This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism. Subscribe here to receive this round-up by email.
- Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 72 hour humanitarian ceasefire, which has already effectively collapsed amid heavy exchanges of fire a few hours in.
- The sixth UN school in Gaza was shelled by Israel on Wednesday.
- A regularly updated infographic from the Washington Post of the casualties from war waged on Gaza.
- On Tuesday, 11 members of a Gazan family were killed in a single strike.
- What a strike on Gaza looks like as it happens.
- Rashid Khalidi on collective punishment in Gaza.
- Israel calls up 16,000 reservists.
- Palestinian photojournalist Rami Rayan and TV journalist Sameh Al-Aryan were both killed Wednesday in an Israeli strike on a market in the Shujaya neighborhood of Gaza City.
- A Hezbollah commander was killed in Iraq sometime in the past week, say Lebanese officials.
- Syrian rebels develop a rechargeable battery to power their shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles.
- On Thursday, a disguised Syrian defector briefed the House Foreign Affairs Committee, bringing with him horrifying photos of starved and tortured bodies — all victims of Assad’s forces. The photos (warning, disturbing and graphic) are here.
- Barrel bomb use in Syria is dramatically increasing.
- Al-Qaeda-linked rebels have taken control of Benghazi.
- 6,000 people a day are fleeing Libya for Tunisia.
- ISIS destroys cultural heritage sites in Iraq.
- From PBS Frontline: “Losing Iraq.”
- The US is considering its “largest ever” shipment of Hellfire missiles to Iraq.
- Ukraine warns that the MH17 crash site may be mined.
- International investigators finally made it to the site this week.
- From Reuters: where do Ukrainian separatists get their weapons?
- According to NATO, the number of Russian troops along the Ukrainian is increasing, now at a healthy 12,000+.
- The US accuses Russia of violating the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with test launches. But why did the US wait so long (years) to call them out?
- The EU adopted tough sanctions against Russia, curbing arms sales and targeting banks.
- New Russian legislation goes into effect today to tighten government control of blogging and social media activities.
- Afghanistan reconstruction is costing the US more than the Marshall Plan.
- The Abu Sayyaf militant group attacked vehicles headed to Eid celebrations in the Philippines, killing 18.
- Thailand’s military junta appointed an interim legislature.
- As a result of improperly targeting veterans, the University of Phoenix is barred from enrolling veterans in seven of its programs.
- The retiring commander of US Special Operations Command — Adm. William McRaven — will become chancellor of the University of Texas system.
- Former NSA director Keith Alexander wants to charge companies a million dollars per month to help protect themselves against cyber crime? Here’s why he thinks he’s worth it.
- A nuclear policy specialist at Los Alamos National Labs was let go in what he says is retribution for an article he wrote supporting a future free of nuclear weapons. The article has been retroactively classified.
- The CIA admits that it tapped the computers of Senate staffers who were looking into interrogation practices.
- Lawyers for Blackwater contractors charged in the Nisour Square killings are accusing the government of withholding evidence favorable to the defendants.
- The parole board has cleared 37-year-old Kuwaiti Guantánamo detainee Fawzi al Odah for release.
- The Senate approved an overhaul of the Veterans Affairs department — sending it to President Obama for a signature.
- Derek Chollet, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, will be leaving his position in January.
- How do you make anti-war art that doesn’t in some way find beauty in what it describes?
- I wrote about the short fiction being published by veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Photo: Soot clouds from heavy Israeli air strikes rise over Gaza City. Tuesday, July 29. Mohammed Saber/EPA.
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Bill Maher getting his ass handed to him on Islam is making the rounds again today. (x)
The whole exchange is part of a larger segment about Benghazi from May of last year, but The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald from really lays it out in black and white. Given the situation in Gaza, I can see why this clip has had a boost in popularity.
Glenn: Lots of religions — not just Islam — produce violence.
Bill: That’s a silly, liberal view that all religions are alike because it makes you feel good.
Glenn: No it makes you feel good to say our side is better because those people over there are —
Bill: No it makes you feel good to put a crown on your head and say, “I’m a good person. How do I prove that — “
Glenn: You get to ignore the responsibility that your own government has for the violence and instability in the world by saying, “Look. It’s that primitive religion over there that’s to blame.”
This tea is just so flavorful and full of truth.
The obfuscation of analytic philosophy (or psychoanalysis, post-structuralism, etc) produces the same symbolic effect we take from poetry. Although this type of literature is often meant to communicate highly specific, technical meaning, we are more often left with the greater impression of the text. The following examples from Foucault and Derrida are translated from French, which means the vocabulary itself had to be rendered symbolically, given that the linguistic/cultural context of the words doesn’t always translate.
“The modern world is one of simulacra.
Man did not survive God,
nor did the identity of the subject
survive that of substance.
All identities are only simulated,
produced as an optical “effect”
by the more profound game
of difference and repetition.”
"As the archaeology of our thought
man is an invention
of recent date.
And one perhaps
nearing its end.”
on those who are entrusted to it,
a work begun elsewhere,
which the whole of society pursues
on each individual
through innumerable mechanisms
no longer means anything
but reflection on the ego
as realization of impotence:
knowing that one is nothing.”
This flower shaped confetti contains flower seeds that grow into wildflowers. It is hand made and biodegradable so it leaves no waste. Via
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
The concept of power, whether of a god or of a man, always includes both the ability to help and the ability to harm. Thus it is with the Arabs; thus with the Hebrews. Thus with all strong races.
It is a fateful step when one separates the power for the one from the power for the other into a dualism— In this way, morality becomes the poisoner of life—
Ultimately this society cannot decide what to do with the empty plinth in Trafalgar Square. Because you can’t have a hero or a military figure in this post-modernity. Why not? It’s considered to be conceptually Fascistic. And that’s why we have pregnant Thalidomide victims instead.
- Jonathan Bowden
Theory is essentially the intellectual expression of the revolutionary process itself. In it every stage of the process becomes fixed so that it may be generalised, communicated, utilised and developed. Because the theory does nothing but arrest and make conscious…
Complaining about government in a blog doesn’t solve, doesn’t change, anything. Typing swear words in your Facebook statuses and calling the President a monster doesn’t make anything different. You’re not an activist, you’re a whiner. If you want things to change in this world, go out and change them.
Judge Napolitano on Nullification and State Constitutional Powers
Crowd member: “I think you’re an anarchist and you don’t know it yet.”
Judge Napolitano: “Do you hear me denying anything?”
I remember when Mises released that lecture a year or two ago.
When Napolitano said that I yelled. Super exciting moment.
The guy has a way of utilizing American nostalgia that still really appeals to me.