05.31.11

The Empire’s Dog Feces: Mistaking arms manufacturing research for innovation

Posted in Crazy Weapons at 3:14 pm by George Smith


Good news, lads! Good news! Smaller flying androids and freedom bombs for everyone worldwide, courtesy of Douchebag Engineering Applications, Inc Raytheon.

In yet another sign the US is an intellectually bankrupt nation, the front page of the LA Times today featured a story on “mini-weapons” development.

Passing off the mutton of crap inventions that, on balance, make people’s lives demonstrably worse worldwide as the lamb of innovation in the service of saving taxpayer dollars, the Times story reads:

Under mounting pressure to keep its massive budget in check, the Pentagon is looking to cheaper, smaller weapons to wage war in the 21st century.

A new generation of weaponry is being readied in clandestine laboratories across the nation that puts a priority on pintsized technology that would be more precise in warfare and less likely to cause civilian casualties. Increasingly, the Pentagon is being forced to discard expensive, hulking, Cold War-era armaments that exact a heavy toll on property and human lives …

Engineers in Simi Valley at AeroVironment Inc. are developing a mini-cruise missile designed to fit into a soldier’s rucksack, be fired from a mortar and scour the battlefield for enemy targets.

And in suburban Portland, Ore. Voxtel Inc. is concocting an invisible mist to be sprayed on enemy fighters and make them shine brightly in night-vision goggles.

These miniature weapons have one thing in common: They will be delivered with the help of small robotic planes …

If you read this blog regularly, you’ll note that this story is probably going to be the worst you’ll read all week.

Most people might find difficult to swallow the raft of rationalizations and falsehoods used to sell the Pentagon’s private sector welfare arms development wing.

Will reduce civilian casualties!

Cheaper!

Science!

Revolutionary!

“Raytheon does not yet have a contract for [the 13-lb smart bomb] and is building it entirely with its own money, it reads’

” ‘We’re proactively anticipating the military’s need,’ said [a Raytheon man] who is testing the technology at the Army’s Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona.”

If you needed proof that there will never be a dividend from the killing of Osama bin Laden or even a slight diminution in war footing, that’s it.

Sure there’s talk about trimming the Pentagon budget.

All of it pretty much bullshit.

When a company like Raytheon is running off weapons development on its own dime, it’s counting on the taxpayer being very likely to foot the entire bill retroactively.

And that means war for as long as you’re alive.

“In a similar fashion, drone-maker AeroVironment in Simi Valley didn’t wait for the government when it started to build its Switchblade mini-cruise missile to seek and destroy nearby targets,” the story continues.

AeroVironment has featured in this blog before. It is a company that would cease to exist if it weren’t for government arms development welfare.

In this post AeroVironment nerd droids demonstrate the flying hummingbird robot, which actually more closely resembles a whirring toilet paper roll core that’s painted green.

And here the company is the beneficiary of US flying drone sales to the pantywaist but corrupt military of Pakistan.

Is there some other goodness that I have missed here?

On hand as “expert” is Michael O’Hanlon, the notorious Brookings man and discredited Iraq war cheerleader. Again, it helps to remember that you never get fired, even if you’re a quack, at America’s national security think tanks.

In a very measurable way O’Hanlon is owed a bit of favor from America’s arms developers. Since he was one of the purveyors of philosophical cover justifying war in Iraq, his work has certainly been helpful in expanding the amount of money spent on weapons development and manufacturing.

“Collateral damage is unacceptable in modern warfare,” the quack informs the Times.

That readership which gets erections over unlimited military tech will be thrilled.

But in the real world not covered by the US government’s big arms manufacturing WPA projects, there’s this:

Housing prices fell in March to their lowest point since the downturn began, erasing the last little bit of recovery from the depths achieved two years ago, according to data released Tuesday … Housing is in persistent trouble, industry analysts say, not only because so many people are blocked from the market — being unemployed, in foreclosure or trapped in homes that are worth less than the mortgage — but because even those who are solvent are opting out.

The annoying private sector debt overhang thing.

Arms manufacturing, naturally, remains untroubled.

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