UPDATE II: Flying in Perfect Propagandist Formation


Front men for the military-media-congressional-industrial complex swooped down in elegant formation after one of their own, “a student pilot and an instructor,” crashed “a Navy fighter jet,” Friday, “into an apartment complex in Virginia Beach, Va.”

Buildings were destroyed and a few lowly civilians hurt, but it was hard to ascertain the extent of the destruction or the identity of the injured by listening to corporate cable.

Shep Smith went weak at the knees, waxing orgasmic about the cool bravery of the careless culprits. The student pilot and his instructor told a bewildered home owner, “Sorry for destroying your house.” Shep thought that having survived the crash (never mind totaling an apartment complex), these careless sorts were the epitome of cool for apologizing.

For the better part of the day, various representatives, including Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, affirmed the community’s close ties with the assorted “military bases, including Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval base in the world.”

Adm. John Harvey, “the head of U.S. Fleet Forces Command promised to conduct a complete investigation into the cause of this mishap.” At a press conference in Virginia Beach, Navy Capt. Mark Weisgerber chimed in too.

Little was heard from “the densely populated neighborhood where the plane crashed.” But, no doubt, these good folks view this kind of occurrence as part of keeping an imperiled America safe.

Needless to say, the malfunctioning media failed to float the question as to whether student pilots should be practicing over densely populated areas. The same perfect propagandist formation was galvanized after Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the accused in the massacre of 16 civilians in the Panjwai district of Kandahar Province, did his deed.

UPDATE I (April 7): You forget, Myron, this important distinction, also the only one that matters. This was a fighter jet that crashed into a densely populated area, not a commercial aircraft which serves the public and is vital to the public. We all accept the dangers of commercial airplanes taking off and landing in proximity to our homes. This, however, was a military maneuver. It belongs away from civilization, where it cannot harm it. If these sacred cows want to play with their taxpayer-funded toys—let them do it where they cannot harm the good, peaceable people who fund their games.

UPDATE II: In response to TD Hunt, on Facebook. I have no doubt the military employs some of our finest men— where else can real men find employers who allow them to be men, and play with the kind of “toys” men naturally enjoy? My point in the post was to dissect the military-centered response of the special interests involved—media, military, pols, and yes, a compliant public. I heard the story as it broke. The first words out of the mouths of reporters, for hours to come, was to assure us all that the brave men of the military were safe and oh-so-cool. Not a peep about The People who might have been buried in the rubble of an entire apartment complex. The same military-centered reaction kicks in covering military atrocities abroad.

10 thoughts on “UPDATE II: Flying in Perfect Propagandist Formation

  1. My RON-PAUL i

    Pilots probably have to practice taking off from densely populated areas if they are in the Singapore Air Force. America has places like Wyoming to practice in.

    But do we know whether this was pilot error or whether the airplane ignited independently of any pilot error??

    [See Post Update.]

  2. Stephen Bernier

    It is possible that they were returning to the air station, when a malfunction occurred. Unfortunately, military bases are located in densely populated areas, making it easier to kill innocents in times of war.

  3. George Pal

    Came across this yesterday, the day of the accident.

    Why Do Great Powers Decline?

    “Because their citizens choose to spend money on themselves, not on defense.” was the answer.

    There are some real hoots in the article such as “Rather than a nation [America] whose dominant power and global reach make for a better and more peaceful world”

    There’s no being a dominant global power unless everyone is cannon fodder.

  4. Robert Glisson

    Diana West had an article and picture about the Afghanistan park bomber of 4-4-12. With pictures of dead or wounded GIs. It dawned on me, I was born in Oct- 1940. Just after my first birthday, we joined WW2. My G-d, we have been at war for seventy years. If it weren’t hot it was cold but, none the less on a war footing. And we’re looking forward to Syria and Iran. Your right the civilians that were killed were collateral damage.

  5. Anonymous

    Careless culprits? Was it pilot error?
    It’s one thing to blast the “system” but another thing altogether to automatically indict the troops. Your Updates I and II lay it out pretty well but I draw the line at calling the pilots careless until the facts are known.

    [Don’t forget to provide an email; posting anon is against Posting Policy.]

  6. Rebel Without a Clause

    “where else can real men find employers who allow them to be men, and play with the kind of toys men actually enjoy?” RAAHHHT on! From what I’m hearing, the pilot(s) stayed with the plane long enough to dump most of the fuel before crashing – which minimized the initial explosion and fire – so, on the whole, quite well done. Color me impressed.

  7. Myron Pauli

    Ilana, I think you read me wrong. I said we had places such as Wyoming to learn how to fly planes – and that unless one belonged to the Singapore Air Force (which presumably does not have a lot of rural spaces to rehearse in), the military had no business training fighter pilots in populated areas. I believe we are in agreement.

  8. Robert Glisson

    It gets more complicated. I was mistaken when I said, there were persons killed. I misread the original news article. However, a subsequent article, I can’t link because it would take two hundred words to list, stated that the F-18 has a history of crash and burn. Known crashes, 1- in 2006, 1- in 2008, injured four, 17.8 million in damages. 1- in 2011, 3- in 2012 (counting this one). It is clear that this plane should not be flown in densely populated areas. Someone is careless by not testing/training in an isolated area. Within the last two years a commercial plane went down in a metro area- the pilot put the plane in the river. He did not put it in a place where citizens lived. True, his passengers were at risk, but, that goes with the plane ticket. I wasn’t there and am not blaming anyone; but, they were fortunate that no tenants were home.

  9. Derek

    Pilots probably have to practice taking off from densely populated areas if they are in the Singapore Air Force. America has places like Wyoming to practice in.

    Myron, Singapore must have been thinking the same thing and now has a 20 year agreement to train at Mountain Home AFB in Idaho.

  10. irongalt

    Excellent article – nothing is more enjoyable than seeing the nation’s clay idols get smashed to bits in such style.

    If it was a private aircraft there would be lawsuits, prison sentences, and regulations aplenty.

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