Tag Archives | War

Pity the Children

Photo by Matthew Freire

Photo by Matthew Freire

The horrors of war may affect children worst of all.

Chris Hedges writes at Truthdig:

Combat brings with it trauma for those who inflict the violence as well as those who suffer it. See a lot of combat and the trauma is severe. But the worst trauma is often caused not by what combat veterans witnessed but by what they did. The most disturbing memories usually involve children. War creates bands of ragged, poor, dirty street urchins. The bands wander about the edges of a conflict looking for something to eat. They pick through the garbage dumps. They line the sides of roads begging convoys for food or chocolate. They attempt to sell a few pathetic items to make money. In Iraq they offered American troops “freaky”—the slang for European porn videos—whiskey or heroin (Turner said he doubted there was heroin in the packets). The children lived in fear.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

A Gallery of Propaganda on the Centennial of the “Great” War

3g03189u-1584 3g03350u-1587100 years ago this month, a war began that shattered all sorts of illusions in Western Civilization.   That "Great," quite rather than a superlative of "good," is connoted to imply anything but the mammoth scale of the event and its resulting painful, festering, living legacy. "The War to End All Wars," a title that naively suggested that the living memory of suffering and atrocity is the strongest safeguard against it...
Continue Reading

Chelsea Manning On How the Military Hides The Truth From America

PIC: How Chelsea Manning sees herself. Portrait by Alicia Neal, commissioned by the Chelsea Manning Support (C)

PIC: How Chelsea Manning sees herself. Portrait by Alicia Neal, commissioned by the Chelsea Manning Support (C)

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. — WHEN I chose to disclose classified information in 2010, I did so out of a love for my country and a sense of duty to others. I’m now serving a sentence of 35 years in prison for these unauthorized disclosures. I understand that my actions violated the law.

However, the concerns that motivated me have not been resolved. As Iraq erupts in civil war and America again contemplates intervention, that unfinished business should give new urgency to the question of how the United States military controlled the media coverage of its long involvement there and in Afghanistan. I believe that the current limits on press freedom and excessive government secrecy make it impossible for Americans to grasp fully what is happening in the wars we finance.

If you were following the news during the March 2010 elections in Iraq, you might remember that the American press was flooded with stories declaring the elections a success, complete with upbeat anecdotes and photographs of Iraqi women proudly displaying their ink-stained fingers.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Brain Zapping: The Future of War?

Photo: Michele Eaton 88 Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Photo: Michele Eaton 88 Air Base Wing Public Affairs

Military tech very often becomes consumer tech, so how long before we see students zapping their brains during exams? Or bond traders? Website editors? … BBC Future says, “Shocking the brain with mild electrical current was once a controversial treatment for the mentally ill. Now evidence is emerging that it could quicken learning and improve attention, and as Emma Young discovers, the US military is very interested in its potential”:

An unusual trial is underway at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, near Dayton, Ohio. An airman sits at a monitor in a laboratory, wired up with electrodes, his jacket slung over the back of his chair. Plane-shaped icons keep entering his airspace. He has to decide whether each incoming plane is a friend or a foe. If it’s a foe, he must send a warning. If it flies off, fine. If it doesn’t, he must bring it down.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Why War Is Inevitable

PIC: Bob Satterfield, 1919 (PD)

PIC: Bob Satterfield, 1919 (PD)

(Editor’s note: This post was meant to run on Memorial Day, but extenuating circumstances prevented its publication. Nonetheless, the material presented is still worthy of discussion.)

Paul Craig Roberts writes at CounterPunch:

Memorial Day is when we commemorate our war dead. Like the Fourth of July, Memorial Day is being turned into a celebration of war.

Those who lose family members and dear friends to war don’t want the deaths to have been in vain. Consequently, wars become glorious deeds performed by noble soldiers fighting for truth, justice, and the American way. Patriotic speeches tell us how much we owe to those who gave their lives so that America could remain free.

The speeches are well-intentioned, but the speeches create a false reality that supports ever more wars.  None of America’s wars had anything to do with keeping America free.  To the contrary, the wars swept away our civil liberties, making us unfree.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

The Weaponization of Mindfulness?

240px-Mindfulness-present-moment-here-now-awareness-symbol-logo

Pic: RadicalCourse (CC)

Via ScienceDaily:

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Naval Health Research Center have found that mindfulness training — a combination of meditation and body awareness exercises — can help U.S. Marine Corps personnel prepare for and recover from stressful combat situations.

The study, published in the May 16, 2014 online issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, suggests that incorporating meditative practices into pre-deployment training might be a way to help the U.S. military reduce rising rates of stress-related health conditions, including PTSD, depression and anxiety, within its ranks.

“Mindfulness training won’t make combat easier,” said Martin Paulus, MD, professor of psychiatry and senior author. “But we think it can help Marines recover from stress and return to baseline functioning more quickly.”

Drawing on the teachings of Zen Buddhism, scientists describe mindfulnes as a mental state characterized by “full attention to the present moment without elaboration, judgment or emotional reactivity.” Mindfulness training, traditionally practiced through sitting meditation, attempts to cultivate this mental state by quieting the mind of extraneous thoughts.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

Tim Freccia On Shooting Documentaries In A War Zone

8077526597_d27088c03a_z

PIC: Enough Project (CC)

My first thought? DON’T. I’m thankful that there are people who do, though, like documentarian Tim Freccia:

Tim Freccia just returned from shooting Saving South Sudan, where he worked in one of the bloodiest conflicts on earth. Here’s how he got the work done, even under threat of Ugandan gunships.

Tim’s covered crisis and conflict around the world — Haiti, Libya, Congo, Somalia, Kashmir and more — for outlets including Vice, Al Jazeera, the BBC, Der Spiegel, TIME and many others, in both photo and video. He’s been doing it since 1989 too and hasn’t died yet, so we figured he must know a thing or two about working in war zones.

IW: You’re sticking a camera in someone’s face while they’re sticking a gun in yours. How do you avoid being shot?

TF: I’ve been covering conflict for nearly three decades. This doesn’t mean just grabbing a camera and parachuting into a war zone.

Read the rest
Continue Reading

For the Age of the Information Wars, Some Pertinent Quotes Regarding the Future of Humanity

via chycho

assata shakur quote_thumb

We’re in the midst of a war on information. This war is being conducted on multiple fronts; to control the flow of public discourse on social networks, to control the flow of information on the Internet, to centralize power and continue the flow of disinformation by mainstream media (2, 3), to control public education and continue the indoctrination of the youth (2), to dismiss evidence and defund scientific research, and to acquire all private information for all peoples of all nations and consolidate that information into the data bases of centralized governments (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Below you will find some pertinent quotes regarding this war – the war that will decide the future of humanity. We should heed the warnings given and implement the solutions provided.

Read the rest
Continue Reading