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Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Fax On Trump, F-35s And Japan

Of the many things I like about Donald Trump as president of the United States, is the fact that he isn’t stupid… he flip-flops on things, but says stuff in such a powerful way that if you don’t agree with him, you are obviously an idiot.

It’s amusing to watch from my perch up in the great white north in Canada.

He's nothing if not entertaining.

Fake news? He claims that one end of the media is making up bad stuff about him—and the other end of the media only reporting the good.

It boggles my mind… but I’m still entertained regardless.

Fake news - sure, but the Donald creates most of that himself. I know, because I saw it on CNN even though I don’t watch that channel. Anthony Bourdain is my hero.

Anyhow… Trump and Japan.

According to a Thursday, May 11, 2017-published interview with Time magazine, which may or may not be fake news after this, Donald Trump said 35 F-35 US jets fly undetected over Japan.

The undetected flights were supposedly done this past February when U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis was visiting Tokyo.

Here’s what Time magazine quoted president Trump as saying:

"They had 35 of them fly over Japan ... and they were not detected by the radar. They flew over and everyone said where the hell did they come from? That's stealth. It's pretty cool, right.”

I would imagine that there should be a question mark at the end of the last sentence, know what I mean, eh? That's right, I'm imagining.

I agree… if 35 F-35 jets had stealthily flown over Tokyo and no one in Japan knew about it, that would be some pretty cool stealth.

Except, it may not have actually happened. At least not how it was presented.

Wha—? Fake news?!

Maybe more like factually incorrect old news.

Fact:
  1. There are a total of 16 F-35 US Marine Corps. stealth fighters set to be deployed overseas;
  2. Only 10 of those F-35 US Marine Corps. stealth fighters flew over Japan for deployment. Not 35;
  3. Those 10 F-35 US Marine Corps. stealth fighters actually arrived in Japan weeks before Mattis arrived in Tokyo. Weeks;
  4. The U.S. Marines told Japan that those 10 F-35 US Marine Corps. stealth fighters were being flown to Japan for deployment, and told them WHEN they would be flown over for deployment. Japan was informed and this not surprised with some stealthy, covert mission;
  5. Because the F-35 US Marine Corps. stealth fighters were not on any covert mission or playing cat and mouse with Russian or Chinese aircraft, when they landed at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, they landed like any normal military plane would - calmly.
  6. No one was wondering or uttering “where the hell did they come from?”
  7. Yes, president Trump, stealth technology IS pretty cool;
  8. Six falsehoods or mistakes were made in those four sentences;
  9. Now that’s fake news;
  10. My American comrades elected him. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha! Thank-you.
President Trump does seemed to have confused the number of F-35s… 35 F-35s? It may simply have been a bit of confusion.

“Don’t press the red button, Mr. President.”
“This one?”
“Yes. Don’t press it.”
“Press what?”
“The red button.”
“This one?”
“Yes. Don’t press the red button.”
“Yes or don’t?”
“I beg your pardon Mr. President?”
“You may.”
“I’m sorry Mr. President?”
“Why didja fart?”
“No, sir, Mr. President!”
“Oh, then I guess it was me! (SFX: Faaaaarrrrrt!!!)”
“Holy smokes, it’s like a gas attack…”
“We’re being attacked! Let me press the red button! You’re fired! Tell my wife Marla I love her!”


I’m not even going to go into Trump’s claims about cutting costs to the F-35 stealth jet program. I thought that some other president was in charge then, and that it was the aircraft manufacturer that actually did the cost-saving.

Okay, I guess I will, because despite what you read, that’s not what I meant, okay. No question mark, okay,. I’m telling not asking.

The F-35 stealth aircraft program was scheduled to cost US$400 billion, but that thanks to Trump (so he says), he’s managed to get the same number of aircraft for less, saving Japan $100 Million (M, not a B).

Here’s what Trump told Time magazine happened when he met with Japan prime minister Abe Shinzo (surname first):

"When [Japanese Prime Minister Shinz┼Ź] Abe came from Japan, first thing he said to me when I first met him. He walked out. 'Thank you, thank you.' I said, 'For what?' F-35. You bought, you saved us 100 million dollars. Because they're part of the group that buy the 90 planes. It's a lot. We get, they get, different allies.”

Last month Trump told the Associated Press that he was responsible for saving US700 million on a February order of 90 Lockheed Martin F-35s. He said in that interview that Japan was getting "10 or 12" F-35s.

Ten or 12? Which one? Doesn’t matter. Neither is correct.

Fact: 
  1. Japan is buying 42 of the F-35 aircraft;
  2. Of those 42 aircraft, only four are being built and delivered from manufacturer Lockheed Martin’s plant in Fort Worth Texas;
  3. The remaining 38 aircraft will actually be assembled in Japan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
Trump also told the Associated Press in April that he had brought savings of "billions and billions of dollars, many billions of dollars over the course of — it's between 2,500 and 3,000 planes will be the final order."

Between 2,500 and 3,000 F-35s? Which is it? That’s a huge difference… or maybe it’s because there are still decisions to be made as to how many planes the U.S. and its allies might want. That’s a fair Trump fact… he is allowed to be vague in this case.

By the way… have you ever noticed how often the U.S president never seems to finish a - he does that a lot.

Fact:
  1. Because additional flight testing is required, according to the US Government Accountability Office, it is expected that it will actually delay delivery of the aircraft;
  2. The delays could (COULD, not “will”) cost the U.S. Department of Defense over US$1-billion over what was budgeted in 2011 when the program was restructured.
  3. This isn’t president Trump’s fault;
  4. But, relative to the 2011 budget, there are no cost savings as of 2017;
  5. If there are flight tests to happen to satisfy the U.S. Government Accountability Office, how come planes have already been delivered to bases in Europe and Japan?
Don’t worry Japan, I’m sure the F-35’s you got are perfectly safe. I’m sure they were previously tested by pilot Hal Jordan on behalf of the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

I love the poorly educated,
Andrew Joseph

2 comments:

  1. What the facts? Are you implying there may be a lack of critical thinking in ... ummm ... the bigly expanse down south of your border? I'll have you know my lack of education is my choice and I'm a proud patriot. (Dam# loyalist ... but thank you for the love during these blackest nights.)

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    1. Always glad to hear from you FFF! And... I believe Trump was speaking in Nevada when he talked about his love for the poorly educated...
      It's a telling commentary... I don't believe Nevada is rife with poorly educated at all, BTW. But Trump certainly capitalized by talking to the common working man with his "matter-of-fact" manner.
      Time will tell if the US has reached its blackest days already, or will... The whole FBI thing is fascinating.

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