The media has reported the crash of an F-15E Eagle in Libya. However, the plane was not brought down by hostile failure.
After the plane’s mechanical failure, the two crewmembers ejected, suffering minor injuries and being met by happy Libyan civilians, who opposed Gaddafi.
The plane was shot down on the third night of bombings. Fortunately, the crew members, though the exact location has not been revealed, landed near the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.
This story represents a particularly positive outcome from the U.S. involvement in Libya. This was particularly refreshing amidst comparisons of the situation in Libya to the beginnings of our involvement in Iraq a decade ago.
The crewmen were met by civilians, who actually thanked them for their participation in the conflict.
The characterization of these rebels is important, especially since they are viewing the United States in positive light. It offers greater insight into who the rebels actually are and diminishes the over-glorification or perhaps un-wantedness of US/UN involvement.
The story comes at important time, as Libyan government spokesman just described the numerous civilian casualties caused by the airstrikes, though these exact reports remain unconfirmed. The “crusader” rhetoric used by those loyal to Gaddafi is very scary.