MOAB LANDS IN THE MEDIA
The news media is always poised to deploy its own bombs on select targets. There was authentic hubbub, however, when word emerged that the U.S. had dropped a 30-foot, 21,600-pound, GBU43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb (MOAB) on an Islamic State target in Afghanistan.
Fueled by both wonder and incredulity, journalists scrambled after “MOAB” — dubbed the “Mother of all Bombs” by the Pentagon itself. Headlines and social media immediately erupted; #MOAB and #MotherOfAllBombs instantly appeared on Twitter garnering thousands of mentions. There was some mirth as well.
“Next they are going to drop the mother-in-law of all bombs, which will nag ISIS into submission,” tweeted Jim Antle, Washington Examiner politics editor.
“ISIS gets the MOAB. Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch,” noted National Review writer David French, who later added, “I’m betting that the blast and the mushroom cloud from the MOAB are going to start ‘America dropped a nuke’ rumors all over the region.”
“Are people mad that Trump bombed ISIS? Were we supposed to send James Taylor?” quipped talk radio host Dana Loesch.
The bomb also became an attack device of a different sort, used to criticize President Trump. One missive from a Georgia-based Democratic group deemed the bomb “the mother of all distractions,” claiming the event only drew public attention from “Russiagate.” Other variations declared the bomb to be a ruse to hide an undesignated “mother of all scandals.”
Meanwhile, the most popular headline of all proved to be “What is MOAB?”, decked out fancy infographics, special reports and old Air Force video footage. Things grew complicated once the media discovered the existence of “FOAB,” the “Father of All Bombs” — a thermobaric weapon developed by Russia and thought to be four times as powerful as MOAB.
And as a kind of finale, journalists skirmished over MOAB vs. MOP. For the uninitiated, MOP stands for GBU-57A/B Massive Ordnance Penetrator — a bunker-busting bomb about 8,000 pounds heavier than MOAB.
The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb, also known as “The Mother of all Bombs” or MOAB, was dropped on an Islamic State target in Afghanistan on Thursday. #MotherOfAllBombs trended on Twitter.