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Even real people say stupid things...

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In the 50/50 section Herald Sun, 31st January 2006 (again), reader Doug Townsley refers to another reader's question, why the Australian Army weren't helping fight fires, by suggesting it was for the "same reason we didn't sent the CFA to East Timor".

I would imagine having extra people pointing hoses at fires can only help, whereas sending untrained people to war is tantamount to murder. Now whether there are enough hoses to go around is another matter...

(For the overseas readers, the CFA is the Country Fire Authority, one of the two fire-fighting organisations in Victoria.)

Comments

I can't contradict you too much, as I know you know more about the Army than I do, but I stick to my opinion that Doug Townsley's comparison was way off target.

Fighting a bush fire is not as simple as pointing a hose at it, although hoses do amounts to resource availability. So no, I don't think an infantry regiment would be much use there unless they get to shoot at things. However, it is well known fact that army is the first and usually the only available resource to a nation in a state of natural disaster. Mass bush fires are exactly that and army could be utilised rather well to help people evacuate, relocate property and live stock, setup mobile kitchens and hospitals, etc. Other then that, looking at things realistically, besides an occasional KKK costume party and casual bastardisation Australian army is useless. I mean, the population of the whole country evaluates to roughly the same size as a large European city and now imagine the population of our Asian neighbours. Army could have been used to actually help in this case, rather then drinking beer 98% of the time on tax payers money.

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