Afghan War Propaganda

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Writes Mike Holmes:

One small reporting trend really has gotten to me regarding the recent Taliban shoot down of that Chinook w/ 30+ Seals and others.

It is nearly always written and described as a “helicopter crash.”

Well, only in the most technical sense, as in something up in the air which then comes plummets down at terminal velocity. That can be technically called a “crash.”

But the term “crash” is normally used for accidental aircraft losses, either by natural causes (weather), mechanical problems or pilot error.

When enemy combatants shoot down their opponent’s aircraft, either from in air or on the ground weaponry, it is normally called a “kill.” Or shoot down, or something else. Top Gun pilots don’t train to do “crashes.”

This persistent use of “helicopter crash” caused by a Taliban RPG seems like a deliberate softening of the actual facts. To shade the meaning into the accident mode, rather than as an instance of deadly enemy action.

The accurate report of “enemy kill” would otherwise start the reader/listener to contemplate the vulnerability of US air assets. I suspect the US media use of “crash” is straight from the Pentagon PR manual.

Accidents can happen anywhere. Shoot downs only happen during war.

7:21 pm on August 13, 2011