Monday, March 05, 2007

Don't let the facts get in the way of a good riff

National Review's Mark Steyn is having a great laugh today --

I love this headline in Pakistan’s Daily Times:

[Pakistan International Airlines] To Buy Airbuses To Appease EU, UK

Do you remember the A380 Airbus? It was launched to much fanfare in 2005 as the symbol of the coming Euro-imperium. Giant double-decker QE2s of the air would be looming over cities around the world ... It doesn’t seem to be working out quite like that: these days the headlines are mostly about delays in delivery and lost customers –

So it’s grand news for Euro-investors that at least Pakistan’s national carrier has been successfully strongarmed into buying the White Euro-elephant of the skies, after pressure to deny landing rights to the existing PIA fleet on "safety grounds". Now twice as many jihadists will be able to fly from Waziristan to Heathrow in one go! (The Airbus can carry 800 passengers, or a thousand if your child bride goes in the hold.)

The A380 is indeed a poignant symbol of the European Union: far too big and never actually taking flight. However, it may well prove useful for large-scale population evacuations circa 2015.

Let's begin with the most basic problem: the actual story to which he links says nothing about Pakistan buying A380s. Airbus is a company that makes more than one type of plane. PIA has indeed been told that some planes in its ageing fleet are unsafe, but that has absolutely nothing to do with the fate of the A380 (which we have indeed bashed ourselves in the past)

So pretty much every "joke" in his post collapses at that point, but he still can't resist linking it to his longer-term thesis that Christian Europe is headed for doom and will need a Dunkirk style operation (perhaps directed by President Jenna Bush) sometime in the future. At least he resisted the opportunity to claim that crashes of PIA's existing fleet would take out a few jihadists, and so that the demand of safety regulators for a fleet upgrade is counterproductive.

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