Monday, March 19, 2007

Fantasy Island...

...but without "The plane! The plane!"

I am going to go a'begging.

I would be very, very grateful if someone could tell me whether he or she has seen, in a major Japanese-language national newspaper or news source, any mention of why an eagerly awaited squadron of the Air Force's F-22 Raptors failed to land at Kadena Air Force Base on February 10, only to land there with far less fanfare a week later.

All I have seen are brief, inaccurate descriptions of the incident, like the one in the evening edition of The Asahi Shimbun of February 17:


Far be it from me to question the reportage of The Asahi Shimbun and its fine stable of reporters (Oh, cut to the chase, will ya? - Editor) but :

"The projected arrival date had been the 10th, but because of bad weather or navigation system problems, the arrival had had to be pushed back."

would be considered factually correct only among the squirrel-brained.

In case you don't know what happened, you will either laugh your head off or be very, very concerned about the U.S. military's testing of its weapons systems.

Please recall, each one of these planes, the most advanced in the U.S. arsenal, costs between $100 million and $160 million.

Hence, my request--did anyone tell the Japanese people why the planes did not arrive at Kadena on the 10th? Wouldn't the reporters and camera crews sent to cover the arrival have been interested to explain why the whole thing was suddenly dotakyanned?

The reason why I bring this up is I saw this "Ooops!" moment courtesy of Sharon Weinberger at Danger Room and suddenly realized I could not recall any follow-up to the Raptor no-show.

Suffice it to say that these tales fill me with confidence about the reliability and dependability of the U.S.-supplied anti-ballistic missile systems upon which the GOJ is pinning so many of its hopes.

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