Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The American Bomb Lady

She is known as the The Bomb Lady around the Pentagon, or, "one of the most important weapons-developers of the modern era," according to one who knows something about these things. Her most recent innovation is the JEFF, which analyzes biometrics, and therefore helps identify bad guys. The lady who developed the bunker-busting bomb says: "The best missile is worthless if you don�t know who to shoot." She came to the U.S. at age fifteen when Vietnam ran out of bullets, as she says. She says this about why she does what she does: "My life is payback: I�m indebted to the soldiers and to Americans." She tells the Washington Post reporter that when she went to see "The Deer Hunter" she walked out enraged over how America was portrayed in the middle of it. So did I. Read her great story and you be grateful to her heart and work.

Discussions - 1 Comment

Imagine the torment Laura Blumenfeld felt in writing that piece as she sized up the various elements of it:

  • "Bombs are bad because they're equated with war, and war is bad."
  • "Her childhood was marred by the presence of the U.S. military in her home country, so that's good."
  • "But she professes admiration for the U.S. in Viet Nam back then, so that's bad."
  • "She's a woman who's advanced far in the male dominated Pentagon. That's good."
  • "She lives in the suburbs and has four children. That's not the best narrative. Better if she was an independent never-married woman living in Dupont Circle. Better still if she was a lesbian."
  • "She's Asian. Hmmm ... where the memo on the relative merits of minorities, one versus the other? I know Asians are below African-Americans. We've demoted Jews, so she's above that. Well, she's a woman, that's good. I couldn't do much with an Asian Male ... no narrative there."

Frankly, I'm amazed the story appears at all. On the whole the narrative structure is all wrong. The only thing it has is a successful woman in a sexist military-industrial society. But the "bomb" thing negates it.

This one quote probably saved it: "'I don't want My Lai in Iraq,' Duong said at the Pentagon." That's a nice reference to an American atrocity. The narrative is there. Weak, but there.

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