rn:Weapons of Mass Destruction


Jan Slakov

Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 17:31:41 -0800
From: CyberBrook <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Weapons of Mass Destruction

>November 8, 2001
>Weapons of Mass Destruction
>U.S. is Dropping World's Biggest Non-Nuclear bomb in Afghanistan
>by Laura Flanders
>They have the destructive power of an atomic bomb, but they can barely make
>a dent in U.S. news coverage. I'm talking about the 15,000-pound bombs the
>United States is using against Afghanistan this week. The so-called Daisy
>Cutters, named BLU-82, are the world's biggest non-nuclear device.
>In many places, the development received a 10-second mention on the evening
>news, five or six items down in the program lineup. Newscasters broadcast
>video footage of an enormous black dust cloud rising above an Afghan
>mountain range, accompanied by the assurances of Defense Secretary Donald
>Rumsfeld that the "stepped up" assaults would hasten the collapse of the
>Taliban regime.
>AP describes (http://commondreams.org/headlines01/1106-02.htm) the Blu-82,
>nicknamed "Big Blue," as being "as large as a Volkswagen beetle, but
>heavier." Digging for the less charming details, one finds that the bomb
>got its other name, "Daisy Cutter," because of the shape of the crater it
>leaves -- and that it has the ability to clear a 3-mile-long path. Dropped
>from huge transport aircraft, "Big Blue" releases a cloud of inflammable
>ammonium nitrate, aluminum dust, and polystyrene slurry which is then
>ignited by a detonator. The result is a firestorm that incinerates an area
>the size of five football fields, consumes oxygen, and creates a shock-wave
>and vacuum pressure that destroys the internal organs of anyone within range.
>"As you would expect, they make a heck of a bang when they go off," General
>Peter Pace, vice-chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff told a press
>conference "The intent is to kill people."
>The United States has used at least two of these "Big Blues" so far. David
>Williams described one attack
>from northern Afghanistan, where he is reporting for the Daily Mail of London.
>"The sound and impact was unmistakably different ... Each of the previous
>explosions -- and there had been more than 100 -- had been similar in sight
>and sound," wrote Williams.
>"The sound split the air. It was like a thunder clap directly overhead at
>the height of a ferocious storm. I could see the massive oily black cloud
>of the explosion as it rolled across the hillside, a mixture of thick
>smoke, chunks of earth and debris."
>"Big Blue" was used in Vietnam, to create instant helicopter landing pads
>in jungle areas. It was employed in the Gulf War, to detonate minefields,
>and more controversially, to terrorize Iraqi troops. From the ground, the
>columns of dust and smoke that the bombs produce are indistinguishable from
>mushroom clouds. In Iraq, some British patrols reported thinking they were
>in a nuclear war. This reporter saw U.S. Gulf veterans cry as they recalled
>watching, from miles away, the deadly impact.
>While George W. Bush lectures the world about Osama bin Laden's lust for
>nuclear weapons, U.S. forces are employing weapons that, while not banned
>by international treaty, come as close to nukes as one can get without
>smashing atoms.
>The Daisy Cutter attacks come less than a week after the United States
>crippled Afghanistan's biggest hydroelectric complex. Afghan Education
>Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi said seven U.S. raids last Wednesday and
>Thursday severely damaged the Kajaki hydroelectric complex in southern
>Helmand province, knocking out the power supplies of Kandahar and
>Lashkarga. The report was corroborated by refugees interviewed by Agence
>France Press (AFP, 11/01/01)
>"So far water has not started gushing out of the dam but any further
>bombing will destroy (it)," Minister Muttaqi told DAWN, Pakistan's English
>language paper, last week. "It may cause widespread flooding, putting at
>risk the lives of thousands of people."
>According to DAWN (http://www.dawn.com/2001/11/02/top4.htm), Kajaki, 90
>kilometers northwest of Kandahar, contains 2.7 billion cubic meters of
>water and irrigates land farmed by 75,000 families in a desert area.
>In their search -- ostensibly -- for Osama Bin Laden and those who
>facilitated the criminal attack on the United States on September 11, wave
>after wave of U.S. bombers, including giant B-52s, are carpet bombing
>frontlines in northern Afghanistan. In another new development this week,
>U.S. forces are also using 5,000 pound GBU-28 "Deep Throat" bunker-busters,
>which burrow through as much as 20 feet of rock before exploding underground.
>The Geneva Protocol is not unclear. You don't have to be in Afghanistan.
>You can read it on the Web at http://deoxy.org/wc/wc-proto.htm
>The press talked for weeks about whether it was acceptable for U.S. forces
>to violate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Is it unreasonable to expect
>at least equal attention to the question of whether U.S. assaults are
>violating international law?