They’re French!

The USAF has decided on an Airbus plane as the platform for its much-needed next generation of in flight refueling tankers.

That’s a good decision, since the Airbus provides a better solution than the Boeing alternative. But the USAF should not plan on getting any post-sales support.

US lawmakers have reacted angrily after the US military awarded a 35-billion-dollar aircraft deal to Europe’s Northrop Grumman/EADS group, in a major blow to US manufacturers Boeing. “It’s stunning to me that we would outsource the production of these airplanes to Europe instead of building them in America,” said Republican Senator Sam Brownback about the Pentagon’s decision.

Michel Malkin has the story, and the comments from airspace engineers and USAF fliers suggest the USAF called this right. There’s nothing new in buying abroad – here’s a commenter:

Poo. We have a German cannon on a British mount in every M1A1/2 main battle tank. Our premier towed Howitzer is also British. The M240 and M249 machine guns are both Belgium designed.

The main battle tank concept was originated by the British during WWI…

Plus the planes will be assembled in Alabama, and all the difficult bits will be US-sourced.

Still, they’ll have to keep an eye on those perfidious Frenchies:

Oscar-winning French actress Marion Cotillard was forced into an embarrassing climb-down after accusing America of fabricating the 9/11 attacks.

The 32-year-old actress, who last month scooped numerous best actress awards including a BAFTA for her portrayal of Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose, had said that the US regularly lied about major events, up to and including the terrorist attacks on New York.

But, faced with losing millions as the notoriously patriotic Hollywood film industry reacted against her vitriol, Cotillard claimed there had been a misunderstanding.

Hollywood “notoriously patriotic”? They have to be kidding! Anyway:

Her Paris-based lawyer Vincent Tolesano said: “Marion never intended to contest nor question the attacks of September 11, 2001, and regrets the way old remarks have been taken out of context.”

In France, “old” means “year old” and “out of context” means “literally” – thus:

Speaking on the cinema discussion programme Paris Dernière in February 2007, Cotillard had said: “I think we’re lied to about a number of things”, even claiming the Americans had destroyed the Twin Towers themselves because the were an outdated “money sucker”.

Expanding her conspiracy theory, Cotillard said it would been “a lot more expensive” to rebuild the towers “which is why they were destroyed”, with the loss of thousands of American lives.

Cotillard even questioned America’s achievement of putting astronauts on the moon in 1969, saying: “Did a man really walk on the Moon? I saw plenty of documentaries on it, and I really wondered. And in any case I don’t believe all they tell me, that’s for sure.”

France is swarming with people like Mlle Cotillard, although most lack her splendid derriere.

So my advice to the US is to get all the Airbus blueprints up front and not to bother with signing any support contracts.

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