The Menu Bombings

The Menu Bombings

Facebook reminders took me to a post from 2012, reminding me of this iconic ironic observation by Carl Sagan.

For me, the most ironic token of the first human moon landing is the plaque signed by President Richard M. Nixon that Apollo 11 took to the moon. It reads, ‘We came in peace for all Mankind.’ As the United States was dropping seven and a half megatons of conventional explosives on small nations in Southeast Asia, we congratulated ourselves on our humanity. We would harm no one on a lifeless rock.”

Who can forget the wonderfully creative Menu bombings, starting in March 1969, when the US flew 3,800 B-52 sorties against targets identified and named after mealtimes, and dropped 108,823 tons of ordnance, killing 4,000 civilians and failing to achieve any military purpose at all. And how, when Nixon and Kissinger’s secret came out, Americans, in the main, did not give one jot.  

Although religious republican conservative Americans didn’t give a jot at the news then, I think, quite probably,  the vast majority of American friends reading my words will be unfamiliar with ‘The Menu Bombings’. When we bombed a non combatant sovereign nation, dropping over 100,000 tons of ordnance, killing over 4,000 civilians and achieving zero military success.
Abject failure. Mass murder. Awful.
Republican leaders with the ethical code of rodents. Greedy deluded rabid rodents. Supported by people who said “Nothing to see here.” It took another five years before Nixon was impeached. Kissinger walked away scott free.  Sound familiar?kissinger-nixon

Accountability for mass murder of civilians not at war with the US? Nah……
What about the crew of those B52 Stratofortresses. I would love to read how they coped with being abused in this way by their mass murdering criminal leaders. Turned into accomplices to the horrible mutilation of 4,000 civilians not at War with the US by these Republican rats who even look like rats.
 
Now in the era of false news we can reflect, there is nothing new. Americans just receive news in a unique way. When its not good news for Republicans it disappears. False news by omission. Like Operation Menu. It never happened. Or did it? Surely not? Maybe?
 
maxresdefaultThe so called Menu bombings began on the night of 18 March with a raid by 60 B-52 Stratofortress bombers, based at Andersen Air Force Base, Guam. The target was Base Area 353, the supposed location of COSVN in the Fishhook. Although the aircrews were briefed that their mission was to take place in South Vietnam, 48 of the bombers were diverted across the Cambodian border and dropped 2,400 tons of bombs. (These are huge planes 48 of them coming into a civilian area – facing no air defenses, will make a huge impression in terms of damage on the ground.) The mission was designated Breakfast, after the morning Pentagon planning session at which it was devised.
 
Breakfast was so successful (in U.S. terms) that General Abrams provided a list of 15 more known Base Areas for targeting. The five remaining missions and targets were:
Lunch (Base Area 609), Snack (Base Area 351), Dinner (Base Area 352), Supper (Base Area 740), and Dessert (Base Area 350).
Boeing-B-52-Stratofortress
SAC flew 3,800 B-52 sorties against these targets, and dropped 108,823 tons of ordnance during the missions. Due to the continued reference to meals in the codenames, the entire series of missions was referred to as Operation Menu. Studies and Observations Group forward air controllers of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam provided 70 percent of the Menu bomb damage intelligence. Total civilian casualties over 4,000.
 
On March 19, 1969

U.S. bombs Cambodia for the first time

635910420340443868-XXX-DANIEL-ELLSBERG-MOV-1417U.S. B-52 bombers are diverted from their targets in South Vietnam to attack suspected communist base camps and supply areas in Cambodia for the first time in the war. President Nixon approved the mission–formally designated Operation Breakfast–at a meeting of the National Security Council on March 15. This mission and subsequent B-52 strikes inside Cambodia became known as the “Menu” bombings. A total of 3,630 flights over Cambodia dropped 110,000 tons of bombs during a 14-month period through April 1970.This bombing of Cambodia and all follow up “Menu” operations were kept secret from the American public and the U.S. Congress because Cambodia was ostensibly neutral.
To keep the secret, an intricate reporting system was established at the Pentagon to prevent disclosure of the bombing. Although the New York Times broke the story of the secret bombing campaign in May 1969, there was little adverse public reaction.

July 20, 1969

On this day in 1969, President Richard Nixon, along with millions of others, watches as two American astronauts walk on the moon. Later that evening, Nixon recorded succinctly in his diary “the President held an interplanetary conversation with Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin on the Moon.”America and the Soviet Union had been in a race to see who could get to the moon first ever since the Soviets beat the U.S. into manned space flight with Yuri Gagarin’s orbital flight in 1961. Later that year, then-President John F. Kennedy vowed that America would be first to put a man on the moon, saying “To be sure, we are behind, and will be behind for some time in manned flight. But we do not intend to stay behind, and in this decade, we shall make up and move ahead.” To meet this goal, Kennedy and his successors, Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, authorized generous funding for space exploration. Thanks to this support, less than a decade after what became known as Kennedy’s “moon speech,” the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sent the first men to the moon.Nixon joined approximately 500 million people around the world in watching Armstrong and Aldrin as the astronauts left their lunar landing module and walked on the moon. (The Soviet Union and China, America’s two biggest rivals in the space race, banned the broadcast in their respective countries.) After they planted an American flag on the moon’s surface, the astronauts spoke directly to President Nixon, who congratulated them on their historic mission. They left a plaque signed by President Richard M. Nixon that Apollo 11 that reads, ‘We came in peace for all Mankind.’
Nixon continued to be an influential force in America’s space program. In 1972, he approved development of the space shuttle program. In an ironic twist, by the 21st century, space shuttle flights–especially those to the international space station–had become international cooperative endeavors with Russians and Americans joining forces to conduct missions and sharing space exploration technology.In a more ironic twist, in Helsinki in 2018, US President Trump agreed to hand over control of the Republican Party to Russian Leader, former KGB operative, Vladimir Putin.And American Republican Christian conservatives did not give one jot. They times, they are not a changing at all. Mr. Zimmerman. He lied.
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