Editor’s Note: well my friends, in a move that will likely surprise absolutely no one who knows me in real life, I have managed to break the “ring” toe on my left foot by walking full speed into an end table in the dark last night. I will of course survive but a morning spent hobbling in pain around the house I rent has put me a little behind schedule in terms of writing today, my apologies.
Of course, even with a broken toe, it’s been virtually impossible to miss the American media’s fawning, wall to wall coverage of the Trump administration’s sudden realization that every time he drops a bomb of some kind, even his enemies in US politics effusively praise him on the nightly news. After yesterday’s mainstream media analysis, I will probably spontaneously burst into flame the next time I hear some pinhead in a five thousand dollar suit coo out the words “mother of all bombs” like he’s talking about a newborn puppy and as a result, today’s Brief Thought is about recent military news from Afghanistan and the US media’s continued, repugnant support for never-ending, imperialist American wars:
Note: Please be reminded that if you’re having trouble reading this info graphic, you can right click on the picture and select “view this image” to pop out a larger version. Additionally, don’t forget to check out my comments after the sources section of this article.
There will of course be those who object to my classification of the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast as a weapon of mass destruction, as well as those who will insist that dropping it was morally fine because they trust officials in Afghanistan who say only ISIS fighters were killed. Unfortunately however, these arguments don’t really hold a lot of water once you dig a little deeper into the MOAB story; there are roughly 180,000 people living in the Achin district where the bomb was dropped and all available information suggests that the massive blast radius of the weapon causes devastation for quite some distance (with increasingly-likely to be fatal effects the closer you get the epicenter of the detonation.)
In light of this knowledge and what we already know about ISIS’s proclivity for preventing people from fleeing territory they’ve captured, you’ll have to forgive me if I have a little trouble taking the notably corrupt government of Afghanistan’s word for it that there were no civilian casualties because “all the families left months ago.” Furthermore, all of these arguments ignore the very real question of whether or not it is ever morally defensible to unleash a weapon that indiscriminately kills people in such a gruesome, objectively sadistic manner – regardless of who they are, or what our government says they’ve done.
Finally of course, there remains the open question of whether the MOAB attack in Afghanistan represented just another repulsive action in the ongoing, ineffective American war on terror or if the bombing was part of a larger, more openly hostile American posture in foreign policy discussions with international “rivals” like North Korea, Syria, China and Russia? If it’s the former, shouldn’t someone be questioning the wisdom of putting such a dangerous, inhumane weapon in the hands of guys who blow shit up for a living and if it’s the later – isn’t dropping a $16M weapon of mass destruction on one of the poorest nations on earth going a little bit fucking far to “send a message” to Kim Jong-un?
In the end what simply cannot be denied is that after fifteen years, three Presidents and thousands of tons worth of bombs, the United States is still fighting a pointless war in Afghanistan; a nation where life is cheap because millions of dollars are still spent to rain death from the sky and money that was supposed to help the people climb out of poverty has long since been swindled by corrupt politicians. No matter how excited the “beauty of our weapons” makes the likes of Brian Williams and Wolf Blitzer – there is simply nothing to applaud about the horrifying tragedy that remains US intervention in Afghanistan.
- Nina Illingworth
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