The Pentagon has launched an investigation into why its Joint Forces Staff College has been teaching a course advocating tomorrow's generals prepare to inflict genocide on the Muslim world.
Sound bizarre? Unbelievable? Well, guess what? It happened and it's been going on for a while. The story came to light recently when Wired magazine's terrific blog, Danger Room, broke the story and even posted the course materials advocating the annihilation of the world's Muslim population, including nuclear strikes on targets like Mecca. That's genocide to the order of 1.4-billion people.
How is that thinking even possible in what is the ringmaster of the modern military circus Canada serves? It's the almost inevitable result of a transformation that has swept through the United States armed forces since 9/11. There have been plenty of warnings this was happening and we have largely ignored them all. I began writing about this in August, 2010 after reading Andrew Bacevich's, "The New American Militarism" and works by others on point. You can find some of those posts here, and here, and here. You can find any number of other articles on the advance of this malignancy on this blog.
To put it in a nutshell, this course made it to the curriculum of the American's military's staff college through the powerful perversion of that military itself. Scrapping this course, burning all the course materials, retiring a few senior officers, won't change a thing. This course is only a symptom of a problem that has been allowed to metastasize throughout the American military establishment from the bottom ranks to the top.
What is exposed here is the result of a horrific marriage of neoconservativism, evangelical fundamentalism, and an ascendant military/industrial/commercial warfighting complex all under the umbrella of a corporatist federal government. And this is how a nation is created in which military force supplants diplomacy as the preferred instrument of foreign policy. This is madness writ large. It represents the evolution of a fourth branch of American government, a military that is gradually taking political powers that rival those of what are supposed to be its civilian masters. It's a genie out of its bottle.
And what of Canada? We should finally see what's happening in the Pentagon, its staff colleges and in the field and we should be making tracks in the opposite direction, putting safe distance between ourselves and the Americans until they cure themselves of this contagion. But what are we doing? Just the opposite.
Canada is integrating our military with that of the Americans in a manner that ties our foreign policy to theirs. Nothing makes that point more powerfully than the F-35 stealth light bomber.
Our opposition parties have done a shamefully poor job of handling the F-35 issue. Being the lazy bastards they are, they've gone for the low-hanging fruit - what does it really cost, who knew what and when? Here's a hint - the cost issue is almost irrelevant compared to the greater issues the F-35 raises.
What matters about the F-35 is what it does and what it doesn't do in the broadest terms. You begin by accepting it's a medium range, stealth light bomber. It's not a long-range interceptor. It's not an air-superiority dogfighter. It's a bomber with some questionable high-tech advantages that are designed for it to be used offensively in penetration strikes into the territory of sophisticated adversaries. If it works as claimed it only works in conjunction with very expensive and sophisticated support aircraft that Canada neither has nor intends to acquire. That means the F-35 works in support of the country that does have those sophisticated support aircraft which, by process of elimination, means the United States - the same military that's staff college lectures on wiping out 1.4-billion Muslims. So, when you harness your military to the F-35, you're actually hitching your horse to America's war wagon. You're just taking on blind faith that the guy with the reins won't steer you wrong. Good luck with that.
But, as I said, the F-35 is also about what it isn't, what it doesn't do. It isn't a long-range interceptor aircraft of the type Canada needs to secure our vast, empty northern airspace. And it isn't a dogfighter capable of holding its own against the best our potential adversaries can toss at us. So what does that mean? That means to sign on to the F-35, we transfer those essential defence, security and sovereignty roles to someone else and who would that be? Full points for guessing the United States. The same "end of days", hyper-militarized United States. The same United States that still doesn't recognize Canada's territorial claims in the far north. Do you like the fit?
I wish I was making this up, I really do. But I can't wish it away. This is happening and it's been happening for most of this 21st Century. It is a contagion and it needs to be quarantined. And that is what the opposition needs to zero in on.