The thought that aerial bombardment is other than A Very Good Thing is not allowed to enter for those who cheerlead for Combover Crybaby Donald Trump, who was, it seems, the one who authorised the US military to drop a bomb containing 11 tonnes of high explosive on a part of Afghanistan where ISIS, or whatever they’re called this week, have established a presence in the area and were causing the usual trouble.
Trump may be in the mire with his Russia connections and his general ineptitude, but he still has some friends, not least Rupert Murdoch, and so when the MOAB, aka Mother Of All Bombs, was dropped on The Very Bad Guys, there was the Murdoch press to cheer him on. “Blast Kills All In 300m … MOTHER OF ALL BOMBS … Trump dumps world’s biggest non-nuke on I. S.” announced the Sun front page this morning.
“Military sources say the bomb had to be 'kicked out' the back of a US Air Force MC-130 cargo plane due to its colossal size” gushes the accompanying article. We know this as the “military source” told Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse), another Murdoch media outlet unquestioningly cheering for The Donald. There are lots of images of the MOAB being test-dropped, and a graphic to show readers how it works.
And on the receiving end? Nah, it’s just The Very Bad Guys. Bad Dudes. Civilians were all moved out of the area, so we are told, which means it was all Good Clean Fun. Compare and contrast with what The Bad Guys do, torturing, beheading, burning, drowning, and enslaving anyone and everyone. The Bad Guys drop chemical weapons on their own people. The Afghan bombing was different. It was a Really Good Bomb.
Except that even the Sun can’t be totally certain: “The MOAB was dropped on a cave complex believed to be used by IS fighters in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, very close to the border with Pakistan”. Only “believed to be used”. Do go on. “It left behind a crater thought to be more than 300 meters wide after it exploded six feet above the ground”. Only “thought to be”. But there are photos of the blast, aren’t there?
Maybe not: those look like images from a test drop. But it killed The Really Bad Guys, didn’t it? The local district governor isn’t certain: “We don't know anything about the casualties so far, but since it is a Daesh (IS) stronghold we think a lot of Daesh fighters may have been killed”. For Trump and his supporters, though, all is well.
He bullshitted “That was really another successful job - we are very, very proud of our military … What I do is authorise my military … We have the greatest military in the world and they have got it done as usual. We have given them total authorisation … That is why they have been so successful lately”. The Murdoch press merely nods along.
That’s not to say that there are times when military action becomes necessary; that is not the point. Whenever a weak and embattled leader tries to deflect attention from his difficulties by ordering displays of military might, it is the easiest thing in the world to be caught up in the enthusiasm, cheer your side, not ask the difficult questions.
And every time it happens, a lot more people end up repenting at leisure. Look beyond the propaganda. Ignore the Murdoch cheerleaders. And don’t buy the Sun.