Refueling the Airbus. Lacking Nobelity. Mark Foley. Marco Rubio. Plus more.
Re: Quin Hillyer’s Pentagon in the Tanker:
The pending decision by the Pentagon on building the next generation of U.S. tankers is kicking up quite a bit of dust. The current fleet of tankers was built when Eisenhower was president, “American Bandstand” was the MTV of the bobby-sox generation, and Elvis was king. Some of these aging, decrepit tankers are now flown by the grandchildren of their original pilots.
Quin Hillyer argues in The American Spectator for splitting the tanker contract between Boeing and French-based Airbus. Why the rush to judgment when neither company has even submitted a bid yet? Hillyer, who has written editorials for Alabama newspapers, seems to want Airbus’s promised manufacturing facility in Alabama. But he also accuses Boeing of alleged and unsubstantiated corruption in the pending contract’s requirements.
This takes a lot of chutzpah from an advocate of Airbus. Airbus, after all, was caught red-handed selling planes that could be retrofitted for military use to Hugo Chavez, and lying about it. An Airbus agent extradited to Germany in August on bribery charges also stands accused of bribing Canadian officials to give Airbus a $1.8 billion contract with its national airline.
The World Trade Organization found last month that Airbus provided over $15 billion in illegal government subsidies for its aircraft in open violation of international trade law. This included billions in illegal subsidies for the A-330, the very plane it proposes as the new tanker. The Pentagon should factor these subsidies into its decision. It is utter insanity for the U.S. Trade Representative’s office to be suing Airbus in court for violating the law and then have the Pentagon reward this illegal behavior.
Some have criticized the fact that Boeing received pricing data on the A-330. This is a distortion. Boeing protested the awarding of the tanker contract to Airbus in 2008. In a major embarrassment, the General Accounting Office found numerous unfair advantages granted to Airbus and reversed it. That is how pricing data became known — the reversal of an unfair contract.
Our war fighters on the front lines in Afghanistan, Iraq, and
elsewhere in the global war on terror need a 21st century
tanker. These aircraft need to be built in a way that
protects U.S. economic and national security, and does not reward
illegal trade practices by a French-based manufacturer.
— George Landrith
Frontiers of Freedom
Quin Hillyer replies:
All of this Airbus stuff is a red herring. Airbus never cheated on THIS project, and Northrop is going to assemble the plane here in the U.S. Meanwhile, what Boeing doesn’t say is that almost as much of its plane’s parts will come from Europe (as if that’s an awful thing, which it’s not) as the Northrop plane parts. I know people representing European companies who will be providing parts for whichever one of them wins. Meanwhile, the key idea here is that with another 400 planes needing to be built even after this contract is completely finished, the benefits of splitting the contract can be substantial. What I object to, as a veteran of procurement wars, is the vicious public campaign Boeing has run throughout the process. If Boeing had a better plane, it would not have leaned so heavily on politics.
Re: Larry Thornberry’s Revenge of the Norwegian Nerds:
Excellent musings by Mr. Thornberry, but one sentiment
stands out and says it all. “Mr. Obama has much to be
modest about but does not seem to realize it.” I have
always thought that those like Obama who have not an inkling of
self-introspection about their mediocrity are happier than those
who tend to over emphasize their shortcomings. Perhaps so,
but honesty and realism do have their virtues. Also in
a President of the U.S., Obama’s false self-importance is
extremely dangerous to the security of not only those
of us in the U.S. but of the world.
— Jack Wheatley
Royal Oak, Michigan
Pax Obama? How about Pox Obama?
By the way, I appreciate the positive-thinking, prophetic
statement that “when Obama leaves office in 2013.” That’s
predicated, though, on whether we have elections in 2012, isn’t
— C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton , West Virginia
International tensions are high. The situation calls for Hope.
An even more disheveled mess is the state of affairs of the
Washington Redskins. Perhaps Dan Snyder could sign President
Obama to a one day contract. President Obama could lead the team
onto the field. President Obama could give a rousing halftime
locker room speech. Should the Redskins manage to score a
touchdown, President Obama might even hold for the extra point.
Can there be any doubt that the Associated Press would vote him
NFL Rookie of the Year?
— Dan Martin
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online