Monday, March 02, 2009

but what do the poor do with their lives?

The times change; children don't respect their parents, and everyone's writing a book. However, the forces of interest don't change, and one place you find them pure is the defence procurement economy. Consider this story. The first thing you'll note is that it's kinda plausible, if you're the kind of person who reads this blog. Giving a contract for helicopters to Italy in return for their cooperation in beating up the Iraq story is the sort of thing George Bush would have done.

The second thing you'll note, I hope, is that it doesn't offer any actual link between the two facts. They are just placed close by. On the same basis we ought to be wondering why France invaded Iraq - they were offered a contract for jet tankers. But the new target audience are waiting for horrors about the Bush years, and there are plenty; this is how you convince without lying.

Drill into the text. There are fossils in there which tell us about the history of this stuff; the key to the past lies in the present, as Lyall said. We have the idea that the EH-101 is too heavy to take off - this is 2002-ish Europhobia. Note the implication of European unmanliness, lack of Hard, to say nothing of the raging projection. EH-101s, Merlins, fly daily with maximum loads in hot'n'high Afghanistan and off the decks of frigates in the winter North Atlantic; we even started a new Naval air squadron to go to Afghanistan. Then we have the appeal to uniforms; the pilots! None are quoted, but the Warrior Ethos is invoked. Beyond that, there are vague implications that Finmeccanica (or Westlands as some call it) does business with teh China. Unclean!

Beyond that, all we need to know is encapsulated by the demand that Obama give the job to "the proper supplier, Sikorsky". Ah, the proper supplier. Clearly, what we are dealing with here is vendor bullshit in a high form - carefully tailored to the concerns of the new government. When We are the masters now, you have to expect that they'll come up with a new set of lies.

It's also interesting that Italy is the happy hunting ground of War on Terror drivel, where anything is possible; first of all, the complaisant secret service that facilitated Ledeen's meetings, then the handy source of interesting documents, later still a provider of reliable carabinieri - they held the Nasiriyah bridges on the first night of the first Shia Rising, unlike all the other flexible friends - and a source of canny disinfo against the same people who are now being offered canny disinfo by the same people who handed out the last lot.

After all, why would SISMI care about a medium-sized light industrial plant in Yeovil? Nobody speaks for them.


Anonymous said...

I thought the French won the contest for the air tankers, and then the Bush administration took it away. Did I miss something there?

Alex said...

First, Boeing bought the contract by suborning the DOD official in charge. Then, Airbus won the contract; then the Senator from Boeing intervened...

Gridlock said...

TRUFAX: European Helicopter Industries 01 was mis-transcribed into the EH-101.

Also, show me a Sikorsky that can fly upside down.

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