The report into the fatal 2006 Black Hawk helicopter crash has been released. And boy, haven't the media jumped on it as a cover-up-conspiracy-safety-standards-deliberately-reduced-to-save-costs
-and-people-died-and-JohnHoward-knew-and-did-nothing-about-it story. It was almost painful listening to ABC Newsradio's Jennifer Byrne trying to harangue the ADF's Neil James into admitting that defence funding cuts were directly responsible for the deaths of these young soldiers. He wouldn't, but did mention that lack of resources prevailed during the 80's and 90's. Labor years. Oops.
Some salient points from the report included factors like "personnel... took higher risks during operations...had a 'can-do' attitude.... were not adequately supervised..."
Higher risks? Can-do attitude? Working unsupervised? Egads! We cannot have that in our defence forces! And let me get this straight; military personnel tried different, often risky, maneuvers to land helicopters, as part of their training??
Yes, this IS shocking. After all, when they are called to extract wounded soldiers from the Afghani-Pakistan border under heavy Taliban rocket fire, they should take it slow and easy. Relax! The Taliban are fully respectful of Australian Occ Health and Safety procedures. Don't fire on the chopper, Aziz, he's obviously a learner. The last thing we want is the worksafe inspector spoiling our jihad, with his high-viz jacket and clipboard an' all that. That would be really bad.
In more news, those madcap and zany mullahs in Iran have been test-firing rockets as a show of strength. They even sent one happy snap for western photo albums. Naturally, Reuters and AP jumped on it:
The Revolutionary Guards released this photo to the world to demonstrate it's unflinching readiness to defensively respond to the Israeli threat of responding to the Iranian threat to wipe out Israel. Problem is, some farsi-speaking genius in the Iranian agitprop department discovered how to use photoshop and one of those missiles isn't actually real. Here is the real, un-altered photo:
Well, okay, not entirely un-altered. The camera was way to far off to hear the clicking noise. But you get the point. Personally, if I was an Iranian Revolutionary guard, I'd be quite happy with three out of four Sahabs getting off the ground. After all, they were purchased at a Russian garage sale. So why the need to digitally alter a photo- to enhance the appearance of military might or computer geekness?
Of course, environmental groups were delighted. If you must insist on exterminating 6-7 million Jews, photoshopping the appearance of firing a fourth missile instead of actually firing it, reduces your carbon emissions by 25%!
Which got me thinking- why stop there? Surely Ahmadinejad can simply photoshop a picture of him standing atop the Temple Mount, above miles of decimated Israeli population, so the Iranians will have the impression of a conclusive victory over the Zionist cancer. Reuters wouldn't even find out unless someone tells them. It would keep everyone happy and nobody has to die.
Anyhow, the major news agencies were advised about the deception. Not only were the photos pulled but in some cases the "farsi-cal" event made it's own story. Which is unusual, since normally the media stops caring once they've sold their quota.
The Iranian Revolutionary Guard, however, were not swayed by the whistle blowing. They then released what they claimed was the REAL photo.