The stakes were upped Thursday when the US military dropped a MOAB on ISIS forces in eastern Afghanistan. Nicknamed the “Mother Of All Bombs,” the MOAB is the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat, weighing 22,000 pounds and filled with 18,700 pounds of H6 explosive.
The MOAB creates explosive shockwaves through overpressure, especially in caves and canyons. Waves of pressure enter the narrow spaces, killing people and collapsing tunnels. This made the bomb ideal to use against the ISIS tunnel complex in the Nangahar province. Gen. John W. Nicholson Jr., US commander in Afghanistan, said, “This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive.” But what do generals know about military tactics compared to our nation’s journalists?
Most of America is celebrating Veterans Day. But several progressives can’t join the rest of us in giving a simple “thank you” to the millions of men and women who guaranteed our freedoms.
For example, Salon.com featured an article titled “You don’t protect my freedom: Our childish insistence on calling soldiers heroes deadens real democracy”:
Put a man in uniform, preferably a white man, give him a gun, and Americans will worship him. It is a particularly childish trait, of a childlike culture, that insists on anointing all active military members and police officers as “heroes.” The rhetorical sloppiness and intellectual shallowness of affixing such a reverent label to everyone in the military or law enforcement betrays a frightening cultural streak of nationalism, chauvinism, authoritarianism and totalitarianism, but it also makes honest and serious conversations necessary for the maintenance and enhancement of a fragile democracy nearly impossible.
Sitting in the boardroom, a dozen social workers, salesmen and developers were waiting for the Health IT CEO to kick off the meeting. As we rocked in our chairs, my boss — an MSW-cum-Chief Sales Officer — complained about his “black sheep” cousin who was shaming the family name.
“The rest of us went to college but he’s stuck in the Army,” he said.
“Sounds like a good start to me,” I replied, as the only employee with military experience.
Those assembled rolled their eyes while my boss looked at me with pity. “He enlisted, Jon. He obviously isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed.” Pausing for a beat he added, “no offense.”
None taken, jerk.
As a kid, I had to repaint an old bike body that had been left out in the elements for months. I picked up the rusty body, rinsed off the dirt with a hose, let it dry and spray painted it. The shiny red bike looked like new.
Of course, after several weeks, the rust came back with a vengeance. Being lazy, I’d touch up the paint every few months to keep it looking decent. But, since I didn’t take care of the hidden corrosion, the rust wouldn’t stay covered up for long.
This White House has been painting over its failures for years; opting for quick PR fixes over long-lasting hard work. No where is the strategy more apparent than the drawn-out Benghazi scandal.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Every Memorial Day, I read this poem and remember the charge given us by the fallen. To assist our Pinterest-ready, Buzzfeeding world, I highlighted my favorite bit in the adjacent graphic.
Enjoy your day to the fullest. But above all, remember.
Every few hours, new facts emerge about the Boston Marathon bombers. While much has been made of their family, studies and religion, on Tuesday night we learned that American taxpayers helped finance them.
Doris “Dorie” Miller was a Mess Attendant working on the USS West Virginia. Like most mornings, he rose before dawn for a dreary day of hauling trash, scrubbing dishes and prepping food for the battleship’s cook. While collecting the crew’s laundry, the General Quarters alarm sounded. Ships have drills all the time — even on Sunday mornings — but a sailor still must answer the call.
However this time he couldn’t get to his designated battle station. The torpedo-twisted metal proved this alarm was for real.
With nowhere else to report, Dorie ran to the deck to see what was happening. Being a former fullback for his Waco, Texas high school, one of the officers told him to carry the wounded to safety. Soon he was told the ship’s captain was seriously wounded and trapped on the bridge. After bringing the mortally-wounded officer through the fire and blood to a safer place, Dorie saw a .50 caliber Browning without a gunner.