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Ghosts of D-Day: The Civilian Casualties of the Battle of Normandy – BLARB
Most Germans had actually left Caen by June 6, a fact the Allies knew, prompting one British historian to call the bombing of Caen “close to a war crime;” there are also indications that some planes flew too high to hit their targets accurately. But my mother’s family was deeply grateful for the Allies. Living in Caen, they had suffered for four years under a regime of daily humiliations and threats, of near-starvation rations. None of the survivors I knew referred to the deaths of their loved ones as a crime. Caen was bombed in order to isolate the Germans by destroying lines of communication. To call that a war crime is to fall into the same black-and-white thinking that leads us to avoid mentioning civilian deaths in the first place.
ww2  normandie  death  war  tragedy  story  family 
5 weeks ago by aries1988
日本还会再次发动战争吗? 日经中文网

日本不可能侵略中国的原因之一还有就是无法获得现在日本国民的支持。在1930年代日本存在侵略中国的背景。当时陷入经济大萧条的美国限制日本的产品进口,依赖对美出口的日本经济跌落深渊。日本缺乏石油等资源,经济陷入绝境。当时的日本处于人口爆炸式增加的时期,国内充满失业者。在当时的日本国民之中,对于通过战争和侵略解决困难局面显示出理解的人也不在少数。因此趁着经济和社会的混乱,主张对外扩张的军人从文官政治家手中夺取了政权。

但是,现代的日本则完全相反。人口正在减少,经济也保持良好,几乎接近充分就业状态。失业率降至2%,正受到劳动力短缺的困扰。经常项目收支维持顺差,政府和民间均拥有丰富的外汇,必要的资源和农作物可以从外国购买。通过武力夺取他国资源和土地的理由完全不存在。在现代日本,贫富差距扩大和少子老龄化等社会问题虽大量存在,但并不存在像1930年代那样军人不断暗杀政治家的严重社会矛盾和对立。即使有极端的民族主义者煽动侵略中国,大部分的日本国民也不会配合。
opinion  china  japan  war  numbers  military 
6 weeks ago by aries1988
诸神的黄昏
《春之祭》从文化史的角度给出了一个不同的解释:那场战争本质上是一场对旧秩序的宏大反叛,而这种普遍的内在冲动早已在人们的意识深处燃起。

这是一部德国视角的文化史,不说别的,单是这种从文化角度来看待战争冲突的想法就非常德国。可以说,一战本身就是一场“文化”对“文明”的战争:保守倾向的英法所讲究的是从市民社会发展而来的“文明”(civilization),但在反叛者看来,在戴着谦恭有礼和尊重国际法的虚伪面具下,仍是弱肉强食的丛林规则;而德国所推崇的“文化”(Kultur)则更偏向精神、道德与意志,按斯宾格勒的观点,那是生命进程或历史的基本现象,所有历史的文化象征都暗示着生命的形而上奥秘——这种带有神秘倾向的内在冲动,在英国的“文明人”看来则是非理性的、不守文明规范的。

在很大程度上,它也深受德国历史哲学的影响,带有浓厚的德国文化气息,那种从绘画、舞蹈等艺术类型切入来洞察时代精神变迁的手法,与斯宾格勒《西方的没落》如出一辙,也势必像前者一样饱受争议。不过显然,作者对“德国文化”也有其相对狭隘的界定——例如马克思主义这个同样主张斗争与解放的德国思潮,就并未包括在他的分析之中。对于政治人物那种诸如“维护德国人的感情”、“出于责任和荣誉”之类的说辞,他似乎也并未加以怀疑。从某种程度上说,这本《春之祭》本身的书写就像是沉醉在对复原那段历史的审美体验之中,那与其说是一段历史,不如说是一部歌剧。
ww1  deutsch  zeitgeist  art  book  war  uk  explained  civ  culture 
6 weeks ago by aries1988
为什么历史上会出现先进文明被落后文明征服的情况? - 知乎

有观点认为宋朝市民阶层活跃,官学私学兴起,皇帝与士大夫共天下,在人文精神方面堪比文艺复兴。一连串的窝囊废皇帝确实缺少权威,官民发声也是好事,但宋朝搞来搞去的人文精神,结果居然是推崇圣人训的程朱理学。“为天地立心,为生民立命,为往圣继绝学,为万世开太平”。这种酸腐的呓语被当做时代的强音,哪里有文艺复兴中质疑上帝说的影子?

经济繁荣之下,很多人会有很多奇思妙想并付诸实践。宋人先记录再说,不管是否成熟或能推广应用。夸大的文字描述与真实的技术功效之间,经常在有意无意中充满了欺骗性,最典型的例子就是沈括在《梦溪笔谈》中记述毕昇的泥活字印刷术。

元朝没能像法兰克王国扭转欧洲进程那样扭转中国的进程,其新拓展的疆域与汉文化不能相容。蒙古人和汉人的交流也不成功,在元末农民起义的大潮中,又退回蒙古高原,成为固守漠北的最后一支民族。

辽宋金元更替时期的另一个深远影响是中国的政治中心发生了变化。唐朝后期,关中平原因千年持续开发,植被破坏及水土流失严重,已无地利可言。唐末,长安、洛阳毁于战火,五代中除后唐定都洛阳,其他四朝均定都于华北平原的汴梁,随后北宋也顺势定都汴梁,完成了政治中心的一次东移。但是汴梁地理条件较差,地势过低,靠近黄河和大运河的便利不能抵消水患连连,最终在辽金的持续冲击下被放弃。
region  theory  history  war  state  civ  question  song  china  han 
12 weeks ago by aries1988
When Asia Ruled the World
Nonfiction The Pudong skyline, Shanghai. Credit Lauryn Ishak for The New York Times Amazon Local Booksellers Barnes and Noble When you purchase an independently…
contrarian  west  empire  conflict  world  war  success  europe  fail  qing  ottoman  book  opinion  history  prediction  theory 
april 2019 by aries1988
战争重塑中国(南北战争三百年)书评

这仍然未能回答东西方为何选择不同的道路,在我看来,这个问题的答案必须回到不同政治文化传统中去寻找:如果说在欧洲,在罗马帝国的废墟上能有效应对战争挑战的是封建军事传统,那么在中国北方,战争所激活的却是一个强国家传统,最终再次证明只有政治力量能有效整合各种资源转化为战斗力。
west  war  state  history  origin  comparison  question  book  review 
january 2019 by aries1988
克里米亚战争:地缘与信仰的千年之战
19世纪时,欧洲的基督教国家与信奉伊斯兰教的奥斯曼帝国已经打了几百年的仗,是不共戴天的仇敌。然而在这场战争中,天主教国家法国和奥地利,联合新教国家英国,与信奉伊斯兰教的奥斯曼帝国携手,共同对抗东正教国家俄罗斯,这在过去是难以想象的。俄罗斯一直以东正教领袖自居,认为自己拥有上天赋予的神圣宗教使命,要把巴尔干地区同样信奉东正教的斯拉夫人从奥斯曼帝国手中“解放”出来。而在欧洲列强看来,虽然同属基督教家庭,一个野蛮、不开化、具有扩张性的俄罗斯所带来的威胁,甚至超过了已是奄奄一息的奥斯曼帝国。
origin  war  russia  uk  france  ukraine  medical 
january 2019 by aries1988
What Happens When a Bad-Tempered, Distractible Doofus Runs an Empire? | The New Yorker

About a decade ago, I published “George, Nicholas and Wilhelm: Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I,” a book that was, in part, about Kaiser Wilhelm, who is probably best known for being Queen Victoria’s first grandchild and for leading Germany into the First World War. Ever since Donald Trump started campaigning for President, the Kaiser has once again been on my mind—his personal failings, and the global fallout they led to.

Wilhelm’s touchiness, his unpredictability, his need to be acknowledged: these things struck a chord with elements in Germany, which was in a kind of adolescent spasm—quick to perceive slights, excited by the idea of flexing its muscles, filled with a sense of entitlement.
deutschland  history  ww1  leader  personality  disaster  war  book  trump 
november 2018 by aries1988
The end of the First World War - History Extra
As we approach the centenary of the armistice, Gary Sheffield explores the final moments of the conflict that devastated the world for four and a half years
ww1  comparison  deutschland  uk  france  war  why 
november 2018 by aries1988
黄宇和:21世纪初西方鸦片战争研究反映的重大问题-中国社会科学网
根深蒂固的西方偏见之一,是英国人坚称其发动鸦片战争是正义的,所持理由是扫除广东十三行强加于外国商人的种种极度苛刻的通商条件与限制,近乎于种族歧视。

盖尔伯把其研究第一次鸦片战争的心得,归纳如下:
从英国的政治角度看,1840—1842那场与中国的战争,并非一场鸦片战争,而只是区区一些地方性的小摩擦。英国坚决反抗那腐朽透顶,却高高在上而又狂妄无知的中国,坚决维护英王的尊严,坚决保护英国男女的性命安全,坚决追偿被中国政府抢夺了的财物。没有任何一个伦敦人,也没有任何一个带兵攻打中国的军官,会认为该场战争与鸦片有任何关系。若中国人有本领堵塞鸦片走私,就让他们大显身手吧,英军则绝对不会代劳。那场战争,打起来不费吹灰之力;却后患无穷,盖数十年后,传教士目睹中国的苦难,悲天悯人,错误地怪罪英国把鸦片强加于中国,才改变了英美舆论。

他进一步阐明其理论说:“鸦片在中国以外的地方,包括英国和印度,都是合法的,单单在中国不合法。结果在中国,不但成千上万的中国商人与黑帮,疯狂地走私鸦片;就连最上层的高官,也染指其中。”
opinion  qing  uk  war  west  narrative 
october 2018 by aries1988
英国汉学家蓝诗玲:很多英国人对鸦片战争深感内疚-文化读书频道-手机搜狐
由于“黄祸论”,中国人移民到英国、美国和法国,要面对太过残酷的种族主义。想了解这种气氛,可以看老舍在1920年代写的《二马》。老舍还可以写得更极端一些。对于在英国的中国人,那个时候确实很残酷、很困难。

鸦片战争是很可能引起争议的主题。我每次出书,没法做到权威,但要按个人能力尽量去了解。写作一本书,你才真正开始处理对某一历史事件的理解。虽然不可能完美,但还是稍微有一点点进步。我想尽量做到的,是不要把这场战争写得太情绪化。虽然冷静很困难,但历史学家应该尽量客观。关键在于,历史学家能不能看大量第一手资料,然后把意思反馈或表达给读者们,让读者自己去处理内部的矛盾。中国人在鸦片战争中是受害者。这场战争的后果太严重了,必须尽量了解战争的意义或脉络。
interview  uk  book  war  qing 
october 2018 by aries1988
英国人为什么对鸦片战争避而不谈?_文化课_澎湃新闻-The Paper
有一位评论我这本书的英国学者提出了这么一个问题,为什么鸦片贸易会被大多英国人遗忘,而奴隶贸易却会被记住?这位学者猜想是否因为奴隶贸易是以“主动废除”这种方式结束,但英国政府之所以放弃鸦片贸易,却是碍于外部压力。

我认为不存在绝对的“历史真相”,即便在中国或英国国内,国人对同一个历史事件也会有不同的理解与记忆。在“集体记忆”中,必然有许多人不同的“个人记忆”。在任何情况下,历史学家都不可能重建历史事件的全貌和复杂性,留下的史料也永远不会是完整的。
而在任何国家或文化里,历史叙事无一例外地被赋予了政治意义,对历史的解读也深深影响着统治者和政治家的立场合理性。
即便如此,历史学家依然有一个很重要的工作,就是尽可能挖掘第一手史料,从而提醒当代读者历史的复杂性,并鼓励读者重新对史料进行研读,以得出自己的结论。
interview  uk  war  qing  book  imperialism  education  chinese 
october 2018 by aries1988
愤怒的民族,暴躁的皇帝:威廉二世与德意志帝国的战争之路

拿破仑的外交大臣瘸子塔列朗有一句名言,那天他看着一位战场上的英雄,拄着拐杖大踏步走向拿破仑皇帝,于是对身边的人说他只是生理上瘸,而我则是心理和生理上都瘸。
deutschland  king  war  bio 
october 2018 by aries1988
Faut-il revoir l'enseignement de la guerre d'Algérie ?
Qu'est-ce qui justifie cet enseignement facultative ?
Pourquoi la crainte des enseignements
https://overcast.fm/+BDarWHBc/13:05
https://overcast.fm/+BDarWHBc/16:13

Traiter de la Guerre d'Algerie en classe
https://overcast.fm/+BDarWHBc/32:30
education  france  français  algerie  war  children  teaching 
october 2018 by aries1988
日本与沙俄之战:一战的东亚版本
为了鼓舞日本国民,从1968年开始,作家司马辽太郎在《产经新闻》发表连载小说《坂上之云》,以明治陆军“骑兵之父”秋山好古、被评为“智谋如涌”的海军参谋秋山真之、创作俳句《法隆寺》的诗人正冈子规为主人公,描绘了从明治维新到日俄战争的30余年历史,希望以一本“乐观主义者的故事”来唤醒日本国民对于重建战后日本的热情。“坂上之云”便比喻 当年的日本人一边追逐着“山坡上的云”一边前进,来自明治时代的昂扬感激励起战后日本人重新建设经济强国。

历史上被称为“第〇次世界大战”的战争有很多,如丘吉尔认为普鲁士同盟与法奥俄同盟之间的七年战争(1756-1763)是最早的世界大战,拿破仑战争(1803-1815)、普鲁士统一战争 (1864-1871)都有过类似称呼。相比之下,日俄战争(1904-1905)得获此名的逻辑更为直接:正如二战爆发由一战结束后的“分赃不均”及过度制裁德国而埋下种子,一战爆发的始源也来自于日俄战争后国际关系的变动。

随着日俄战争走向尾声,沙俄的实力进一步遭到削弱,不得不从中国东北与朝鲜半岛退出,英俄矛盾骤然减小;另一方面德奥同盟的力量愈发强大,法国在北非殖民地面临巨大挑战,只能寻求英国的支持,这也促使英国与法国的盟友——沙俄之间越走越近。

日俄战争本质上是英国与日本、沙俄与法国两大利益集团在远东的一次博弈,战争虽然以日本取胜、沙俄落败,但两大集团却成功形成相互认同,进而以互相认可势力范围、签订协约为基础,成立“协约国”集团。从这个角度讲,第一次世界大战并不是“三国协约”,而是包括日本在内的“四国协约”。

倒退回“三足鼎立”时代,如果没有沙俄与日本之间矛盾升级,欧洲的利益关系很可能出现另一种形态:事实上英德两国在1900年已经达成《扬子江协定》,规定双方在华利益范围;1901年德国甚至提出与英国、日本结为“三国同盟”。如果同盟成立,那么一战的对立形态就不再是“英法俄”对阵“德奥土”,而有可能变成“英德”对阵“俄法”,那无论一战的结果如何,20世纪乃至于现代历史的发展都会完全不同。
1900s  war  japan  russia  diplomacy  explained  ww1  europe  china 
september 2018 by aries1988
Histoire de la Guerre de Trente Ans (1618-1648) (1/4) : Le grand entretien
Un grand entretien avec l'historien Hervé Drévillon, spécialiste d'histoire militaire pour inaugurer cette série de quatre émissions consacrée à un conflit terrible qui a ensanglanté l’Europe dans la première moitié du 17e siècle : la Guerre de Trente Ans.
europe  xvii  history  war  france  military 
september 2018 by aries1988
The Korean War in Pictures - The New York Times
Roughly 25 percent of the North’s population was believed to have been killed in the war.
korea  war  photo  1950s 
april 2018 by aries1988
'Charlottesville': A Government Story About Nuclear War - The Atlantic

Charlottesville, the small but elegant center of learning, culture, and trade in central Virginia, was not hit either. This monument to the mind and manner of Jefferson retained its status as a kind of genteel sanctuary, momentarily immune to the disaster that had leveled the cities of the nation.
scifi  history  nuclear  war  usa  government  life  explained  policy  survive 
february 2018 by aries1988
Austria and Italy clash over South Tyrol citizenship proposal
Vienna proposes citizenship for residents of region formerly part of Austro-Hungarian empire
italia  austria  war  ww1  today 
december 2017 by aries1988
刘仲敬:大清是如何输给日本的
从宏观角度来看,我们可以说当时世界存在的不只一种世界体系,欧洲的世界体系在签订了威斯特伐利亚条约,解构了教皇和皇帝在基督教世界最高权力以后,渐渐的创造了民族国家实体概念,由民族国家实体比较平稳地组成一个没有确定权威的国际关系网络,取代了教皇和皇帝领导的基督教文明共同体这个有最高权力体系的概念。然后这个体系随着时间推移,逐渐扩散到全世界。

与此同时,中国或者说是大清承袭了中国自古以来的天下国家或者说宇宙国家的体系,同时又加上了满蒙部族联盟这个统治核心的特点。天下国家的根本特点是它没有确定的行为主体,也没有确定的边界和主权的。

首善之区就是京师,离皇恩最近,所以它的道德水平是最高的,甚至皇帝作为天下的领袖,他的道德是最高的,他主要凭他的道德感召力量而不是凭他的赤裸裸的武力来迫使各地屈服。内环到外环的道德程度和管控能力都要相应的削弱,最后的“化外之地”蛮夷肯定是像没有长大的小孩一样,是完全不听话、捣乱的。

如果你承认英国跟清国是平行的国家,那么你肯定是大逆不道的,因为普天之下莫非王土,英国这些人虽然是不懂中文而且是蛮夷,毫无疑问也是皇上的臣民,你说它是跟皇上独立的国家,那你就是大逆不道。割地赔款反倒不是,因为割地赔款是一种犒赏性的行动,是教育小孩子懂得教化的一种贿赂性的做法,而且在天下国家体系当中没有入侵这件事情,因为没有在皇权之外存在着同等的权力,只有叛乱这回事,

所以撤换林则徐非但不是丧权辱国的行动,反而是皇帝遵守儒家教化和宪法原则的结果,因为英国人上X访是到皇帝面前鸣冤告状,因为林总督没有公正的对待他们,所以皇上在弄清是非曲直之前,一定要各打五十大板,首先要把主管官员撤掉,就好像说是某个地方有访X民到中央告状,中央处理问题一定是要回避,处理这个问题的官员先让他停职审X查,要不然有他在那里从中作梗的话,访X民绝对不可能得到公正待遇。道光皇帝当时就是这样的思维。

清廷人有双面性,他在面对内地的时候仍然要坚持他的德教原则和文治的原则,也就是说不能使用武力,或者说是不能过度的使用武力,只能维持一个极小规模的政府和军X队

一个共X产X党的政X权,你应该是不承认民主国家的原则,就像苏联一样,它和整个无产阶级世界处在战争状态,只有在共X产主义实现以后才能够按照共X产主义兄弟原则处理内部关系,对外的关系应该是一种永恒的无限制的战争,像列宁说的那样,是根本不受任何法律和规则约束的战争。事实上这个做不到。你要和占据绝对优势的西方国家打交道的话,你想完全拒绝接受西方的游戏规则和国际惯例的话,你将会陷入极其被动甚至有亡国之祸的情况下,所以你必须部分接受。

英国人要代表西方教会清国怎样在西方的游戏规则中作为一个普通国家生存而玩这种游戏

内地的保守派包括满族亲贵来允许它进行有限改革,因此它加入国际体系是半心半意的,这个强大的集团是隐性的,没有出现李鸿章这样杰出的首领,实际上他们的权X势要比李鸿章这方面要强大得多。而英国这一方面过高的估计了李鸿章这一系在清廷内部体制内的影响力,觉得他们的课业是很快就会成功的,因此在外交上往往是比较袒护清政府的。

清廷内部有强烈的声音说疏远的外藩我们本来就不在乎,但朝鲜不是,朝鲜是关系密切的内藩,我们如果再也维护不了大清的权威的话,那实在是说不过去

凡尔登大战死了几十万人,但是意义还没有攻占冬宫来得重要,攻占冬宫那次战役中间,其实列宁和克伦斯基双方的损失都是非常少的,但是严重的影响了历史路径

甲午战争这件事情,它的意义不在于它当时死了几个人,也不在于当时赔了点钱,其实从长期来看,这点钱其实也是无所谓的,关键在于它把日本推上了它渴望已久的地位,而清政府方面却根本没有意识到自己丧失了什么东西,它丧失的是机会。如果你丧失的是具体的钱和人,你知道你死了多少人,亏了多少钱,但是你丧失了机会的时候,如果你知识结构不完整的话,很可能你意识不到。而对于人或者对于国家来说,无形的机会才是最宝贵的,你丧失机会造成的损失远比你丧失钱或者丧失具体物品来得重要。

这条没有出路的道路从根本上讲就是清室无法割舍他自身维持的那个国际体系的结果,这一点不单单是清室自己的昏聩,应该说维持这种体系,在清廷内部应该是一个占据主流地位的舆论,清政府如果根据李鸿章的思路进行改革的话,反倒是非常不得人心、不得军心的。
japan  china  history  war  qing  19C  theory  civ  politics  state  comparison 
december 2017 by aries1988
The Interpreter Wednesday, December 6, 2017
In school, you probably learned some version of the Prussian theorist Carl von Clausewitz’s dictum that countries go to war to achieve political ends. Japan attacked the United States to dominate the Pacific, Iraq invaded Kuwait for its oil and so on.
Then maybe you took a class on World War I and learned that countries can be pulled into wars by the contradictions of the international system. For example, Germany invaded Russia to pre-empt a Russian invasion of Austria-Hungary, Germany’s ally. It was a rational choice made necessary by an irrational system.
And if you’re a real nerd, you might’ve read John Keegan’s “A History of Warfare” and learned that war is a cultural phenomenon, produced by the aggressor’s internal social and political dynamics. How else to explain American mobilization for a war in faraway Vietnam?
war  book 
december 2017 by aries1988
The Interpreter
(1) It’s over. We failed. North Korea is a nuclear power now.
2017  korea  asia  crisis  usa  war  nuclear  military  success 
november 2017 by aries1988
War once helped build nations, now it destroys them

Revolutionary-era France, Jacksonian America and Maoist China – three signature periods of nation-building in global history – are as notorious for their crimes as for their enduring accomplishments.

global politics today is bereft of big ideas and revolutionary ideologies. Most nations have conformed to the Washington Consensus on norms in governance and economics. Even the remaining autocracies largely play by those rules.
war  world  today 
november 2017 by aries1988
BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Picasso's Guernica
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the events behind and impact of Picasso's iconic work.
basque  nazi  history  espagna  art  ww2  civil  war 
november 2017 by aries1988
The First Time I Met Americans - The New York Times
Children 16 and younger were evacuated to the countryside, separated from their parents. It was not so different from the experiences of British children in London in 1940, but the children of Hanoi endured all of this much longer — from 1964 to 1973 — and our life during wartime was tougher.

I didn’t think we would win a victory like my father’s generation had at Dien Bien Phu, and I also understood that the Americans were many times stronger than the French. But I strongly believed, as did most of my comrades, what President Ho had told us many times — that eventually the United States would give up and go home.

I don’t know the overall survival statistics, but out of the 25 boys from my high school who went to war, 11 were killed. Of the three young men from my apartment building in Hanoi who enlisted with me, I was the only one to return.
story  soldier  vietnam  war  1970s  american  literature  usa 
november 2017 by aries1988
Conquerors
Conquerors has 734 ratings and 104 reviews. Sebastien said: I really enjoyed this read. Excellent use of primary texts, told in a narrative type way that...
history  discovery  war  india  portugal  book  lisbon  16C 
october 2017 by aries1988
征服者 - 图书
征服者豆瓣评分:8.9 简介:通过“地中海史诗三部曲”(《1453》《海洋帝国》《财富之城》),《纽约时报》畅销书作家罗杰•克劳利确立了自己的地位:他是我们这一代研究欧洲伟大航海帝国的卓越历史学家,也是十字军东征之后东西方冲突领...
book  reading  portugal  war  discovery  history  death  lisbon 
october 2017 by aries1988
Rocket Man Knows Better - The New York Times
It is a criminal enterprise focused on long-term survival, far more adept at enslaving its people than fighting big-boy wars.

Sadly, the United States has largely forgotten the lessons of the Korean War, even though that conflict cost the lives of more than 33,000 American combatants. The causes of this collective amnesia are varied: The Korean War ended in an inglorious tie that was impossible to celebrate. It produced no Greatest Generation myths and few memorable movies. Then came Vietnam — the first war to be truly televised, a war that is still being parsed on public television. Vietnam seared itself into our literary and cinematic culture, blotting out Korea, the Forgotten War.

After a halting and discouraging start that cost the lives of thousands of G.I.s, the American war machine became a murderous, unstoppable force. Using bombs and napalm, the United States Air Force blew up and burned down virtually every population center in North Korea. Gen. Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, estimated that “over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — 20 percent of the population.” That’s about 1.9 million people.

Vast numbers of Chinese troops died to save North Korea from Kim’s bloody mistake; they kept his regime from becoming a footnote in Asian history.
history  korea  war  1950s  mao  usa  2017 
september 2017 by aries1988
A Murderous History of Korea

Kim’s reputation was inadvertently enhanced by the Japanese, whose newspapers made a splash of the battle between him and the Korean quislings whom the Japanese employed to track down and kill him, all operating under the command of General Nozoe Shotoku, who ran the Imperial Army’s ‘Special Kim Division’.

A vital figure in the long Japanese counterinsurgency effort was Kishi Nobusuke, who made a name for himself running munitions factories. Labelled a Class A war criminal during the US occupation, Kishi avoided incarceration and became one of the founding fathers of postwar Japan and its longtime ruling organ, the Liberal Democratic Party; he was prime minister twice between 1957 and 1960.

Kim Il-sung and Kishi are meeting again through their grandsons. Eight decades have passed, and the baleful, irreconcilable hostility between North Korea and Japan still hangs in the air.

The demonisation of North Korea transcends party lines, drawing on a host of subliminal racist and Orientalist imagery; no one is willing to accept that North Koreans may have valid reasons for not accepting the American definition of reality.

Congress and the American people knew nothing about this. Several of the planners were Japanophiles who had never challenged Japan’s colonial claims in Korea and now hoped to reconstruct a peaceable and amenable postwar Japan.

They worried that a Soviet occupation of Korea would thwart that goal and harm the postwar security of the Pacific.

it was no surprise that after a series of South Korean incursions into the North, full-scale civil war broke out on 25 June 1950.

South Korea’s stable democracy and vibrant economy from 1988 onwards seem to have overridden any need to acknowledge the previous forty years of history, during which the North could reasonably claim that its own autocracy was necessary to counter military rule in Seoul. It’s only in the present context that the North looks at best like a walking anachronism, at worst like a vicious tyranny.
war  korea  origin  disaster  nuclear  usa  explained  instapaper_favs 
september 2017 by aries1988
Ken Burns’ documentary on an unwinnable war
Co-directed by Lynn Novick, ten-part series ‘The Vietnam War’ sheds new light on old wounds
coldwar  vietnam  war  documentary  usa 
september 2017 by aries1988
The Risk of Nuclear War with North Korea

the two men making the existential strategic decisions were not John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev but a senescent real-estate mogul and reality-television star and a young third-generation dictator who has never met another head of state. Between them, they had less than seven years of experience in political leadership.

From time immemorial, there is a tradition of giving foreigners the best service, Pak explained. The No. 1 thing is to protect them, unless they are spies or enemies.

George W. Bush refused bilateral negotiations, then switched tacks and convened what are known as the Six-Party Talks.

Pyongyang is a city of simulated perfection, without litter or graffiti—or, for that matter, anyone in a wheelchair. Its population, of 2.9 million, has been chosen for political reliability and physical health. The city is surrounded by checkpoints that prevent ineligible citizens from entering.

Physically, he transformed himself into a near-reincarnation of his grandfather, Kim Il Sung, who was much more popular than Kim Jong Il. He bore a natural likeness to his grandfather, and, to accentuate it, he gained weight, cut his hair in a shorn-sided pompadour, and began wearing horn-rimmed glasses and a panama hat. (When foreign media suggested that he had undergone surgery to enhance the similarity, the state news agency condemned the speculation as sordid hackwork by rubbish media.)

So the Wall Street Journal is conservative? he asked. The editorial page is conservative, I said, but the news coverage is straight.

For him, basketball was everything. Kim drew pictures of Michael Jordan and slept with a basketball, according to Ko Yong Suk, the aunt who cared for him. She took him skiing in the Alps, swimming on the French Riviera, and to the Disney park in Paris. He showed flashes of stubbornness. If he was scolded for not studying, he’d refuse to eat. He wasn’t a troublemaker, but he was short-tempered, Ko told the Washington Post last year. (She and her husband defected to the U.S. and now run a dry-cleaning business, under assumed names.)

Dean Rusk, who later became Secretary of State, recalled, in an oral history in 1985, that the United States bombed every brick that was standing on top of another, everything that moved. General Curtis LeMay, the head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, told the Office of Air Force History in 1984, Over a period of three years or so, we killed off—what—twenty per cent of the population.
korea  history  war  crisis  2018  interview  usa 
september 2017 by aries1988
How to Deal With North Korea

The myth holds that Korea and the Kim dynasty are one and the same. It is built almost entirely on the promise of standing up to a powerful and menacing foreign enemy. The more looming the threat—and Trump excels at looming—the better the narrative works for Kim Jong Un. Nukes are needed to repel this threat. They are the linchpin of North Korea’s defensive strategy, the single weapon standing between barbarian hordes and the glorious destiny of the Korean people—all of them, North and South. Kim is the great leader, heir to divinely inspired ancestors who descended from Mount Paektu with mystical, magical powers of leadership, vision, diplomatic savvy, and military genius. Like his father, Kim Jong Il, and grandfather Kim Il Sung before him, Kim is the anointed defender of all Koreans, who are the purest of all races. Even South Korea, the Republic of Korea, should be thankful for Kim because, if not for him, the United States would have invaded long ago.

And with only a few of its worst weapons, North Korea could, probably within hours, kill millions. This means an American first strike would likely trigger one of the worst mass killings in human history.

If mass civilian killings were not a factor—if the war were a military contest alone—South Korea by itself could defeat its northern cousin. It would be a lopsided fight. South Korea’s economy is the world’s 11th-largest, and in recent decades the country has competed with Saudi Arabia for the distinction of being the No. 1 arms buyer. And behind South Korea stands the formidable might of the U.S. military.

They are believed to have tunnels stretching under the DMZ and into South Korea. Special forces could be inserted almost anywhere in South Korea by tunnel, aircraft, boat, or the North Korean navy’s fleet of miniature submarines.

They could wreak havoc on American and South Korean air operations and defenses, and might be able to smuggle a nuclear device to detonate under Seoul itself.

Kim Jong Un, with his bad haircut and his legion of note-taking, big-hat-wearing, kowtowing generals, would be gone. South Korea’s fear of invasion from the North, gone. The menace of the state’s using chemical and biological weapons, gone. The nuclear threat, gone.

Kim may end up trapped in the circular logic of his strategy. He seeks to avoid destruction by building a weapon that, if used, assures his destruction.

Since I have been living here for so long, I am not scared anymore, said Gwon Hyuck-chae, an elderly barber in Munsan, about five miles from the DMZ. Even if there was a war now, it would not give us enough time to flee. We would all just die in an instant.
korea  2017  diplomacy  asia  usa  war  politics 
july 2017 by aries1988
冯学荣:1937,历史的陷阱-墙外楼
1937年的夏天,是个不平凡的夏天。 这一年的7月8日,蒋介石在庐山接到卢沟桥事变(七七事变)爆发的消息,他陷入沉思,不理解日本人到底想干什么,是想趁我准备尚未完成及时发动战争?还是只想加速华北脱离中央?(参《蒋介石日记》),他手中所掌握的日方军事情报非常有限,他实在是不知道,日本人脑子里想的是什么。

依照帝国宪法,帝国政府无法指挥帝国的军队(此说虽荒唐,但确属实情,当时依据《日本帝国宪法》,日本皇军直属天皇管辖,政府无权指挥军队,而天皇又在一定程度上被架空,所以实际上日本军队是受日本军阀指挥)。

12月5日,赤俄反悔,回电国民政府,说必须等九国公约大多数国家同意共同对付日本侵略时,苏联才会出兵,而且就算是出兵,也要经过最高苏维埃会议批准,该会议最快要一个半月举行,蒋介石接电,面如死灰

12月27日,最高国防会议,讨论日本提出的追加条件,会上多数主和,蒋介石说日本信不过,他力排众议,坚持抗战
1937  japan  china  war  history 
may 2017 by aries1988
How Japan is preparing for a nuclear attack

One of the US’s biggest business groups, for example, polls its members each quarter about how company executives perceive geopolitical risks. Until very recently, a minute proportion of companies considered North Korea to be the most serious threat; instead, the dominant focus for concern was so-called Islamic State.

Yet the pattern is changing. In the most recent survey, compiled this month, North Korea is ranked as the number one threat, above Isis. But most voters still know little about the country, and few realise that American troops in Japan or California might be a target.

Confronting a possible missile threat looks scary but it’s not necessarily any more frightening than the knowledge that more than 33,000 people are killed by gunfire each year in the US. Cultural perceptions of danger vary.
story  japan  usa  korea  war  nuclear  perception  world 
may 2017 by aries1988
Lunch with the FT: Donald Keene
as an 18-year-old, he came across a translation of The Tale of Genji in the Astor Hotel in New York.

worst of all, there were troops of Chinese children being led through. I was just so heartbroken by that. They deliberately inculcated hatred. These terrible things happened, yes. But you must get on with it.” These are sensitive matters, that still dog Asian politics. I could ask why Keene seems more troubled by Chinese propaganda than by Japanese atrocities.

while men were writing in classical Chinese, women more or less took over a whole new Japanese syllabary, hiragana, sometimes known as “women’s script”.
japan  japanese  american  literature  story  bio  china  war  gaijin  immigrant 
may 2017 by aries1988
The U.S. wants to stop North Korean missiles before they launch. That may not be a great idea. - The Washington Post
Alternatively, they might preempt an attack that was about to take place, by targeting the basic command, control and communications systems that are used to launch missiles. This might work better than conventional antimissile systems that a U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff report describes as trying “to hit a bullet with a bullet.”

This means that it is very hard to use cyber weapons to make credible threats against other states. As soon as you have made a credibly-specific threat, you have likely given your target enough information to figure out the vulnerability that you want to exploit.

Cyber operations rely on deception, but nuclear deterrence relies on clear communication.
diplomacy  war  nuclear  cyberwar 
march 2017 by aries1988
BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, The Siege of Vienna
Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the 1683 siege of Vienna by the Ottoman Army.
podcast  europe  history  turkey  christendom  identity  war 
february 2017 by aries1988
The True Believers: Sam Harris
# Instapaper (2017/02/24)
## Added on Saturday, February 24-25

What I’m arguing for in the piece is not to discard either type of explanation but to remember the latter one and take the words of these ISIS people seriously. Even though at various points in the past we’ve ignored political or material causes, this doesn’t mean that ideology plays no role, or that we should ignore the plain meaning of words.

that’s really one of the things that social sciences have triumphed in doing: explaining that within certain boundaries, rationalities lie behind what at first looks like mere craziness or barbarity. Just calling behavior craziness is a trap that a lot of ISIS-watchers have fallen into. If you see members of the Islamic State as thrill-kill nihilists, then you’re not giving them enough credit.

There’s also a deep urge to deny agency to the Islamic State, and I think it’s fundamentally connected to a reluctance to see non-Western people as fully developed and capable of having intelligent beliefs and enough self-knowledge to express them. These people articulate well-thought-out reasons for what they do. And yet ignoring what they say somehow gets camouflaged in the minds of liberals as speaking up for them. It’s delusional.

although the Islamic State wants a civilizational war, of Muslims versus Crusaders, I think they’re consciously avoiding terrorist attacks on Western targets that would provoke too strong a response too soon. If they bombed the Super Bowl, they’d probably be looking at a ground invasion within weeks. They want the invasion, but on their own schedule.

I think we might be in a situation analogous to seeing someone writhing around on the ground in front of us, showing every symptom of having appendicitis. But instead of being surgeons, armed with sterile scalpels, we are just laymen who once read a first aid manual and have no tools other than a rusty soup can. There’s no good option, even though we recognize the problem. The overwhelming probability is that the patient will die a terrible death, and we will have to watch.

it’s abundantly clear that we are not good at massive occupations of countries we poorly understand. Not only that, we just don’t have the appetite for it.

The point of all propaganda is to create narratives about the world. Their view—and the view of jihadis everywhere, really—is that Muslims are under attack by a Crusader West.

confirm their narrative for other Muslims who are already inclined to believe that the West is at war with Islam. That’s not a view I would like to encourage.

The idea is that if we don’t walk on eggshells until the end of history as we fight jihadis, taking great pains to deny any link between the chaos they cause and the doctrine of Islam, then we’re doomed to provoke more-mainstream Muslims into choosing the wrong side in this conflict.

One of the things that is so refreshing about your article is that you didn’t do that. But you now seem to be saying that we must be very careful not to do anything that could give fodder to a “clash of civilizations” narrative.

The Islamic State leader identifies as Salafi, which means that he takes as his sources of authority the Qur’an, the hadīth of the Prophet Muhammad, and the actions of the generations immediately succeeding Muhammad.

The percentage of the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims who identify as Salafi—who subscribe to this literalist version of Islam—is quite small, probably single-digit. The percentage of Salafis who would identify as jihadis is vanishingly small. And then, of course, within that population a lot are going to be noncombatants because they’re too old, or too young, or whatever. So we’re still talking about large, but perhaps now manageable, numbers.

The point of bringing up this quietist group is to say that the problem isn’t Islam, or even Islamic literalism. Most literalist Muslims are essentially harmless, or even better than harmless—nice people you would like to have as neighbors. So the specificity of interpretation that leads to the Islamic State is really quite narrow.

What you seem to be expressing is a fear that there could be a mass changing of sides based on some secret sympathy, or some susceptibility to moral confusion, even in the face of the clearest case for a just war that may have ever existed. Whatever the underlying causes of this form of jihadism, at the end of the day we have pure, fanatical, implacable evil vs. basic human sanity.

in the face of the clearest case for a just war that may have ever existed. Whatever the underlying causes of this form of jihadism, at the end of the day we have pure, fanatical, implacable evil vs. basic human sanity.

The Salafi neighbor may not be the neighbor you’d choose, if you could pick from a menu of atheists and liberals and, more generally, people who didn’t care what you thought about god.

there are many religious people whose beliefs about a far-off apocalyptic battle, and mass conversion at the sword, do not affect their lives much at all. People are good at compartmentalizing, and if they weren’t, the world would hardly be livable.

it is a lack of meaning or fulfillment in their lives, related to deep malaise and feelings of rejection or dissatisfaction with the worlds where they live.

If you think the high point of your life in England is going to be eating KFC, the promise of joining the greatest battle the world has ever known might be pretty attractive.

many of us experience such existential concerns early in life.

Where are your scholars?

huge numbers of scholars have been co-opted by politics—either the politics of the Middle East or the politics of the United States.

These differences between the palace scholars and ISIS seem minor, but I would encourage you to see them as significant.

I try studiously not to take a position on which one of these views is correct. I just don’t have any credibility as a non-Muslim to say whether one scholar or another espouses the best form of Islam. However, if I were able to choose what people believed, I’d hope it was the caliphate-later view.

Of course, there are Christians who think about the end times, which are also not envisioned as very pleasant. If you ask them, “Is it happening now?” some of them will say yes. But very few of them will act as if they actually believe it’s happening now. If they’re envisioning a terrible bloodbath at some unimaginably distant time, I can live with that.
illusion  debate  to:marginnote  islam  warrior  middle-east  religion  war  crisis  terrorism  explained  interview  muslim 
february 2017 by aries1988
The Battle of Algiers: a film for our time

Far from glorifying the independence struggle, his film is a refreshingly non-partisan study in how people become radicalised, how violence breeds violence and how easily civil society can slide into chaos.
terrorism  algerie  history  war  france  movie  colonialism  1960s 
october 2016 by aries1988
High Hitler: how Nazi drug abuse steered the course of history

The invasion of France was made possible by the drugs. Rommel and all those tank commanders were high

That same day, I asked him about the trains going to the camps. He told me that he saw one in the winter coming from the west, and that he said to himself: these are Russian POWs. But since it came from the west, and he heard children, and it was a cattle train, he kind of realised something weird was happening.
ww2  nazi  history  drug  war 
october 2016 by aries1988
Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart - The New York Times
To maintain dominion over these fractious territories, the European powers adopted the same divide-and-conquer approach that served them so well in the colonization of sub-Saharan Africa. This consisted of empowering a local ethnic or religious minority to serve as their local administrators, confident that this minority would never rebel against their foreign overseers lest they be engulfed by the disenfranchised majority.

The great difference, of course, is that in the American West, the settlers stayed and the tribal system was essentially destroyed. In the Arab world, the Europeans eventually left, but the sectarian and tribal schisms they fueled remained.

it would seem undeniable that those two factors operating in concert — the lack of an intrinsic sense of national identity joined to a form of government that supplanted the traditional organizing principle of society — left Iraq, Syria and Libya especially vulnerable when the storms of change descended.

The Alawites, along with many in Syria’s Christian minority, feared that any compromise with the protesters was to invite a Sunni revolution and, with it, their demise.

But Nasser possessed an advantage that his fellow autocrats in the region did not. With a sense of national identity that stretched back millenniums, Egypt never seemed in danger of being torn apart; the centrifugal pull of tribes or clans or sectarian identity simply didn’t exist there to the degree it did in Syria or Iraq. At the same time, Egypt’s long tradition of relative liberalism had given rise to a fractious political landscape that ran the spectrum from secular communists to fundamentalist Islamists.

For all their revolutionary rhetoric, the dictators of Libya, Iraq and Syria remained ever mindful that their nations were essentially artificial constructs. What this meant was that many of their subjects’ primary loyalty lay not to the state but to their tribe or, more broadly, to their ethnic group or religious sect.
On a more philosophical level, this journey has served to remind me again of how terribly delicate is the fabric of civilization, of the vigilance required to protect it and of the slow and painstaking work of mending it once it has been torn. This is hardly an original thought; it is a lesson we were supposed to have learned after Nazi Germany, after Bosnia and Rwanda. Perhaps it is a lesson we need to constantly relearn.

parallels in history suggest that such a course would be both wrenching and murderous — witness the postwar “de-Germanization” policy in Eastern Europe and the 1947 partition of the Indian subcontinent — but despite the misery and potential body count entailed in getting there, maybe this is the last, best option available to prevent the failed states of the Middle East from devolving into even more brutal slaughter.

If General Sisi took away any lesson from Mubarak’s downfall, though, it was to never be viewed as the West’s lap dog.

“You could say that, in many ways, the Yazidis are the pure Kurds,” he explained. “Their religion is what all Kurds believed at one time, not all this Shia-Sunni business. Everyone else changed, but they stayed true to the faith.”

Traditionally, armies and guerrilla groups try to deny or minimize their war crimes, but not so with ISIS;

Shiite-dominated army was well aware of the locals’ contempt and deeply distrusted them in turn, to such an extent that at the first sign of trouble — in this case, a few Sunni jihadists riding into town vowing vengeance — the soldiers, fearing a mass uprising against them, simply bolted.

The ISIS offensive of June 2014 marked one of the most stunning military feats in modern history: In less than one week, a lightly armed guerrilla force of, ultimately, perhaps 5,000 fighters scattered a modern and well-equipped army at least 20 times its size, capturing billions of dollars worth of advanced weaponry and military hardware, and now controlled population centers that totaled some five million people.
history  middle-east  politics  world  explained  reportage  war  comparison 
august 2016 by aries1988
Do animals fight wars and if so what was the largest war?

In New Orleans, something changed. L. humile, invading the United States, spread like wildfire. Instead of forming discrete, competing colonies, they behaved as a united army. They would brutally attack ants of other species, but welcome every L. humile as a long-lost sister in arms.
story  animal  world  war  biology  insect 
august 2016 by aries1988
European wargames
As Nato leaders prepare to meet in Warsaw, thousands of troops are engaged in large-scale military exercises on both sides of Russia’s border with Europe. Sam Jones reports
europe  war  russia  baltic 
july 2016 by aries1988
Lost at Sea on the Brink of the Second World War - The New Yorker
When Berta Doff met Ben Cohn, in 1936, she was twenty-one years old, tall and confident, with the diction of an elocution instructor, which in fact she was.…
instapaper_favs  victim  war  ww2  sea  children  ancestor 
may 2016 by aries1988
Searching for Signs of Hannibal’s Route in DNA from Horse Manure - The New Yorker

The ability to test soil directly for genetic material has extended archeology beyond the quest for the usual biological suspects, such as microscopic fossils. The whole business of looking at sediments is bubbling up now—it is taking off because of advances in DNA sequencing, Pallen said. There is a realization that the environment is full of DNA . . . and you can detect it in sediments even in the absence of fossil remains.
genetics  discovery  alpe  italia  spqr  war  warrior  antiquity  animal  archaeology 
may 2016 by aries1988
The Fugitive
His feet froze solid. An avalanche buried him up to his neck. Villagers risked death to hide him. How Jan Baalsrud escaped the Nazis and became a Norwegian folk hero.
scandinavia  story  survive  war 
march 2016 by aries1988
Kim Jong-un’s Generational Ambitions
But having covered previous North Korean nuclear tests, I know the script: International outrage, emergency meetings and sanctions will follow in close suit. And as debate continues in regional capitals about what to do about the defiant North Koreans, their rock-star scientists will keep building better and more powerful nuclear weapons.

here is a small nation where the people are dancing in the streets celebrating the supposed creation of a bomb with the potential to exterminate whole cities. Footage of North Koreans cheering as they watched the news announced at noon local time Wednesday was like a scene out of an old Cold War movie, so anachronistic in this globalized era that the only response that makes any sense is to think the North Koreans are crazy.

C.I.A. estimates put it at roughly $1,800 per capita, on par with some of the poorest nations in the world. Geographically, North Korea was dealt a bad hand: Mountainous, with an extreme climate that veers from bitterly cold winters to blistering summers, it simply does not produce enough food to sustain its people, and outmoded agricultural practices have only worsened that shortfall.

What North Koreans do have in spades is pride, a characteristically Korean trait that has protected this small peninsula for 5,000 years. For North Koreans, pride is manna. They may be hungry every day, but pride is what keeps them going. Not everyone can feast off pride — tens of thousands of North Koreans have defected over the decades — but enough of the population is buoyed by this singular sense of national pride and a Korean sense of conformity to keep the regime afloat.
story  korea  weapon  war  enemy  people  children  society  psyche 
february 2016 by aries1988
巴黎:一场ISIS渴望的战争
伊斯兰国也许会花上几百个小时去招募一个人或者一群伙伴,用感化而非说教的方式,试着将他们个人的挫折和不满解读成这是对全体穆斯林迫害——这样一个更具普遍性的主题——从而将他们的愤懑和挫败感转变成了一种道德上的义愤。
islam  youth  crisis  war  idea 
february 2016 by aries1988
A Deadly Deployment, a Navy SEAL’s Despair
Fellow officers saw the death of Cmdr. Job W. Price, which was ruled a suicide, as a cautionary tale of how men were ground down by years of fighting and losing comrades.
story  american  soldier  afghanistan  war  leader  local  camaraderie 
january 2016 by aries1988
Finally passing | The Economist
Mississippi's companions at the low end of the per-capita income table are West Virginia and Idaho, neither of which fought for the Confederacy. Like Mississippi, they lack a big city, have relatively uneducated populations and rely heavily on mining and agriculture. The poverty of the Deep South is less southern than rural.

In late 1865 Confederate veterans in Tennessee formed the Ku Klux Klan, a terrorist organisation that used violence against former slaves. It still survives, milder on the surface but vicious underneath.
numbers  usa  history  war  comparison  people 
january 2016 by aries1988
In Search of Their Fathers: Seeking Redemption in Vietnam
Six Americans who lost their fathers in the war met in Ho Chi Minh City with Vietnamese who also lost their parents and found a shared sadness, but no anger.
story  war  death  vietnam  revisit  memory  parents  children 
december 2015 by aries1988
How chemical weapons from the first world war never went away | New Scientist
None of these backlogs, however, compares to that of China, where Japan stockpiled large quantities during its occupation from 1937 to 1945. China’s reports to the OPCW say that Japanese mustard, phosgene and arsenic agents have been found in more than 90 locations, buried or dumped in rivers and lakes. They have killed and injured countless people, and injury rates are rising as China’s building boom unearths more. More than 2000 chemical shells were found last year.

Even that pales beside two huge pits at Haerbaling, where the Chinese buried an estimated 330,000 abandoned Japanese chemical weapons after the war. This year, Japan finished building two detonation chambers there. Full-time demolition starts next year, and the OPCW wants it cleared by 2022. But according to a joint Japanese and Chinese report to the OPCW in July, at current rates of destruction it will take 40 years.
war  history  chemistry 
october 2015 by aries1988
林达:查理·威尔逊的战争
先且不提化学武器,叙利亚在此之前已经是一个当年阿富汗。它的人口两千七百万,迄今为止死亡人数是八万至十万之间,流亡国外的难民在两百万左右,另有超过一百万人在国内失去家园,流离失所。在化武事件之前,法国英国美国和欧盟,始终没有如对待利比亚一样处理叙利亚内战。并非他们的议员都不如威尔逊更有正义感和同情心,而是它的反对派武装可能比阿富汗的更复杂、更危险。
middle-east  movie  usa  war 
september 2015 by aries1988
The centenary delusion | The Economist
Today has no equivalent of the rival system of alliances that led so swiftly to escalation in July 1914, as countries marched towards the edge of the cliff like “The Sleepwalkers” (the title of another fine book about the period, by Christopher Clark).
war  asia  future  ww1  analysis  comparison  china  japan 
may 2015 by aries1988
‘My Enemy, My Brother’
In this short documentary, two survivors of a brutal war in the Middle East meet again years later under astonishing circumstances.
canada  human  war  middle-east  destiny 
may 2015 by aries1988
Stop the Second World War comparisons
When I asked a Finnish historian whether Finns were ashamed of having fought alongside Hitler, he asked me whether Britons were ashamed of having fought alongside Stalin. Touche, I thought.

The Chinese are drawing a false analogy, too. Japanese warships aren’t about to motor off to create a new 1940s-style Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere. Even so, as China tries to realign the region’s order, the Second World War will continue to come in handy. A Chinese “Godwin’s Law” is still some time away.
history  narrative  today  war  diplomacy  opinion 
may 2015 by aries1988
C.I.A. Study of Covert Aid Fueled Skepticism About Helping Syrian Rebels
A classified review concluded that many past attempts by the agency to arm foreign forces covertly had a minimal impact on the long-term outcome of a conflict.

But the Afghan-Soviet war was also seen as a cautionary tale. Some of the battle-hardened mujahedeen fighters later formed the core of Al Qaeda and used Afghanistan as a base to plan the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. This only fed concerns that no matter how much care was taken to give arms only to so-called moderate rebels in Syria, the weapons could ultimately end up with groups linked to Al Qaeda, like the Nusra Front.

Arming foreign forces has been central to the C.I.A.'s mission from its founding, and was a staple of American efforts to wage proxy battles against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The first such operation was in 1947, the year of the agency’s creation, when President Harry S. Truman ordered millions of dollars’ worth of guns and ammunition sent to Greece to help put down a Communist insurgency there. In a speech before Congress in March of that year, Mr. Truman said the fall of Greece could destabilize neighboring Turkey, and “disorder might well spread throughout the entire Middle East.”

That mission helped shore up the fragile Greek government. More frequently, however, the C.I.A. backed insurgent groups fighting leftist governments, often with calamitous results. The 1961 Bay of Pigs operation in Cuba, in which C.I.A.-trained Cuban guerrillas launched an invasion to fight Fidel Castro’s troops, ended in disaster. During the 1980s, the Reagan administration authorized the C.I.A. to try to bring down Nicaragua’s Sandinista government with a secret war supporting the contra rebels, who were ultimately defeated.
history  usa  cia  war 
october 2014 by aries1988
Drones and the Democracy Disconnect

There are few philosophers more clear-eyed, frank, even cynical when it comes to war than Niccolò Machiavelli.

Never have the American people been more removed from their wars, even while we are the most martial nation on earth, and drones are symptoms, and drivers, of this troubling alienation.
usa  american  war  ethic  drone  opinion  democracy  politics  state 
october 2014 by aries1988
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