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Wilfred Owen: Spring Offensive & PTSD

You wont find a more haunting depiction of battle induced PTSD than the last two stanzas of Wilfred Owens Spring Offensive. Youll be curious no doubt to double back on the setup: troops being marched to the frontline, the idyllic lull before battle, the unceremonious charge, and the moment a stealthy sprint turns to mayhem. The next stanza speculates about the fate of those who fall in battle: to bullets, to explosive shells, and to shrapnel. The last stanza is about the "too swift" survivors who "out-fiend" death to come through, and don't want to, or can't, talk about it. 47158

Wilfred Owen: Dulce et decorum est (Pro patria mori – The Old Lie)

The Roman poet Horace wrote "It is sweet and glorious to die for one's country" as Rome shifted from republic to empire. By 1917 British infantryman Wilfred Owen had reduced Horace's sentiment to "The old Lie." Owen was killed in the Great War. His poem wasn't published until 1920 after the war. Even exposed, the old lie went on to adorn many monuments, including, also in 1920, the rising U.S. empire's Arlington National Cemetery. 47142

No new propaganda under the sun

Did you think Operation Iraqi Freedom photographers invented the warplanes-at-sunrise theme? Here's a propaganda shot circa WWI, where the crack of dawn obviously had to be hand tinted on the original monochrome. Is that any more a manipulation than the digital ultra-vibrance our embeds contrive today? The caption under this photograph, reproduced in The Nations at War: a Current History published in 1914 when the "Great War" was yet "the World's Greatest War," reads: "A French armed biplane in pursuit of a German Taube aeroplane." That's for the folks on the homefront. In reality the German Dove has probably swooped upon the heavier Farman bomber whose forward gun was mostly used to strafe infantrymen.

Originally it was Antiwar Mother’s Day

For how many war years longer will a MOTHER'S DAY tradition be to remind the vast Hallmark-washed that Mom's postbellum holiday originated as a grassroots resistance by mothers opposed to enlisting their sons in war? Quoth abolitionist/pacifist/feminist/poet Julia Ward Howe in the Mother's Day Proclamation: "We, the women of one country, will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs." Take heed war-loving patriots, Howe also penned the lyrics to Battle Hymn of the Republic. 16634

Question of Nationalism v. Imperialism …again

EU officials not allowing Washington to monitor their economic transactions, Washington upset. So, does Washington allow the EU or Mexico or Cuba or Iran or who-the-hell-ever a similar privilege of monitoring United States bank transactions? 14564

You have forgotten what to remember

Can someone please explain to me what it means to fly this flag? The POW-MIA flag is ubiquitous these days around veterans. Our town hall flies this black flag halfway below the Stars and Stripes. When the latter is at half mast, the former hangs indecorously low. Which reminds me of a pirate ship stalking a wavering Old Glory.   I understand POW and MIA, and "you are not forgotten." But there is no flag for the veterans, the dead or wounded, to whom does this lone flag speak and why? 11342

Ward Churchill to speak for O’odham

According to Censored News, Activist and scholar Ward Churchill will speak at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson, 4831 W. 22nd St., on November 13, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. to benefit O'odham VOICE Against the Wall, which since 2003 has organized and advocated for the traditional Oodham leaders and elders of the Tohono Oodham communities in the southern territory of the United States and northern territory of Mexico. Professor Churchills talk is part of the Apartheid in America: Surviving Occupation in Oodham Lands 10864

Armed UAS drones need no defending

I was curious about the etymology of the term "drone" applied to military (& DHS) Unmanned Aerial Surveillance aircraft, these days, mostly Armed. Obviously Armed UAS are not named after the stingless unproductive bees whose task it is to impregnate the queen, nor lazy idlers, nor clueless computer sales techies, nor thankless menial worker drones. Anyone who's been around Radio Controlled model planes knows drones are named for the sound they make, a steady drone as they labor across the sky. While military aerial surveillance predates the Wright Brothers, and RC model airplanes have been around for half that time, it took the advent of asymmetric warfare to open the window to military drones. Their constant buzz offering the most intractable reason. 10511

Top 10 secret armies of the CIA

Found this on the web, will try to retrace provenance, worth a read: The United States have a well known history of providing military support to countries in need. But from time to time, the US Government has provided secret forces. While many are successful, there have also been a number of failures. This is a list of the ten top secret armies of the CIA. 7782

How to spot a Jap in Afghanistan

This is an excerpt from the WWII training manual "HOW TO SPOT A JAP." Can you doubt our military blimpnecks aren't giving the same xenophobic advice about how American servicemen should be sizing up their robe-clad insurgent adversaries in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Who owns images of American dead?

AP photographer Julie Jacobson was reticent to publish her picture of dying US Marine Lance Cpl. Joshua Bernard. Though his father was opposed, the Associated Press overruled. But this was no victory for the public's right to see a true reflection of war. The D.o.D. is still indignant, but I suspect Jacobson's report was ultimately vetted in their favor. Military propagandists need to represent America's growing losses in Afghanistan. Jacobson's image provides their limited hangout. Like the other photographs of casualties which have escaped through embeds, the image of Lance Corporal Bernard is desaturated of blood, and the surrounding events fit the military endorsed narrative. 8643

Last veteran of the War to End All Wars

IS THAT RICH? UK's oldest living veteran of the Great War died this weekend at age 111. Machine-gunner Harry Patch who survived Ypres and nearly not Passchendaele, was eulogized by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles who explained "The Great War is a chapter in our history we must never forget." Prime Minister Gordon Brown added: "The noblest of all the generations has left us, but they will never be forgotten." What did Soldier Patch think of the war for which he was held in patriotic regard? "It wasn't worth it." 8271

Jesus Killed Mohammed, every last one

With attention now drawn on the evangelical skinheads running amok with the US military's Big Stick, reporter Jeff Sharlet relates a story in this month's Harpers, which showcases the fundamental irreligiosity of the capital "C" Crusaders. 7670

UCSB Prof William Robinson pro-Semite

Wouldn't you think it bad form for Israeli militants to behave like Nazis, while immunizing themselves with the self-righteous indignation that any criticism of their actions can simply be dismissed as "anti-Semitic?" Photographs and confessions emerging from the IDF's atrocities in Gaza just beg comparison the German Einsatzgruppen in Poland. Earlier this year UC Santa Barbara professor William Robinson forwarded an email photo essay to a UCSB listserv, the already much-circulated side by side comparison to the WWII atrocities. Two students complained, plagiarizing stock IDF lingo. Now the Anti-Defamation League wants Robinson to recant. With IDF propagandists pouring on the bullshit, let's revisit the documents. 7589

Petty bureaucrat resents being called… The Holocaust denials of Larry DeWitt

In the face of Ward Churchill's vindication in a Colorado court, and now hearing support for him by fellow academics, Wingnut Holocaust Deniers are rallying behind whichever colleague will grab their dunce baton. The latest denier is academic aspirant, Social Security Administration archivist Larry DeWitt, who's been nursing a masters from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County campus. His master's thesis was about little known SSA efforts to mitigate The Wartime Internments & Other "Restrictive Governmental Actions." 7301

Warmongers do end run on Vietnam Wall

WASHINGTON DC- Who knew it wasn't just the Vietnam War veterans who had misgivings about Maya Lin's design for a memorial? Fair enough it doesn't celebrate the achievements of our armies. This peripheral statue offers the more conventional bronze tribute. It depicts as addendum, three survivors emerging from the woods, disheveled and still brandishing assault rifles. They appear to regard the wall and its visitors with wariness. I recognize the faces now, they are the chicken hawks who didn't go, but still want to wage war, and had to figure out how to get America over that wall. 7115

Bishop Williamson must RECANT says Pope

At the behest of the Vatican, Bishop Richard Williamson apologized for offense caused by his statements regarding WWII historical records of the Nazi concentration camps. But Pope Benedict weighed the bishop's statement as insufficient. Now he's demanding a full retraction before he will reconsider the latter's excommunication. Being urged to recant may be a scandal in papal circles, but history buffs and cineasts have only ever seen truth-clinging heretics assailed with cries to "RECANT!" 6744

Wikipedia and those romantic Zionists

In researching the evolution of Zionist terrorism, from clandestine militias like Bar-Giora, to Hashomer, Haganah, Etzel, and the pro-Nazi Stern Gang, I came upon this opening paragraph in Wikipedia. Describing Bar-Giora, it began: "On September 28, 1907, a group of activists from Poalei Zion gathered in Yitzhak Ben-Zvi's tiny Jaffa apartment. There was no furniture, the men sat on the floor in a circle and used a crate for a desk." Some helpful Wiki elf was obviously feeling sentimental. 6446

Bishop Williamson and Auschwitz 1.0

I am curious as to why a Roman Catholic bishop would risk a second excommunication over the historic particulars of the Holocaust. Bishop Richard Williamson is being labeled a "Holocaust Denier" because he questions the extent, and mechanism, of the official version of the Holocaust. Because Williamson is also criticized for his skepticism about the official 9/11 narrative, and for his praise for the Unabomber's manifesto, I want to take a closer look, and wonder what is he reading? 6392

American arrogance

Protests as US warship docks in Nagasaki What incredible arrogance and bad taste! This is your military and government, Americans! Look in the mirror and weep!

Apres nous, le Depression

If it matters what to call this financial crisis, what is it? Is America in a recession? When does a deep recession approach a depression? When is an economic crash revealed to be a collapse? Before we can rename the Great Depression, as we did the Great War (WWI), in deference to this latest, we would do better to address the cataclysm which left this depression. 6379

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