Tag Archives | War and Peace

Is War Porn A Natural By-Product of War?

Lynndie EnglandJoanna Schroeder wonders whether war porn is deviant, or a natural by-product of teaching young people to kill, on the Good Men Project:

The nation was shocked when we learned of more supposed bad behavior by US troops overseas, in the form of posing with the bodies of dead enemy combatants. This isn’t shocking news though, is it? It’s been happening since the beginning of this war, and as far as we know, as long as war has been happening, in one form or the other.

In a fascinating Salon.com piece, former infantry soldier and combat veteran John Rico an insider’s perspective on the function of so-called war porn, and wonders what it is about society that makes us so shocked to learn that young people who’ve been trained to fight and kill since they were 18 years old have reveled in the death of their enemies:

I have to say that I find all the political and polite posturing to be quite amusing.

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The New (Conservative) Liberalism

JackassCharles Davis, on liberalism in America, and how it fails to provide systemic solutions to the problems faced in an increasingly conservative world. Via Al Jazeera:

Once upon a time — say, three years ago — your average Democrat appeared to care about issues of war and peace. When the man dropping the bombs spoke with an affected Texas twang, the moral and fiscal costs of empire were the subject of numerous protests and earnest panel discussions, the issue not just a banal matter of policy upon which reasonable people could disagree, but a matter of the nation’s very soul.

Then the guy in the White House changed.

Now, if the Democratic rank and file haven’t necessarily learned to love the bomb – though many certainly have — they have at least learned to stop worrying about it. Barack Obama may have dramatically expanded the war in Afghanistan, launched twice as many drone strikes in Pakistan as his predecessor and dropped women-and-children killing cluster bombs in Yemen, but peruse a liberal magazine or blog and you’re more likely to find a strongly worded denunciation of Rush Limbaugh than the president.

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As Ice Cap Melts, Militaries Vie for Arctic Edge

KV Svalbard

Photo: Marcusroos (CC)

Via Common Dreams:

While the corporate media continues to keep alive a false narrative that the world’s scientists are still divided over global climate change — new reports show the military has moved beyond that debate. The Associated Press reports today that “to the world’s military leaders, the debate over climate change is long over.”

Instead, military planners from a number of nations that border the Arctic are gearing up for a new cold war – a battle for control of the vast treasure of mineral and oil resources and control of new, strategic sea lanes. As the ice cap melts, the war for the North Pole is heating up.

Greenpeace reported last year: “WikiLeaks releases … have shown the Arctic oil rush is not just a threat to the environment and our climate, but also to peace.”

“The documents show how deadly serious the scramble for Arctic resources has become.

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American Military Veterans Now Kill Themselves At A Rate of One Every 80 Minutes

US Dept Of Veterans AffairsNicholas D. Kristof writes in the New York Times:
Here's a window into a tragedy within the American military: For every soldier killed on the battlefield this year, about 25 veterans are dying by their own hands. An American soldier dies every day and a half, on average, in Iraq or Afghanistan. Veterans kill themselves at a rate of one every 80 minutes. More than 6,500 veteran suicides are logged every year — more than the total number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq combined since those wars began. These unnoticed killing fields are places like New Middletown, Ohio, where Cheryl DeBow raised two sons, Michael and Ryan Yurchison, and saw them depart for Iraq. Michael, then 22, signed up soon after the 9/11 attacks. “I can’t just sit back and do nothing,” he told his mom. Two years later, Ryan followed his beloved older brother to the Army.
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Showdown With The Afghan National Army

Afghan National ArmyOur convoy was screaming down the road, traffic got out of our way in a hurry, as most would when multiple multi-ton armed vehicles packed full of pissed off soldiers are in their rearview mirror. We shouldn’t have even been out in sector this night, mostly because we got back from another patrol only a few hours prior, and it was the other squads turn to roll out but there we were.

The Afghan National Army had received a tip from a kid saying his dad was Taliban, and that he had weapons in his house somehow this got sent to us. We never work with the Afghan Army, we work with the Afghan Police. The area they got the tip from wasn’t even in my company’s battle space but again, there we were.

Everyone in the trucks were bitching and complaining, my Team Leader kept saying the whole thing was a trap, my driver kept saying we were all going to die.… Read the rest

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Why Some Civil War Soldiers Glowed in the Dark

Civil WarMatt Soniak writes on Mental Floss:

By the spring of 1862, a year into the American Civil War, Major General Ulysses S. Grant had pushed deep into Confederate territory along the Tennessee River. In early April, he was camped at Pittsburg Landing, near Shiloh, Tennessee, waiting for Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell’s army to meet up with him.

On the morning of April 6, Confederate troops based out of nearby Corinth, Mississippi, launched a surprise offensive against Grant’s troops, hoping to defeat them before the second army arrived. Grant’s men, augmented by the first arrivals from the Ohio, managed to hold some ground, though, and establish a battle line anchored with artillery. Fighting continued until after dark, and by the next morning, the full force of the Ohio had arrived and the Union outnumbered the Confederates by more than 10,000.

The Union troops began forcing the Confederates back, and while a counterattack stopped their advance it did not break their line.

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World Peace through Egalitarianism

EqualTo achieve world peace, one has to focus on international, national, local, and personal issues. The three most important goals in achieving world peace are egalitarianism, ecological wisdom, and emotional maturity. Participatory and consensus democracy and the reduction of hierarchy in government and in the workplace are integral components in attaining egalitarianism.

Considering the rapid growth of world population, environmental degradation, the vast disparity between the rich and poor nations, the dangers of nuclear energy and weapons, and the effects of corporatocracy — it is necessary to view the world as one organism, even if that is not what it is. Take the healthy human body. The heart, lungs, brain, and kidneys do not compete. They cooperate.

The ecosystem is being overloaded by unsustainable growth, species are becoming extinct at an alarming rate, drilling for oil easily is reaching its peak, and global injustice and inequality are on the increase. Ross Jackson in his book Occupy World Street: A Global Roadmap for Radical Economic and Political Reform presents evidence that the planet is under siege and our civilization is already in the middle of a global collapse.… Read the rest

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Could Humankind Ever Transcend War?

Nov3WomanBurqaNorthAllOn the Last Word On Nothing, a debate on whether or not war is an innate part of the human makeup. Scientist John Horgan says no:

There is no evidence of hominid or human group violence (as opposed to isolated acts of violence) dating back millions or even tens of thousands of years. The oldest evidence of deadly group violence by humans — a mass grave in the Nile Valley — is about 13,000 years old, and the vast bulk of evidence dates from 10,000 years ago or less, leading scholars such as Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, Doug Fry, and Erik Trinhaus to conclude that war is a relatively recent cultural phenomenon, associated often with agriculture and permanent settlements.

In response, some skeptics say, Well, we don’t have good evidence of any human behaviors more than 10,000 years ago. Actually, we have evidence of many complex cultural behaviors — tool-making, hunting, cooking, art, music, religion — emerging far back in the Paleolithic era, but not war.

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On Patrol With The Afghan National Police

PoliceKandahar, Afghanistan—High centered, surrounded on both sides by open air sewage ditches is a dusty Afghan Police Checkpoint. I mean ‘checkpoint’ only in the loosest of terms, as the Afghans put it together. A few sand bags here and there with a bright pink lawn chair in the center, the police stand totally unprotected.

If they ever did their job that is.

My squad’s patrol crawls by under the hot Kandahar sun, when they see us the Police jump up off their flamboyantly colored lawn chair and start searching random fields and anyone who is misfortunate enough to be close by. Their checkpoint commander rushes out and tries to look as professional as his ill-fitting uniform and bare feet allow him to look.

“Hello!” he calls out, trying to act like we are disturbing his work. Our interpreter walks over to him and starts small talk while the tired, sun burned soldiers spread out along nearby builds and canals to set up sectors of fire.… Read the rest

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Nuclear Weapons On A Street Near You

Mother Jones on how nuclear weapons quietly pass through major U.S. cities:

At a cost of $250 million a year, nearly 600 couriers employed by this secretive agency within the US Department of Energy use some of the nation’s busiest roads.

Yet hiding nukes in plain sight, and rolling them through major metropolises like Atlanta, Denver, and LA, raises a slew of security and environmental concerns, from theft to terrorist attack to radioactive spills. Moreover, in recent years the OST’s nuke truckers have had a spotty track record—including spills, problems with drinking on the job, weapons violations, and even criminal activity.

nukemap

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