Newspeak

Today’s winner of the 1984 ‘BlackWhite’ prize goes to the BBC web page with the  title: ‘US warplane crash-lands in Libya‘. The article goes on to say that both crew members ejected safely.

As someone who has flown military aircraft (including under fire) I can assure you that if both crew ejected safely, that was not a ‘crash-landing’ – it was a crash.

The mainstream media seems incapable of simple clarity – for instance they could report: “An F15 crashed in Libya, but we do not yet know why”. Instead they have to conjure up words which give a sense of being in control (‘landed’) – and of course they must deny that it could have been Libyan fire which shot down the nice, shiny (and very expensive) toy.

It is reminiscent of when NATO attacked Serbia in 1999 – another time when the fearsome alliance of the world’s major powers bravely attacked a ramshackle country which had antiquated equipment.

If you remember, the Serbs shot down a brand-spanking new Stealth F117 Nighthawk aircraft, supposedly invisible to radar! Serbian Colonel Zoltan Dani subsequently explained that they had ‘tweeked’ the 1960s vintage SAM missile system they used.

I remember seeing a TV broadcast from Belgrade at the time. People were out in the streets celebrating: one of them held up a cardboard sign saying: “Sorry, we didn’t know it was meant to be invisible!”.

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