Born into War.
In 1863, a 3 yr old John J. Pershing was pinned to the floor
by his mother to protect him from confederate raiders. In 1886, he left West Point for the western frontier, having been elected class president four years in a row. In 1890 he was present at the Wounded Knee Massacre
. In 1898 he fought with Buffalo Soldiers
in Cuba, commanding a black cavalry regiment at San Juan Hill. From 1898 to 1901 he was fighting Philippine insurgents
. In 1905 he served as an observer
in the Russo-Japanese War, arguably the first "modern" war. In 1906 Teddy Roosevelt promoted him to Brigadier General
, skipping over 862 senior officers
. In 1916 he was hunting Poncho Villa
in Mexico. In 1917, Pershing was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Entire American Expeditionary Force of WW1
, in which he built an army almost from scratch, organizing, training, and supplying an inexperienced force that eventually numbered two million. 1919 saw Pershing promoted to the highest U.S. Army rank in history, "General of the Armies
", a position held previously by George Washington. Pershing lived to see Allied Victory before his death in 1948
posted by thisisdrew
on May 19, 2011 -
"In the course of researching my book The Emotional Life of Nations, I discovered that just before and during wars the nation was regularly depicted as a Dangerous Woman. I collected thousands of magazine covers and political cartoons before wars to see if there were any visual patterns that could predict the moods that led to war, and routinely found images of dangerous, bloodthirsty women.
Sociologist, political psychologist, and founder of The Institute for Psychohistory (no not that one)
Lloyd deMause has written eight books and 90 articles on the link between warfare and parenting practices. With thousands of references to psychological and anthropological studies, deMause makes the case that outbursts of nationalist violence are reenactments of childhood experiences common to large groups.
His book The Origins of War In Child Abuse
is available as a ten-part, free audiobook
; read by Stefan Molyneux
. [more inside]
posted by clarknova
on May 3, 2011 -
The Burns Archive
is a collection of over 700,000 historical photographs that document disturbing
subject matter: obsolete medical practices and experiments, death, disease, disasters, crime, revolutions, riots and war. Newsweek posted a select gallery
this past October, as well as a video interview and walk-through
with curator and collector Dr. Stanley B. Burns, a New York opthalmologist. (Via) (Content at links may be disturbing to some.) [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Apr 26, 2011 -
Iraq Vet Who Advocated For Others Kills Himself
"Handsome and friendly, Clay Hunt so epitomized a vibrant Iraq veteran that he was chosen for a public service announcement reminding veterans that they aren't alone." - Clay Hunt died March 31 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The article states he had been dealing with "survivors guilt" and frustrated by a difficult disability claim process from wounds received in Iraq.
posted by randomkeystrike
on Apr 22, 2011 -
A Look Back at the Vietnam War on the 35th Anniversary of the Fall of Saigon. (The following photo collection contains some graphic violence and depictions of dead bodies.)
posted by docgonzo
on Apr 21, 2011 -
802 Prisoners attempted escape from Auschwitz. 144 were successful. Kazimierz Piechowski, a Polish boy scout, was one of them. Today, at age 91, he tells his story
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Apr 13, 2011 -
A Tragedy of Errors.
On Feb. 21, 2010, a convoy of vehicles carrying civilians headed down a mountain in central Afghanistan and American eyes in the sky were watching. "The Americans were using some of the most sophisticated tools
in the history of war, technological marvels of surveillance and intelligence gathering that allowed them to see into once-inaccessible corners of the battlefield. But the high-tech wizardry would fail
in its most elemental purpose: to tell the difference between friend and foe." FOIA
of US cockpit and radio conversations and an interactive feature
provide a more in-depth understanding of what happened.
posted by zarq
on Apr 10, 2011 -
"The United Nations-authorized intervention in Libya has pitched ethical issues of the highest importance, and has split progressives in unfortunate ways. I hope we can have a calm and civilized discussion of the rights and wrongs here." Professor Juan Cole
of the University of Michigan writes An Open Letter to the Left on Libya
posted by dvorak_beats_qwerty
on Mar 27, 2011 -
Libya: Six injured as US team botches rescue of downed airmen.
'US forces sent into Libya to rescue two downed American airmen botched the mission by shooting and wounding friendly villagers who had come to help, witnesses have said. Libyans who went to investigate the US warplane's crash site said that a US helicopter had come in with guns firing, creating panic and wounding onlookers, some of whom had to be taken to hospital; one 20-year-old man is expected to have his leg amputated.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword
on Mar 22, 2011 -
Last year, the unofficial Dean of the White House Press Corps, Helen Thomas,
spoke about the State of Israel on camera. (Previously)
: "Tell them to get the hell out of Palestine,"
and that the Jews "can go home"
to "Poland, Germany and America and everywhere else,"
sparked media outrage,
prompted her to issue an apology and retire
. After months of being out of the the public spotlight, she has now given her first long-form interview, which will appear in the April issue of Playboy Magazine
. In it, she explains what she meant, tells us how she would like to be remembered and expands upon her positions regarding Israel, Jewish political influence, Presidents Bush and Obama, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
posted by zarq
on Mar 22, 2011 -
How two American kids became big-time weapons traders
- "Working with nothing but an Internet connection, a couple of cellphones and a steady supply of weed, the two friends — one with a few college credits, the other a high school dropout — had beaten out Fortune 500 giants like General Dynamics to score the huge arms contract. With a single deal, two stoners from Miami Beach had turned themselves into the least likely merchants of death in history." (via
; previously on arms contractors
posted by kliuless
on Mar 21, 2011 -
The Légion Étrangère
is a French special forces unit comprised mostly of foreign nationals who wish to fight for France, and the promise of a French citizenship. They are today considered an elite unit, on par with or superior to the British SAS or Russian Spetsnaz, and have in their long history served in campaigns as far-flung as Mexico
, but are most famous for their image as colonial shock-troops in North Africa and the Middle East. Legionnaire fought Legionnaire in the Second World War during the Syria-Lebanon Campaign
, as the Vichy's 6e Régiment Étrangère d'Infanterie lined up against the Allied 13e Demi-Brigade de Légion Étrangère in a critical, yet unsung battle for North Africa. Their first campaign was in Algeria
- will their latest be in Libya?
posted by Slap*Happy
on Mar 19, 2011 -
. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13) Testament (1983)
. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese
on Feb 25, 2011 -
The Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Celexa, Effexor, Valium, Klonopin, Ativan, Restoril, Xanax, Adderall, Ritalin, Haldol, Risperdal, Seroquel, Ambien, Lunesta, Elavil, Trazodone War
New York Magazine's Jennifer Senior writes on prescription drug (ab)use among soldiers and veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk
on Feb 15, 2011 -
Richard Sullivan has posted the 16mm color footage
his father shot of the "spontaneous celebrations that broke out upon first hearing news of the Japanese surrender" on Kalakaua Ave in Waikiki on August 14th, 1945.
posted by zzazazz
on Feb 11, 2011 -
Wins-above-replacement, or WAR
, is a Sabermetric term of art
for baseball player comparison. Fangraphs
, one of the go-to sites for baseball nerdlingers, now offers a way to make WAR grids
, an amazingly easily comprehended visual display comparing players based on WAR, sortable by team, position and season, with a default topline of player age. [more inside]
posted by klangklangston
on Jan 14, 2011 -