When Europe lost Latin as a shared communication tool, it was a new Babel Tower: Europeans couldn't understand each other any longer except within the boundaries of their national states. Not surprisingly, people who don't understand each other tend to resort to war to sort out conflicts. But Europeans also tried to replace Latin with some non-verbal tools: one was music. It is a long story that needs to be told from the beginning.
Yet today, the US continues to hold overseas territory. Besides Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and a handful of minor outlying islands, the US maintains roughly 800 overseas military bases around the world.
None of this, however – not the large colonies, small islands, or military bases – has made much of a dent on the mainland mind. One of the truly distinctive features of the US’s empire is how persistently ignored it has been. This is, it is worth emphasising, unique. The British weren’t confused as to whether there was a British empire. They had a holiday, Empire Day, to celebrate it. France didn’t forget that Algeria was French. It is only the US that has suffered from chronic confusion about its own borders.
https://www.vox.com/2018/2/15/17007678/syria-trump-war-win-interview, posted Aug '18 by peter in opinion politics usa war
Since 1945, the United States has very rarely achieved meaningful victory. The United States has fought five major wars — Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan — and only the Gulf War in 1991 can really be classified as a clear success.
The US doesn’t think several moves ahead. The US military is good at taking out bad guys. But the removal of the bad guy creates a power vacuum, and that power vacuum is filled by somebody else.
In Afghanistan, we created disorder and then the Taliban returned — the power vacuum there was also filled by ISIS. And in Iraq, the vacuum was filled by militant groups, most notably al-Qaeda in Iraq. In Libya, the vacuum was filled by a complicated range of militant groups.
We’re still stuck in this view that war is like the Super Bowl: We meet on the field, both sides have uniforms, we score points, someone wins, and when the game ends you go home. That’s not what war is like now. Now there are tons of civilians on the field, the enemy team doesn’t wear a uniform, and the game never ends. We need to know there’s no neat ending.
https://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/man-who-saved-the-world-from-nuclear-armageddon-in-1983-1818501062, posted Sep '17 by peter in history russia usa war
On September 26, 1983, Soviet military officer Stanislav Petrov received a message that five nuclear missiles had been launched by the United States and were heading to Moscow. He didn’t launch a retaliatory strike, believing correctly that it was a false alarm. And with that, he saved the world from nuclear war. But now reports have surfaced that Petrov died this past May. He was 77 years old.
Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov was 44 years old and working at a missile detection bunker south of Moscow on September 26, 1983. His computer told him that five nuclear missiles were on their way, and given their flight time, he had just 20 minutes to launch a counter attack. But Petrov told his superior officers that it was a false alarm. He had absolutely no real evidence that this was true, but it probably saved millions of lives.
Few people can legitimately claim to have personally saved the world, but this guy was someone who could. Покойся с миром!
An example of how Brexit could lead to a nuclear war could be this:
Brexit in the UK causes Italy or France to have a similar referendum. Le Pen wins an election in France. Europe now has a fractured EU. The EU, for all its many awful faults, has prevented a war in Europe for longer than ever before. The EU is also a major force in suppressing Putin’s military ambitions. European sanctions on Russia really hit the economy, and helped temper Russia’s attacks on Ukraine (there is a reason bad guys always want a weaker European Union). Trump wins in the US. Trump becomes isolationist, which weakens NATO. He has already said he would not automatically honor NATO commitments in the face of a Russian attack on the Baltics.
With a fractured EU, and weakened NATO, Putin, facing an ongoing economic and social crisis in Russia, needs another foreign distraction around which to rally his people. He funds far right anti-EU activists in Latvia, who then create a reason for an uprising of the Russian Latvians in the East of the country (the EU border with Russia). Russia sends “peace keeping forces” and “aid lorries” into Latvia, as it did in Georgia, and in Ukraine. He cedes Eastern Latvia as he did Eastern Ukraine (Crimea has the same population as Latvia, by the way).
It may come as an even greater surprise that bushido once received more recognition abroad than in Japan. In 1900 writer Inazo Nitobe's published Bushido: The Soul of Japan in English, for the Western audience. Nitobe subverted fact for an idealized imagining of Japan's culture and past, infusing Japan's samurai class with Christian values in hopes of shaping Western interpretations of his country.
Though initially rejected in Japan, Nitobe's ideology would be embraced by a government driven war machine. Thanks to its empowering vision of the past, the extreme nationalist movement embraced bushido, exploiting The Soul of Japan to pave Japan's way to fascism in the buildup to World War II.
It’s a wretched yet predictable ritual after each new terrorist attack: Certain politicians and government officials waste no time exploiting the tragedy for their own ends. The remarks on Monday by John Brennan, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, took that to a new and disgraceful low.
Speaking less than three days after coordinated terrorist attacks in Paris killed 129 and injured hundreds more, Mr. Brennan complained about “a lot of hand-wringing over the government’s role in the effort to try to uncover these terrorists.”
mobil.dn.se/nyheter/varlden/sa-exploderade-islamiska-staten-i-europas-ansikte/, posted 2015 by peter in history inswedish terrorism war
Med terrordådet i Paris har Islamiska staten (IS) tagit steget från största terrorskaparen i Mellanöstern till ett akut globalt säkerhetshot.
Men historien om IS börjar redan år 2003.
DN:s korrespondent Erik Ohlsson berättar om hur Islamiska staten kunde växa från en obskyr mördarsekt till en maktfaktor som stöpt om världspolitiken.
The leaked papers appear to show that drone strikes were often carried out based on insufficient and unreliable intelligence and when executed, often compromise further gathering of intelligence.
The documents reveal that in Afghanistan, drone strikes on 35 targets killed at least 219 other people.
www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/09/syria-boy-refugee-photo-turkey/403606/, posted 2015 by peter in eu opinion politics war
This is the mission of the moment. Sharing an image such as this should not be an end in itself; it should be the start of an investigation into the story behind it. What led Aylan’s family to climb into a 15-foot boat and push off perilously for Greece? Why did they not acquire refugee status from the UN, exit visas from Turkey, and asylum in Canada? How could the situation they found themselves in, and that thousands of other migrants and refugees now find themselves in, have been avoided?