Friday, November 29, 2013

An Abundance of Caution

China is now scrambling fighter jets to 'defend' its claim over the formally international waters between China, Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. China ignored the B-52s that the US flew through the same territory, since the US has no claim over the waters. Japan and Korea don't get ignored, it doesn't sound like Taiwan even wants to risk it. The US has never been officially at war with China if you don't count Korea, but Japan is still reviled in China for its WWII atrocities, and needs to consider the very real possibility that things could get 'out of hand'.

It's not that China has any intention of shooting down the planes from Korea and Japan that have deliberately violated China's 'airspace', China just wants to raise tensions to a certain level. That level would be where no oil company will want to invest the big bucks it would take to extract petroleum in the disputed waters with the likelihood that their rigs would be seized by The People's Army. China is all about the 'long game', they know this will be their century, the planet is theirs for the taking.

Peace with Iran has brought to life a billion dollar cottage industry in vintage airplane parts. Iran has the distinction of flying some of the oldest commercial aircraft in the world, including one of the original 747-100s, a model that hasn't even been seen at a Boeing facility in 20 years. They fly planes that you don't even see in Africa. An engine fire? Just another day on the job at Iran Air. So now that spare parts no longer need to go to Iran via the Black Market there is a scramble by more mainstream parts dealers to lock down every Boeing jet that sits wasting away on some backwater tarmac.

Iran did have a go with using Russian built planes, but found the failure rate was worse than the bailing wire and chewing gum creations that they have been running. In reality they've only recently had a problem securing parts. Under Republican administrations there was no real enforcement of the embargos against Iran, but since Obama took over things have tightened up considerably. The USAF for example purchased a gigantic hydraulic shear to destroy landing gear struts for decommissioned F-111s that under the Bush Administration were routinely ending up in Iran.

Ronald Reagan committed Treason and got himself elected by promising Iran spare parts, anti-aircraft missiles and such. That business turned into the Iran-Contra scandal. During depositions Reagan claimed no recollection of such events, (his alzheimer's was conveniently revealed just prior to his appearance). George H. W. Bush who had bragged about being 'in charge' during the Reagan Presidency, claimed under oath that he knew nothing, saying that he just went to funerals like all Vice Presidents do. Bush went on to issue pardons for everyone involved, including people who hadn't even been indicted.

Twitter @BruceEnberg - Where you can ask, just what is baling wire?  

Breaking News: the Obama Administration has just recommended that US airlines comply with China's demand that aircraft flying into China's 'new' airspace comply with their notification requirements, "out of an abundance of caution". An abundance of caution would be to take the long way around.


Anonymous said...

All due respect but I think you mean F-14 parts... To the best of my knowledge Iran never had any F-111's. There were some scandals about F-14 parts being exported to Iran since they had some flying, bought from us in the days of the Shah. Regrettably I understand that all F-14's in the US were messed up enough to make it pretty much impossible to get one back in the air for a museum to fly...unlike the F-104 that has a few flying and the F-4, F-100 that have at least one each flying and projects to get a F-105 and a F-106 back in the air.

Yup, the Sainted Ronnie did seem to do some agreements with foreign governments (I think that is one definition of treason). Funny how republicans hold Obama responsible for what every postal clerk and janitor does during his time in office but republican Presidents can forget or ignore everything that they did (or didn't do)...funny how that works. Like the republican view of deficits, eh? Only the ones they pin on Democrats mean anything>

prairie2 said...

actually, the F-14 is the upgraded Navy variant of the F-111, most of the structural parts are interchangeable

Joseph said...

Sorry to break the news, but the F-14, made by Grumman, and the F-111, made by General Dynamics, are totally different aircraft.

prairie2 said...

Okay, The F14 is not a actual variant of the F111b, but built to replace it using the same engines and electronics, that were kept from the F111B to save money. Both were the same flawed concept, an over-sized swing wing two seat fighter. Iran did have some F111A but probably didn't bother to keep them flying. I did get the two boondoggles confused.

Ronmac said...

The F-14 and F-111 sound like another up and coming boondoggle: the F-35, currently being peddled to Air Forces around the world and consistently getting two thumbs down reviews (despite efforts to bribe politicians).

Ever notice these boondoggles start with the word F.

Heartwarming to see the "Iran-Contra scandal" still getting airplay after all these years. To set the record straight the contras got most of their supplies left behind by the U.S. military who regularly staged "military exercises" in Honduras in the 1980's.

In one exercise as many as 50,000 US National Guard troops were sent to Honduras for a month. What they did during these exercises your guess is as good as mine. Probably played a lot of cards. If these exercises were staged today they would be playing video games. Times have changed.

I was personally involved in one aid project in Nicaragua which was raided by the contras where people were killed. Afterwards I sent an information package to a law firm in Washington who were investigating the possibility of the suing the U.S. gov't. The answer came back nil. When it comes to acts of murder and mayhem Uncle Sam has his ass covered legally.