Archive for the ‘war’ tag
The First World War really was, as this very neat little photo series illustrates, a clear embarkation point where the history of war changed dramatically and it became indisputably technologized.
Even as someone who got a BA in history and focused on the 20th century, I admit I was surprised by this when I learned this recently:
3. Men lived in the trenches for years on end
Front-line trenches could be a terribly hostile place to live. Often wet, cold and exposed to the enemy, units would quickly lose their morale if they spent too much time in them.
As a result, the British army rotated men in and out continuously. Between battles, a unit spent perhaps 10 days a month in the trench system, and of those, rarely more than three days right up on the front line. It was not unusual to be out of the line for a month.
Well, actually this video which is posted on YouTube some fifteen years after it was created around 1998, doesn’t have an nuclear explosions in the last 15 years. Still, I’m a sucker for maps and history, and this is a member of both of those sets. I learned that France did a lot of their nuclear testing in Africa, which I’d never thought of.
The poster’s description:
Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a beautiful, undeniably scary time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project’s “Trinity” test near Los Alamos and concluding with Pakistan’s nuclear tests in May of 1998.
Peter W. Singer, not the famous Australian utilitarian philosopher, considers some of the ramifications of the seemingly risk-free war the United States is carrying out in Pakistan.
And now we possess a technology that removes the last political barriers to war. The strongest appeal of unmanned systems is that we don’t have to send someone’s son or daughter into harm’s way. But when politicians can avoid the political consequences of the condolence letter — and the impact that military casualties have on voters and on the news media — they no longer treat the previously weighty matters of war and peace the same way.
(via The Browser)
This isn’t done often enough. Foreign Policy got a batch photos taken by Kabul teens which shows the day-to-day life of the people. While this may be antithetical to the traditional notion of news photography, regularly undertaking this practice would be an invaluable compliment to that.
Aside from hiring Kal Penn, President Obama recently reached an agreement with the Russians about arm limitation. I found Slate’s explanation of the logic behind the agreed target sobering.
U.S. military planners dream up a variety of hypothetical conflicts with other nuclear powers and determine how many warheads would be required to destroy all the most important targets in each scenario.
This chart is impeccably executed.
Eric Calderwood thinks that while the network’s coverage is unquestionably biased, it’s not without merit.
But in a larger sense, Al-Jazeera’s graphic response to CNN-style “bloodless war journalism” is a stinging rebuke to the way we now see and talk about war in the United States. It suggests that bloodless coverage of war is the privilege of a country far from conflict. Al-Jazeera’s brand of news - you could call it “blood journalism” - takes war for what it is: a brutal loss of human life. The images they show put you in visceral contact with the violence of war in a way statistics never could.
Dexter Filkens, who covered Iraq from 2003 to 2006, has a rather good piece about its impact on him in this week’s New York Times Magazine.
For me, the war sort of flattened things out, flattened things out here and flattened them out there too. Toward the end, when I was still there, so many bombs had gone off so many times that they no longer shocked or even roused; the people screamed in silence and in slow motion. And then I got back to the world, and the weddings and the picnics were the same as everything had been in Iraq, silent and slow and heavy and dead.
It’s worth considering the fact that Paul Krugman is wrong. But it’s also worth considering his point that the Georgia-Russia conflict may be the dawn of a new era:
But as I was reading the latest bad news, I found myself wondering whether this war is an omen — a sign that the second great age of globalization may share the fate of the first.