THE war machine that is the United States of America, not content with threatening the world with its missile attack on a Syria airbase, not content with massing its forces around the Korean Peninsula and threatening to murder its leaders and massacre its people, not content with its escalating hostility towards Russia and China, decided the world needed one more demonstration of its power today, Thursday, April 13 by dropping its most powerful non-nuclear bomb on an Afghanistan saturated with its bombs.
This demonstration, using a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Blast Bomb (MOAB), that the Americans like to call the ‘mother of all bombs,’ weighing almost 22,000 pounds, was dropped from an American C130 transport plane. They claimed to be bombing an ‘ISIS’ base and cave systems. The bomb is meant primarily to destroy large spatial areas but can also penetrate 200 feet of earth and 60 feet of concrete before exploding and so destroy cave and bunker systems.
The news that ISIS is now in Afghanistan may surprise some. The US and others claim that elements of ISIS have ‘fled’ into Afghanistan, from Iraq and Syria, and have clashed with American and allied Afghan forces there, as well as with the Taliban. Just as in Syria, the appearance of ISIS in a region often heralds an attack by America and its allies on the forces they want eliminated, in Syria, the government forces, or its occupation of the territory of a sovereign country it wants to break apart.
In Afghanistan it seems the Americans either need a force to counter the Taliban forces that have succeeded in gaining some legitimacy internationally or they are just relabeling Afghan resistance forces as ISIS to try to justify their claim that their world mission is to eliminate ISIS. One could think that instead of fleeing into Afghanistan, the ISIS units, if they are really going there, are not fleeing but being sent there by the nation that claims to hunt them. But we have to suspect that ISIS now fills in for ‘communist’ in the new American order and wherever there is resistance to that order, then there is ISIS. How long will it be before they claim ISIS elements are operating in Russia and Iran and so the chase has to continue there as well?
Nevertheless this was the excuse the Americans have given for using the ‘mother of all bombs’ for the first time in combat and it naturally draws the question; was this really just to hit a local guerrilla base or for something else, and I suggest it is something else, a demonstration to North Korea of the capacities of the US forces to destroy large areas and to penetrate bunker systems without using nuclear weapons. It was a warning; this is what is coming from the sky unless you obey our diktats to disarm so that you will be defenceless against us.
It was also a demonstration to the Russians, Pakistanis and Chinese that they ignore American interests in Afghanistan at their peril, as they conduct their peace talks initiative with India, Iran and Afghanistan. The Americans have no interest in the success of that initiative. They want control of Afghanistan and they have just shown, they think, that they are the big shots and they are going to use their big shot weapons to keep it.
The Russians are probably not impressed since they are reputed to have a bomb with four times the blast radius and twice the heat generated by the explosion of the equivalent of 44 tons of TNT — whereas the American device is equivalent to 11 tons of TNT — called the ‘Father Of All Bombs (FOAB).’ Still, to anyone experiencing it, the blast would be little different from a nuclear weapon. But the Russians do not think that dropping these bombs on places to show how strong you are is any way to conduct diplomacy, whereas, for the Americans, threats and violence are diplomacy.
The media were very quick to spread the news of this demonstration, for after all it would serve no purpose to use this huge bomb on a few guerrillas in a cave somewhere in Afghanistan, when ordinary mortars and artillery would do the job, unless the world is made to watch the demonstration. And so we have the mirror in the UK stating,
‘It’s a weapon that justifies the use of the word ‘terrifying’ to describe its power and marks a deadly ramping up of America’s military initiative abroad.’
You have to admire the turn of phrase ‘military initiative abroad’ used for ‘military aggression against the world.’ These propagandists are well schooled.
Haaretz stated, ‘MOAB is thought to be the most fearsome explosive weapon in the Pentagon’s possession…’
Again, making sure that the reader has to reach for a tranquiliser to calm the nerves after being reduced to a quivering nervous wreck, cowering in fear beneath the shadow of the American flag.
The New York Times, BBC, and all the rest are duly impressed with the ‘shock’ and the ‘awe’ of it and think we should be too, and all the leaders of the nations of the world.
But if they think North Korea or Russia or China are trembling in their boots at the American power they are very mistaken. In fact this demonstration of their power is a demonstration of their fundamental weakness. This weapon is of no practical use in attacking any country with air defence systems since it has to be carried on a lumbering and slow C130 Hercules transport plane. To be able to use it would require escort planes so it could get close to the target and against any modern air defence system if the planes would be destroyed before the bomb could be used. We saw the American weakness again in the attack on Syria where less than half of the cruise missiles used reached the target. Whether this is due to electronic countermeasure used by the Russian air defence systems in Syria, which seems the most likely reason, or technical faults in these weapons is not yet clear. But losing over half your weapon systems in a few minutes before they even get near the target is not a show of strength but a revelation of the vulnerability of the American war machine.
Yet, the real tragedy of the American action is that it once again proves that the modern era is a wild and apparently aimless struggle between all that is noblest and all that is basest in our common humanity. International law is trampled under American army boots. The United Nations is reduced to a circus in which the Americans and British play destructive clowns. The governments of the NATO war alliance, by their support of the American actions, lies, threats and bullying, are members of a criminal conspiracy to rule the world through brute force. The western news media are reduced to propaganda units of the NATO military forces and the people in general have, through a constant barrage of false information, manipulation, fear, bigotry, and a general ignorance of history and other peoples, become willing dupes of this machine.
Here in Canada the government and press proclaim their slavering support for the American war crimes, and are glorifying the useless slaughter of the First World War as the nation’s ‘defining moment.’ Not the linking of the nation from Atlantic to Pacific by a great railway built at great human cost, nor the defeat of the American invasion in 1812, nor the defeat of the fascists in 1945; no, for they have become the fascists and relish the symbols of death, of slaughter, and all but worship war as our destiny and the death of others as a beautiful thing.
Frankly, I am tired of the debate whether Trump, the new Duce, has ‘sold out’ or been compromised by the war faction in the United States. I think it was clear from the beginning that he would be as destructive as the rest of their leaders. Does it really matter any longer what leader is in charge of the United States? Has there even been a president dedicated to living in peace with the world since that country was founded? Not one. It is long past time to ask why this or that American regime wants war here, there and everywhere. The problem lies much deeper in the American psychology; for we can say that nations have a psychology, a manner of general behaviour and thinking, arising from their history and culture. I will leave that for political philosophers, sociologists and psychologists to examine but the existential fact is the world is faced with a threat to its survival and that threat is the United States of America.
New Eastern Outlook, April 17. Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events.
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