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Deadly MOAB and Trump’s Dereliction of Duty

Donald Trump Congress Syria MOAB Ernie Ernest Canning

Donald Trump Congress Syria MOAB Ernie Ernest Canning
By Ernest A. Canning

“Dropping bombs…doesn’t make one ‘presidential'” – Dan Rather

As the corporate-owned mainstream media seemingly celebrate the “shock and awe” value of the U.S. military’s decision to use, for the first, the 21,000 lb. GFBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB)  in Afghanistan, it is perhaps useful to consider the description provided by Dr. Helen Caldicott in The New Nuclear Danger (2001) of the MOAB’s smaller predecessor, the 15,000 lb., fuel-air explosive (FAE) that the Pentagon named the “Daisy Cutter”:

“Dropped by parachute…, they detonate just above the ground creating a wide area of devastation. The first explosion bursts the container at a predetermined height, disbursing the fuel which mixes with the atmospheric oxygen. The second charge then detonates this fuel-air cloud, creating a massive blast that kills people and destroys un-reinforced buildings. Near the ignition point people are obliterated, crushed to death with over-pressures of 427 pounds per square inch, and incinerated at temperatures of 2500 to 3000 degrees centigrade. Another wave of low pressure — a vacuum effect — ensues. People in the second zone…are severely burned and suffer massive internal injuries before they die. In the third zone, eyes are extruded from their orbits, lungs and eardrums rupture, and severe concussion ensues. Up to 200 civilians died 20 miles away from the cave complex in…Tora Bora when U.S. planes attacked. They suffered blast trauma — ruptured lungs, blindness, arms and hands blown off, almost certainly from FAEs.”

Is it any wonder why the long-suffering people of Afghanistan responded to the Pentagon’s Orwellian description of its deadly device (the “Mother of All Bombs”) with the question: “Would any mother do that to any children?”

It is difficult to assess which is more disturbing, a media which celebrates our military’s ability to unleash carnage or Donald J. Trump’s delegation of the decision whether to deploy such awesome firepower to his generals. That delegation represents nothing less than a dereliction of duty. After all, one of the core purposes behind a President’s status as “Commander-in-Chief” is the exercise of civilian control over the military.

This provides an additional reason why Trump must be immediate Censured by Congress and by the media.

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Ernest A. Canning is a retired attorney, author, Vietnam Veteran (4th Infantry, Central Highlands 1968) and a Senior Advisor to Veterans For Bernie. He has been a member of the California state bar since 1977. In addition to a juris doctor, he has received both undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science. Follow him on twitter: @cann4ing