international coalition

Prove me wrong.

Now, in the defence of a continent that probably doesn’t need defending, since it’s cheaper for (say) China to buy what it wants from us than to take it by force, we’re committed to pouring good money after bad, into a project of notorious non-delivery and malfeasance, because of a commitment to an ally that won’t turn up if China turns hostile (do you truly believe that America would spark a nuclear war over the arse end of the world?).

Just to emphasise: at this stage, Australia has a $35 billion commitment to a development project in the USA. Say it slowly to yourself. Savour the ironic stupidity, the medalled mendacity, the cynical theft that this entails – and the naïf cultural cringe and fearful “yellow peril” idiocy that keeps our budget nailed to a failure.

The JSF isn’t a bloody jet fighter. It’s a massive subsidy to American industry, disguised as a military program. Australia doesn’t need to sling $35 billion in, just for the privilege of knowing that some good ol’ boys still eat well. What about keeping the money here and doing some good with it?

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