Welcome to the Birmingham Small Arms & Military Bicycle Museum. Always wanted to bicycle with your rifle? Observe the 1942 BSA military Mk. V Roadster. Also featuring the "Airborne", the Airborne folding Paratrooper, the Peugeot Captain Gerard folding bicycle, the Lady Back tandem model T64 with Watsonian sidecar and, many more. See the many vintage posters and learn the exciting history of the soldier-cyclist.
Final Salute. Between 2004 and 2005, "Rocky Mountain News reporter Jim Sheeler and photographer Todd Heisler spent a year with the Marines stationed at Aurora's Buckley Air Force Base who have found themselves called upon to notify families of the deaths of their sons in Iraq. In each case in this story, the families agreed to let Sheeler and Heisler chronicle their loss and grief. They wanted people to know their sons, the men and women who brought them home, and the bond of traditions more than 200 years old that unite them. Though readers are led through the story by the white-gloved hand of Maj. Steve Beck, he remains a reluctant hero. He is, he insists, only a small part of the massive mosaic that is the Marine Corps." The full story ran on Veteran's Day, 2005 and won two Pulitzer Prizes: one for Feature Photography, another for feature writing in 2006. A nice single-page version of one section: Katherine Cathey and 2nd Lt. James J. Cathey (via.) The Rocky Mountain News closed in 2009. [more inside]
Following a months-long investigation, the Department of Justice has announced the existence of a well-funded plot "conceived, sponsored and directed" by "high-ranking members of the Iranian government" to assassinate Saudi Arabian ambassador Adel Al-Jubeir on U.S. soil in conjunction with informants in Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas. The "Hollywood" plot, revealed in an afternoon press conference and described in a detailed 21-page complaint [PDF], is alleged to have involved an attack on the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington, D.C. One suspect, naturalized American citizen Arbab Arbabsiar, has been arrested, while co-conspirator and Quds Force member Gholam Shakuri remains at large. Iranian officials were quick to label the charges a "fabrication" intended to distract from America's economic troubles.
Once Upon a Time in War is a photographic retrospect of the Great War, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam and the War on Terror.
Yemeni and US government sources confirm US-born Al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Awlaki was killed today al-Awlaki was widely credited with inspiring the shootings at Ft. Hood and the attempted Christmas bombing of an airliner approaching Detroit. [more inside]
Last night, British ITV broadcasted "Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA", a documentary which included this 1988 Provisional IRA footage the filmmakers found on YouTube. Unfortunately, the footage is actually and blatently from videogame ArmA 2. ITV has stopped streaming the documentary.
On the 25th March 2011, Mark Coop of 'Keep Calm and Carry On LTD' registered a trademark of the words Keep Calm and Carry On in an attempt to take control of the very British and now very famous, nostalgia invoking, wartime poster. The trademark has angered Barter Books (who discovered the poster), wartimeposters.co.uk (owners of an original poster) and Kerry Cade from Simply Printing 4U whose business was greatly affected by the trademark. Now, in true British Spirit, a group of wartime enthusiasts has come together in an attempt to overturn the trademark. [more inside]
On March 15, 1993, The Truth Commission for El Salvador published its report From Madness to Hope: the 12-year war in El Salvador. The Commission attributed the assassination of Archbishop Óscar Romero to the death squads, as well as the deaths of the victims of the El Mozote Massacre. ... Five days after the commission issued its report, the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador approved an amnesty law covering all the violent events of the war.
Walt Harrington's profile of the 43rd POTUS, Dubya and Me.
Coming Apart: After 9/11 transfixed America, the country’s problems were left to rot. "No national consensus formed around 9/11. Indeed, the decade since has destroyed the very possibility of a common narrative."
Burke + Norfolk. Photographs from the War in Afghanistan, by John Burke and Simon Norfolk (previously).
Tony Casdagli took on a passion for needlework from his father - a POW who learnt to sew as a means of smuggling out messages past German censors.
"Tanks Are Mighty Fine Things!" And Other Tales Of Truthiness... At the end of World War II, Chrysler sent small hardbound books to shareholders chronicling ways the company had contributed to the war effort. Two have now been placed online at the Chrysler Imperial Club's website: "Tanks are Mighty Fine Things" and "A War Job 'Thought Impossible' (The story of the Chrysler-Sperry Gyro-Compass)" (Via) [more inside]
Q: Could I destroy the entire Roman Empire during the reign of Augustus if I traveled back in time with a modern U.S. Marine infantry battalion or MEU? A: It might be harder than you expect.
From 1935 to 1951, Time Magazine bridged the gap between print & radio news reporting and the new visual medium of film, with March of Time: award-winning newsreel reports that were a combination of objective documentary, dramatized fiction and pro-American, anti-totalitarian propaganda. They “often tackled subjects and themes that audiences weren’t used to seeing — foreign affairs, social trends, public-health issues — and did so with a combination of panache and subterfuge that today seems either absurd or visionary.” (Previous two links have autoplaying video.) By 1937, the short films were being seen by as many as 26 million people every month and may have helped steer public opinion on numerous issues, including (eventually) America’s entry to WWII. Video samples are available at Time.com, the March of Time Facebook page and the entire collection is available online, (free registration required) at HBO Archives. [more inside]
Army vet with PTSD sought the treatment he needed by taking hostages – but got jail instead. "Fifteen months of carnage in Iraq had left the 29-year-old debilitated by post-traumatic stress disorder. But despite his doctor’s urgent recommendation, the Army failed to send him to a Warrior Transition Unit for help. The best the Department of Veterans Affairs could offer was 10-minute therapy sessions — via videoconference. So, early on Labor Day morning last year, after topping off a night of drinking with a handful of sleeping pills, Quinones barged into Fort Stewart’s hospital, forced his way to the third-floor psychiatric ward and held three soldiers hostage, demanding better mental health treatment." [Via] [more inside]
Annia Ciezadlo, author of Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love and War [reviews, excerpt] discusses Iraqi intellectualism, war and food, ancient Iraqi cooking, the Middle East's dependence on imported wheat, and the link between bread and civilian uprisings. [more inside]
Obama calls on Assad to step down. The US and EU announce sanctions on Assad's regime. The New York Times looks at the resistence in Homs. Al Jazeera has an ongoing Syrian Live blog. Enduring America continues to cover the Arab Spring.
World peace could be closer than you think. Joshua S. Goldstein, author of Winning the War on War: The Decline of Armed Conflict Worldwide writes in Foreign Policy Magazine on why things are getting better. "The last decade has seen fewer war deaths than any decade in the past 100 years."
The History of Torture—Why We Can't Give It Up. "Some 150 years ago, the West all but abandoned torture. It has returned with a vengeance." [Via]
In August-September 1965, India and Pakistan went to war for the second time since their independence in 1947. On September 19, a civilian aircraft (Beechcraft Model 18) carrying the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat (bordering Pakistan) was shot down by a Pakistani Air Force pilot (flying an F-86F). Now, 46 years later, the Pakistani pilot has written a condolence letter to the daughter of the pilot of the Indian civilian aircraft.
Remember Me? Between 1933 and 1945, millions of children were displaced as a result of persecution by the Nazis and their collaborators. After World War II, relief agencies photographed some of the children who survived to help find their families. Now, more than 65 years later, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is working to discover what became of these young survivors. Will you help us find them? Lots of moving stories. [more inside]
"Rape Reporting During War: Why the Numbers Don't Mean What You Think They Do." An article in Foreign Affairs arguing that the incidence of rape during wartime is both understated and overstated, and that these are both serious obstacles to addressing the issue of wartime sexual violence.
UK's official use of torture policy. For MI5 & MI6, special renditions: when to proceed knowing torture would be used during the interrogation. [more inside]
Classroom Wars: a middle-school history teacher on the seductive stories of mankind's battles.
"I don't want to tell him," says Jean Paul. "I fear he will say: 'Now, my brother is not a man.'" A report on a harrowing but little known tool of war - Male rape.
100 Firefights, Three Weeks: Inside Afghanistan's Most Insane Fight
"In its first three weeks in Afghanistan’s Sangin district, the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines got into more than 100 firefights and sustained 62 casualties. The insurgents managed to negate the Marines’ night-vision gear, and rendered their traditional close-combat tactics useless. Things got so bad, the 3/5’s superior officers even suggested pulling their troops back. That didn’t happen. Instead, the 3/5 went after the militants, hard. When the 3/5 came home, they told counterinsurgency historian Mark Moyar all about their deeply unconventional approach to what was already an unconventional war."This is an excerpt in Wired of Moyar’s 74-page after action report. (pdf) [more inside]
In pictures: the life of a war photographer (There are some graphic images in here; not for the squeamish, though for most would be SFW for most workplaces).
Energy: the new thirty years' war; we are heading for a global succeed-or-perish contest among the energy big hitters – but who will be the winners and losers? Michael Klare; (via )
Daniel Soar on the militarisation of metaphor: Spies aren’t known for their cultural sensitivity. So it was a surprise when news broke last month that IARPA, a US government agency that funds ‘high-risk/high-payoff research’ into areas of interest to the ‘intelligence community’, had put out a call for contributions to its Metaphor Program, a five-year project to discover what a foreign culture’s metaphors can reveal about its beliefs.
At first, Collectors Weekly deleted virtually anything listed on their site bearing a Nazi swastika. Now they are explaining what changed their mind and why some people collect this particular paraphernalia.
The U.S.'s military bases in Afghanistan and Iraq are mostly staffed by Third Country Nationals (TCN), who are often victims of human trafficking. [more inside]
Ernestina Herrera de Noble heads up The Clarin Group and the Clarin newspaper (in Spanish), the largest in Argentina. She is the mother of two adopted children, Felipe and Marcela, heirs to the Clarin Group fortune. She has been a controversial figure for much of her life. Currently, her paper stands in staunch opposition to the administration of President Cristina Kirchner, who in 2009 successfully pushed through legislation forcing the Clarin group to sell off some of its holdings. President Kirchner recently announced she will be seeking a second term. However, Mrs. Herrera de Noble's legacy will probably rest on the suit brought against her by the Grandmothers of the Plaza del Mayo, forcing her children to submit DNA samples to ascertain whether they are the children of detainees killed by the military during Argentina’s “Dirty War”. The siblings and their mother have fought to avoid DNA testing, claiming it is a violation of their privacy, but there are families who claim that Felipe and Marcela are the natural born children of women pregnant when they were detained and subsequently disappeared. Ernestina insists that the adoptions were “legal”, and her children stand by her side. If a genetic link is proven to former detainees, Mrs. Herrera de Noble may face a criminal investigation.
In a 32 page report to Congress [pdf] President Obama concludes:
...the current U.S. military operations in Libya are consistent with the War Powers Resolution and do not under that law require further congressional authorization, because U.S. military operations are distinct from the kind of “hostilities” contemplated by the Resolution’s 60 day termination provision.Now, the New York Times reports that this legal opinion was reached by rejecting the views of top lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department. It is instructive to compare President Obama's actions with those of his predecessor, George W. Bush. [more inside]
Kurt Jooss' lament for the futility of war, The Green Table: A Dance of Death in Eight Scenes is a masterpiece of modern dance that premiered in 1932--just month's before Hitler's rise to power would propel Europe inexorably toward chaos for the second time in as many generations. A performance by the Joffrey Ballet is available on YouTube in five parts. [more inside]
Do Artists Have a Moral Responsibility in War? is a thoughtful, question raising 40 min video and podcast by NYT journalist Alan Riding.
Should Artists Speak Out Against War? Goes at some depth into the nuances of this complex question by describing the Cultural Life In Nazi-Occupied Paris
Should Artists Speak Out Against War? Goes at some depth into the nuances of this complex question by describing the Cultural Life In Nazi-Occupied Paris
Writer, traveler, and kidnapper of Nazi generals, Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor -- Paddy to friends and fans -- is dead at 96. A silver lining: his biographer Artemis Cooper reports that the long-awaited final installment of his trilogy recounting a year-long walk across Europe as a young man in the 1930s, "has existed for some time, and will be published in due course."
What if Spider-Man served in Vietnam? A short comic by intricate artist James Stokoe, best known for his drippy fantasy comic Orc Stain. (Last two links may be NSFW)
Larry Gonick is a veteran American cartoonist best known for his delightful comic-book guides to science and history, many of which have previews online. Chief among them is his long-running Cartoon History of the Universe (later The Cartoon History of the Modern World), a sprawling multi-volume opus documenting everything from the Big Bang to the Bush administration. Published over the course of three decades, it takes a truly global view -- its time-traveling Professor thoroughly explores not only familiar topics like Rome and World War II but the oft-neglected stories of Asia and Africa, blending caricature and myth with careful scholarship (cited by fun illustrated bibliographies) and tackling even the most obscure events with intelligence and wit. This savvy satire carried over to Gonick's Zinn-by-way-of-Pogo chronicle The Cartoon History of the United States, along with a bevy of Cartoon Guides to other topics, including Genetics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, The Environment, and (yes!) Sex. Gonick has also maintained a few sideprojects, such as a webcomic look at Chinese invention, assorted math comics (previously), the Muse magazine mainstay Kokopelli & Co. (featuring the shenanigans of his "New Muses"), and more. See also these lengthy interview snippets, linked previously. Want more? Amazon links to the complete oeuvre inside! [more inside]
The Witness to War project is not about the set piece movements of armies, the military strategies of generals, nor the geopolitical nuances that led to war. Instead, it is about the 'foxhole' view of combat as seen by the soldiers who experienced it.
'The Pentagon has concluded that computer sabotage coming from another country can constitute an act of war, a finding that for the first time opens the door for the U.S. to respond using traditional military force.'
Colonel William B. Nolde, 43, Bronze Star and Legion of Merit medal recipient, was killed by an artillery shell near An Lộc on January 27, 1973 - 11 hours before the truce that ended the Vietnam War.
New working paper by three economists estimates the psychological costs of war at between $1.5 and $2.7 billion. [more inside]