Saturday, January 31, 2015

Is it just me?

Our Friend from Japan sent us an email to say that her visit to Sydney with her students might not go ahead because of the threat to security. Her university did decide the trip could go ahead but some of the parents after being directed to the local equivalent of our Foreign Affairs website travel section decided not to send their children to Sydney, principally because of the Lindt shop tragedy. Too many withdrew, and so the trip is not going ahead.

Well, we had arranged to go to Sydney to catch up with her. Well, that was the initial thought, but a break for me from work and a change of scenery for R, in a wonderful tourist city was a bonus. Our Friend from Japan has decided to visit Melbourne instead, some of the time when we will be in Sydney. No matter, we will see her.

It is rather silly for the Japanese website to have dire warning for personal security in Sydney, but then I am sure our Australian equivalent has similar for countries many people visit without a thought, such as the Indonesian island of Bali.

Now to the nitty gritty. Is is just me who feels so misinformed? The coronial  inquest is underway into the Lindt shop hostage tragedy.

(I won't use names to be picked up by the those who cared for the dead) I thought the dead bloke made a lunge for hostage taker, allowing people to escape in the process and was shot in the process. A hero for sure. Instead now from the inquest, I learn he was made to kneel and shot in the back of the head. From other things I read, he was somewhat of a hero and very brave.

And then the woman who was killed, who I thought was killed by the crazed person, was 'collateral damage' when the police stormed the building. Did you know that?

The question I ask, is why I was so misinformed at the time. Am I just stupid or maybe you thought the same as I did?

The hostages of the siege are making mega bucks with their commercial tv interviews. It seems a little distasteful to me, but then I am old and why should they not sell their story.

31 comments:

  1. If they gave their payment to the families of the dead and injured...that would be a start eh?

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    1. John, I think I did hear something about that by one of the hostages.

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  2. Andrew, I believe that situation in your city is safe so Japanese parents exaggerate but it is their decision... It can happen in every corner of the world..

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    1. Gosia, quite true. It is just bad luck to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Do you remember the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway inn the 90s when twelve people were killed and many injured.

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    2. Andrew, yes in Japan were also serious acciidents like problem with nuclear power station or sarin. You are definitely right...

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  3. It was careful misinformation. I saw hints that the second of the hostages to die was 'collateral damage' (and goodness I hate that term) but I didn't get confirmation for some time. And probably wouldn't have, except that after the hints I was looking for it.

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    1. EC, it is a horrible term and I don't know that it was used in any reporting. They will invent another term to describe such a situation. Yes, I suppose clues were there and your clever self picked them up.

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    2. My suspicious rather than clever self. Not always a good thing. Often not a comfortable (or comforting) thing.

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    3. I heard here that the man hostage died trying to grab the gun when the terrorist guy nodded off, being sleepy and I never heard how the woman hostage was killed. That seems a little extreme, to cancel for just one incident like that.

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    4. Strayer, I remember hearing that too. I think the police did well and the woman's death was just so unfortunate.

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    5. EC, you can never go wrong with being suspicious.

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  4. I think all those versions of what might have happened were canvassed at the time especially by a media that had to fill in copious hours of reporting with waffle and repetition in the absence of confirmed detail from the police.

    Remember that for hours early on in the drama we were told there were two or three perpetrators. Confusion and speculation abounded.

    Plus, the media loves an Aussie 'hero'. Nevertheless there seems little doubt both the hostages who died acted nobly and bravely.

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    1. Victor, is it not odd that the police at some point afterwards, did not give proper details of what happened? Maybe they had their reasons. Yes, the media did go crazy, reporting away for hours when there was nothing to report. Maybe the dead are not technically heroes but they have deservedly been elevated to a high status.

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    2. I think the coronial inquest will be the first time we get the proper details. The police were very deliberate in saying nothing, and the media in the absence of an actual story, just made shiznit up. I think they were trying to claim sources told them, but clearly sources told them nothing real. :(

      I was fairly sure the story we were being told re the manager trying to take the gun was not correct, because I was watching the siege live when the stuff happened just after 2am. A bunch of hostages ran out and then there was a very clear gunshot and flash of light inside the cafe. It was then many minutes until the next gunshot and flash of light inside the cafe and then maybe 30 seconds later the police finally went in.

      The media were just awful.. at one point Sky was telling me the *time* - as if they suddenly forgot that it is continually in the bottom corner of the screen, and then they told me that the police had dogs, which I could see with my own eyes balls, as the police with said dogs were on the screen at that time.

      The people I feel deeply bad for are the families of (also won't use the names for the same reason) because their family members have been made out to be something they were not. It really was not fair to them at all.

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    3. Snoskred, we can only hope the media has reviewed how they may cover such cases, and we hope there won't be another, in the future. There was really no need for continual coverage.

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  5. It isn't so simple, going to a country that has been declared dangerous by your own Department of Foreign Affairs. Spouse and I had paid for our plane and hotels in Turkey when the Ocalan Trial started (1999 ish). Note that the trial was being in the east of Turkey and we were in the west. Still, our own Federal Dept warned us that if we get into any trouble, the Australian embassy wouldn't help us and insurance wouldn't be paid.

    The tourist hotels in Istanbul were totally empty :(

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    1. But Hels, doesn't our government virtually declare every country dangerous just to cover itself. Travel warnings really need to be rethought.

      A simple warning on a government travel website can have dire consequences for a county.

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  6. I think the stories differ because at the time these things are happening, word gets out that may or may not be speculation and in order to be first in the papers or on TV, the reporter sends the information back to his place or work. Later when the news is different, that's what we hear, and wonder why we were told wrong the first time.
    I think it is a little tacky to be making money from their interviews, other people who are interviewed for different happenings, equally tragic, don't get paid for speaking.

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    1. River, perhaps the media trips over itself in haste to report. We will judge the hostage interviews appropriately.

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  7. Andrew, I don't think there is a truly "safe" place these days, so to place warnings on this place or another, to me, is kind of silly.

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    1. Keith, of course you are correct. Who would have thought Boston?

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  8. Like EC i heard it mentioned at the time that the young mother 'might' have been hit by friendly fire - and then very soon after their release one hostage remarked, 'she saved my life by covering my body and was hit by gunfire in the process'. As the day went on it became obvious to me the reporters were 'filling in time and empty space' with their sumising of what could be and what did actually happen in the cafe and we'd never get the 'true' story until it was all over so no I don't feel misinformed. I tend to take everything the press says with a pinch of salt, but then thats just me.
    If what has come out at this early part of the inquest about the young
    man kneeling to be executed is correct then he's a hero in my eyes!
    And as for the money hungry survivors - I don't want to know about them. Seeing the first hint of 'true life survivor stories' a couple of weeks ago turned me off whatever they were going to say - there is one particular women who looks like she is milking the situation for all she can get.

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    1. Cathy, it was tumultuous thing that happened and we all have our own thoughts. Could we possibly give the survivors the benefit of the doubt before e convict them? Yes, I know which survivor you are talking about.

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  9. We had an incident here today in this little tiny town. Some guy made threats to city hall online, claimed he was ISIS. He I think has been arrested but not sure and I think he is just nuts like half the population here.

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    1. Strayer, it won't be reported here, but yes, the mentally unwell get caught up in this.

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  10. I read what you said online, we were miss lead like I was. Pity about the students not coming to Sydney abd it makes ne wonder how many people cancel due to what is written on that website.

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    1. WA, we wonder what is on the websites of other countries and whether they too have warnings about Australia.

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  11. You hit it on the head when you said 'media' Andrew.. They really are pitiful.. Why wait for facts when you can just make it up as you go along!

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    1. Grace, hour upon hour of speculation, most of which was wrong. Pointless.

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  12. Whenever stuff like this happens, I don't believe the initial reports, because I've learned from experience that the story always changes or becomes clearer over time.

    I guess the survivors stories have an audience, otherwise they wouldn't get offered the air space. I won't be tuning in though.

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    1. Fen, it is something I should have learnt.

      Oh yes, people will tune in alright. I probably won't be hear a bit on the news I suppose.

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