Progressive politics, ideas & culture


Missiles with Great Names

This Magazine Staff

Babur the cruise missile was launched on a test flight today in Pakistan. Not to be confused with Babar the elephant king who wanders around spreading a message of peace, or Babur the restaurant, which has a supertasty Indian buffet on Queen Street in Toronto, Babur the cruise missile is a death delivering device that flies below radar with a range of 500 kilometers.

Now, aren’t we proud of ourselves that Canada helped develop this technology a couple of decades ago. Good for us. Good for the world.

Wait, is it just a weapon of peace, a deterrent, some sort of anti-attack shield? Well, let’s check the story in today’s Globe & Mail:

The military statement said the Babur missile flies parallel to the surface of the ground, can hit its target with “pinpoint accuracy” and can be fired from war ships, submarines and fighter jets.

“The technology enables the missile to avoid radar detection and penetrate undetected through any hostile defensive system,” it said.

Oh, yes, those hostile defensive systems—they can be nasty when they’re, um, defending.

Anyway, an interesting sidenote on the great Mughal King Babur (for which the Pakistani missile was named). According to wikipedia:

During the end of Babur’s life, his son, Humayun, became deathly ill with little chance of survival. Babur was devastated and began to constantly pray for his son. In these prayers, Babur said that he wanted to take the disease away from Humayun, and die in his place. Strangely enough, Babur’s prayers were “answered.” Babur died at the age of 48 from this disease. Humayun inherited the throne.

There’s an anti-war metaphor in there somewhere, I’m sure of it.

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