F 18’s fly overhead every day now, morning noon and night. I hate them.
As a child I used to think I loved them, probably because my father was so impressed with planes. I can’t grasp now what my own ‘enjoyment’ was other than perhaps a vicarious joy transferred from his visible excitement. He also impressed on me his awe at the skill it took just to get a flying machine up there let alone to fly them. (He also said he’d never fly in a plane flown by a female pilot). The British Airshow Farnborough was always on our calender though I never went but we watched it religiously each year as it was televised.
The issues of war and environmental degradation have brought me to loathe these flying beasts. When I add the noise of speeding heavy metal soaring overhead and screaming ‘All power and authority to the powerful!’ (and hopefully their allied minions) it makes me want to just disappear down a rabbit hole.
A quick internet search tells me the Farnborough Airshow is on 19th -20th July. Interestingly it has this offer on its website – see site here (I have put links that open in new window/tab press shift and right click)
“Discounted Ear Defenders: We have a small number of ear defenders from the 2012 show available to purchase at a discounted price of £5 each.”
Small number from the 2012 show?
Do they not have any new ones available?
Do we have to look on e-bay?
…….BYO muffs to Farnborough.
I am reminded how fantastic it is that some residents of Sydney maintained their rage and ensured the introduction and maintenance of flight time restrictions on their airport to support the sleep patterns of the natives with an 11pm to 6am curfew on most flights.
But this is Darwin and here we go again……… Is it us flying above my head or is it the US?
We are told there are now 1150 US Marines on rotation in Darwin.
This article ( 16 Jan 2014) in the Northern Territory News (A morning tabloid subsidiary of News Limited Murdoch network renowned for its sensationalist headlines about crocodiles and fireworks going off up peoples backsides) headlines “Uncle Sam wants YOU to go to Darwin, Marine!” The article tells us US Marine Commandant General James Amos told US congressional hearings that the Top End (euphemism for the Northern territory) was appealing to action-hungry soldiers, returning from the Middle East.
Action Hungry? I hope that’s not a re-framed version of PTSD without the mental health diagnosis.
General James told congress its about a kind of boredom relief- “The reorientation to the Pacific has just re-energised a lot of Marines as they think about (the withdrawal from) Afghanistan,” Gen Amos said. “We talk about Darwin, Australia. We talk about Japan. We talk about Guam. And their eyes light up.”
The US has clearly many agenda’s hidden in their recent agreement with the Australian government to place troops here. The word that comes up again and again is “Rotation”. Our own airforce tells us the US “rotations enhance U.S. ability to train, exercise and operate with Australia and with other allies and partners across the region, further enabling the U.S. to work together with these nations to respond more quickly to a wide range of challenges, including humanitarian crises and disaster relief, as well as promoting security cooperation efforts across the region.”
Respond more quickly to a wide range of challenges?
Promote security cooperation efforts?
So the party line is that it’s all about “rotation”, ‘critical response capacity for humanitarian crises’ and the ‘promotion of security’ in the region.
GLF (Green Left Weekly) stated see here that an Australian Department of Defence response letter to IPAN (Independence and Peaceful Australia Network)-NSW, said US marine presence is “an extension of our existing defence cooperation and defence arrangements”. They go on to say “It is argued that the initiative will support regional peace and stability and better position the two countries to respond to contingencies in the Pacific — including humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.”
Even more enlightening is the GLF attention to the US policy direction…
“Last year, the Centre for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), a US policy research institute, issued a report, Gateway to the Indo-Pacific, Australian Defense Strategy and the Australia-US Alliance.
Contrary to what has been written in Australia’s Defence White Paper, the report says: “Indeed, China has emerged, almost simultaneously, as both Australia’s greatest trading partner and as its greatest, potential military threat.”
China is a Military Threat to Australia? see here and here. For some reason the agenda has shifted. For those old enough to remember it used to be Indonesia. The fear mongers promoted the country with the world’s largest Muslim population and our nearest neighbour as a major threat. (The latest election there may well have the fallout of re-newing this for our now quiet but disgruntled front yard- If the East Timorese have concerns then the Indonesians certainly do. see here But I digress)
The recent sycophantic Obama comment to the media during our stuttering repetitive Prime Ministers visit- “Aussies know how to fight and I like having them in a foxhole if we’re in trouble,” out- headlined the quiet introduction of a new defence agreement that allows the US is to extend its presence even more, particularly in Darwin. The Australian reported in June:
AUSTRALIA has struck a defence agreement with the United States that prepares the ground for more American troops, aircraft and ships to operate from Australian bases to ward off threats in South East Asia. The report states “Australia is open to hosting more US Marines in Darwin over time and may also consider the use of a Western Australian naval base as a port for US destroyers”….and that this “formalises the deployment of around 1,300 US Marines to the Northern Territory first announced by Mr Obama and Julia Gillard in November 2011.”…..
Obana is also quoted as saying “In addition to the marines that are now in Darwin and the rotations that have been established, we actually have arrived at additional agreements around force postures that will enhance the bilateral cooperation between our militaries and give us additional reach throughout this very important part of the world, and we’re grateful for the cooperation there.”
So.. more US troop presence in Australia, “additional reach” into the region with ‘formalised deployment’, and what are force postures?.
AND of course the purchase of more F35A aircraft. See here
“In 2009, the Australian Government approved acquisition of the first consignment of 14 F-35A aircraft, as well as supporting systems and weapons. In April 2014, the Government approved the acquisition of an additional 58 aircraft, bringing the total fleet on order to 72 F-35A aircraft. The first aircraft will arrive in Australia at RAAF Base Williamtown in late 2018, with the complete fleet arriving by 2022.”
My calculation (440 Billion $ US for making 2,300 aircraft and we will have 72) is that this will mean 12 billion dollars US of Australian taxpayer money goes to to Lockhead Martin for what appears to be a more expensive lemon than the F1-11. see here
Reuters advise 11 countries will have these weapons. I make it 12 but maybe they left out the Americans? see here
The Reuters’ list reads like the grocery list of greedy kids at the sweet counter, eyes bulging, lips dribbling with no cash to buy – “I really really want those ones, keep those for me I’ll go get more $ from mum”). Lockhead Martin must be creaming themselves.
Australia ordered 14 plans announced for 58 more
Canada poised to buy 65 F-35 A’s for $9 billion- will evaluate all available options after outcry over the government’s decision to buy without an open competition
Denmark slated to buy 30 -will review
GB wants 138 F35 B’s, has 3, (see Farnborough 2014) 48 committed, 14 more this year
Holland has 2, committed to additional 37 (originally thought to buy 85)
Italy 60 F35 A’s
Israel 19 ordered, plans for 75
Japan considering 42 35A’s
Norway 16 authorised with plans for another 52
Sth Korea 40 35A’s
Turkey wants 100 committed to 2
Singapore and Belgium are thinking about it
and never to be outdone…………
United States wants 1,763 F35 A’s (to the year 2035) for the Airforce, 260 F35 C’s for the Navy and the Marines get 340 F35B’s and 80 35C’s. That’s………. 2443 Aghhhhhhh!
These aircraft are a massive business, raking in billions of dollars from countries eager to ‘protect themselves’. (god forbid they would want to attack anyone, especially to attack us!) They are war machines, tools of destruction not humanitarian tools of construction. It would appear war has now become humanitarian in nature (a common dominant agenda paradigm shift).
The business and political narrative is about protection, security. This is a lie
The social argument against this obscenity is about protection and security. Protection of humanity from the war machine and security of the planet we all live on.
This expenditure to perpetuate the war machine is insane. War is being stealthily prepared for and the ‘management’ of people to prepare them for servitude to this cause has been on the agenda of the powerful since before I was born. My father the plane man, well aware of the power of propaganda having served in WWII. He witnessed the stories he was directly involved in reshaped for political expedience. He wanted truths told because the massaged truth and blatant lies challenged his own integrity. The truth was fashioned for general consumption.
But popular myth making is part of the framework for managing people, and part of the political narrative at any time. This is why…………….
A friend was slightly shocked at my response to the planes little sorties recently. She told me they made her feel safe.
“Safe from what?” I asked
“I don’t know”. She said.
“How come they make you feel safe?” I asked her
“I don’t know,” she said “they just do.”
Australia’s welcome to the base of nearly 5000 US army personnel over the next few years is more of a tacit approval and ‘yeah whatever’ from the general public. Not flagged by anyone but the old tired Lefties, shot down the memory hole by the usual suspect press channels and ignored by most Australians.
I am sickened by both the jaunty and sombre celebrations of ‘nation’ and ‘ultimate sacrifice’. The evidence of the “ordinary person” being done over is clear. Visible in the whole crappy entourage of pollie travels and talkfests, G this and that’s and the obscene expenditure of tax payers money on these metal eagles of death. The passive ‘man in the street’ is fed with orchestrated spectacles like airshows and nationalistic skyward gestures of ‘man’s capacity for achievement”.
Surely our current government’s policy catch-cry of “belt tightening”, their associated sickening attack on the poor, and the huge cost of these machines deserves more public scrutiny. Equally the obvious lies of the so called ‘strategic’ and ‘surgical’ ‘ceiling knocking’ of the latest Israeli onslaught into Gaza, show how the innocent are victims of Nationalism and associated racism and greed.
Defence spending used to be a hot item. It took over from the shameless ‘duck and cover’ propaganda of the 60’s. Lets make it a hot item.
“Scrap the tax” -Lame but effective thanks to Palmer’s PUPs (not sure how they got these figures but this is what Libs say “Average families will be more than $550 better off next year alone under the Coalition’s plan than under Labor’s carbon tax. Over the next six years they will be $3,000 better off under the Coalition than under Kevin Rudd’s carbon tax.” see here
“Shaft the $12 billion War Lemon” – has more Zing what do you think?
At the cost of 12Billion dollars (for those who need to see the zero’s that’s a US billion – $12,000,000,000) My call is that’s a lot more being taken from the taxpayer than the scrapping of the carbon tax gives back!
By the way if the US had supported sanctions on Egypt following the coup on Morsi big money to US warmongering weapons companies would have been stopped. See Here
Oh I forgot we are meant to be afraid of something and not supposed to know what.
That’s what makes us feel safe when war planes fly overhead. That and the fact that we are privileged and most of us like Gaza and Syrian children thankfully don’t have PTSS.
My suggestion – be afraid but know what you’re afraid of and why. Know your enemy (Thanks RATM).The science is there. Aircraft are giant polluters. These particular aircraft were built to kill, not for humanitarian reasons but to feed the war cannibal animal. Thanks again RATM) Oh and Lockhead? Former US Vice President’s Dick Cheney’s wife Lynne was on the board 1994 -2001 and the connections to the US political war machine are worth checking out Peruse this page
No need to say more.