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More ‘Russian bombers!’ press releases from the Conservatives.

I hope the media doesn’t take these scaremongering press releases too seriously, and actually points out the obvious motive behind this, as the Globe’s Gloria Galloway is doing:

Members of the national press gallery awoke this morning to find a “read-out” from Dimitri Soudas, the Prime Minister’s director of communications, in their e-mail in-boxes that described what seemed to have been an aerial defence against the Russians. “On 24 August, two CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft were launched and visually identified 2 Russian aircraft, the TU-95 Bear, approximately 120 nautical miles north of Inuvik, Northwest Territories. At their closest point, the Russian aircraft were 30 nautical miles from Canadian soil….

Mr. Soudas went on to explain: “Thanks to the rapid response of the Canadian Forces, at no time did the Russian aircraft enter sovereign Canadian airspace.” And we all learned earlier this summer when a similar incident occurred and the Sun Media chain broke the news to suggest that a Russian attack had narrowly been averted that, in fact, these types of sorties occur 12 to 18 times a year without incident.

Why would Mr. Soudas be sending out this kind of missive in the wee hours of the morning?

Well, the government did just buy 65 Lockheed-Martin F-35s stealth fighters through an untendered contract worth $9-billion plus maintenance that will the total cost up to $16-billion.And, as Daniel Leblanc reports in Wednesday’s Globe and Mail, not everyone is happy about it. Critics want the government to explain why it chose the F-35s and why the purchase has to be made without going to tenders.

A new report from analyst Kenneth Epps of Project Ploughshares said the Harper government has yet to state exactly which types of missions the F-35s would handle, and why other types of aircraft couldn’t do the same things. So Mr. Soudas is getting out ahead of those like Mr. Epps who would challenge the government’s purchase.

My prediction for the next stunt? Harper will personally fly shotgun in an F-18 on the next Russian bomber “intercept” to show everyone he’s helping to personally keep Canada safe – and he’ll make sure that in the 2nd jet, the co-pilot will actually be an official photographer from the PMO to record ‘Captain Canada’ in action. Heck, maybe it will be Soudas himself, so he can issue a breathless media release describing  his eyewitness account of Harper in action.

Also look for a big sign draped in front of a huge Canadian flag at the air force base where Harper lands. I would predict it will say “Stephen Harper: keeping the true North strong and free”.

Bottom Line: this is all just a propaganda scam in an attempt to vilify those who have questions about how this government went about the purchase of these jets, and to convince Canadians we’re “tough” on Arctic sovereignty – the same message and photo-op tour that he’s been doing for 5 years now without much action, but a lot of talk.

7 comments to More ‘Russian bombers!’ press releases from the Conservatives.

  • ridenrain

    This is the same faulty logic that found our soldiers wearing woodland cammo in Chretien’s Afghanistan war.

  • MoS

    If we didn’t intercept them until they were just 120 nautical miles north of Inuvik that means we’re allowing them to get well within the range of their best cruise missiles. Some of the newer ones are believed to do better than 5,000 kms. That would pretty much let them attack any Canadian and several American cities from beyond our airspace. So we’d be up chasing empty bombers while their surface-hugging cruise missiles were racing to their targets. Brilliant.

    But how does this justify the F-35? Even with external tanks its combat radius (according to Lockheed Martin) is just 730 nautical miles and that’s at cruise and at a comfortable altitude. If it has to go flat out in the weeds to go after cruise missiles its range degrades enormously.

    The F-35 is really no better than the F-18 at intercepting a lumbering Bear bomber cruiosing along at altitude and probably just as hopeless at countering a mass cruise-missile attack. It’s not the Russian airplane but the weapons we’ll have to worry about.

  • Do these nitwits of a government not realize that NORAD knows all about these exercises, and surely so does this government. but they tell us they are stopping the Russians,..I wonder how many people at NORAD are laughing at us?

  • Anon ABC

    So why are the Sun Editors not all over the media agitating that we should “lock and load” and bring these pesky Russian bombers down? Surely this is a test of our national resolve and there will be many more Russian bombers coming if we fail the test? Yes, please send MacKay up, heck, send the entire Conservative cabinet up (they are proud of standing up for Canada aren’t they)?

    And the bonus? First, Harper will then win his elusive majority when he unfolds his shiny new slogan: Conservatives — tough on Russians too. Second, they will get to spend $16B of taxpayers dollars on F35s, from a sole sourced contractor, without any more pesky questions (especially if the Russians shoot down our old F18s). Third, they would have driven a stake into the Liberals’ political fortunes forever by exposing them for being soft on crime and on Russians too.

    Or is the new Canada only ready to lock and load and apparently sink a ship full of women and children with no means to defend themselves: http://sunmediawatch.wordpress.com/2010/08/18/lock-and-load-the-sun-editors-are-going-to-war/?

    Is this what Harper meant when he bragged that we will not recognize Canada when he is done with it? LOL

  • slg

    Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.

    ~Adolph Hitler

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