04.13.17

Mother of All Bombs joy: A pure Culture of Lickpittle moment

Posted in Bombing Paupers, Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle at 11:47 am by George Smith

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 Village Voice, March 18, 2003


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.

Comments are closed.