Thursday, April 16, 2009


Belgium will send an additional two F-16 fighter bombers to Afghanistan. They will complement the four planes already there, which operate from Kandahar airfield alongside their Dutch and French colleagues. An extra 25 ground personnel will accompany them. Plus, another 35 trainers will go to Afghanistan's north to train an ANA (Afghan National Army) battalion. It should be noted that this decision was taken on April 1, 2009, that it is NOT a joke, and that it came just two days before the Strasbourg/Kehl NATO summit two days later. Probably the Belgian government wanted to make a good impression. Still, I am 100% certain that a thing like this would not have been possible two years ago, when the SP.a, the socialist party, still filled several minister posts.

The decision will bring the total number of Belgian troops in Afghanistan to 560, of which the bulk is still guarding KAIA, Kabul International Airport. Of the four committments in Afghanistan, the operation from Kandahar involving the six fighter bombers is the sole combat mission, with the F-16's flying in a CAS role every day.

Theoretically the Belgian F-16's are old, but it would be totally wrong to assume they are therefore lacking in operational capabilities. Belgium purchased 116 of them in the late seventies, however, the contract, referred to here at the time as the "contract of the century" stipulated that the planes would be licence-built by SABCA in Gosselies (near Charleroi) and Haren (near Brussels). Together with Fokker in the Netherlands, SABCA was responsible for final assembly in Europe of all "European-purchased" F-16's. The early F-16 production was really a Belgian/Dutch enterprise, with Fokker, apart from its final assembly work, also buiding a.o. fuselage center sections, leading edge flaps etc., and Belgium's SONACA building the aft fuselage, MBLE the APG66 radar, and SABCA again the wing structure box and the complete wings. I remember a visit from my student days, now twenty years ago, when we visited the Haren SABCA plant and watched with astonishment how the thin, frail F-16 wings were entirely milled from thick, massive aluminium slabs rather than formed otherwise in order to eliminate tensions. FN (Fabrique National, more known for its small arms) in Herstal, near Liege, constructed the F100 engines for all four initial European customers, i.e. The Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Norway.

The first "European" F-16 left the assembly line at SABCA's Gosselies plant in late 1978, and was accepted by the Belgian Air Force in January 1979 - thirty years ago. Since then, the planes have constantly undergone updates, the most significant series of them starting in the nineties. Most Belgian F-16's are now at Mid-Life Update Tape M4 (MLU-M4) software and hardware standard. This means that they are among the most modern and most capable combat jets of the world today. As for the airframes themselves, two years back I had the occasion to talk to an accomplished F-16 pilot himself, a certain Peter C., also author of several aviation books, who claimed that in our current F-16's perhaps only 5% of the original components was left.

Still, while hailing the technological prowess of our companies and the Air Force for hammering the best compromises out with regards to keeping the planes up to date - despite being hamstrung in the tightest of budgets - Belgium Air Fighter arm is missing its rendezvous with the future. Absolutely no debate is taking place regarding the F-16's reeplacement, and vicious resistance from Belgium's socialists blocked our entrance in the F35-project, here in Europe more commonly referred to as the JSF - the Joint Strike Fighter. Our northern neighbors, The Netherlands, showed more sanity in that regard and will possibly purchase the F-35 in 2011 or 2012. Still, there too, it's always the socialists obstructing the necessary course to take.

Now, back to the Kandahar detachment. While during the earlier 2006 mission the planes were still equipped with the LANTIRN pod, they now sport its successor, the AN/AAQ-33 PANTERA (Precision Attack Navigation and Targeting with Extended Range Acquisition), procured in 2006.

The PANTERA, actually the export version of Lockheed Martin's so-called sniper pod, is an advanced targeting pod that will complement, not replace, our existing AN/AAQ-14 LANTIRN (Low-Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infra-Red for Night) pods, which the Belgian Air Force purchased in 1997, even though it performs substantially better. The PANTERA's third generation high-resolution FLIR (Forward Looking Infra-Red) and daylight CCD-TV camera, combined with an almost rock-steady stabilisation system, give the pod an unparalleled long-range target detection, identification and designation accuracy from altitudes of up to 40,000 feet (3 to 5 times better than a LANTIRN!). As a result, the pod can be operated from distances outside the firing cones of most ground-based air defence systems, as well as outside jet noise ranges for urban counter-insurgency operations. Also, its built-in digital data recorder allows saving images and for further analysis, an absoulte plus in a combat environment where identifying the foe has become an order of a magnitude more difficult when compared to any Cold War situation.

And so, ironically, in the eighth year of the War on Islamic Terror, Belgium's contribution to that conflict is finally becoming somewhat substantial. I would even wager that if the goverment can stay steady for a couple of years, limited participation of combat troops on the ground should not be ruled out. The moodswing regarding military committment has everything to do with the absence of the Flemish socialist party, the SP.a, in the Belgian government. I say Flemish, because the unbelievably chaotic political situation that begun in spring 2007, finally spawned a hybrid government that contained Flemish Christian Democrats, Flemish liberals, Walloon liberals, Walloon Christian Democrats... and Walloon socialists. Curiously though, the Parti Socialiste, the "Party of 1,000,000 scandals", seems paralyzed and does not offer any real opposition to the government's Afghanistan-related decisions. That government is currently headed by the Flemish Christian Democrat Herman Van Rompuy, who took over after his predecessor, Yves Leterme, also a Flemish Christian Democrat, had to step back in the wake of the so-called Fortisgate scandal. By doing so new elections could be avoided, and one of the good things that came out of this course of events, is that the Minister of Defense, the Flemish Christian Democrat Pieter De Crem, is still on his post.

The Belgian scenario actually offers a perfect study in microcosm of what happens when the left is forced from power, even if only partly or temporarily. Not only is it suddenly possible to employ six combat aircraft dropping real bombs on islamofascists 8,000 kilometers away, but on the domestic front too, benefits are tangible. Like every other western industrialiwed nation, Belgium, too, has felt the effects of the financial turmoil which started with the subprime crisis in the States. Some things will never be the same. And in a development not directly linked to Lehman Brothers & Co., Belgian steel manufacturers and car makers feel the bite - seriously so. But the locomotive behind the Belgian economy has for a very long time been constructon, and to tackle the crisis, the Belgian government passed a bill in February that temporarily (during 2009) lowered VAT on construction of new houses from 21% to... 6%. To be sure, only for an envelope of 50,000 EUR VAT excluded. But the reaction was overwhelming! Last March, one third more building requests were noted than a year previously. As a result, for the time being, the Belgian economy is chugging along relatively well. A small business owner in construction myself, I can testify that, since my order book is full till half November (knocking on wood here, of course). It is striking what a difference the presence in the government of people, who are not ideologically opposed to corporations, can make. That is of course not to say that those in charge are all free market zealots, far from. But having ministers in charge who harbor not per se hostile feelings towards companies guarantees a sea change compared to the nineteenth and twentieth century rhetoric and methods offered by Labor, the Socialisische Partij, the PvdA and whatever name the leftist scum prefers to march under. As a sad reminder, the Spanish example is now plain for everyone to see. There, the Spanish traded a successful rightwing government for a near communist collection of ecobozos in 2004... and are now facing a terrible crisis with unemployment skyrocketing towards 20%. The Spanish got themselves lured in 2008 again when a last-minute 600 EUR "tax break" - actually a check to buy votes - sufficed to keep Zapatero in power for another four years. But these checks are nothing but volatile sweets which evaporate after satisfying a simple need and leave nothing but yet another gaping hole in the government budget - as America will find out soon...


P.S.: Photos via the BAHA website.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Over at The Brussels Journal, the incomparable Takuan Seiyo has had his tenth installment in the From Meccania to Atlantis series up for more than a week now, but I feel I still just have to link to him. As per usual, his deep insight in Europes pathology and his eloquence in diagnosing the cancer raging throught the old continent blows you away:

...The problem is that they have the rest of Western society in tow. And the proof of how close this society has been towed to the edge is that ethnoconservative parties like Geert Wilders’s PVV, the Flemish VB, the Swiss SVP and FPS, and civic associations like Pro-Köln and Cities Against Islamization have been waging a valiant and often-losing fight for every inch of ground for over 20 years now, and still suffer stones and brickbats from the very people they are trying to save. In addition, Western patriots have spent millions of uncompensated man-hours pro bono to enlighten their peoples about the folly of suicide-by-Muslim-immigration. They run webzines and conferences and write for blogs like Brussels Journal, Gates of Vienna, Jihad Watch, Atlas Shrugs, View from the Right, or burn midnight oil to write books. This can even take the form of desperate appeals like this. All to little effect, so far.

Why is all this necessary? How could massive Muslim colonization have happened on the continent where monumental battles –-Toulouse (721), Tours (732), 750 years of the Iberian Reconquista, Manzikert (1071), Kosovo (1389 and 1448), Lepanto (1571), Chocim (1621 and 1673) and Vienna (1683) – had been fought for 1000 years to halt Muslim colonization? How can this be when there have been hundreds of additional such battles, and heroes such as Marco Antonio Bragadin whose name once every European schoolboy knew?

A case of collective amnesia so profound that it would allow for the influx of tens of millions of Muslims and the rise of Islam on this continent, that would lead to planned political unions with Turkey and the Maghreb, is no trifling matter.

Jihad is not the cause. It’s a symptom. Aggressively separatist Muslim communities in the West are not the cause. They are a symptom.

The symptom, in the West, is as old as the Goths and the Huns. But the disease is as old as the end of the Roman Empire, and before that, the Babylonian one. Flowering followed by decadence, followed by a partial population replacement with imported barbarians, followed by chaos, internal war, and wilting.

Addressing the solipsistic degeneracy of the American Empire and the despairing self-asphyxiation of post-national Europe are a precondition for disposing of the symptom. Fighting the symptom as if it were disembodied cannot bring cure, since the body’s maimed autoimmune system recognizes Islam and Muslims as its own, and its own – the anti-Islamization dissident – as the invading disease.

It should be none of our business whether Muhammad was a pedophile, nor should we be digging for damning quotes in the Koran or making damning movies about Islam. That we do so is the normal and spontaneous reaction of the scant remains of Western society’s nearly atrophied autoimmune system. It’s the autoimmune rejection of a foreign and deeply incompatible substance, forcibly injected into the West’s body as though phenol into a vein by the West’s insane ruling shamans.

Islam is everything bad its critics say it is. But one who has visited extensively in Muslim countries – and I have – returns home from some of them wishing he’d been able to import some of their features. Consider this:

- Which Muslim country is sick enough to encourage immigration by Christians, let alone welfare-consuming Christians, subsidize Christian churches, cower before Christian dissidents who despise their host society and its religion?

- Which Muslim head of state or potentate is so gelded as to state that if enough of his state’s subjects want to institute Christian (or just Western) jurisprudence instead of the law of the land, he sees no reason to object?

- Which Muslim country is lunatic enough to adopt on a wide scale the prima facie madness of denying the most obvious truths about racial, gender and cultural differences – and spending trillions (in euros, dollars, anything) to build a sham palace of cards in public education, employment and immigration based on those mad presuppositions?

- Which Muslim society is stupid enough to fail to understand how profoundly it differs from the West and from the West’s “infidel?” Which is ravaged by the Western virus to such an extent it fails to understand that its identity, its soul, depends on a vigilant rejection of the West’s culture and values, while recognizing that its economic wellbeing depends on playing a game of cooperation?

- Find a single Muslim head of state who goes out of his way to explain that Christianity is the religion of peace, and that Crusader really means someone who likes to cruise.

- Show me a Muslim country crazy enough to place its foreign relations, security and military matters in the hands of women, or to put women in the combat units of its military.

- Take a walk on the beach in Qatar or Abu Dhabi at 2 AM, and observe how a crowd of families with little children picnics happily and safely under the open skies. Then go back to Marseille or Rotterdam, Coney Island or Santa Monica, bring your wife and kids and two sets of old parents for a 2 AM picnic on the beach, and see what happens.

This does not imply that Islam is the cure for the West’s ills. The West has its own nonpareil system of recognizing and acknowledging reality. It’s called empiricism. The West had its own immune mechanism, its own unequalled culture, its own historical laboratory where the tried turned true. And all these were better than what Islam offers.

But we have allowed our own ruling elites to destroy these mechanisms here, whereas the Muslims preserved theirs. Some measure of respect is called for, concomitant with recognizing how indispensable it is that the West shake off its entire Mad Legume top layer...

So... I apologize for posting yet another story warning of the deadly muslim danger invading my continent, but I feel I have to. There are LOTS of interesting stories out there and I would love to comment on them... there are hot topics on politics, economy, history, culture ans what not... but in the absence of time, forced to a paucity of subjects, I feel I must just concentrate on what is essential.

Europes politicans are DESTROYING our continent. Through insane immigration and so-called integration policies, the "intellectual" justification of which is rooted in a morbid and intellectually dishonest ideology of perceived guilt over what the white race has done to the planet and its other occupants, they are literally replacing the indigenous population with barbarian newcomers, while encouraging the natives to stop procreating. Immigration ministers KEEP insisting we need to allow more muslim immigrants while anyone with half a brain realizes that importing more unqualified welfare recipients will not answer the industry's, let alone society's, manpower needs. Simultaneously, after having put into place legislation allowing the murder of tens of millions of European babies and non-offspring producing forms of relationships, the newest dada among Europes mostly leftist elites (and many if not most centrists and "rightwingers" have unfortunatley swallowed a larger part of the leftist phantasmagoria than they would ever want to admit) is that couples should limit having children because of the burden put on our planet.

We have to STOP THEM.