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Of spies, special forces and drone strikes

Warfare: An advancing front - "The US is engaged in increasingly sophisticated warfare, fusing intelligence services and military specialists" [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 21, 2011 - 19 comments

A Stateless People

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.
posted by gman on May 19, 2011 - 15 comments

John J. Pershing: Born into War

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 - 41 comments

Details given for friendly audience about tactics, mistakes, funding and even entrepreneurial opportuneship.

Interesting details about the tunnel dug for the recent escape of 500 Taliban.
posted by maiamaia on May 16, 2011 - 11 comments

* 162m others not shown

100 years of world cuisine is a statistical exploration of military conflict that is both artistic and disturbing.
posted by anigbrowl on May 15, 2011 - 28 comments

Exile Nation: Drugs, Prisons, Politics, and Spirituality

"I realized that I was one of those extremely rare individuals who was a former POW of the drug war, and who got out and had the opportunity to share his story with the world." "It kind of makes an activist out of you when 3 helicopters land in your backyard and guys jump out with guns and destroy your place before your very eyes." Exile Nation is a documentary [complete film] [trailer] and an ongoing memoir, a work of “spiritual journalism”, and eventually "a documentary archive of interviews and testimonies […] revealing the far-ranging consequences of the War on Drugs to the American Criminal Justice System." [more inside]
posted by nTeleKy on May 13, 2011 - 11 comments

New Reliquaries

Artist Al Farrow uses ammunition, parts from firearms, and selected other materials to build miniature churches, synagogues, and mosques.
posted by gman on May 9, 2011 - 11 comments

Brown And Also Blue

VE and VJ Day, in London. In Colour.
posted by The Whelk on May 8, 2011 - 14 comments

The Miscreants of Taliwood

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]
posted by nickyskye on May 7, 2011 - 12 comments

U-853

"ALL U-BOATS. ATTENTION ALL U-BOATS. CEASE-FIRE AT ONCE. STOP ALL HOSTILE ACTION AGAINST ALLIED SHIPPING. DÖNITZ." [more inside]
posted by AugieAugustus on May 6, 2011 - 42 comments

War Dog of War

...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 here and more adoption info here
posted by J0 on May 5, 2011 - 102 comments

Battle-field Interpretation

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]
posted by Doktor Zed on May 3, 2011 - 56 comments

“Aux enfants, je leur dis et je leur répète: ne faites pas la guerre."

The Last Two Veterans of WWI [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 3, 2011 - 38 comments

Germany is never so happy as when she is pregnant with war.

"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 - 151 comments

A Bottomless Silo

The Rusty Technoporn Of Nuclear Russia - The Base Of Human Exterminators , The Place That Stalkers Would Love To Visit, from English Russia via Warren Ellis
posted by Artw on May 3, 2011 - 35 comments

Giving "The Devil" His Due

Emmanuel "Toto" 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]
posted by reenum on Apr 27, 2011 - 6 comments

Photographic Immortality

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 - 15 comments

Support for democracy is the province of ideologists and propagandists.

Is the World Too Big to Fail? [more inside]
posted by Shit Parade on Apr 26, 2011 - 62 comments

Iraq Vet Who Advocated For Others Kills Himself

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 - 70 comments

Captured:

Captured: 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 - 18 comments

War is Boring

David Axe is on his way back from reporting for 6 weeks in Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by garlic on Apr 19, 2011 - 7 comments

Prisoner 918

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 - 30 comments

"I don't know if I should be photographing that or not"

On filming desperately graphic war footage. Aussie photojournalist was 5 metres away when a 12 year old suicide bomber detonated a bomb.
posted by malibustacey9999 on Apr 10, 2011 - 89 comments

"They asked us who we were, and we told them we were civilians from Kijran district."

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-obtained transcripts 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 - 59 comments

War and Conflict Across the Globe

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.
posted by marxchivist on Apr 7, 2011 - 13 comments

Kirkuk: Ignore It While You Can

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]
posted by kliuless on Mar 31, 2011 - 1 comment

Pakistan's Secret Dirty Little War

Pakistan's Secret Dirty Little War
posted by lalochezia on Mar 29, 2011 - 34 comments

Cole to Left: "Learn to walk & chew gum at the same time."

"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 - 253 comments

The Loudness War is over

The music industry Loudness War is over. Research into actual sales rankings, Radio Impact, Listener ratings and Hearing loss, all show better results for music with a higher dynamic range.
posted by Lanark on Mar 25, 2011 - 61 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

The Fog Of War

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 - 127 comments

“I had reached the point of no return. You finally get fed up … I finally wanted to speak the truth.”

Last year, the unofficial Dean of the White House Press Corps, Helen Thomas, spoke about the State of Israel on camera. (Previously) Her replies: "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 - 224 comments

Deal of the Century

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 - 69 comments

Tweeting Operations in Odyssey Dawn

One Dutch radio geek is monitoring the airwaves for information about Operation Odyssey Dawn—and tweeting the surprisingly-detailed results.
posted by Fiasco da Gama on Mar 20, 2011 - 37 comments

.

Today is the 8th Anniversary of the beginning of the War in Iraq. Protesters around the country are trying to bring attention to our nation's continued involvement.
posted by whimsicalnymph on Mar 20, 2011 - 38 comments

Honneur et Fidélité, Legio Patria Nostra

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 and Vietnam, 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 - 47 comments

I mentally seceded from the US in 2004

Cartoonist Tim Kreider (previously, previously) 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 - 2 - 3 - 4
posted by The Whelk on Mar 5, 2011 - 6 comments

"Threads" and "Testament"

Threads (1984). (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 - 66 comments

Deterrent failed. Mission accomplished.

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.
posted by markkraft on Feb 21, 2011 - 54 comments

Curveball

Curveball: How the US was duped by an Iraqi fantasist looking to topple Saddam.
posted by homunculus on Feb 15, 2011 - 65 comments

The Exact Opposite of Countercultural

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 - 50 comments

VJ Day, Honolulu Hawaii, August 14, 1945

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 - 44 comments

Tetsuro Ahiko will not go home to Japan.

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.)
posted by gen on Feb 7, 2011 - 38 comments

predicting civil unrest

Professors' global model forecasts civil unrest against governments - With protests spreading in the Middle East (now Yemen - not on the list) I thought this article and blog 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]
posted by kliuless on Jan 27, 2011 - 42 comments

In which I re-fight WW2 and lose

Computer game, "Hearts of Iron III", lets you replay history from 1936 to the Cold War. Apparently, WW2 was more complicated than the movies suggest. Via The browser
posted by Philosopher's Beard on Jan 26, 2011 - 43 comments

The Palestine Papers

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.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jan 23, 2011 - 112 comments

Three War Photographers, and a Suitcase

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]
posted by stratastar on Jan 19, 2011 - 5 comments

Ten OTHER things Martin Luther King said

What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love. -MLK (SLYT)
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Jan 17, 2011 - 18 comments

WAR! Huh! Good god, y'all!

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 - 54 comments

The Giant Triplets of Racism, Materialism, and Militarism

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.
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Jan 14, 2011 - 31 comments

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