Posts tagged War
The Iraqi soldier died attempting to pull himself up over the dashboard of his truck. The flames engulfed his vehicle and incinerated his body, turning him to dusty ash and blackened bone.
In a photograph taken soon afterward, the soldier’s hand reaches out of the shattered windshield, which frames his face and chest. The colors and textures of his hand and shoulders look like those of the scorched and rusted metal around him.
Fire has destroyed most of his features, leaving behind a skeletal face, fixed in a final rictus. He stares without eyes.
On February 28, 1991, Kenneth Jarecke stood in front of the charred man, parked amid the carbonized bodies of his fellow soldiers, and photographed him. At one point, before he died this dramatic mid-retreat death, the soldier had had a name.
He’d fought in Saddam Hussein’s army and had a rank and an assignment and a unit. He might have been devoted to the dictator who sent him to occupy Kuwait and fight the Americans. Or he might have been an unlucky young man with no prospects, recruited off the streets of Baghdad. Jarecke took the picture just before a ceasefire officially ended Operation Desert Storm—the U.S.-led military action that drove Saddam Hussein and his troops out of Kuwait, which they had annexed and occupied the previous August.
The image and its anonymous subject might have come to symbolize the Gulf War. Instead, it went unpublished in the United States, not because of military obstruction but because of editorial choices.
It’s hard to calculate the consequences of a photograph’s absence. But sanitized images of warfare, The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf argues, make it “easier … to accept bloodless language” such as 1991 references to “surgical strikes” or modern-day terminology like “kinetic warfare.”
The Vietnam War was notable for its catalog of chilling and iconic war photography; Some images, like Ron Haeberle’s pictures of the My Lai massacre, were initially kept from the public. But other violent images—Nick Ut’s scene of child napalm victims and Eddie Adams’s photo of a Vietcong man’s execution—won Pulitzer Prizes and had a tremendous impact on the outcome of the war.
The War Photo No One Would Publish - The Atlantic

The Iraqi soldier died attempting to pull himself up over the dashboard of his truck. The flames engulfed his vehicle and incinerated his body, turning him to dusty ash and blackened bone.

In a photograph taken soon afterward, the soldier’s hand reaches out of the shattered windshield, which frames his face and chest. The colors and textures of his hand and shoulders look like those of the scorched and rusted metal around him.

Fire has destroyed most of his features, leaving behind a skeletal face, fixed in a final rictus. He stares without eyes.

On February 28, 1991, Kenneth Jarecke stood in front of the charred man, parked amid the carbonized bodies of his fellow soldiers, and photographed him. At one point, before he died this dramatic mid-retreat death, the soldier had had a name.

He’d fought in Saddam Hussein’s army and had a rank and an assignment and a unit. He might have been devoted to the dictator who sent him to occupy Kuwait and fight the Americans. Or he might have been an unlucky young man with no prospects, recruited off the streets of Baghdad. Jarecke took the picture just before a ceasefire officially ended Operation Desert Storm—the U.S.-led military action that drove Saddam Hussein and his troops out of Kuwait, which they had annexed and occupied the previous August.

The image and its anonymous subject might have come to symbolize the Gulf War. Instead, it went unpublished in the United States, not because of military obstruction but because of editorial choices.

It’s hard to calculate the consequences of a photograph’s absence. But sanitized images of warfare, The Atlantic’s Conor Friedersdorf argues, make it “easier … to accept bloodless language” such as 1991 references to “surgical strikes” or modern-day terminology like “kinetic warfare.”

The Vietnam War was notable for its catalog of chilling and iconic war photography; Some images, like Ron Haeberle’s pictures of the My Lai massacre, were initially kept from the public. But other violent images—Nick Ut’s scene of child napalm victims and Eddie Adams’s photo of a Vietcong man’s execution—won Pulitzer Prizes and had a tremendous impact on the outcome of the war.

The War Photo No One Would Publish - The Atlantic

If it turns out that the Malaysia Airlines 777 that crashed in Ukraine was indeed shot down, it won’t be the first time a commercial airliner was downed by military action. 

The most infamous instance occurred in 1983: Korean Air Lines Flight 007, a jumbo jet carrying 269 people, was gunned down by a Sukhoi Su-15 fighter jet after straying into Soviet airspace. 

The shock and outrage the rest of the world felt after that plane went down was captured on the September 12, 1983 cover of Newsweek: It shows a Korean Air Lines 747 with a bullseye over it; with “Murder in the Air” in large letters. 

Newsweek Rewind: When Korean Air Lines Flight 007 Was Shot Down

If it turns out that the Malaysia Airlines 777 that crashed in Ukraine was indeed shot down, it won’t be the first time a commercial airliner was downed by military action.

The most infamous instance occurred in 1983: Korean Air Lines Flight 007, a jumbo jet carrying 269 people, was gunned down by a Sukhoi Su-15 fighter jet after straying into Soviet airspace.

The shock and outrage the rest of the world felt after that plane went down was captured on the September 12, 1983 cover of Newsweek: It shows a Korean Air Lines 747 with a bullseye over it; with “Murder in the Air” in large letters.

Newsweek Rewind: When Korean Air Lines Flight 007 Was Shot Down

Here is Marine Corporal Jose Armenta in his tent on the night before getting blown up in Afghanistan. He jokes with Mulrooney and Berry and the medic the guys have nicknamed “Christ.” He feeds and waters his dog, Zenit, a sable-coat German shepherd. 

He lets Buyes, who will be dead in three months, ruffle Zenit’s fur, for the radioman is crazy about the dog. Then he takes Zenit outside in the waning light of this dusty, desert otherworld to train. 

They’re happiest like this. Jose has Zenit sit, which the dog does obediently, and then Jose jogs 50 yards down and hides a rubber toy, a Kong, up against a mud wall, covering it with dirt. 

On Jose’s command, Zenit bursts forward, zigging in search of it, tail wagging. It’s an intricate dance. Voice commands met by precise canine action, always with the same end goal in mind—to find the toy. Tomorrow, on patrol, the objective will be finding not a toy but an improvised explosive device, or IED, one of the Taliban’s most brutally effective weapons against American troops here in what many consider the most dangerous province in one of the world’s most dangerous countries. And no dog can find every bomb every time. 

The Dogs of War

Here is Marine Corporal Jose Armenta in his tent on the night before getting blown up in Afghanistan. He jokes with Mulrooney and Berry and the medic the guys have nicknamed “Christ.” He feeds and waters his dog, Zenit, a sable-coat German shepherd.

He lets Buyes, who will be dead in three months, ruffle Zenit’s fur, for the radioman is crazy about the dog. Then he takes Zenit outside in the waning light of this dusty, desert otherworld to train.

They’re happiest like this. Jose has Zenit sit, which the dog does obediently, and then Jose jogs 50 yards down and hides a rubber toy, a Kong, up against a mud wall, covering it with dirt.

On Jose’s command, Zenit bursts forward, zigging in search of it, tail wagging. It’s an intricate dance. Voice commands met by precise canine action, always with the same end goal in mind—to find the toy. Tomorrow, on patrol, the objective will be finding not a toy but an improvised explosive device, or IED, one of the Taliban’s most brutally effective weapons against American troops here in what many consider the most dangerous province in one of the world’s most dangerous countries. And no dog can find every bomb every time.

The Dogs of War

It’s 4:30 P.M., early December 2004, and a caravan of Humvees rumbles out of Camp Victory carrying Staff Sergeant Jeffrey S. Sarver and his team of bomb-squad technicians from the U.S. Army’s 788th Ordnance Company. 

As Sarver’s team bounces down Victory’s rutted roads, the convoy passes a helipad where Chinooks, Black Hawks and Apaches thump in and out, some of them armed with laser-guided missiles and 30-millimeter cannons that fire fist-size shells. Sarver sees the Bradley and Abrams tanks sitting in neat rows, like cars at a dealership, their depleted-uranium bumpers aligned with precision. 

All that lethal hardware is parked, more or less useless against the Iraqi insurgency’s main weapon in this phase of the war: improvised explosive devices made from artillery shells, nine-volt batteries and electrical tape—what the troops call IEDs. 

As they leave the front gate, Sarver is in high spirits. 

He grabs the radio and sings out in his West Virginia twang, “Hey, ah, do you want to be the dirty old man or the cute young boy?” “I’ll be the boy,” comes the response with a laugh. It’s Sarver’s junior team member, Specialist Jonathan Williams. 

"Okay, cute boy. This is dirty old man, over." "Roger, ol’ man. We’re en route to the ah-ee-dee." 

The Man in the Bomb Suit: The Story That Inspired The Hurt Locker

It’s 4:30 P.M., early December 2004, and a caravan of Humvees rumbles out of Camp Victory carrying Staff Sergeant Jeffrey S. Sarver and his team of bomb-squad technicians from the U.S. Army’s 788th Ordnance Company.

As Sarver’s team bounces down Victory’s rutted roads, the convoy passes a helipad where Chinooks, Black Hawks and Apaches thump in and out, some of them armed with laser-guided missiles and 30-millimeter cannons that fire fist-size shells. Sarver sees the Bradley and Abrams tanks sitting in neat rows, like cars at a dealership, their depleted-uranium bumpers aligned with precision.

All that lethal hardware is parked, more or less useless against the Iraqi insurgency’s main weapon in this phase of the war: improvised explosive devices made from artillery shells, nine-volt batteries and electrical tape—what the troops call IEDs.

As they leave the front gate, Sarver is in high spirits.

He grabs the radio and sings out in his West Virginia twang, “Hey, ah, do you want to be the dirty old man or the cute young boy?” “I’ll be the boy,” comes the response with a laugh. It’s Sarver’s junior team member, Specialist Jonathan Williams.

"Okay, cute boy. This is dirty old man, over." "Roger, ol’ man. We’re en route to the ah-ee-dee."

The Man in the Bomb Suit: The Story That Inspired The Hurt Locker

He was an experiment, really. One of the first recruits for a new kind of warfare in which men and machines merge. He flew multiple missions, but he never left his computer. 

He hunted top terrorists, saved lives, but always from afar. He stalked and killed countless people, but could not always tell you precisely what he was hitting. Meet the 21st-century American killing machine. who’s still utterly, terrifyingly human.

Confessions of an American Drone Operator

He was an experiment, really. One of the first recruits for a new kind of warfare in which men and machines merge. He flew multiple missions, but he never left his computer.

He hunted top terrorists, saved lives, but always from afar. He stalked and killed countless people, but could not always tell you precisely what he was hitting. Meet the 21st-century American killing machine. who’s still utterly, terrifyingly human.

Confessions of an American Drone Operator

Frontiers Without Medicine

It did not take long for the infant to die. A half hour after her parents brought her into the makeshift emergency room lit by hazy flashlights, she was gone. 

The 26-year-old doctor, a third-year resident, worked frantically over her lifeless body. He had not slept for a day, but he was determined to save her life. The doctor, who goes by just the name Dr. Hamza, lost the battle. 

After a few minutes’ resuscitation, the girl died. The doctor wrapped a triangular cloth around the small corpse. Her mother slumped on a chair, in shock. Her father paced the room. 

They had not yet named her. This baby did not die of shrapnel wounds or a sniper’s bullet. She died from a respiratory illness. 

According to the charity Save the Children, the majority of children’s diseases in Syria-measles, diarrhea and respiratory illnesses-are treatable. 

"When I see a wizened dead baby," said one U.N. officer. "I think: did they really die of starvation? Or did they die of some horrible disease? Or even a treatable one they can’t get drugs for?" 

Sixty percent of the hospitals in Syria are damaged or destroyed; half the doctors have fled the country. Medicine is heading backward several centuries.

Frontiers Without Medicine

It did not take long for the infant to die. A half hour after her parents brought her into the makeshift emergency room lit by hazy flashlights, she was gone.

The 26-year-old doctor, a third-year resident, worked frantically over her lifeless body. He had not slept for a day, but he was determined to save her life. The doctor, who goes by just the name Dr. Hamza, lost the battle.

After a few minutes’ resuscitation, the girl died. The doctor wrapped a triangular cloth around the small corpse. Her mother slumped on a chair, in shock. Her father paced the room.

They had not yet named her. This baby did not die of shrapnel wounds or a sniper’s bullet. She died from a respiratory illness.

According to the charity Save the Children, the majority of children’s diseases in Syria-measles, diarrhea and respiratory illnesses-are treatable.

"When I see a wizened dead baby," said one U.N. officer. "I think: did they really die of starvation? Or did they die of some horrible disease? Or even a treatable one they can’t get drugs for?"

Sixty percent of the hospitals in Syria are damaged or destroyed; half the doctors have fled the country. Medicine is heading backward several centuries.

In her latest project “Our House Is on Fire,” Iranian artist Shirin Neshat examines the brutal aftermath of the failed Egyptian revolution by overlaying photos of the victims with poetic text. 

The project, on display in New York City starting Jan. 31, will also help some of those victimized by the revolution: The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, a humanitarian arts organization, commissioned Neshat to create the series and as part of the arrangement, proceeds from some works will be donated to charities in Egypt. (SEE Shirin Neshat’s Photos of the Egyptian Revolution)

In her latest project “Our House Is on Fire,” Iranian artist Shirin Neshat examines the brutal aftermath of the failed Egyptian revolution by overlaying photos of the victims with poetic text.

The project, on display in New York City starting Jan. 31, will also help some of those victimized by the revolution: The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, a humanitarian arts organization, commissioned Neshat to create the series and as part of the arrangement, proceeds from some works will be donated to charities in Egypt. (SEE Shirin Neshat’s Photos of the Egyptian Revolution)

Like the atomic bomb in the waning days of World War II, the computer virus known as Stuxnet, discovered in 2010, seemed to usher in a new era of warfare. In the era of cyberwar, experts warned, silent, software-based attacks will take the place of explosive ordinance, tanks, and machine guns, or at least set the stage for them. Or maybe not. Almost four years after it was first publicly identified, Stuxnet is an anomaly: the first and only cyberweapon ever known to have been deployed. Now some experts in cybersecurity and critical infrastructure want to know why. Are there fewer realistic targets than suspected? Are such weapons more difficult to construct than realized? Or is the current generation of cyberweapons simply too well hid? Such questions were on the minds of the world’s top experts in the security of industrial control systems last week at the annual S4 conference outside Miami. S4 gathers the world’s top experts on the security of nuclear reactors, power grids, and assembly lines.
South Sudan: Waiting for Death to Arrive 
Marial Simon, one of 17,000 desperate souls crowding into the dusty United Nations Tomping compound in Juba, was still in shock from what he had seen on December 15. “That was the night of the killing,” said the Nuer schoolboy, slight for his age, as he clutched nervously at the filthy clothes he has been wearing for weeks.“The shooting went on and on, and the killing began and it did not stop. I was there. I saw it happen.”
Violence erupted in South Sudan on December 15 after members of the Dinka tribe in President Salva Kiir’s presidential guards in Juba tried to disarm their Nuer colleagues.
Many of former vice president Riek Machar’s supporters are believed to be Nuer, his own tribal group.There is a historic enmity between the two groups.
“[The incident] caused [the Dinkas] to panic and go out on a rampage,” said a Western diplomat. “They went after anyone who had allegiance to Riek Machar. Now it’s unclear whether the people who were targeted will take revenge.”
The two communities, Nuer and Dinka, are the largest in the world’s youngest country.
Two years before, in a much-hailed event, after a four-decade-long war that left more than a million people dead, South Sudan celebrated its independence from Sudan. It was, briefly, a time of hope. But by then people seemed too exhausted, too traumatized and too shattered to celebrate their new country.
Post-independence corruption was rife. The Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the national army meant to be a symbol of the new nation’s multiethnicity, was splintered. And there was lingering ethnic hatred.
“On the upper level, there were too many Dinkas,” says the Western diplomat. “And on the lower, too many Nuers.”
(READ: South Sudan: Waiting for Death to Arrive)

South Sudan: Waiting for Death to Arrive 

Marial Simon, one of 17,000 desperate souls crowding into the dusty United Nations Tomping compound in Juba, was still in shock from what he had seen on December 15. “That was the night of the killing,” said the Nuer schoolboy, slight for his age, as he clutched nervously at the filthy clothes he has been wearing for weeks.“The shooting went on and on, and the killing began and it did not stop. I was there. I saw it happen.”

Violence erupted in South Sudan on December 15 after members of the Dinka tribe in President Salva Kiir’s presidential guards in Juba tried to disarm their Nuer colleagues.

Many of former vice president Riek Machar’s supporters are believed to be Nuer, his own tribal group.There is a historic enmity between the two groups.

“[The incident] caused [the Dinkas] to panic and go out on a rampage,” said a Western diplomat. “They went after anyone who had allegiance to Riek Machar. Now it’s unclear whether the people who were targeted will take revenge.”

The two communities, Nuer and Dinka, are the largest in the world’s youngest country.

Two years before, in a much-hailed event, after a four-decade-long war that left more than a million people dead, South Sudan celebrated its independence from Sudan. It was, briefly, a time of hope. But by then people seemed too exhausted, too traumatized and too shattered to celebrate their new country.

Post-independence corruption was rife. The Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), the national army meant to be a symbol of the new nation’s multiethnicity, was splintered. And there was lingering ethnic hatred.

“On the upper level, there were too many Dinkas,” says the Western diplomat. “And on the lower, too many Nuers.”

(READ: South Sudan: Waiting for Death to Arrive)

It was an open secret that one of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s worst tormentors, Bosco Ntaganda, lived on Avenue des Tulipés until 2012, crossing into Rwanda now and then despite a travel ban. Rich off the proceeds of the illegal tax revenues he imposed on local mines, he served as a general in the Congolese army.
For a wanted fugitive, the man nicknamed “the Terminator” lived a comfortable and unencumbered life. Six years before, a warrant for his arrest had been issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his role in recruiting child soldiers.
Goma, the capital of Congo, is still trying to reintegrate these former combatants: boys now in their teens who were forced to become killers before they had reached puberty and now struggle to be seen as victims. A second warrant for Ntaganda, issued in July 2012, added four more counts of war crimes and three more of crimes against humanity. But no one wanted to move on Ntaganda.
It was widely acknowledged he was useful – an important interlocutor in a region that is perpetually about to slide back into violence. Ntaganda’s apparent impunity was a neon sign that the ICC’s reach and relevance, 12 years on from its creation, were weak and waning, and that justice for war criminals remains subordinate to global realpolitik.
Now, a cynical, targeted attack on the ICC by two Kenyan leaders charged with crimes against humanity has lifted the hood on the flaws in the global “court of last resort”.
Through what one experienced court insider calls “a dirty-tricks campaign,” the two killers are attempting to discredit and dismantle a system that, while far from perfect, metes out justice to victims of warlords and those responsible for state-sanctioned abuse.
(Getting Away With Murder)

It was an open secret that one of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s worst tormentors, Bosco Ntaganda, lived on Avenue des Tulipés until 2012, crossing into Rwanda now and then despite a travel ban. Rich off the proceeds of the illegal tax revenues he imposed on local mines, he served as a general in the Congolese army.

For a wanted fugitive, the man nicknamed “the Terminator” lived a comfortable and unencumbered life. Six years before, a warrant for his arrest had been issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for his role in recruiting child soldiers.

Goma, the capital of Congo, is still trying to reintegrate these former combatants: boys now in their teens who were forced to become killers before they had reached puberty and now struggle to be seen as victims. A second warrant for Ntaganda, issued in July 2012, added four more counts of war crimes and three more of crimes against humanity. But no one wanted to move on Ntaganda.

It was widely acknowledged he was useful – an important interlocutor in a region that is perpetually about to slide back into violence. Ntaganda’s apparent impunity was a neon sign that the ICC’s reach and relevance, 12 years on from its creation, were weak and waning, and that justice for war criminals remains subordinate to global realpolitik.

Now, a cynical, targeted attack on the ICC by two Kenyan leaders charged with crimes against humanity has lifted the hood on the flaws in the global “court of last resort”.

Through what one experienced court insider calls “a dirty-tricks campaign,” the two killers are attempting to discredit and dismantle a system that, while far from perfect, metes out justice to victims of warlords and those responsible for state-sanctioned abuse.

(Getting Away With Murder)