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"The Logic Of Violence In Criminal War"

Criminal Cartels And The Rule Of Law In Mexico: Summary, PDF
The cartels have thousands of gunmen and have morphed into diversified crime groups that not only traffic drugs, but also conduct mass kidnappings, oversee extortion rackets and steal from the state oil industry. The military still fights them in much of the country on controversial missions too often ending in shooting rather than prosecutions. If Peña Nieto does not build an effective police and justice system, the violence may continue or worsen. But major institutional improvements and more efficient, comprehensive social programs could mean real hope for sustainable peace and justice.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 25, 2013 - 20 comments

What if they ended a war and nobody left?

Is legalization or at least ending the war on drugs a solution to gang violence? Drug Business is not the Key to Gangs And Organized Crime: With a Prognosis for the Mexican Cartel Wars explores the idea of gangs and other crime organizations as mainly political actors. (previous mention of sociologist Randall Collins)
posted by patrick54 on Jul 12, 2012 - 30 comments

World Press Photo Award Winners

Every World Press Photo Award Winner From 1955-2011. Many photos not safe for work and/or not safe for life, due to images of violence.
posted by Sticherbeast on Mar 1, 2012 - 26 comments

More Truths to Handle

German news magazine Der Spiegel has published trophy photos taken by a U.S. Army "kill team" in Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by clarknova on Mar 22, 2011 - 193 comments

Rape as a War Crime Against Your Own

Iraq: "A woman suspected of recruiting more than 80 female suicide bombers has confessed to organising their rapes so she could later convince them that martyrdom was the only way to escape the shame."
Algeria: "Evil al-Qaeda chiefs are raping young male converts to shame them into becoming suicide bombers, it emerged yesterday. "
posted by davidstandaford on Feb 4, 2009 - 140 comments

The Rebellion Within

The Rebellion Within: An Al Qaeda mastermind questions terrorism.
posted by homunculus on May 27, 2008 - 55 comments

Vengeance Is Ours: What can tribal societies tell us about our need to get even?

Vengeance Is Ours: What can tribal societies tell us about our need to get even? [more inside]
posted by chunking express on Apr 24, 2008 - 52 comments

When combat ends, but killing doesn't

War Torn: kickoff of the New York Times' penetrating new series investigating the violence that comes home when our soldiers do.
posted by hermitosis on Jan 14, 2008 - 58 comments

The War Will Be Televised

Like a YouTube for soldiers in the Middle East, this site boasts lots of large explosions, night vision footage, dawn raids, night-time firefights, desert shootouts, and convoy ambushes. There is one film of a failed IED that is breathtaking. Astonishing movies, whether you're for or against the war. [more inside]
posted by Sully on Nov 17, 2007 - 35 comments

Iraq Vets Bear Witness

The Other War: Iraq Vets Bear Witness. "Investigating the impact of the war on Iraqi civilians, Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian reveal disturbing patterns of behavior by US troops in Iraq--brutal acts that often go unreported and almost always go unpunished." [Via No Quarter.]
posted by homunculus on Jul 10, 2007 - 37 comments

They have infiltrated every branch of public service and every political office they can get their hands on.

Operation enduring chaos: ... the death squads are the result of US policy. At the beginning of last year, with no end to the Sunni insurgency in sight, the Pentagon was reported to have decided to train Shia and Kurdish fighters to carry out "irregular missions". ... From killing everyone named Omar (a Sunni name) who passes thru the wrong checkpoint, to simply marking businesses (and their owners) they want gone with red crosses, how various squads and militias and "armies" and "brigades" are running Iraq.
posted by amberglow on Oct 29, 2006 - 48 comments

...another less attractive but probably more realistic version of modern warfare in Iraq today ...

Pentagon to Soldiers: Don't Post those Trophy Videos Online ... another said it made him feel good to bring the gruesome reality of a soldier's life in Iraq to those living safely behind their "clean, white picket fences at home". ...the taking and posting of trophy video served as some kind of relief from the psychological stresses of serving as a soldier in such a violent and acutely dangerous place. ... and from PBS' Mediashift: Your Guide to Soldier Videos From Iraq
posted by amberglow on Aug 5, 2006 - 13 comments

Michael Berg

"Shortly before Father’s Day, TAP spoke with Michael Berg, father of Nicholas Berg, about his congressional campaign and the recent death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi." [Via Disinformation.]
posted by homunculus on Jun 20, 2006 - 22 comments

Acts of sacred violence

What’s "Sacred" about Violence in Early America? Susan Juster discusses the "oversized colonial martyr complex" with its attendant paradox: "colonial martyrs were everywhere, religious violence... in short supply." She begins:
One of the most chilling images in early American history is the deliberate firing of Fort Mystic during the Pequot War of 1637. Five hundred Indian men, women, and children died that day, burned alive along with their homes and possessions by a vengeful Puritan militia intent on doing God’s will. "We must burn them!" the militia captain famously insisted to his troops on the eve of the massacre, in words that echo the classic early modern response to heretics. Just five months before, the Puritan minister at Salem had exhorted his congregation in strikingly similar terms to destroy a more familiar enemy, Satan; "We must burne him," John Wheelwright told his parishioners. Indians and devils may have been scarcely distinguishable to many a Puritan, but their rhetorical conflation in these two calls to arms raises a question: Was the burning of Fort Mystic a racial or a religious killing?
She avoids easy answers and makes some interesting connections. If you want to find out more about the Pequot War, there's good material in the History section of this site. (Main link via wood s lot.)
posted by languagehat on Jan 9, 2006 - 35 comments

got ya

Disturbing Video Footage of Ambush in Iraq
posted by furiousxgeorge on Feb 23, 2005 - 44 comments

'No real planning for postwar Iraq'

'No real planning for postwar Iraq' "The officials didn't develop any real postwar plans because they believed that Iraqis would welcome U.S. troops with open arms and Washington could install a favored Iraqi exile leader as the country's leader. The Pentagon civilians ignored CIA and State Department experts who disputed them, resisted White House pressure to back off from their favored exile leader and when their scenario collapsed amid increasing violence and disorder, they had no backup plan. Today, American forces face instability in Iraq, where they are losing soldiers almost daily to escalating guerrilla attacks, the cost of occupation is exploding to almost $4 billion a month and withdrawal appears untold years away." Bring 'Em On!
posted by owillis on Jul 12, 2003 - 64 comments

So loud sound the drums of hate...

A Pyrrhic victory in a catastrophic "March of Folly"? - historian Barbara Tuchman asked: why do leaders persist in pursuing catastrophic policies? Regardless of Baath regime executions of Iraqis, the Islamic world will witness mainly "American Atrocities" - and be outraged by gruesome images, on Al Jazeera and elsewhere, of every single child killed by American bombs. Iraqi tactics - of suicide bombing, ambushes, and faked surrenders - will erase the civilian/combatant distinction, leading to more and more incidents like this (to be televised to an appalled Islamic world): and all this merely a foreshadow of what may be urban warfare on a scale seldom seen in the 20th century. Grozny comes to mind. Mainstream US media asserts that the solution for the whole "miscalculation" is just more US troops

But the war is tailor made to provoke tribalistic, Pan-Islamic fury (and corresponding, furiously tribalistic US patriotic support for war). Escalation is in the air: statements by Rumsfeld, Powell, and the US State Dept. indicate an awareness that the current war could spread, drawing in Syria and Iran. Consequences also could include the destabilization or the takeover, of nuclear armed Pakistan, by Islamic militants, and a Nuclear miltarization across a wide region, from Iraq to Japan.

If only this were "South Park: The Movie", where the onset of Armaggeddon can be stopped by an heroic act of sacrifice by Kenny.
posted by troutfishing on Mar 31, 2003 - 27 comments

Veteran foreign correspondent Robert Fisk attacked in Afghanistan.

Veteran foreign correspondent Robert Fisk attacked in Afghanistan. Fisk's been my dispassionate-knowledgeable-counterpoint-supplier-of-choice for the events of the last few months, and unfortunately he's been very badly beaten by a mob near Quetta . His reaction: "They had every reason to be angry... If I had been them, I would have attacked me".
posted by blackbeltjones on Dec 9, 2001 - 72 comments

Another thoughtful article

Another thoughtful article
Open the Washington Post to it's editorial pages, and war talk dominates:
Henry Kissinger: Destroy the Network.
Robert Kagan: We Must Fight This War.
Charles Krauthammer: To War, Not to Court.
William S. Cohen: American Holy War.
There is no column by Colman McCarthy talking peace.

posted by mapalm on Sep 14, 2001 - 19 comments

A Scourge of Small Arms

A Scourge of Small Arms "The root causes of ethnic, religious and sectarian conflicts around the world are of course complex and varied, typically involving historical grievances, economic deprivation, demagogic leadership and an absence of democratic process. Although small arms and light weapons are not themselves a cause of conflict, their ready accessibility and low cost can prolong combat, encourage a violent rather than a peaceful resolution of differences, and generate greater insecurity throughout society--which in turn leads to a spiraling demand for, and use of, such weapons."
posted by Calebos on May 31, 2000 - 7 comments

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