In case you haven’t heard, The United States has donated one Cessna prop plane to Lebanon as part of its “commitment” toward strengthening the Lebanese Air Force.
Says US ambassador David Hale in a big ceremony:
We will remain committed to strengthening the capacity of the LAF so it can pursue its mission of securing Lebanon’s borders, defending the sovereignty and independence of the state, and of achieving Lebanese unity and stability, to enable the full implementation of Security Council resolutions, including 1701 and 1559. Whoa! That must be one hell of a Cessna, Ambassador!
I mean Lebanon’s neighbor Israel has over 700 advanced aircraft and its other neighbor Syria probably has hundreds more.
By contrast, the puny Lebanese air force is largely made up of a dozen or so Vietnam-era helicopters:
And while Uncle Sam was being so committed to Lebanon with this little propeller plane, last week it began delivering six of its most advanced aircraft to Israel at a total cost of over $400 million.
Hmmm. That doesn’t seem very balanced. Unless….
Ambassador Hale throws in a pilot! And there’s really only one man up to the job:
At the very least, the state department should send us some Red Baron Pizza:
That’s sure to distract the Israelis from the humus wars.
The sad truth is Lebanon did once have a functioning air force:
You can read more about the LAF’s illustrious history at LebaneseAirforce.info an interesting site with lots of great pictures like the one above, shot during the 1969 Independence Day parade. According to the site, Lebanon sold many of its remaining aircraft to Pakistan in 2000. I wonder where that money went!
It probably disappeared as fast as these boys once did over the Bekaa Valley:
Another mystery is how this LAF plane landed at an Israeli war museum: