Then we sent in the the special cyberforce. Over there, over there!
“We are dropping cyberbombs,” a man named Mr. Work, a deputy secretary of defense at the Pentagon, said. “We have never done that before.”
Actually, we have. We dropped cyberbombs on Iran.
But, anyway, A year or so ago: Cyberbombs! B-52 bombs! Bombs for cash money!
They’d surely need to quit amidst the rubble of Syria! V-ISIS Day was just around the corner.
The stuff really works, don’t it? What tactics and strategy, or lack of any, more likely. And recall the next time Trump orders a publicity stunt bombing, these were all the property of the Obama administration.
Apropos or not, here’s The Cyberwar Boogie which doesn’t sound much like cyberwar. The laughter is just right, though. Hee-hee-hee-h-h-hee-hee-hee-hee, oh yeah!
Would you help finance a custom run CD with this included?
Today Fox News is getting shelled on social media for playing Toby Keith’s “Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue” over footage of the Mother of All Bombs (MOAB) in Afghanistan. . This seems unfair to me.
The “we’ll put a boot in your ass” theme of the Keith song is right in line with the glee that made the news of the MOAB go viral yesterday. As in 2003, the mainstream media has not been able to get enough of the Mother of All Bombs (MOAB).
It’s a bit late in the game to try shaming someone else over it now when there was no problem initially. We even liked all the news we could get of sticking it to anybody and everybody in the Middle East.
We wet the bed but good. No second thoughts and finger-pointing allowed now.
Keep in mind that fifteen years in Afghanistan is a solid indication this is a war that’s lost. The US military has no strategy except brute force and terror. Use of the monster bomb, then, is use of a vengeance weapon, something a military that’s desperate for a success, any success, does.
The choice of the term vengeance weapon is deliberate. Vengeance weapons, or the V weapons like the V-1 and V-2, were developed and used when there was no hope of the Third Reich winning the war in Europe.
The vengeance weapons were military insignificant. In the end they accomplished nothing, only further hardening the wills of the civilians in London they were used against.
The Pentagon claimed 36 ISIS fighters were killed. At about 16 million dollars per bomb, that’s about over haf a million dollars a head. It’s in line with the pointlessness outside of symbolic terror of the Third Reich’s vengeance weapons.
Keep in mind that news anchor Brian Williams waxed rhapsodic over Tomahawk missile salvos being launched into Syria just last week. They were said to be “beautiful” by Williams.
While the news over the MOAB has been enthusiastically over-the-top domestically (“It’s the first time this bomb has been used in combat!”), in the end the President and the Department of Defense will find that use of the MOAB has just been seen as a morally bankrupt stunt everywhere else. The world now sees the wealthiest country in the world dropping a ridiculously cruel bomb on one of the poorest places in the world, a country it’s been punishing without much effect except to make more enemies for a decade and a half. And that the originating country thinks this is such a good thing it arranges a publicity party for the coming out.
Here, another excerpt from Weapon of the Week in March of 2003, a column that was totally unique and way ahead of its time.
“Operation Iraqi Freedom” would not be complete without the combined power of war wankers. The wanker army, consisting of retired generals, TV reporters, administration fuglemen, and national pundits, stroke and soothe the polity with kriegfreude—war glee.
It conducts this operation by either suppressing pictures of naked horror—war blood and guts—or delivering only the most fleeting images of it. Into this void it jams a wealth of interesting and true stories, the tales that are interesting being not true and the ones that are true being not interesting.
War wankers agonize over American casualties but leave enemy dead invisible. They yak about violations of the Geneva Convention without considering that the dropping of thousands of tons of explosives from on high requires a good deal of cold blood and inevitably inspires awful retaliations.
The war wanker dwells lovingly on wonder weapons from the land of the brave, prattling on from a green television stage or a blacked-out flight deck.
But the best thing about the war wanker is that he or she comes cheap. Statements like “they’ll be feeling pain tonight in Baghdad” are pennies on the word, with salaries almost always less than the cost of machinery of destruction. And some in this army even labor for free—the joy of the work being its own reward.
It’s been fourteen years since I wrote about the MOAB (the Mother of All Bombs) for my Weapon of the Week column in the Village Voice. And today the MOAB is back in hot, trending viral news as the US employed it in one of our forever wars in Afghanistan. Wars we never win but for which there is a never-ending supply of really big bombs from our weapon shops.
Weapon of the Week was a satirical run on the implements of war and killing then common in US newspapers. As part of the joy over war the US mainstream media loved weapon stories. Much of the time leading up to the invasion of the Iraq was spent devoting column inches to Gobble-Wallah coverage of what the Department of Defense was readying for the citizens of the Middle East.
And no matter how badly the wars have gone this has never changed. In fact, the cheerleading has become worse. Criticisms and derision, no matter how well-reasoned and deserved, have been utterly dismissed from the national conversation. And the web and old media now overflow with cheerleading pieces on the technologies and ways of American war (see The National Interest, Business Insider, War is Boring et al).
So there’s really no point to doing something new on the MOAB. My original was perfect and it’s all you have to know.
Exultation over the new MOAB—perhaps the ugliest and most stupid of new weapons in the U.S. armory—reveals a poverty of intellect and heart in the country. A clumsy multi-ton monster bomb tested in Florida last week has no practical war purpose other than terror, in a military whose signal achievement in the last decade has been to make smaller weapons unerringly accurate.
The MOAB is the natural result of allowing munitions engineers to run amok, a design by the aggressively mediocre who in a better time and place would be sent into early retirement for the good of the taxpayer.
The Massive Ordnance Air Blast, or Mother of All Bombs (quite the rib-tickler), is so big it must be shoved out the tail of a lumbering transport plane on a sled attached to a drag parachute. This means MOAB can only be used against the helpless—an enemy who cannot shoot back because its air force has already been utterly smashed, its anti-aircraft missile network erased from the target area. A very large, undefended mosque would be a good hit for MOAB—meeting the bomb’s criterion of use for “psychological” effect.
An idiot stationed in the Pentagon TV newsroom jabbered about the MOAB’s “guidance” by Global Positioning System—great precision being unnecessary on the 21,000-pound bomb, another clue to its construction by government-sanctioned ninnies.
A small part of the blame for the MOAB must go to Dynetics, one more in a dismaying number of corporations that exist to provide applications in mayhem. The company’s logo on the MOAB’s tail was probably thought of as a coup in corporate advertising, although a bracing “Fuck You!” might have better created the impression that the thing was made by real people rather than a labful of killer androids on Eglin Air Force Base.
The MOAB is said to be a long-awaited improvement on the 15,000-pound Commando Vault (“Daisy Cutter”) bomb, a canister of aluminum powder mixed in a slurry originally made to clear landing spaces of underbrush and demolish minefields. Daisy Cutters were used in Gulf War I and again in Afghanistan, to no obvious effect other than the creation of media and Pentagon erections. These cost $27,000 and change per bang, so even allowing for a three-ton increase in weight, MOAB should be cheap by Defense Department standards.
If the MOAB makes an appearance over Iraq, count on it to be enthusiastically superfluous due to the military axiom: A handful of really big bombs dropped in the open can’t compare to thousands of much smaller ones smashing through windows, doorways, and hidey-holes.
The MOAB was made for Iraq. It has been more of a symbolic, in a real murderous asshole way, thing. It serves no military purpose other than pure spite. Deploying it over Afghanistan after fifteen years of relentless bombing and black-bagging of the populace is nothing more than use of it as a vengeance weapon.
So what are the Gobble-wallahs actually saying about the MOAB today?
U.S. forces in Afghanistan dropped a 22,000-pound bomb on Islamic State forces in eastern Afghanistan Thursday, the Pentagon announced in a statement.
Gen. John W. Nicholson, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said the bomb was “the right munition” to use against the Islamic State because of the group’s use of roadside bombs, bunkers and tunnels. — The WaPost
The right munition.
Donald Trump described the dropping of the GBU-43 bomb as “another successful job” by the military.
Just minutes after news broke that the U.S. military had dropped the “mother of all bombs” — the biggest non-nuclear weapon — on an ISIS cave complex in Afghanistan Thursday, the president dismissed the idea that it was meant to influence North Korea.
“Really another successful job,” Trump said from the White House. “We’re very, very proud of our military. We are so proud of our military and it was another successful event.” — Daily Caller
Another successful job after 15 years of bombing and assassinations.
“Everybody knows exactly what happened,” Trump said. “We have the greatest military in the world…We have given them total authorization…If you look at what’s happened over the last eight weeks and compare that really with what’s happened over the last eight years, you’ll see there’s a tremendous difference. Tremendous difference.” — NBC News
Use of bigger vengeance weapons over a country with no air defense, yes, that’s a difference.
Spicer said all proper precautions were taken before the drop. — the New York Daily News
U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the use of this bomb was a sign that the United States was committed to Afghanistan.
But Congresswoman Barbara Lee, a Democrat who was the only “no” vote for authorization for use of military force in Afghanistan in 2001, said the move was unprecedented and asked for an explanation. — Reuters
A sign that the United States was committed to Afghanistan? Yes, how lucky they are to get such big bombs. It’s a particularly hilarious and Orwellian twisting of language.
In recognition of the war fever gripping the nation today (look down the timeline), here’s a link to Uncle Sam & the JDAMS, a record made as satire of the war in Iraq. Now well over a decade old, made available for FREE — that’s FREE — in MP3 or glorious FLAC. Explosive and bitingly hilarious, you’ll even laff out loud at the recounting of its history:
[15 years later] and still no one’s laughing. One of the final nails in the coffin of the national reputation.
Iraq n Roll was recorded over the course of a few weeks as a short piece of satire on the war, after the Weapon of the Week column had run its course at the Village Voice.
Often just instrumental punctuated by familiar lines, it was purposely brief, like the two weeks of humiliating national euphoria leading up to “Mission Accomplished!”
It was composed to be one piece, heard linearly from start to finish. You can’t cherry pick it or ignore the words and roll your own play list. The segues from song to song have purpose and the story falls apart if you apply the technology of shuffle play.
In 2002 no one wanted satire. No Frank Zappa. They still don’t. There was just the slight beginnings of a surly national hangover that only became more fulminating over the years.
Classic truths. Good singin,’ good playin’. Completely obscure and utter failure.
After World War II, Hitler’s top commando, Otto Skorzeny — the man who rescued Il Duce, became a globe-trotting businessman and general purpose p.r. man and re-entry resource for old Nazi soldiers. He even promoted movie-making on them to slight success. While a biographical war movie about himself was deep-sixed, Skorzeny was successful in helping gather interest for making a Hollywood blockbuster, The Battle of the Bulge, a partial character study of a leading German panzerman, and getting a retired Wermacht officer a job as a consultant to it.
Robert Shaw, years later better known as “Quint” in Jaws, was cast as ruthless German army tank commander “Martin Hassler.” But “Hassler” was a dodge. The part was originally to be Jochen Peiper, a Waffen SS tank commander whose unit was responsible for the Malmedy massacre of American prisoners of war. Realizing members of the VFW-American Legion wouldn’t think highly of such a movie, the Peiper part was replaced by a composite ringer, Hassler, who was portrayed in the regular Germany army. The Battle of the Bulge was an atrocious bomb redeemed by the odd twist that it can now be viewed as comedy, a monument to stumblebum movie-making employing Hollywood’s A-list.
Starring Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson and Telly Savalas as American heroes, the battle starts in the winter. Or at least shows snow and pine trees. By the end though all historical pretense is abandoned. A climactic tank battle takes place on what looks like a dusty summer plain — in Franco’s Spain. Where there were plenty of American tanks to use as German panzers.
NAVY SEALS attempted to conduct another raid inside Yemen earlier this month but aborted the mission at the last minute, according to a senior U.S. military official.
Members of SEAL Team 6 deployed to Yemen in early March for a ground assault targeting suspected members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, a group U.S. officials view as the most dangerous branch of the terrorist organization. The aborted mission followed a botched January 29 raid in the village of al Ghayil, in al Bayda province. That raid left a Navy SEAL dead and two others seriously injured, and killed more than two dozen Yemeni civilians, including at least 16 women and children.
But why Otto Skorzeny, the reader may ask. Why not? If you need a reason: Because SEAL Team 6 has degenerated into nothing more than a deadly and never-ending shaggy dog story.
In a bunch Skorzeny’s men ran into the entrance of the hotel and collided with a stream of Italian soldiers, struggling with their weapons and helmets, trying frantically to get outside. The Germans cut right through them and booted the support from beneath a machine gun set up in the hall.
Skorzeny ignored the Italians. He butted his way through them: they were too close and too intermingled with his own men to allow him to use his machine pistol safely. He ran up the nearest flight of stairs, and at the first turn of the landing saw Mussolini, guarded by two young Italian officers.
Skorzeny hesitated. The two Italians were similarly hesitant. Lieutenant Schwerdt came through the door behind the CO. At the nearest window two faces appeared, surmounted by the brimless German paratroop helmets. His men had shinned up the lightning conductor. The Italian officers realized that they hadn’t a chance of fighting it out, and raised their hands in surrender.
The Italians were hustled out and Skorzeny posted Schwerdt as the Duce’s new bodyguard. Now dragging in the two men, Holzer and Benz, he stared out at the scene below. Radl, followed by his team, was running towards the hotel, and behind them crawled Obersturmführer Menzel, who had broken his ankle during the landing. Some way off the men from Glider No. 5 were also rushing towards the hotel …
There was some bewildered shouting, then a bareheaded, moustached colonel appeared.
‘I ask your immediate surrender,’ Skorzeny said in French. ‘Mussolini is already in our hands. We hold the building. If you want to avert senseless bloodshed you have sixty seconds to go and reflect.’ Skorzeny waited anxiously, watching the terrain for signs of further Italian resistance. But he need not have worried. Before the minute was up, the Italian colonel reappeared, and in both hands he carried a glass of red wine. With a slight bow he proffered the big German commando the token of surrender. ‘To the victor,’ he said simply.
Skorzeny thanked him and drank the wine; he was thirsty anyway. Outside there was the sound of cheers. Someone had flung a white bedsheet out of an upper window as a sign of capitulation, and the hotel was theirs.
Skorzeny thanked him and drank the wine; he was thirsty anyway. Outside there was the sound of cheers. Someone had flung a white bedsheet out of an upper window as a sign of capitulation, and the hotel was theirs.
At last Skorzeny had time for Mussolini. The Duce was unshaven and wearing a blue-grey suit that was too big for him, but there was no mistaking the joy in his broad face. Skorzeny clicked to attention. ‘Duce,’ he proclaimed formally, realizing that this was an historic moment, ‘I have been sent by the Leader to set you free.’
From Otto Skorzeny: The Most Dangerous Man in Europe by Charles Whiting.
Otto Skorzeny, the Third Reich’s top commando, didn’t go on missions for fifteen years. After the war ended he became a globe-trotting businessman, consultant and something of an ombudsman and one man p.r. operation for old Nazi soldiers. But more on this a bit later.
From the New York Times a couple days ago when Andrew Bacevich, one of the few military men who writes honest pieces on the state of the greatest nation in world history, contributed:
What are we to make of the chasm between effort expended and results achieved [in Afghanistan]? Why on those increasingly infrequent occasions when Afghanistan attracts notice do half-truths and pettifoggery prevail, rather than hard-nosed assessments? Why has Washington ceased to care about the Afghan war?
The answer, it seems to me, is this: As with budget deficits or cost overruns on weapons purchases, members of the national security apparatus — elected and appointed officials, senior military officers and other policy insiders — accept war as a normal condition.
That our impulsive commander in chief may one day initiate some new war in a fit of pique is a worrisome prospect. That neither President Trump nor anyone else in Washington seems troubled that wars once begun drag on in perpetuity is beyond worrisome.
Andrew Bacevich is just about the best writer we have on the modern US military and its never-ending employment in decade-and-a-half-long campaigns.
When “worrisome” is the best word NYT editors will let him employ in describing the state of everlasting war that runs itself, everything can be said to be broken. Language fails. There really is no way out and no end in sight.
From Hitler’s Warrior, on Otto Skorzeny (he’s not the book’s primary subject):
Thw SS colonel was still in touch with Otto Skorzeny, who was wheeling and dealing in the scrap metal business from Spain when not jet-setting with his wife, Ilse, to South America, Paris or the Alps. Even if unspoken, Skorzeny always made it known to Jochen Peiper that should things get too bad in Germany, there was always a haven for him under Franco’s protection in Madrid. For his part, Skorzeny was living completely open, unafraid, and a publicity hound. Amazingly Skorzeny was working with a literary agent in Los Angeles, attempting to bring his life story to the big screen in Hollywood: Commando Extraordinary! Warner Brothers and United Artists nearly bit on the script. But such cinematic planning halted suddenly when focus groups revealed a shortcoming in brilliant contrast to the box office smash of George C. Scott as Patton; the new story would glorify a Nazi hero! In the end Skorzeny’s efforts to portray himself as an apolitical commando hero disintegrated…
There are other suspect details in the U.S. version of events. In the days after the raid, the Pentagon claimed that the women killed were armed and fought the incoming U.S. special operations forces from “pre-established positions.” Yet all of the witnesses to the attack interviewed by The Intercept in al Ghayil strongly challenged this accusation, citing a culture that views the prospect of women fighting, as Nesma al Ameri put it, as “eib” — shameful and dishonorable — and pointing out the practical implausibility of women clutching babies while also firing rifles.
A month later, amid an unprecedented uptick in U.S. military activity in Yemen last week, the helicopters and drones returned to Yakla. Apaches descended on al Ghayil before dawn on March 2, carrying out “indiscriminate shelling,” according to Sheikh Aziz al Ameri, one of the few residents who remained in the village. Later that day, the Pentagon took responsibility for more than 20 airstrikes carried out in the early hours of the morning across three Yemeni provinces, including al Bayda.
The Intercept piece, which is long and detailed, goes on to say: “[Further] developments last week indicate the Trump administration is no longer abiding by the [Obama} condition of ‘near certainty’ that civilians will not be killed or injured in operations.”
“This means that all of those much-vaunted ‘standards’ the Obama administration said they were using to minimize civilian casualties in drone strikes in Yemen have been chucked right out the window…”
If you consider hairsplitting standards significant.