Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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I never imagined it would be edible.

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Fitted carpet bombing

Kind to be cruel ... ?
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Dropping bombs on one's enemy is very expensive, and often less effective than tacticians would have us think. Techinques like "carpet bombing" (where enitre large areas are systematically pounded) do work after a fashion but it's still appalingly inefficient.

But what is the objective ? To remove the enemy from the target area, of course. Bombing is one answer - kill them, or frighten them off. Psychological warfare can be effective too - usually thought of in terms of reducing morale.

There is an alternative, of course. Instead of dropping expensive bombs, why not drop, by parachute, huge quantitiers of desirable and well-packaged consumer goods ? Everything, from wristwatches and radios, through hi-fi's, TVs, computers, to washing machines, fridges, and (of course) fitted carpets. Throw in plenty of food and drink too.

Consider the effect on the troops on the ground. Instead of standing guard at their posts, they're going to be endlessly sneaking off to try and find more goodies. Soon, each will have accumulated a hoard of consumer durables that they are desperate to look after until they can get them home. All transport will be commandeered for furniture removal. Discipline will collapse as fights break out over the latest batch of gifts from heaven. Civilians will infiltrate the area, causing chaos, and stealing the spoons. The idea of actually fighting becomes loathsome to the soldiers, because no-one wants their new DIY whirlpool bath kit to get hit by a mortar round.

Pretty soon, the front lines will be deserted and silent except for the rustling of wrapping paper .......... nobody dies (unless a fridge lands on you) and it's much, much cheaper than a shooting war.

PS If you drop loads of sheds and greenhouse kits as well, with the instructions reduced from A2 to A4 size and badly photocopied, and with one sheet missing and some subtle changes so that the thing doesn't quite fit together (both in the structrure and the drawing) that will keep them busy for months ....

8th of 7, Sep 13 2002

(?) Bomb Vietnam with refrigerators http://www.suite101...m/baby_boomers/1-20
an old idea.. [pfperry, Sep 16 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]

[link]






       Isn't this what the UK is already doing with PIRA? Give them Discoveries, office jobs, C&E turning a blind eye to the diesel racket...
General Washington, Sep 13 2002
  

       Introduce them to a local language halfbakery, too.
FarmerJohn, Sep 13 2002
  

       FarmerJohn: Have pity ... you're about to take their country and their birthright from them, you can't take their Immortal Souls as well .... can you ?
8th of 7, Sep 13 2002
  

       Hey, you're right. Maybe JUTTA stands for Junk Up Techies' Time Advocates to gum up the creative minds and spirits of the English-speaking world.
FarmerJohn, Sep 13 2002
  

       I think there may be a large increase in friendly-fire incidents. "Guys, how about we drop this hot tub on OUR side of this ridge?"
lurch, Sep 15 2002
  

       You could just drop an entire department store on them.
skinflaps, Sep 16 2002
  

       Hey, UB, lay off the JSF, it's keeping a lot of our friends in beer and skittles at the moment, and likely to do so for the forseeable future (i.e. 4 billion years, until the Sun swells to a red giant and engulf the Earth).
8th of 7, Sep 16 2002
  

       Fantastic, pornbombs! The kernel for this idea is to be found in 'The Art of War' (the writings of Sun Tzu, not the mediocre spy thriller starring Wesley Snipes). The venerable master speaks of how troops that have been given a chance to sack an enemy strong hold for loot will become lazy and engorged on their spoils. The only way for the commader to get them 'enraged' and ready to fight again is by sending them out on a mission and then burning down their barracks to destroy all their cool stuff. So this idea has another edge, not only does it remove troops who are too busy playing halo/quake whatever to actually fight, but it also requires the commanders to train and employ special ops dudes to deny the troops their fridges and freezers.   

       Additionally I think that policy of dropping inflated bouncy castles* and beer would have good effect. Especially if the local conscription has been from a university area.   

       *plus, now it think of it I'd love push an inflated bouncy castle out of the back of a Hercules and see what happens when it hits the ground, ooo! new life goal! new life goal!
Zircon, Sep 16 2002
  

       Also, you could send the prisoners of war to Disneyland.
pottedstu, Sep 16 2002
  

       pottedstu: No, you can't. The Geneva conventions insist that prisioners of war are treated humanely.   

       [Zircon]: We're not sure you could get an inflated bouncy castle out of the back of a C-130, but you could have a CO2 bottle and a ripcord so it inflated on the way down. That would be cool to watch.
8th of 7, Sep 16 2002
  

       This idea seems to imply that the Swedes are using IKEA as an instrument of world domination.
hippo, Sep 16 2002
  

       Well, aren't they?
DrBob, Sep 16 2002
  

       hmmm bouncey castles, is there no end to their greatness?
Gulherme, Sep 16 2002
  

       [hippo, DrBob] Milton Friedman earnt a lot of lecture money in the early 90s propounding the McDonald's Law of Diplomacy. ie, no two countries that both had a McDonald's had ever been to war. Then in 95 the USAF started chalking messages to Radovan on their missiles, & that went phut. Still, of *course* companies are the agents of world domination. hippo being worryingly dianoid there. They're all in on it. They even m-f-deed my topic. But I'm still onto them.
General Washington, Sep 16 2002
  

       Hi, General - take a tip from us, wrap your head in aluminium foil, that way the Men In Black can't read your thoughts with their Secret Brain Ray Machines.
8th of 7, Sep 16 2002
  

       WHAT? You'll have to speak up. My visor doesn't have ear-holes.
General Washington, Sep 16 2002
  

       Send them a thousand credit card applications. Pre-approved!
RayfordSteele, Sep 17 2002
  

       Regarding the 'bomb them fridges' theory, I think the problem isn't that they (whoever they might be) haven't got fridges, it's that 'they' havent a) got any electricity to run them from and b) even if 'they' did, 'they' haven't got anything to put in the fridges.
DrBob, Sep 17 2002
  

       Maybe the fridges would be a plus - the military requires electricity for lots of things, so they have generators. Of course, the generators would be "liberated" to provide juice for the refrigerators, which are keeping the ice cream and steaks the troops have collected. So in order to get the radar back on line, the officers have to face down armed troops defending their groceries...
lurch, Sep 17 2002
  

       Exactly. And don't forget that the officers all have their own hoards of goodies to protect.   

       In 1918, the final "Ludendorf" offensive - using new tecniques - allowed the German troops to break the Allied front line, and get into the rear areas. The effect was astonishing. The German line infantry discovered the lavish supply dumps maintained by the British; huge qunatites of food, drink, clothing, and equipment. They gorged themselves; and the advance slowed rapidly. And they became deeply demoralised - they were living on meagre rations (the harvests in Germany had been poor), and seeing the massive resources that their opponents had sank them into gloom. Many diaries record their feelings that they had no possibility of winning agains such a well-supplied army. They had been told that it was a battle of attrition, and they were wearing down the enemy and his resources; when they realised that they were the ones being worn down, their will to fight eroded rapidly.   

       Sun Tzu was right. You can fight an enemy with Fear or Greed. Greed is slower, but more insidious, and oh so very, very effective.   

       Consider the following. Start carpet-bombing Iraq with food, medical supplies, consumer goods, and small arms - suitable for civil insurrection. Drop leaflets saying "Get rid of Saddam Hussein and you can have more of this stuff". No unpopular government could long maintain control in the face of such an onslaught.
8th of 7, Sep 18 2002
  

       M: Ooooooh, look Akbar!
A: Should we shoot them, Mustafahkar?
M: No, wait! These are miraculous flying carpets.
A: Mohammed has sent us these from his home in Paradise.
M: These magical flying carpets are so small.
A: ... and perfect for prayers!
M: Blessed is Mohammed.
A: Ooooooh, look - they all say "Sa-sa-samp - sample"
M: And they also say "Ma-ma-made in US...er, uh ...A"

A & M: La Illah ha il Allah Huhahahaha!
thumbwax, Sep 18 2002
  

       8th, this idea is in peril of turning genuine. When Albania came out of its frame in 1997, after that appalling pyramid selling scheme, and there was widespread rioting and banditry -- even more widespread, sorry -- everyone was still jumpy after Dayton and there was talk of an OSCE / NATO force to wade in and calm them down. An idea being batted around at the time, in all seriousness, was that the USA should just *buy* the country, ie by honoring all the pyramid investments and in return building a fucking great airbase in Durres. The cost wouldn't have been more than US$1bn, all told, which (maybe you can tell me) must be way cheaper than stationing a carrier group in the Eastern Med.   

       This never did happen, unfortunately. I expect the State Department felt it was too... well... *silly*. Would have dealt with the Kosovo Crisis in a second though, and guaranteed a Balkan / East Med peace for years. At least, an American Peace.
General Washington, Sep 18 2002
  

       // There are numerous precedents //   

       So why on earth aren't you doing it ? (This question is not rhetorical).
8th of 7, Sep 18 2002
  

       .... whose non-executive directors are all drawing high salaries for little work, and also happen to be senior politicians ?   

       No, no, [UB], you're being just tooooo cynical now. Put those rose coloured spectacles back on at once.
8th of 7, Sep 18 2002
  

       It's all involved, man... rose-tinted spectacles filter out the color of blood... Shell fought on both sides of the last war maintaining contact with each other through the neutrals... many contracts with IG Farben, British Petroleum... subsidiary holdings in the Anglo-American Mining Corp (SA)... oil fractions, including perspex and cadmium ore for the red coloring in the glasses... it's all involved, man...
General Washington, Sep 18 2002
  

       <Shudder> <Tightens aluminium-foil headgear to keep out MIB brain-reading ray machine>
8th of 7, Sep 18 2002
  

       and dart boards
skinflaps, Sep 19 2002
  

       i wonder if this idea could actually be used against the insurgents in Iraq?   

       What does a crazed, poor person with a death wish TRULY want?   

       not actually trying to be political, just wondering what you could give to those who are looking for sharia law to be in place?   

       porn or bacon?
hypergiaphobia, Sep 26 2006
  
      
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