The USS Zumwalt: Ahoy! Can You Call Us a Tow Boat?

Hey, was everyone impressed with the USS Zumwalt which just broke down in the Panama Canal on its maiden voyage? Right, what is it, a $1.4 billion dollar (that we know of) ship and it breaks down on the test drive? Has anyone got the receipt? Can we take this back for a refund? And do we have the 100,000 miles extended the warranty, or is that one more thing the defense contractor screwed us on? “Ahoy! Can you call us a tugboat? We dropped a driveline and the local shops don’t service this make and model!”

Now, the USS Zumwalt might as well be known as the P.O.S. Zumwalt since I have also heard they cannot get sufficient ammo for this boat. Not that it would matter since, for the ammo to be used, the boat would need to arrive at the target destination, to begin with. In fact, after all, the hoopla about this “21st-century naval vessel” and the rather pathetically laughable reality of it, we really ought to call it the USS Obamacare. Don’t laugh, because there will probably be an aircraft carrier named the USS Barak Obama about ten years into the future. It’ll probably be the first aircraft carrier in history that will blame attacks upon it on the aircraft carrier itself.

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Whatever “enemies” the United States government has deceived itself into believing it has, the USS Zumwalt will not frighten them in the least. They now know that whatever crisis occurs, the USS Zumwalt will be sitting in the Panama Canal, jumper cables in hand, trying to signal a Liberian-flagged tramp steamer to help it limp to a gas station. And the name itself conjures up no fearsomeness. I’m sorry, but “Zumwalt” sounds more like small citrus fruits such as kumquats and loquats. “Have you tried the Zumwalt marmalade on your English muffin? It’s rather expensive, but it’s the newest thing!”

I understand the USS Zumwalt is a “stealth” naval vessel able to arrive undetected. I should say so. The best way to arrive undetected is to never arrive there in the first place. The ship cannot be seen if it is not actually there because it dropped a muffler somewhere in the Sargasso Sea. And the tax dollars that were wasted on this sorry ship might as well have been dropped into the Bermuda Triangle. The U.S. Navy and Pentagon procurement must have their collective heads in their Bermuda Triangles, too, to say the least.

The United States government has a rather dubious history of sinking billions of dollars into weapons that are more dangerous to the users when they actually work. Take the United States Army, for example. Back in the 1980s, they got this idea into their heads they needed to copy this Soviet anti-aircraft 23mm quad cannon that was mounted on a tank chassis. It was called a Shilka or something like that. The army, billions of dollars of cost overruns later, proudly rolled out the “SGT York” which was a twin 40mm Bofors-type cannon mounted on a tank chassis. The army didn’t want anyone to remember that they already HAD one of these in the past called a “Duster”. Well, the SGT York couldn’t even shoot down a slow-moving drone in a rigged test! Instead, it nearly took out the spectators. It did, however, do a very impressive job of blowing up an outhouse.

Then there’s this plane the military has been trying to get to work since the 1980s at least. Right, the infamous Osprey, which has killed more passengers and crew than enemy action against it to date. Well, I see this jalopy crossing the skies of Tucson on occasion and “Osprey” it certainly is not. It’s more like a factory-farm turkey. This thing could probably be brought down with a slingshot and a couple marbles if it does not bring itself down through mechanical failure. If it was going any slower, the passengers would arrive quicker to get out and walk. If it was a land vehicle, I’d say get out and push. This thing is so loud, it could be detected a hundred miles out by the deaf simply through vibration. Who knows how many billions of dollars this heap of junk has cost us, not counting the life insurance settlements to the casualties of it.

So here we go again with the USS Zumwalt, the ultimate Ship of Fools. Excuse me, but WHO is supposed to be impressed with this? What, the Russians and Chinese are going to be afraid of something which will probably sink itself? They can chalk that up to cost savings because they won’t have to spend ammo to sink it. Terrorists will be afraid of it? How? They crippled the USS Cole with an inflatable raft and a satchel charge. This ship hasn’t even lost the “new car smell” yet and it’s already more akin to a 1970s-era American compact car than a warship. If they were going to do a “ship in a bottle” desk ornament with this scrapyard refugee, the only appropriate bottle would be an empty T-Bird bottle or a 40 ouncer bottle.

As ObamaCare is to social programs (an unprecedented disaster), 21st-century weapons are to the Pentagon. They all sound so great on paper. We’re assured they’re going to do everything and be the best things since mankind made the breakthrough to projectile weapons with the atlatl. Well, a log raft with two men onboard with atlatls would be more effective than the USS Zumwalt, actually. The defense contractors see these dummies coming. This isn’t a defense industry, it’s a carnival Midway and a rigged casino. The odds are all in favor of the house. And we pay for it.

I suppose the same people that loved the Pentagon-funded propaganda miniseries “The Last Ship” will love the USS Zumwalt. If a TV show was anymore slathered with pro-military propaganda than The Last Ship, it’d be a recruiting video. Which, in all truth, it actually was. There is a reason the Pentagon lets Hollywood feature its toys in movies and TV shows. It makes people believe these weapons actually work! They don’t show the Osprey crashing at takeoff, or the gee-whiz navy destroyer dropping a drive shaft in the Panama Canal. The Love Boat was more believable than these woefully ridiculous TV shows. At least the crew of The Love Boat wasn’t killing thousands of people over some foreign policy quibble and justifying it as “defending freedom”.

There, it needed to be said. The only “enemies” we’ve got are the ones the United States government creates or imagines in order to justify robbing our pocketbooks. That’s the real agenda. It’s about some money.