Monday, March 10, 2014

We don't need your war machine

The Conservative Party government of Canada has vowed to reintroduce its plans to buy the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter from the United States, despite strong public opposition to that waste of Canada's tax money.  The opposition to the purchase really grew after the government was discovered trying to conceal the actual life cycle cost of the aircraft purchase and it was revealed that the aircraft had tested out as a poor choice for arctic use.   The purchase is a fop to the United States; not essential to Canada's national-defense.

The original total life cycle cost of $65 billion was based on a per-unit price of $75 million for each aircraft; that was the estimate given by the  government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Then Lockheed Martin announced last April that the per unit price had risen, from $75 million to $85 million (a 13% increase).  The total life cycle cost to Canada, rising commensurately, would be around $74 billion.

The F-35 is also on the list of the most expensive weapon systems ever built.  It's  on track to cost the United States about $1.4 trillion.

But this is Canada.  We don't have $74 billion to blow on aerial machines of war.  It isn't our choice to piss away our resources like that.

I have always been proud that Canadians are seen as peace keepers in the world. The fact that some think we need to spend billions on machines of war is beyond me. I'm probably too idealistic, but I've always believed that when a person spends time and resources aiding others, they find it generously returned when they are, themselves, in need. I think it is the same with nations. Our neighbours to the south have spent decades looking out for themselves and only helping others when it suits their goals. Now, they have lost the respect of the world. Canada must not follow suit.

American woman, stay away from me
American woman, Mama let me be
Don't come hangin' around my door
I don't wanna see your face no more
I don't need your war machine
I don't need your ghetto scenes
Coloured lights can hypnotize
Sparkle someone else's eyes
Now woman, I said stay away
American woman, listen what I say.

American Woman, from the Canadian rock band The Guess Who 
Reached #1 chart position in both the US and Canada in 1970