Monday, November 21, 2005

What does it take before a Liberal will do his job?

This is no idle question here in the Demented Dominion, as Mark Styne likes to call it.  We've been wondering what its going to take before the Liberals finally address their most glaring omission on the list of things a government is supposed to provide: the military.  The Liberals got off the dime last week.
Defence Minister Bill Graham has revived a plan to get government approval for the $4-billion purchase of 16 transport planes to replace the military's aging Hercules fleet.
Here's part of what it took to get the Right Honorable Billy G. moving: 
  • A shootin' war (Assghanistan),
  • an immanent election that they are probably going to lose, or at least remain in the minority
  • not just one scandal but a score of them,
  • the head of the Armed Forces kicking Graham's ass in private, I have no doubt.
  • and the complete breakdown of air transport capability in the Canadian Forces.
Complete breakdown you say Phantom?  Surely not!

[Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Rick] Hillier has said replacing the Hercules is his No. 1 equipment priority. Without that replacement, the military's ability to move troops and gear to overseas missions will come to a standstill, he has said.

The Hercules is the backbone of air transportation for the Canadian military, particularly for its Afghanistan mission.

According to newly released documents released under the Access to Information law, military officers warned senior air force leaders last year that the Hercules fleet was stretched to the maximum on the Afghanistan operation.

The CC-130s had operated beyond capacity for eight months and required "a respite," warned the June 2004 report to Maj.-Gen. Mark Dumais.

General Hillier is lying through his teeth.  Air transport won't be coming to a standstill soon, it has been there for several years.  They don't fly those Hercs transcontinental loaded, they send the men with the
Yanks and fly the Hercs empty.  In  Assghanistan guys are flying 1960's airplanes into battle, it costs probably ten times what a new aircraft would cost per flying hour and it isn't going well.  Lots of missions scrubbed due to mechanical breakdowns.  You know, like supply missions to send bullets to our guys who have run out?  Stuff like that.  Nothing has fallen out of the sky yet, but its only a matter of time.

However, all that is nothing new.  I'm dead sure the Liberals don't care a good goddamn about it, and the reason I'm sure is that they have had since 1993 to buy new airplanes and a juicy surplus to buy them with.  What changed?  Why the sudden burst of activity?

This little episode may be what finally broke the camel's back:
Hillier recently experienced first-hand some of the problems with the aging Hercules fleet during a trip to Afghanistan with Canadian sports figures and a comedian. The group had boarded a Hercules for their flight to Kabul but the plane broke down, as did a second plane rolled out as a replacement. The group was able to fly to Afghanistan on a third Hercules.
The Liberal's military can't even manage a photo op. Paul Martin may not care a rip about Canadian soldiers dying in antique aircraft, but he damn well cares about photo ops.  This little fiasco probably hit Paulie right where he lives. 

It was papered over nicely in the media, nobody made too much of a fuss and the whole visit of entertainment types to the troopies in Assghanistan was barely covered at all.  I mean, who cares if some CFL quarterback and a couple of Toronto singers visit the 'Stan?  It isn't like they got Shania Twain, eh?

But Paulie knows what's IMPORTANT in government, and that is smoothly executed media events.  That is the real reason we still have a military at all in my view.  The Liberals sometimes need to be seen Doing Something On The World Stage, and for that they need some uniforms filled and some military-looking shit for the uniforms to stand in front of for the camera.  Like the Iltis!  It doesn't have to be new, combat ready or even worth the gas in the tanks so far as its military function is concerned.  All it has to do is start up and go when the cameras are rolling.

Our Hercs can't do that anymore.  Obviously we need new ones.  Prince Paulie has sent his lackeys out to do that post haste.  Damn Bombardier, damn the expense and damn the law governing military purchases, we need those photo ops ASAP!

And that, Ladies and Germs, is what it takes to get a Liberal to do his job.

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