Sunday, February 27, 2005

Try not to kill anyone...

I'm blogging this paragraph because I like it and might want to refer to it sometime in the future. It's well-known. I have come across it before.
This is from a book review found in American Digest.

So you want to understand an aircraft carrier? Well, just imagine that it's a busy day, and you shrink San Francisco Airport to only one short runway and one ramp and gate. Make planes take off and land at the same time, at half the present time interval, rock the runway from side to side, and require that everyone who leaves in the morning returns that same day. Then turn the radar off to avoid detection, impose strict controls on radio, fuel the aircraft in place with their engines running, put an enemy in the air, and scatter live bombs and rockets around. Now wet the whole thing down with salt water and oil, and man it with 20-year-olds, half of whom have never seen an airplane close up. Oh, and by the way, try not to kill anyone.

At the time of the first Gulf War the Today Show did a couple of on-site remotes from an aircraft carrier. One of the statistics mentioned was that the average age of the crew was something like nineteen or twenty. These are our children. We are critical when our enemies send their children to do us harm, but that is the way that wars are fought.

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