Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2001 17:31:41 -0800 From: CyberBrook <•••@••.•••> Subject: Weapons of Mass Destruction >http://www.workingforchange.com/article.cfm?ItemID=12293 > >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." >(http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-000088971nov07.story). > >The United States has used at least two of these "Big Blues" so far. David >Williams described one attack >(http://www.femail.co.uk/pages/news/article.html?in_article_id=82812&in_pag >e_id=1262) >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 > >CLIP > >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?