October 29th, 2003

Zoner en fuego!


I'm watching tonight's Modern Marvels, which is all about the sinking of the Kursk (part of the 'Inviting Disasters'). There are a horde of Russian admirals who need to be sealed in a steel box with a small leak, sunk in the North Sea, and left to die. Being a bit of a military tech geek I read a bunch about this before, but I learned even more from this show and all it did is make me angrier than what I knew before. The deliberate and systematic actions by the Russian admirals to keep Western help away form the sailors is utterly inexcusable... I don't have the words for it... those poor sods. An accident caused by a lack of funds leading to a lack of maintenance yet being expected to function at full capacity sinks the sub, then the same admirals who set it up to happen condemned the few survivors to death by denying them rescue. That should be negligent homicide, at a minimum.

The only high point in the whole sad mess was the way the western sailors, notably the British Navy, decided to take action on their own - without request or approval - to rush to save their commrades in arms. Of course, then they weren't allowed to act, despite being on site, until it was too late. Also the rank and file Russian sailors who attempted a rescue, but failed due to the sorry state of the Russian rescue subs. Which hadn't been updated or serviced in years - due to the same admirals insisting on fighting the cold war when the cold war budgets were gone. Instead of living within their means they just cut all the maintenance and upgrade budgets, and kept sending men to sea in increasingly decayed ships. And when the inevitable happened, they put saving political face and pride over saving the lives of their men. *engh*

That's not even getting into the circus of claiming she was sunk by an American sub, beore anyone had even seen the wreck, let alone investigated it. (She was sunk by an explosion of one of her own ill-maintained hydrogen peroxide powered torpedos. It leaked, the peroxide reacted and exploded, starting a fire that cooked off some warheads and blew the bow open.) Or forcibly sedating a distraught mother for calling bullshit bullshit at a press conference. Yeah, the old ways sure do die hard. I suppose she's lucky she wasn't disappeared.

Memo to Russia: You're no longer a superpower. You don't have the funds to maintain the armed forces at the old levels. Please stop killing your young in a vain attempt to wave your dick around. Yes, I know, Dubya loves shoving our dick into everyone's business. Have some pride, you don't need to be like him. Instead of a large force of rotting ships and aircraft, a smaller force of well maintained, modern craft would be more effective.
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