Smart Bombs and a Dumb President

Smart Bombs and a Dumb President

© David Burton 2024

Smart Bomb

     As Israel prepared to deliver its knockout blow to the terrorists of Hamas who attacked it more than half a year earlier, the United States withheld 3,500 so-called “smart bombs” bombs out of concern that they might be used in a major assault against Rafah, the southern Gaza city.
     President Biden withheld eighteen hundred 2,000-pound bombs and seventeen hundred 500-pound bombs that he feared could be dropped on Rafah. The administration is reviewing whether to hold back future transfers, including guidance kits that convert so-called dumb bombs into precision-guided munitions or smart bombs.
     The decision to delay the delivery of the 3,500 bombs was the first time since the Oct. 7 Hamas-led terrorist attack that Mr. Biden has used his power to curtail arms as an instrument to interfere with Israel’s approach to the war that followed the Hamas attack.
     Israeli officials had disclosed the weapons halt earlier, but U.S. officials had refused to confirm it. The fact that they finally did so was a clear indication of how much frustration was growing among administration officials that Israel was following its own plans to eliminate any future threat of another Hamas attack. Confirmation of the arms pause came just hours after Israel sent tanks into the city of Rafah in southern Gaza.
     Israel took actions in early May 2024 that indicated it was moving in the direction of destroying the remainder of Hamas. Israeli forces ordered the evacuation of 110,000 civilians from Rafah and mounted airstrikes against targets on the border areas of the city in response to Hamas rockets that killed four Israeli soldiers over the weekend.
     Israel called the entry of tanks into Rafah and seizure of the city’s border crossing with Egypt an operation to eliminate Hamas fighters and infrastructure tied to the rocket attack. The actions did not appear to be the vanguard of the larger attack Israel has promised. But the evacuation order and limited military moves appeared intended to keep pressure on Hamas while negotiators met in Cairo to discuss a possible cease-fire agreement.[Ref. 1]

     But, after delivering months of support, the US made a significant move that could detrimentally affect Israel’s war in Gaza as its forces close in on a city still filled with civilians.
     Early in May 2024, the Biden Administration announced it paused a shipment of bombs for Israel over fears it would invade Rafah, in southern Gaza on the Egyptian border, marking the first time in the conflict that US President Joe Biden has halted military aid to its supposed strongest ally in the Middle East.
     Washington halted the load of 1800 2000-pound bombs and 1700 500-pound bombs after a senior administration official said Israel had not “fully addressed” US concerns about a major ground operation in Rafah. Washington seemed to feel that it had the right to tell Israel how to defend itself and how to conduct the fight against the terrorists pledged to destroy the Jewish nation and the Jewish people. The Israeli attacks on the southern city of Rafah came as negotiators and mediators were meeting in Cairo to try to hammer out a hostage-release and truce deal in the seven-month war.[Ref. 2]

     A conventional bomb consists of some explosive material packed into a sturdy case with a fuze mechanism (yes, that's fuze, not fuse). The fuze mechanism has a triggering device -- typically a time-delay system, an impact sensor or a target-proximity sensor -- which sets the bomb off. When the trigger goes off, the fuze ignites the explosive material, resulting in an explosion. The explosion destroys surrounding structures and kills nearby people.
     A "dumb bomb" is a bomb with only these elements, dropped from an airplane. The bomb is considered "dumb" because it simply falls to the ground without actively steering itself. Needless to say, it's some feat hitting a target precisely with this type of weapon. A bomber might have to drop dozens, or even hundreds of dumb bombs to take out a target effectively.
     "Smart bombs," by contrast, control their fall precisely in order to hit a designated target. A smart bomb is essentially an ordinary dumb bomb with a few major modifications. In addition to the usual fuze and explosive material, it has: an electronic sensor system, a built-in control system (an onboard computer), a set of steering fins, and a battery.
     When a plane drops a smart bomb, the bomb becomes a particularly heavy glider. It doesn't have any propulsion system of its own, like a missile does, but it does have forward velocity (by virtue of being dropped from a speeding plane). It also has fins that guide its flight path.
     The control system and adjustable fins give the bomb a way to steer itself as it glides through the air. While the bomb is "in flight", the sensor system and control system track the designated target on the ground. The sensor system feeds the control system the relative position of the target, and the control system processes this information and figures out how the bomb should turn to steer toward the target.
     This steering process continues until the smart bomb reaches its target, and the fuze mechanism sets off the explosive. Smart bombs generally have proximity fuzes, which set off the explosive just before the bomb reaches the target, or impact fuzes, which set off the explosive when the bomb actually hits something.[Ref. 3]

     By withholding smart bombs and the kits to convert dumb bombs into smart bombs from Israel, president Biden is potentially increasing civilian deaths and casualties since dumb bombs are considerably less accurate that smart bombs.

     It’s ironic that just weeks after President Joe Biden signed a bill to allow weapons to keep flowing to Israel, the Biden administration is preventing some weapons from reaching it. It raises the question of who is dumber, the unmodified dumb bombs in Israel’s arsenal or the current president of the United States.

     The Biden administration halted a planned shipment of bombs to Israel because it does not want Israel to attack Rafah, where the last major organized Hamas forces have gathered. Other shipments have been halted for two previous weeks.
     A Biden administration official was reported to have said that once it seemed clear Israel would defy the Biden administration, "We began to carefully review proposed transfers of particular weapons to Israel that might be used in Rafah." As a result of that review, “we have paused one shipment of weapons last week. It consists of 1,800 2,000-lb bombs and 1,700 500-lb bombs," the official said.
     One member of Congress wrote: This is outrageous. President Biden is caving to Hamas sympathizers and abandoning our allies in Israel. The Biden administration must lift every hold on ammunition and weapons that Israel needs and deserves to defend itself from vicious terrorists.      Laughingly, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had the chutzpah to say the administration’s commitment to Israel was "ironclad."
     Is the Biden administration is withholding the weapons Israel needs in order to minimize casualties, forcing Israel to use non-precise weapons so that the Biden administration and Hamas supporters can then accuse Israel of killing civilians?
     In February, Biden began to require foreign aid recipients to prove they were abiding by international law and not blocking humanitarian aid.[Ref. 4]

     When Hamas launched its Oct. 7, 2023, rape, kidnap, and murder killing spree against Israeli civilians, President Joe Biden quickly traveled to Israel and pledged that America would have its longtime ally’s back. Since then, he has repeatedly affirmed his “ironclad” commitment to the security of the Jewish state.
     But the “ironclad” pledge should concern Baltic states as they face Vladimir Putin’s invasion threats. It should also concern the Philippines as it faces Chinese efforts to carve out an exclusive economic zone. And it should concern Japan as it faces Chinese and Russian affronts to its territorial sovereignty. Because Biden’s support for Israel is molten rather than ironclad.
     In early May 2024, national security spokesman John Kirby refused to say whether the U.S. suspended an agreed arms shipment to Israel and also refused to offer American support for Israel’s effort to eliminate Hamas’s last bastion in Rafah.
     Fearful of left-wing protesters, the Biden administration has intensified pressure on Israel to agree to a ceasefire leaving Hamas in place. Understandably, Israel refuses any ceasefire that amounts to such a defeat. Hamas has at least four brigades of approximately 8,000 terrorists in Rafah, and allowing them to stay would pose extreme danger to Israelis and would signal unmistakable weakness to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It is a disgrace for Washington even to suggest that killers responsible for the evil of Oct. 7 should be allowed to stay and plot a repeat.
     America’s global credibility is collapsing into the abyss between Biden’s rhetoric and reality. His equivocation and fecklessness in slithering away for electoral reasons from support of a staunch and indispensable ally promotes terrorism, gives succor to our enemies, and cannot but alarm our allies.
     By opposing Israeli action in Rafah and withholding military aid, Biden is putting Hamas’s interest in the survival of its military capabilities before Israel’s interest in securing its people. Friends and enemies will take note.
     Victory over Hamas is necessary for Israel’s security and the restoration of its effective deterrence in the Middle East. Present chaos aside, the Abraham Accords and moves toward a Saudi-Israeli normalization agreement indicate the broadly shared interest of a more peaceful, prosperous future that moves beyond today’s hatreds and ideological fanaticism.
     This better future will be impossible, however, if Hamas and other such groups are allowed to shape U.S. policy. Biden should stand with our ally, not with the terrorists who so brutally attacked it.[Ref. 5]

     Somebody wrote Joe Biden’s teleprompter a very nice speech to deliver at the Holocaust museum. There’s one problem with it . . . it doesn’t reflect reality.
     There’s a moment in the speech where Biden claims that, “my commitment to the safety of the Jewish people, the security of Israel, and its right to exist as an independent Jewish state is ironclad, even when we disagree.” That commitment is so ironclad that the Biden administration tried to stop Israel from taking out Hamas in Rafah by freezing a military resupply shipment.
     To add insult to injury, these were resupplies appropriated years ago, well before the current conflict, which means we’re not even talking about the Biden administration freezing the military aid it promised after Oct 7, but freezing military aid from years back.
     So that’s the ironclad commitment.
     One that includes undermining Israel at the UN, exposing it to the ICC, propping up Qatar’s Hamas propaganda negotiations, citing Hamas propaganda about civilian casualties, and freezing military aid.
     And finally demanding that the end result of Oct 7 should be a state for the terrorists inside Israel.[Ref. 6]

     Biden’s anti-Israel actions led a Republican senator to call on the House of Representatives to launch impeachment proceedings against the President over his decision to halt military sales to Israel in a misguided bid to prevent the IDF from destroying Hamas battalions in Rafah. Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton urged the Republican-held House of Representatives to impeach Biden. Cotton excoriated Biden for the threat to bar weapons sales to Israel, accusing the president of imposing an “arms embargo.”
     “Biden says he wants Israel to be more careful and precise. But he’s withholding precision-guided munitions that would reduce civilian casualties. The truth is Biden wants Hamas to remain in power.”
     “Biden’s disgraceful comments are a gift to Hamas,” said Cotton. “Joe Biden may think he’s dividing America and Israel, but what he’s really doing is uniting American patriots who know we have to stand with our great ally Israel in its moment of need.”
     The freeze on weapons transfers, Cotton said, would empower Hamas and make it more difficult to free Americans held captive in the Gaza Strip. “Biden’s undermining Israel encourages Hamas to keep the hostages—including American citizens. This is a disgraceful betrayal of our ally for political reasons.”
     “I’ve said for months what Joe Biden now admits: his de facto position is for a Hamas victory against Israel.”[Ref. 7]

     Both House and Senate Republicans slammed Joe Biden’s decision to pause the arms shipment to Israel and demanded that the administration explain why it failed to notify Congress. Sens. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Ted Budd (R-N.C.) wrote to the Biden administration for answers about the frozen arms deal. “We are shocked that your administration has reportedly decided to withhold critical ammunition to Israel,” the senators wrote. “You promised your commitment to Israel was ironclad,” they added. “Pausing much-needed military support to our closest Middle Eastern ally signals otherwise.”
     U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin confirmed the halt during testimony at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing about the Defense Department fiscal 2025 budget request.
     Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) took issue with Austin’s comments in the hearing, saying that pausing the arms shipment sends the wrong signal to Israel during an “existential” battle with its enemies. “Israel’s been hit in the last few weeks by Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas - dedicated to their destruction - and you’re telling me you’re going to tell them how to fight the war, and what they can and can’t use when everybody around them wants to kill all the Jews?” Graham said.
     “This is obscene. It is absurd,” the South Carolina senator added. “Give Israel what they need to fight the war they can’t afford to lose.” Rep. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.) said that the decision to withhold the arms shipment is proof that the Biden administration has accepted the claims of anti-Israel activists. “Israel is continually held to a double standard by members of the international community that far too often overlook the conduct of other countries with some of the worst human-rights abuses in the world,” Lawler said. “That should come as no shock when U.N. employees were found to have direct ties to Hamas,” he added. “What is shocking, however, is that the Biden administration would buy into the lies and create distance between us and Israel.”
     Speaking on the Senate floor, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) applauded the president’s initial support for Israel after Oct. 7 but said that Biden’s recent actions have undermined his claims that he is an “ironclad” supporter of the Jewish state. “We’ve seen that iron bend under the heat of domestic political pressure from his party’s anti-Israel base and the campus communists who decided to wrap themselves in the flags of Hamas and Hezbollah,” McConnell said.[Ref. 8]

     President Biden shamelessly lied when he falsely claimed in his speech at the Holocaust Museum: “My commitment to the safety of the Jewish people, the security of Israel, and its right to exist as an independent Jewish state is ironclad, even when we disagree.” That was right before he slapped his arms embargo on the Jewish State. The ironclad commitment turned out to be a knife in the back. The commitment was as good as the one that Biden had made to rescue Americans from Afghanistan and to bring all our soldiers home.
     Biden had leveraged aid to Israel to extract an aid package for Ukraine even while he knew that he not only never intended to provide that aid to Israel, but that he was going to block pre-existing military supplies that Congress had already approved in the past. Biden wanted to cash in on the applause of American Jews by delivering a passionate pro-Israel speech right before giving the Hamas supporters in Dearborn and the Marxist campus rioters what they wanted.
     The arms embargo meant that Biden would go on helping Israel shoot down missiles but would block weapons that might be used to finish off Hamas in Rafah, particularly bombs. His “ironclad” commitment to Israel was conditioned on Israel endlessly allowing itself to be attacked while playing defense.
     Some may accuse Biden of antisemitism, but to be fair to the senile old-timer, this is the same deal that the US Navy got in Yemen and that American soldiers got in Afghanistan.
     It’s not that Biden hates Jews, it’s that he loves or lives in fear of Islamic terrorist supporters and their leftist allies. Biden didn’t just betray Israel, he betrayed America. The message has once again gone out to our allies that we cannot be trusted and we will not stand behind them. Biden didn’t just betray the promises he made after Oct 7, he betrayed the promise he made days before.
     If the president’s “ironclad commitment” is worthless when it comes to Israel, what’s it worth to Taiwan, Europe, and the rest of the world? - Nothing.
     Biden has decided to save Hamas, which props up Iran and allows it to continue to expand across the region. And Iran isn’t just coming after Israel. Its motto was and is: “Death to America”. Anyone who thinks the Houthis controlling who can pass near Yemen is purely about Israel will quickly find out that it’s about Iran. American shipping will be blocked. Islamic terrorism will increase as Jihadis see evidence that even in the face of the worst atrocities, western resolve to stand up to Islamic terrorism will eventually crumble. There will be a price and it will be a high one.
     Israel has been isolated. Its soldiers carry our hopes the way that American soldiers did after 9/11 and the way that British and French soldiers did in 1939, for the triumph of good over evil, freedom over slavery, and human civilization over an ideology so dread that it will plunge the world into a darkness that may not be lifted for thousands of years.[Ref. 9]

  1. Biden Puts Arms Shipment to Israel on Hold Amid Dispute Over Rafah Attack, Peter Baker,,
    8 May 2024.
  2. How Smart Bombs Work, Tom Harris,, Accessed 8 May 2024.
  3. US halts weapons shipment to Israel as forces close in on Rafah, Alex Blair,,
    9 May 2024.
  4. Biden Administration Halts Weapons Shipment to Israel, Collins Abia, , 8 May 2024.
  5. Biden abandons Israel, Washington Examiner , 8 May 2024.
  6. Biden touts ‘ironclad’ commitment to Israel while blocking military aid, Daniel Greenfield, World Israel News ,
    8 May 2024.
  7. Senator calls for Biden impeachment over Israeli arms embargo, World Israel News, 9 May 2024.
  8. ‘Obscene’: Republicans ‘shocked’ Biden is holding up Israeli arms shipment, World Israel News , 9 May 2024.
  9. Biden’s arms embargo betrays Israel and America, Daniel Greenfield, World Israel News , 9 May 2024.


  16 May 2024 {ARTICLE 623; UNDECIDED_87}    
Go back to the top of the page