Anti-Terrorism Weapons of Miniscule Destruction
What is a weapon of "miniscule destruction?"  We have a lot of them to neutralize Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction.  They can burrow into the belly of the Beast of Terror and explode on command four stories beneath the earth.  Some are "hotter than Hell," able to burn the life out of smallpox.  Some are giant microwave ovens that "kill" electronics but not humans.   Find out how we're armed to the Vigilant Teeth to take on any Beast of  Terror.


Tuesday--November 26, 2002—Ground Zero Plus 440
Weapons of Miniscule Destruction

Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

       GROUND ZERO, New York City, Nov. 26 --The war against weapons of mass destruction is being fought with weapons of miniscule destruction.   At least, that's the plan.

   As we approach Thanksgiving Eve and the weapons inspectors start their search throughout Iraq, about the size of the State of California, for weapons that will breech a U.N. pact and become a trigger for war, strategic planners are looking at an array of weapons designed to blow up targets with frightening accuracy and effectiveness.

       The old expression, "the only difference between boys and men are their toys," holds true in reviewing the arsenal of technologically advanced weapons we have in store for Iraq.   Each one seems a Buck Rodgers dream.
          I come from the "free-fire-zone" combat era of Vietnam.   In "my war," napalm was laid like fiery eggs from the sky upon the earth below, turning rich verdant forests and everything around them into balls of coughing black and orange hell.   Carpet bombing was employed three decades ago, saturating earth with 500- to 1000-pound bombs that literally gave the womb of Mother Earth a D&C. 

Napalm in Vietnam

      Sheets of Agent Orange, a vicious defoliant, was spread over pristine jungles to expose movement below, and, of course, to indiscriminately kill or maim anyone below.    There were countless other weapons such as Mother Bombs that dropped little baby bombs that spewed shrapnel everywhere, and the most deadly of course, the "free fire zone" which authorized the killing of anything that moved.
        War has become much more surgical and humane as the world watches every bomb drop and every bullet speed to its target through the high technology of satellite communication.

The GBU-58 a laser guided bomb

        In the recent issue of the New Yorker, author Nicholas Leman provides a smorgasbord of new technology the U.S. has strapped to its waist, waiting to use against Hussein.   One such weapon of "miniscule destruction" is an evolution from the JDAMs, Joint Direct Attack Munitions used frequently in Afghanistan.   Called the GBU-28 (Guided Bomb Unit), its primary goal is to blow up hardened underground facilities such as bunkers.   It has a hard-target smart fuse, says Leman, set to penetrate to a certain depth where it can explode a thousand pounds of TNT.   Advanced sensors can "sniff" out the difference between concrete and earth, and the bomb can, for example, be programmed to go off on the fourth level of an underground bunker where intelligence suspects there may be an operations or weapons center.  The 1000-pound blast it creates is about one twentieth of the A-Bomb explosion (20,000 tons of TNT equivalent) that scorched the earth at Hiroshima, Japan to end WW II.

Important new weapons systems likely debuting in Iraq

        I thought of the Beast of Terror running from the tunnel to tunnel, trying to get deeper and deeper into his Cave of Terror, being sought after by computerized smart bombs that could tell what level he was hiding in and burrowing themselves closer and closer to him.  I wondered what Saddam Hussein thought when he read the New Yorker with its "up-on-the-table" information about weapons seemingly singularly designed to attack Saddam.
       I went on the next weapon, finding the first one fascinating.
       I'd heard of it in sci-fi, and wasn't sure it was perfected for use.  Apparently it is, except for actual battle testing.  That will come if we shove Iraq against the wall and squeeze.


       One of the newest bombs slated for debut in Iraq is the "microwave bomb."   It's like dropping thousands upon thousands of microwave ovens on a target, all with their doors open, sending out pulsing of electromagnetic energy that seeks out electrical systems such as transformers, antennae and computers.   The microwave pulses literally burn them out, even if they're underground.  The purpose is to knock out communications systems when specific targets aren't known.   Allegedly, there is no damage to human beings.   But, I wondered, what would happen to all the dogs?  
        The technology gets even more sci-fi as you read deeper into Leman's article.  One of his key sources was Daniel Goure, a military analyst at the Lexington Institute, a think tank not far from the Pentagon.   The mission of the institute includes "limiting the role of the federal government to those functions explicitly stated or implicitly defined by the Constitution."   I was a little suspect of his credentials as Constitutional watchdog since he served as the director of the Office of Strategic Competitiveness for Paul Wolfowitz, when George H. W. Bush was president.   Wolfowitz was then Under Secretary of Defense and is now Deputy Secretary of Defense.   During the Gulf War, Goure's job was trying to figure out where Iraq's Scud missiles were.   Based on his hawkish background, the idea of "limiting" anything in the federal government seemed an oxymoron.   But I did feel his expertise in weaponry high on the authority list.
        Gore told Leman about a new category of anti-biochemical warfare weapons slated to be used in Iraq.   The primary one is a thermobaric bomb.  It penetrates underground facilities and sets off a blast of heat and pressure intense enough to eliminate anthrax or smallpox germs.   The weapon has yet to be used successfully in combat, and there is a question it will have the desired effect if such biochemical weapons are kept in heatproof containers.

Apache Longbow Attack Helicopter

       Other weapons slated for deployment include a new Apache helicopter, the Apache Longbow.  New to the battlefields, the Apache Longbow can fire a new Hellfire guided missile.   The Hellfire missile contains a sheet of copper that it melts internally and then ejects in molten form, at close range, right through a tank's armor, destroying everything inside, Leman reported Goure said.
         Apparently, the Apache Longbow can "hear a tank," and sit just under the horizon with sixteen Hellfire missiles, and, according to Goure, "One helicopter can take out most of a tank battalion from behind a hill."

The Predator

          Then there's the most nefarious of all weapons--the CIA's Predator, an unmanned plane, also capable of firing a Hellfire missile.   The CIA plane was used recently to assassinate a senior Al Qaeda leader in Yemen.
         I'm sure there are a lot more weapons under the table that the public doesn't know about that will be tested in Iraq for killing efficiency.  We'll probably hear about them prior to our next war, but the idea of the super technology at our disposal makes me think that Saddam Hussein is a rat in a maze, with American technology standing over the maze, staring down into it with clipboards and formulas using him as an experiment in "Technological Terror Hunting."
         The "GI Joe" in me is fascinated by all the new armament, but the warrior in me takes it all with a grain of salt.  The last time I remembered war, it ended up with hand-to-hand combat, two guys slugging it out until one stood.   Perhaps that's my "Marine mentality," but in the end, all the technology in the world is only designed to make it easier for assault troops to take the territory with blood and guts.  And then, holding it.  
         I guess what amazes me about all the technological weaponry is why we can't use such incredible advances to find an Osama or a Saddam.   I keep thinking Iraq and Afghanistan are weapons testing centers, not real war zones.   It's like looking at the Lexington Institute as a CIA front, hiding behind Constitutional watchdogging.   I find myself thinking of Robert Redford in Three Days of the Condor, a CIA thriller where there is a rogue CIA within the CIA.

         If there is one consolation about the new technology, it is that the world will be watching for collateral damage limitations.   By all appearances, the modern weapons seek to limit collateral damage.  For that, I'm glad.   In my war, you had to walk through the blood of the innocent to get to the enemy.  It still sticks to my soul.
         Thanksgiving will be a time I'll celebrate my thanks for Vigilance.  I'll hope that Courage, Conviction and Right Actions will overpower Fear, Intimidation and Complacency.  I'll hope that the weapons inspectors stir the pot in Iraq, and that the people would rather rise up and change their government than have our "missiles of miniscule destruction" burrowing into their lands womb, seeking the cancerous cells protruding here and there.
         While I am eager for a peaceful resolution, that GI Joe in me is also eager to see these new weapons tested in combat.    It is just a reminder the Beast of Terror inside me is alive and well, and a further reminder that during Thanksgiving I need to remember the Sentinels of Vigilance are just one percent bigger than the Beast.

Comments From Government Document regarding "smart bombs" evolution:  "First used during the second half of the Vietnam War, smart bombs have revolutionized aerial bombardment. In 1944, 650 dumb bombs were required to destroy a stationary target. In Vietnam, this number dropped to 175. During the Persian Gulf War, only around four smart bombs were required to destroy the same target. While 9 % of the munitions used by U.S. forces in the Gulf were smart, that number jumped to 38% during the 1999 air campaign over Kosovo, and is reported to be around 80% for the current war in Afghanistan."


Nov. 25--Terrorism & Paranoia

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