April 10, 2010
Do you remember "the Jetsons"? A futuristic cartoon sit-com that first aired in 1962, it was about urban life and new fangled gadgets in the year 2062. The Jetson family lived in the Skypad Apartments in Orbit City, where all homes and businesses are raised high above the ground on adjustable columns. George Jetson, a computer engineer, commutes to work in an aerocar that resembles a flying saucer with a transparent bubble top. His wife, Jane Jetson is a stay at home housewife who has a robot for a maid. (What does Jane do all day?!?) The city skies are crowded with aerial vehicles that zip around in designated "air" lanes, traffic stop lights included.
Almost 50 years later, in 2008, we looked into the growing trend in UAV unmanned aerial vehicles aka drones or flying robots. Our research was published online in an article, "It's a Bird, it's a Plane, it's a ...UAV? We were concerned that the Canadian military was going to test and use UAV's at Trenton air base near and over Tyendinaga, an Ongwehonwe community. Would we become targets for their exercises?
At that time, the Canadian government announced plans to spend $500 million to expand and upgrade the Trenton base, the largest air base in Canada having an international airport. Close to 4,000 people already work there. It is one of several Canadian air bases being considered as a NATO FOB forward operating base. The JTF2 Special Forces are being relocated there too. Search and Rescue is operated out of Trenton. The top military commander at Trenton, Russell Williams is facing charges for murdering two women. He is in jail under suicide watch.
Over 42,000 Classified people and 23 million tons of Classified goods already pass through Trenton each year. The bodies of soldiers killed in Afghanistan are delivered at Trenton and then taken along the 401 "Highway of Heroes" to Toronto. Patriotic flag-waving citizens stop to honour the dead as they pass. We are saddened at the senseless waste of lives.
The Canadian military is getting more and more equipment that needs testing and training. In October, 2009, Pomerleau Inc. of Ottawa got a $40.5million contract to construct an Air Mobility Training Centre at Trenton where the CFAWC Canadian Forces Air Warfare Centre is already located. It is largely about the huge Globemaster and new Hercules planes that fly troops and equipment all over the world to fight in perpetual warfare. UAV's and new rotorcraft are also tested in simulations and real flights. Many more contracts are being awarded for maintenance and construction of hangars, aprons, garages, runways, electrical wiring, new roads, etc. at Trenton. Millions of dollars are being spent while growing numbers of homeless people live on the streets of big cities like Toronto and Vancouver.
Busy "National" Air Space
According to a new US National Aeronautics Research and Development Plan released with little fanfare March 4 by the White House's Office of Science and Technology Policy, "an important new goal for the nation is integration of unmanned air vehicles into the national airspace system". They want lots of money for R&D to "eventually achieve full integration of manned and unmanned systems throughout the NAS National Airspace System".
They need to develop better "sense-and-avoid capability" for the UAV's to avoid collisions. They want planes to be able to take off and land in shorter distances. They want the air lanes to be closer together and to increase traffic at major airports. They want to build faster supersonic jets. They say they want to develop alternative fuels and for planes to make less noise. They anticipate all this will be accomplished within ten years as the civil (border and police agencies) and commercial demand for UAS's is growing quickly.
The United States expects to play a "leading role in ensuring global interoperability" while their citizens are living in their cars and tent cities.
If you ask most people, they don't know much about UAV's or UAS's. They'll need some explanation of the terms. They will likely be surprised at what you tell them, about UAV's coming in all sizes and where and how they are used. Most people still think they are just used for surveillance. They'll get wide-eyed when you tell them they are being armed with Hellfire missiles and that they're being used on the Canada-US border and have been used on the Mexico-US border for some time. The US military has killed hundreds of people in Pakistan using the Reaper drone or UAV.
Absurd and offensive names are given to UAV's like Mosquito, Mantis, Raven, Hawk, Predator and Warrior. The smallest UAV's can be packed in a back pack and assembled on the ground by one person. They look like toy planes. Some UAV's can stay in the air for days and travel at speeds up to 200km/hr. Depending on how they are powered, they can be very quiet. The big ones need a crew of hundreds to maintain and operate them. They look like a small plane with a humpback. There's nobody in it!
The Canadian military UAV program is currently run out of Kingston 1 Wing in Haudenosaunee territory, just east of Tyendinaga. It is moving to Greenwood 14Wing and the Maritime Warfare Centre at Halifax in Nova Scotia. This doesn't rule out some of their activities taking place at Trenton on Lake Ontario and elsewhere. The St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes are considered part of Canada's "Maritime" in a military context.
The Canadian DND is also acquiring more UAV's like Israel Aerospace Industries IAI's Heron UAV tactical system. The Heron can carry some pretty big bombs and drop them with great accuracy. It is used for ISR Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaisance too. Why are these lunatics spying on everyone? Why are they trying to kill so many people?
Border Patrol Flying Robots
In mid June, 2009, Canadian Public Safety Minister Peter Van Loan announced that Predator drones were flying from Fort Drum military base, New York State over Akwesasne. These high flying UAV's are not visible to a person on the ground yet they can photograph a license plate number. At that time, Akwesasne Mohawks refused to allow armed CBSA border guards into their community. Canada was arming CBSA border agents all across the land. They were forced to move the Cornwall crossing.
The US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has used 2 big UAV's on the Mexican border, Elbit's Hermes UAV and General Atomics' Predator. Both can carry and launch bombs. The Predator used to monitor the Sierra Vista border area, crashed in April 2006 and was replaced in November by two more under a revised program funding $10million annually. The purchase of another two UAV's the next year made one available to be used on the Canadian border in a demonstration based out of Grand Forks, North Dakota in late 2007. The CBP Unmanned Aircraft Operations Center of North Dakota officially opened Feb. 16, 2009. Hermes trials have taken place on the US-Canada border from Great Falls, Montana. Have you seen one???
The US Airforce Association (AFA) published a press release about the Predator UAV, "The Air National Guard has also accelerated its Predator commitment in five states" including New York. Former F16 fighter pilots returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are now being retrained to operate the big unmanned bombers. New York State's MQ-9 Reaper attack squadron will be ready for 2011.
What is the purpose of using armed drones over the Canada/US border which runs through Haudenosaunee and Nishnaabe communities? Who exactly will the Air National Guard be remotely attacking from Hancock Field Air National Guard Base in Syracuse, N.Y.?
The US military men praise themselves for keeping America safe from drug dealers and illegal immigrants. They harass Indigenous communities, even attacking and killing thirsty people in the Arizona desert with UCAV's (unmanned combat aerial vehicles).
The CBP, a civilian agency, works with the Air National Guard, a part of the war department, in a growing trend that blends military with police and other civilian agencies as well as Canadian, Mexican and other forces under Pentagon command.
The Spectacle and the Money
The US and Canada will hold UAV trials in June. They've invited all NATO members to send UAVs of all sizes. The boys will have their toys cavorting in the skies near Halifax, Nova Scotia the third week of June 2010. These war mongers want to show off their "interoperability" with UAVs, testing civil/military cooperation as they act out various scenarios.
While Canadian figures are not available, Teal Group predicts that beginning 2008, the annual US spending on UAV research and development alone, will be $1.2 billion while the purchase of new UAV's each year will cost about $450 million.
The 21st century soldier/cop will be able to kill masses of people without ever looking into their eyes, without ever hearing their cries for mercy or their shouts of defiance and without ever smelling the stench of their dead bodies. He will sit safely and comfortably, faraway in a place like Trenton or Halifax and commit all this carnage. He won't get his legs and hands blown off, apparently there will be no risk for him. He's worth a lot of money because of all the education invested in him. He's part of an elite squadron of pampered kids, mentally disengaged from the rest of humanity, delusional that they are better than everyone else.
Indigenous or Natural Law teaches us that all Human beings are connected to each other. We have an instinct not to kill other humans. It goes against our nature yet it happens all the time, causing great mental harm to the perpetrators themselves. Statistics of soldier suicides reveal how safe the soldiers really are. Vietnam bears testimony to this though they try to hide the truth that after 59,000 Americans died in the Vietnam war, another 59,000 came home and blew their own brains out. Current figures for Iraq and Afghanistan are kept secret.
We as humanity must kick this awful war making habit. Our survival depends on it.
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Notes and Sources:
The US and Canada will hold UAV trials in June, 2010:
"NATO members of the Joint Capability Group - Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (JCGUAVs) have been invited to send UAVs to the 2010 US/Canada trials. The trials are open to all members of NATO. Sea-based UAV systems are welcome, but land-based UAVs are expected to be in the majority... The trials will be conducted near Halifax, Nova Scotia. The airspace is expected to accommodate all sizes of UAVs. The time frame for the exercise is the third week of June 2010.
"The trials provide a good opportunity to demonstrate interoperability and sea surveillance with UAVs. The operations may also provide the opportunity to test civil/military cooperation for UAV employment as well as monitoring seaborne approaches in a variety of operational scenarios.
Teal Group researches and analyzes the aerospace and defense industry and sells their reports to executives, government, whoever can pay the price