Here’s what we know, so far: The United States has dropped a 21,000 pound bomb — dubbed the Mother of All Bombs — onto an ISIS cave and tunnel complex in Afghanistan. It’s the largest non-nuclear bomb the United States has in their arsenal. It’s the first time the bomb has ever been used on the battlefield.
We do not yet know the extent of the damage. We do not yet know the number of casualties, although my educated guess is: Very many. The bomb is designed so that the caves basically collapse in on themselves, killing anyone inside.
We also don’t know just how involved Donald Trump was in the decision to drop the bomb. He’s gone off to vacation again in Mar a Lago, and apparently, General John Nicholson, commander of US forces in Afghanistan, ordered the use of the bomb. Sean Spicer, during today’s press conference, was reluctant to say whether Trump authorized the use of the bomb. It’s not clear yet if Donald Trump even knew about the bombing. It also may be that Donald Trump is withholding comment until he better understands the reception to it, so he can take credit or assign blame, accordingly.
President Trump asked if he authorized dropping MOAB: "Everybody knows exactly what happened… What I do is I authorize my military."— Steve Peoples (@sppeoples) April 13, 2017
So, that’s a … ?
The bomb cost $300 million, and so far, among Trump’s critics (that’s us!), a lot has been made of the price tag.
"Can we really continue to ask a coal miner in West Virginia or a single mom in Detroit to pay for a $314 million bomb?"— Sam Stein (@samsteinhp) April 13, 2017
$314 million to drop one bomb in Afghanistan and $86 million to launch 59 missiles into Syria. 'Cause we don't have money for healthcare.— Samer / سامر (@WaladShami) April 13, 2017
Here is America first…— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) April 13, 2017
The money spent on the #MOAB dropped in Afghanistan today…
Would have paid to fix Flint's water…
Some in Congress are concerned that Trump and the military are ordering attacks without their blessing.
The right, expectedly, is stoked, standing at full erection over the deaths of potentially hundreds of people.
Others, still, are highlighting Trump’s hypocrisy using his old tweets, a game Twitter plays every time Trump acts.
Still others are questioning Donald Trump’s judgement.
Bombs not gonna solve Afghanistan. If military power was the answer, we'd have won 15yrs ago— igorvolsky (@igorvolsky) April 13, 2017
Trump taking military action w/o strategy
We're trying to save Syrian children one day & kill Afghan children the next. US foreign policy is neither just nor coherent. #Afghanistan— Arjun Sethi (@arjunsethi81) April 13, 2017
Trump: Let's drop MOAB on Afghanistan! That'll show them!— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) April 13, 2017
Common Sense: Show who what exactly?
Trump: Um, it's MOAB! Look! It's big! Shiny!
That basically covers the spectrum of response, at least until we know more about the damage inflicted and what strategic purpose it served, if any. Personally, I don’t know why we’re suddenly dropping bombs in Afghanistan, but my guess is that this has something to do with it.