The Empire’s Dog Feces: Giant bomb stockpiled

Posted in Crazy Weapons at 3:11 pm by George Smith

The last time a giant bomb story showed up it was used in an exercise to intimidate Saddam Hussein and thrill the newsmedia. Much of the joy exhibited in monster bomb tales comes from the phallic symbolism. Ours is bigger — way, way bigger — and more tumescent puissant than yours. And there is a significant population in the United States, almost exclusively male, that gets erections thinking about what happens when you drop monster bombs on others — preferably poorer, smaller, weaker and of unsuitable religion.

At the advent of the original monster bomb I was writing a column called “Weapon of the Week” at the Village Voice.

Then, it was a clumsy weapon called the Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb. And here’s a bit of the piece, reprinted:

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.

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.

Today, the tale is of delivery of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator or MOP, a 15-ton monster bomb to be used against underground targets.

The MOP has been in the works for the entire decade of the war on terror.

And it would seem no coincidence it’s publicly and loudly entering the arsenal in an effort groomed to get the attention of the mullahs in Iran.

At the LA Times, W. J. Hennigan is the point-person for the Empire’s Dog Feces beat. The reporter has the scoop, fresh and hot.

Of the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, it is said:

Aerospace giant Boeing Co. has delivered the first batch of 30,000-pound bombs, each nearly five tons heavier than anything else in the military’s arsenal, to the U.S. Air Force to pulverize underground enemy hide-outs.

At a total cost of about $314 million, the military has developed and ordered 20 of the GPS-guided bombs, called Massive Ordnance Penetrators. They are designed to be dropped on targets by the Boeing-made B-52 Stratofortress long-range bomber or Northrop Grumman Corp.’s B-2 stealth bomber.

In an age of new emphasis on drones and lightweight weaponry, the Air Force’s purchase highlights the Pentagon’s ongoing need for defense contractors to build the kinds of big bombs and other heavy-duty ordnance they have produced for decades.

Boeing developed and built the massive bomb at its Phantom Works facilities in St. Louis, where the company works on top-secret projects.

Although illustrations and models of the bomb have been made public, no photos have been released. But the Air Force did disclose that it took delivery of the weapon in September, along with a few other details.

The weapon’s explosive power is 10 times greater than its bunker-buster predecessor, the BLU-109. And it is nearly five tons heavier than the 22,600-pound GBU-43 MOAB surface bomb, sometimes called the “mother of all bombs.”

The MOP would seem entirely appropriate to Ted Rall’s dubbing us the “fuck you” country.

Because nothing quite sez “fuck you” to everyone in 2011 (except the arms manufacturer and the USAF) like a 30,000 pound bomb.

In a manner of speaking, it’s a national monument to “fuck you-ism.”


  1. Christoph Hechl said,

    November 18, 2011 at 12:22 am

    Almost exactly 50 years ago the soviet union realised, that there was a limit to the useful size of a bomb, when they detonated the Tsar bomba.
    Of course that was the empire of evil and we are the good ones, so we have to take a little more time to research this matter.
    According to a UN report the high precision drones kill 100 civilians for 1 suspect terrorist in Pakistan. Probably you would get a higher yield by just deploying poisoned food or landmines in the shape of toys.
    I am really glad i am with the good ones.

  2. George Smith said,

    November 18, 2011 at 8:16 am

    100 to 1. That precise? I’m astonished at the technology.