Warfare: An advancing front
- "The US is engaged in increasingly sophisticated warfare, fusing intelligence services and military specialists" [more inside]
The CBC has launched an interactive web documentary
with tonnes of videos that takes users inside Shatila refugee camp
(pop. 12,000) in Beirut, where Palestinians have now lived for more than 60 years.
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
100 years of world cuisine
is a statistical exploration of military conflict that is both artistic and disturbing.
The Miscreants of Taliwood is probably one of the best documentaries I have ever seen. And it defies all types of film making (in a good way). The subject? The Talibanization of a certain part of Pakistan and the assault on art, entertainment, and humanity. But it’s not quite a documentary. It is a surreal trip through the fiction and the nonfiction of Peshawar, NWFP and FATA. It is fake, it is real, it is unbelievable. Basically, it is Pakistan. [more inside]
...it should be no surprise that among the 79 commandos involved in Operation Neptune Spear, one was a dog
...it should come as no surprise that among the 79 commandos involved in Operation Neptune Spear that resulted in Osama bin Laden's killing, there was one dog -- the elite of the four-legged variety. And though the dog in question remains an enigma -- another mysterious detail of the still-unfolding narrative of that historic mission -- there should be little reason to speculate about why there was a dog involved...
A lot more photos, links, and history here
and more adoption info here
With the death of Osama Bin Laden having re-opened the debate
over the intelligence value of "enhanced interrogation" techniques, it's worthwhile revisiting the wartime lessons of Sherwood Moran, missionary, Marine, and decorated POW interrogator
(he preferred he term "interviewer"). Working on the front lines of battle - even under aerial bombing and artillery shelling - he combined "deep human sympathy" with a "ruthlessly persistent approach" to extracting information from a supposedly unbreakable captured enemy. [more inside]
"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]
Constant led a paramilitary organization called FRAPH that terrorized Haiti
after the overthrow of Jean-Bertrand Aristide
. When FRAPH's fortunes declined, Toto mysteriously appeared in New York City, where he was scorned by the Haitian community
. Justice eventually caught up to Toto
, who is now imprisoned in New York state. [more inside]
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]
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.
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.)
is on his way back from reporting for 6 weeks in Afghanistan
. [more inside]
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]
On filming desperately graphic war footage.
Aussie photojournalist was 5 metres away when a 12 year old suicide bomber detonated a bomb.
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.
Conflict History: a Timeline of War and Conflict Across the Globe
You can browse the timeline to find information about wars from a long time ago
up to the present
. A map shows the conflicts spread across the globe. You can search for specific wars: we got your War of Jenkins' Ear
and your Battle of Gqokli Hill
Kurds Move To Upend The Status Quo In Kirkuk
- "In northern Iraq, Kirkuk has always been a flashpoint
with Kurds, Turkmen and Arabs, who all claim it as their own. It has a special place in the new Iraqi constitution, but nothing has changed
for years." [more inside]
"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
The music industry Loudness War
. Research into actual sales rankings
, Radio Impact
, Listener ratings
and Hearing loss
, all show better results for music
with a higher dynamic range.
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]
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.
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
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?
Cartoonist Tim Kreider
) of The Pain
talks about the last decade, our "disastrous decline" and his latest book of cartoons and essays, Twilight Of The Assholes. Part 1
. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13) Testament (1983)
. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) [more inside]
Only 60,000,000 citizens killed?! Success!!!
A 1950s Air Force film on what might happen in the event of a U.S.-Soviet nuclear conflict has been declassified and is available in full, online, from the National Security Archive of George Washington University.
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]
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.
The last Japanese man remaining in Kazakhstan: A Kafkian tale of the plight of a Japanese POW in the Soviet Union
. This is the story of Tetsuro Ahiko, a Japanese national who was living on Sakhalin Island during WWII, and was sent to gulags after the war instead of being repatriated to Japan. Ahiko has turned down multiple offers to be resettled in Japan and has spent 60+ years in Kazakhstan (what was then the Soviet Union.)
Professors' global model forecasts civil unrest against governments
- With protests spreading
in the Middle East
- not on the list) I thought this article
on a forecast model
predicting "which countries
will likely experience an escalation in domestic political violence [within the next five years]" was rather interesting. [more inside]
Al Jazeera has obtained
a large volume of official documents concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The confidential files, to be released in the coming days, were shared with The Guardian
Images of War
. Three friends
: Robert Capa
, Gerda Taro
and David Seymour
(known as Chim
) set out to document wartime Spain. Each photographer found their own vision, relationship with war, and eventual wartime deaths (Taro near Madrid in 1937; Capa, the first photojournalist killed in Indochina 1954, and Seymour to sniper fire in Egypt in 1956). Capa and Taro’s work
from the Civil War assumed lost during the Nazi Invasion of Paris appeared in a Mexican Suitcase
in 2007 bringing with it a mysterious tale (Previous Metas
For extra galleries click [more inside]
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]
At a Pentagon commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Defense Department general council Jeh C. Johnson argued King, a strident opponent of the Vietnam War
and of militarism generally, would acknowledge a justification for US military actions
around the world. Justin Elliot of Salon responds