On December 31st, US Strategic Command (Stratcom) – a nuclear-capable branch of the US military posted a morbid New Year’s greeting on their official Twitter.
“Times Square tradition rings in the New Year by dropping the big ball… if ever needed, we are #ready to drop something much, much bigger,” STRATCOM tweeted, referring to the traditional celebration in New York City and it’s dropping crystal ball.
It also had a video attached, showing a B-2 Spirit bomber in flight, later on deploying two GBU-57s – huge bunker buster bombs known as Massive Ordnance Penetrators – which hit a target on the testing grounds. In addition to that, the video flashed the words “Stealth,” “Ready” and “Lethal.”
The tweet was promptly deleted and Stratcom posted an apology for it.
Our previous NYE tweet was in poor taste & does not reflect our values. We apologize. We are dedicated to the security of America & allies.
— US Strategic Command (@US_Stratcom) December 31, 2018
Despite that, the tweet received more than 2,000 responses and was retweeted approximately 1,000 times. Most of the users that commented were condemning or mocking it.
— Chris Weakley (@eodguy89d) December 31, 2018
People were also relating the situation to the infamous movie “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.”
— gophergrad punches Nazis (@GopherGrad) December 31, 2018
Jeff Schogol, a Pentagon reporter for the Task & Purpose, cited era Lynn’s World War II-era song “We’ll Meet Again,” which was popularized in Stanley Kubrick’s iconic film.
We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when, but we’ll be together one shiny day … https://t.co/suroDiOr2y
— Jeff Schogol (@JeffSchogol) December 31, 2018
The movie portrays a situation that quickly spins out of control, when a fictional US Air Force Brigadier General Jack D. Ripper usurps command and orders B-52 bombers to drop hydrogen bombs on a number of targets in Russia.
— Paul Szoldra (@PaulSzoldra) December 31, 2018
Some users questioned whether the “New Year’s Greeting” was against Twitter policy, since it threatened to employ violence.
Happy New Year! Let's make the winter of 2019 a nuclear one https://t.co/tLNrzymnm2
— Alex Rubinstein (@RealAlexRubi) December 31, 2018
“Military Twitter accounts increasingly being run by call of duty forum posters,” one Twitter user responded.
More signs of a nation completely obsessed with death, war and military might. https://t.co/Pn40b6Lq3O
— Tim Shorrock (@TimothyS) December 31, 2018
Journalist Chris Hooks said that US Strategic Air Command and Stratcom have “historically been the province of psychopaths since old boy LeMay, but the most alarming thing about stuff like this is that they don’t understand how deranged they sound.”
Alexandra Bell, senior policy director at the Center for Arms Control & Non-Proliferation tweeted the following:
Just your standard "Happy New Year/We're totes ready to kill people on a massive, unimaginable scale" holiday greeting. 🍾🥂🎆🤯☠️ https://t.co/ol2XF3i9xY
— Alexandra Bell (@atomicbell) December 31, 2018
In conclusion, under the Trump administration in 2018, the US dropped an average of 121 bombs per day, compared to 345 per day under the Obama administration and 24 per day under the George W. Bush administration. In 2018, the US military dropped more bombs on Afghanistan than any other recorded year.