The United States dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb in Afghanistan on Thursday. Fox News is so excited, they’ve turned it into a country music video.
The bomb, known as the “Massive Ordnance Air Blast,” or popularly, the “Mother of all Bombs,” weighs over 20,000 pounds and has a blast radius of up to a mile on the surface. It was developed in 2003 and has never been used before — in part because its massive size carries a heavy risk of civilian casualties.
It’s most useful for isolated cave and canyon targets, which experts told Vox was likely the reason it was used on Thursday, saying that it appeared to be a military decision and the political speculation surrounding its use was likely unwarranted.
That didn’t stop Fox News, however. President Trump’s favorite television program — Fox and Friends — celebrated the bombing, with a soundtrack to boot.
“The video is black and white. But that is what freedom looks like, that’s the red white and blue,” host Ainsley Earhardt said after the program showed the video of the bomb dropping in Afghanistan.
“One of my favorite things in 16 years at Fox News is watching bombs drop on bad guys,” Geraldo Rivera says.
The video was shown overlaid with country star Toby Keith singing the chorus of “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue,” which celebrates the military with jingoistic fervor:
“Hey Uncle Sam, put your name at the top of his listAnd the Statue of Liberty started shakin’ her fistAnd the eagle will fly man, it’s gonna be hellWhen you hear mother freedom start ringin’ her bellAnd it feels like the whole wide world is raining down on youBrought to you courtesy of the red white and blue.”
Later in the program, Fox and Friends showed the video again, again overlaying it with uber-patriotic country music.
“We’ll play a little music, demonstrate the moment of impact there in Afghanistan on the MOAB in Nangarhar province,” host Pete Hegseth says, as the video plays under Kid Rock singing “born free.”
Immediately before the music starts, the program showed a clip of Trump saying about the bomb that he has now given the military “total authorization. That is what they’re doing. Frankly that’s why they have been so successful lately.”
Much of the detail surrounding Thursday’s bombing is still unknown: Authorities estimate the dead at about 36 ISIS fighters, but further detail as to damage and civilian casualties is still unknown.
While the MOAB has gotten the most press, it wasn’t the only military action the U.S. took on Thursday, or even the only bombing. In Syria, the U.S. led coalition accidentally bombed and killed 18 allied Syrian soldiers fighting against ISIS, in what The Washington Post called the “worst confirmed friendly-fire incident,” in the war against ISIS thus far.
A U.S. airstrike in Mosul also killed an estimated 200 civilians last month. That incident came shortly after two incidents that killed dozens of civilians. Even in the context of decades of U.S. military action in the Middle East, it’s a unusually high civilian count, and a pattern stemming back to Trump’s first military action: an intervention in Libya that left 23 Yemeni civilians, including children, dead.
Fox News, which was the most-watched cable network of 2016 and is a primary source of news for millions of Americans (including, it seems, the President), isn’t overly concerned about those deaths, however.
“I think it is very, very important we kill bad guys but there is no denying that the issue of friendly fire is really egregious,” Rivera said, only to be immediately rebutted by host Pete Hegseth.
“Why go there first, Geraldo?” said Hegseth. “Civilian casualties happen. We’re going against an enemy that cuts off our heads.”