Smart Bombs For Dumb Targets

dsc_0171The aerial bomb is a very useful for people who wish to kill other people who are far away and largely defenceless. It loses something of its charm as the distance between the combatants decreases and if the bombees can effectively shoot at the bombers with artillery or rockets the attempt to use it can become dangerous and worrisome.

The aerial bomb also started out as a pretty inaccurate thing – one could heave it over the side or let it fall from the bottom of an aircraft but there was very little chance that it would actually hit the enemy personnel, rather than just the enemy geography. Clock mechanics and telescope makers teamed up with bomb-droppers to see if they could figure out a way to make sights to improve this but it was still a hit and miss proposition in most cases. Once the bomb was on its way, it was only physics and coincidence that might give it any military relevance.

Then came the smart bomb. Electronics allowed computers in the bomb to see red laser spots that were projected on the targets and then to move steering vanes and tiny rockets to guide the explosive pot to the very spot it was needed. sometimes even smaller bombs and fewer of them could accomplish whatever destruction was desired, and fewer airplanes were needed to dump bombs over wide areas. A little late for the residents of Dresden, Hamburg, and Tokyo, but then you can’t have everything…

Away from the business of killing people on the ground, we come to that of killing them in the newspaper or on the internet. Well, not killing them per se in a bodily sort of way, but killing their reputations and credibility. The sort of homicide that is morally acceptable except if it happens to you.

We have all seen massive area-bombing press campaigns in the last few months of the American election – both sides droning over the territory and dumping vast loads of something onto their enemies. The collateral damage to the patience and good will of non-partisan voters was enormous, and as most of the world had an opinion that did not count, it was also needlessly widespread. I saw casualties on my own Facebook feed that had to be mercifully shot to end my suffering…the carpet-bombing approach was truly horrible.

When I was confronted with a local target preening and prancing above the electronic parapet I badly wanted to score a victory, but did not want to blast all around him needlessly. So I launched a Mk. 39 Guided Jibe with flexible flying surfaces at him – I gushed coyly at what a good person he was and how much everyone admired him – and said that he would be able to convert a local publicity stunt into a ticket into state parliament at the next elections  ( As I strongly suspect will be done…). I waited for the explosion…but waited in vain.

The people who praised him inordinately were thrilled and rewarded the sugared sarcasm with likes and stars. I thought I was dropping an incendiary device and it appears that they have treated it like a basket of sandwiches…

It’s enough to make you spit. Bring me an eye, and I will…

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