Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I don't know what to think about this.

Guardian UK

RAF pilots asked to consider suicide flight
The head of the RAF's elite One Group who is in operational control of Typhoon, Tornado, Jaguar and Harrier fighters and bombers, is reported to have asked the pilots: "Would you think it unreasonable if I ordered you to fly your aircraft into the ground in order to destroy a vehicle carrying a Taliban or al-Qaida commander?"

The comments distressed pilots who were present at the conference.

"The idea of officers ordering personnel to commit suicide is disgusting," an unnamed officer told the Sun.

I may get the gist of my military knowledge from movies and books, but doesn't this just seem, um, WRONG?

The scenario the teacher lays out in this instance seems to me to be a "moment of valor" type thing. No one will kill themselves because they are TOLD to, but a person might be willing to kill themselves for the ..... hell, I don't even know what the word would be. Honor? "The Greater Good"?

Anyone else have any thoughts on this, 'cause I'm puzzled.

******UPDATE and Further Info*******

More here at the BBC


At 9:24 AM, Blogger Ashen Shard said...

Seems to me things are not going so well and our coalition of the willing is getting desperate. Any peoples who resort to suicide tactics, even considering them, are at the end of their rope. That is why we have suicide bombings in the middle east, and the kamikaze is what the Japanese resorted to when it became clear that they were losing WWII and that was their best chance.
It is also stupid since the point of having a suicide plane is that it is, in effect, I guided missile. Last I checked, we have the technology that allows missiles to be super accurate, more accurate in fact than any kamikaze could hope to be.

At 9:27 AM, Blogger Paddy said...

I actually have a call in to a friend who was/is a pilor in the Air Force.

I need some clarification on this.

At 9:43 AM, Blogger Mary Ellen said...

I agree with ashen, it sounds as if it is an act of desperation, a needless act, to be exact. It seems the rules of warfare have gone out the window, just like the rules of the Geneva Convention. This story reminds me of WWII and the Japanese Kamakazi pilots. In that case, though, I think they only used their plans as weapons if they were already going down...in this case, to ask a pilot to commit suicide is beyond desperate. It's just downright immoral.

At 9:53 AM, Blogger Data Guy said...

They want some pilot to spend upwards of 100 million dollars to kill one, very replaceable, al-Qaeda commander?

Anyone who agreed with this insanely stupid idea should immediately be court-martialed.

At 9:54 AM, Blogger Data Guy said...

I think they only used their plans as weapons if they were already going down..

Well, you are totally wrong there. Kamakasis were recruited and trained for this mission. It is still insanely stupid and short-sighted.

At 10:20 AM, Blogger Mary Ellen said...

data guy....thanks for the correction.

At 4:35 PM, Blogger GottaLaff said...

By suggesting that to his officers, he is apparently on his own suicide mission, since I'm guessing that now that he's caused his own guys to want to kill him.


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