First: the political news from the Bay State: Democrats got, at the very least a"bloody nose" in the most "Democtratic" of states (read more honestly as entrenched Oligarchal Democrats) especially related to the loss of the corner office on Beacon Hill to the Democratic Candidate in Tuesday's Elections. I have not received full reports for all offices and I suspect that many of you don't care (a) are disgruntled (b) or remain a bit confused.
One of my best friends died that die and if I and my memory recover I will fill in some blanks. My Law office is in south Plymouth and Republican Vincent Macedo won. He was my friend and -get this for democracy in action-he does not come from a wealthy family and relied on a true grass roots campaign to get into office ("get in" is not appropriate-let's say WON)
Edward Markey, with whom I attend Law School decades ago ran unopposed, but that is the other side of the Massachusetts political world and, lacking any republican or other influential friends, Ed REALLY helped me out on a couple of immigration problems. If you think you can run an immigration matter, without experience, and without political assistance, Think the matter over again. The "other" long time incumbent Senator would not deal with giving assistance to a client in this area if an attorney was involved.
But, when I put this choice before my client, who wished to try and bring Senator (-----------) on board, he chose me, and I got lucky.
Second, from pictorial evidence on line, the naval version of the F-35 is at least undergoing trials at sea. You will recall that F-16 critics nearly brought THAT program to a halt during readiness trial period because of "chafing" of the harnesses running the control wiring from place a. to place b. inside the aircraft, and thus subjected it to many unnecessary failures and deaths.
More importantly, you will recall the Russians 'sold' on of their "supercarriers" (nee' Kusnetzov I believe) to the Chinese. While this was accomplished, the French for the 100th time at least annoyed its NATO allies (it can honestly be said that only Turkey has been less cooperative if the comparison was based on matters in the "Islamic" World. As one character responded in the "The Kingdom" (in which I can recall that Jason Bateman was featured at least (I will check the movie for other actors as I own a copy, but I am a little exhausted today.
Well, in any event, unbeknownst to the already disillusion self re: NATO cooperation re: France and Turkey, the Russians contracted for at least two of the "Mistrale" (Mistral?) Helicopter carriers to be built by France for the Russian Navy. These "Carriers" appear to be quite similar in design and concept to and fair number of ships: 1. the Illustrious Class-of which two or three were built. the name ship of the class, of course, brought the "jump jet's versatility" and combat worthiness to our attention in 1982. Thanks to the Reagan administration's contribution of the "Sidewinder AAM-9/L" which made life difficult or permanently shorter for what I reckoned was a decent Argentiine Airforce flying French Mirage III's (I ask correction on this) and U S A-4 Skyhawks. Borh of which extracted the highest toll of any Argentine force (aka Fuerzas Armadas) involved, sinking the landing ship Sir Galahad with considerable loss of life. I also recall that the container ship "Atlantic Conveyor was near hit and the then new Frigate/destroyer "Sheffield" (nicknamed the "shiny sheff" by a certain portion of the British public, probably those in the environs of Sheffield.
The French have thus far declined to release the ships, at least partially paid for, but contracted for before the re-annexation of the Crimea and blatant support of Russian/Ukrainians in the ongoing civil war. The French and probably the rest of nato (setting aside the Turks) to go to Canada. What the resolution of this matter will be is of course, anyone's guess. I suggest (ha) the following scenario to the administration, buy the ships and sell the (on the installment plan) to Canada and let the Russians go to court to get their money back. Putin is, imho a bad man and I would not sell him an air rifle if he lived in Antarctica.. I had suggested that the quid pro quo of the Russians non interference, was not to put 'heavy heat " on them about and in Chechniya.
Since it appears (a repeat of a prior supposition) the Russian problem in Chechniya was under control, a different policy with regards to the West was, to me at least, inevitable. I think the US and NATO would have been happy to stand with Russia to face the resurgent power of Islam and its many faces, but it equally seems that Putin's Russia is being put in a historically similar situation to that which France faced after the end of its "Imperial Period" and it loss to Prusso/Germany (and Bismarck) in 1871. In this war, which we call the Franco Prussian war, France could not call on a united states or a great Britain who were staunchly its allies.
This great wish of the French to resurface to Imperial status was evidenced by the coronation of Napoleon II as Imperial leader of France (the second Empire) and the installment of Maximillian as "Emperor" of Mexico.
In turn, as Wilson was frightened by the "Zimmerman Telegrams" to Mexico in or around 1917, and having also been given a 'cassus belli" by the German institution of "unrestricted submarine warfare" and the close on sinking of the "Lusitania" (which has been, correctly I think, accused by Germany of injecting allied war materials into the Western Front.). Was thereby induced into a war it did not want, but, looking in depth, did affect the national interests of America.
So, Putin equally wants to see Russia restored to its Imperial status, and is beginning to act accordingly.
As on British "squaddie" said regarding its "Camp Bastion" which comment could apply equally to a revivified Bagram Air Base: "can you thing of any power in the region that might want a fully operational airbase in this area?"
I can think of two, and I am really quite frightened.
The aircraft that buzzed the P-8 "posiedon" of which we spoke was no second string hand me down, but a very capable strike aircraft with adequate air to air self defense abilities.
Think on it would you?
"All Enlightenment Gratefully Accepted"