Posts tagged civilian deaths

As always, thepoliticalnotebook does such excellent work in her weekly series, ‘This Week In War’. From this week, perhaps especially pertinent after this week’s events (beheading of James Foley and Wesley Lowery’s coverage of the events in Ferguson), (again) one link grabbed my attention especially:

From Missouri to Syria, Journalists Are Becoming Targets,

which reminds me of earlier in the week, on World Humanitarian Day:

Deaths of humanitarian aid workers reach record high.

Why are we not more outspoken and active about their deaths? Who is accountable?

What is happening in Ferguson is exactly what opponents of the rise in military-style policing across America have long feared: when the feds arm white local cops with weapons of war and their superiors encourage them not to just play dress-up but to use their new war toys, it is inevitable that ordinary citizens – especially citizens of color – will get treated as the enemy.

Ferguson is what happens when white suburban cops get weapons of war, writes Sadhbh Walshe.  (via guardian)

Watching Ferguson, I wonder: do Americans have no memory? Why are you shocked at these police tactics, as if this is new? Have you forgotten Occupy? The civil rights marches where dogs where set on peaceful protesters? Kent State?!

There is a gif set from Stokely Carmichael going around about passive resistance and effective methods of protest. My question is, if your opponent has no conscience, is armed to the teeth, and the same problems keep occurring (violence against peaceful protesters and people of colour), isn’t it time to change tactics? When you ‘forget’ your political history, you enable cycles of violence to continue by repeating the same action and expecting a different result (the definition of insanity). Would it not serve your cause more to examine your political history with (unnecessarily) forceful responses to (peaceful) protests, learn from it, and formulate a new response? This is exactly HOW and WHY MLK and Ghandi were so effective; they responded differently, thoughtfully, to a reoccurring problem.

These protests are the equivalent of what the US military has done and continues to do in Iraq: drop bombs and hope something changes.

(Source: theguardian.com)

3,621 notes 

Excellent read about a case of international ‘development aid’ and the conflicts that surround ‘block aid’ and unmonitored ‘giving’.

fotojournalismus:

In Memoriam: Anja Niedringhaus

Anja Niedringhaus, a courageous and immensely talented Associated Press photographer, was killed while covering elections in Afghanistan on April 4, 2014.

An Afghan police officer opened fire on Anja Niedringhaus and Kathy Gannon from the Associated Press in a police headquarters in Khost province, after the women arrived with a convoy of election materials on Friday.

Niedringhaus died almost immediately from wounds to her head, a health official said, and Gannon was taken to hospital with less serious injuries after being shot twice. She later underwent surgery and was described as being in stable condition and talking to medical personnel. Both were veteran correspondents with long experience covering Afghanistan.

Afghanistan, once a relatively safe place to work, has become increasingly deadly for journalists in the run up to the elections. Just last month Swedish-British radio reporter Nils Horner was shot dead in downtown Kabul. Days later Sardar Ahmad of the Agence France Press was gunned down, along with his wife and two children, in an attack on a luxury hotel in Kabul. His youngest son, two-year-old Abuzar, survived several gunshot wounds.

Niedringhaus has long been recognized for her expertise in gaining a subject’s trust and photographing them with a style that is immediately recognizable. Her attention to detail, composition and light come together to not only tell insightful stories but also to create works of art. 

She worked for the European Press Photo Agency before joining the AP in 2002, based in Geneva. She had published two books. She was the only woman on a team of 11 AP photographers awarded the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography.

fotojournalismus has some amazing posts up honouring Niedringhaus. Just incredible - and sombre - photos.

1,244 notes 

crisisgroup:

Leaked documents prove Myanmar government ordered Rohingya abuse | UCA News
Documents leaked to a Thailand-based rights group show evidence that the persecution of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar is official state policy, with copies of government directives released that order authorities to restrict Rohingya families to two children and tightly control the Muslim group’s movement.
The documents, released on Tuesday by Fortify Rights in a report titled “Policies of Persecution: Ending Abusive State Policies Against Rohingya in Myanmar,” represent the first proof that abuses against the group are codified in law and ordered by the highest level of government.
One order dating from May 2005 and circulated among authorities in northern Rakhine state’s Maungdaw says that “those who have permission to marry must limit the number of children, in order to control the birth rate so that there is enough food and shelter”.
FULL ARTICLE (UCA News)
Photo: DFID - UK Department for International Development/flickr


Follow up (on going)

crisisgroup:

Leaked documents prove Myanmar government ordered Rohingya abuse | UCA News

Documents leaked to a Thailand-based rights group show evidence that the persecution of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar is official state policy, with copies of government directives released that order authorities to restrict Rohingya families to two children and tightly control the Muslim group’s movement.

The documents, released on Tuesday by Fortify Rights in a report titled “Policies of Persecution: Ending Abusive State Policies Against Rohingya in Myanmar,” represent the first proof that abuses against the group are codified in law and ordered by the highest level of government.

One order dating from May 2005 and circulated among authorities in northern Rakhine state’s Maungdaw says that “those who have permission to marry must limit the number of children, in order to control the birth rate so that there is enough food and shelter”.

FULL ARTICLE (UCA News)

Photo: DFID - UK Department for International Development/flickr

Follow up (on going)

191 notes 

descentintotyranny:

Caracas Chronicles — The Game Changed in Venezuela Last Night – and the International Media Is Asleep At the Switch
Feb. 20 2014
Dear International Editor:
Listen and understand. The game changed in Venezuela last night. What had been a slow-motion unravelling that had stretched out over many years went kinetic all of a sudden.
What we have this morning is no longer the Venezuela story you thought you understood.
Throughout last night, panicked people told their stories of state-sponsored paramilitaries on motorcycles roaming middle class neighborhoods, shooting at people and  storming into apartment buildings, shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting. People continue to be arrested merely for protesting, and a long established local Human Rights NGO makes an urgent plea for an investigation into widespread reports of torture of detainees. There are now dozens of serious human right abuses: National Guardsmen shooting tear gas canisters directly into residential buildings. We have videos of soldiers shooting civilians on the street. And that’s just what came out in real time, over Twitter and YouTube, before any real investigation is carried out. Online media is next, a city of 645,000 inhabitants has been taken off the internet amid mounting repression, and this blog itself has been the object of a Facebook “block” campaign.
What we saw were not “street clashes”, what we saw is a state-hatched offensive to suppress and terrorize its opponents.
After the major crackdown on the streets of major (and minor) Venezuelan cities last night, I expected some kind of response in the major international news outlets this morning. I understand that with an even bigger and more photogenic freakout ongoing in an even more strategically important country, we weren’t going to be front-page-above-the-fold, but I’m staggered this morning to wake up, scan the press and find…
Nothing.
Read More

descentintotyranny:

Caracas Chronicles — The Game Changed in Venezuela Last Night – and the International Media Is Asleep At the Switch

Feb. 20 2014

Dear International Editor:

Listen and understand. The game changed in Venezuela last night. What had been a slow-motion unravelling that had stretched out over many years went kinetic all of a sudden.

What we have this morning is no longer the Venezuela story you thought you understood.

Throughout last night, panicked people told their stories of state-sponsored paramilitaries on motorcycles roaming middle class neighborhoods, shooting at people and  storming into apartment buildings, shooting at anyone who seemed like he might be protesting. People continue to be arrested merely for protesting, and a long established local Human Rights NGO makes an urgent plea for an investigation into widespread reports of torture of detainees. There are now dozens of serious human right abuses: National Guardsmen shooting tear gas canisters directly into residential buildings. We have videos of soldiers shooting civilians on the street. And that’s just what came out in real time, over Twitter and YouTube, before any real investigation is carried out. Online media is next, a city of 645,000 inhabitants has been taken off the internet amid mounting repression, and this blog itself has been the object of a Facebook “block” campaign.

What we saw were not “street clashes”, what we saw is a state-hatched offensive to suppress and terrorize its opponents.

After the major crackdown on the streets of major (and minor) Venezuelan cities last night, I expected some kind of response in the major international news outlets this morning. I understand that with an even bigger and more photogenic freakout ongoing in an even more strategically important country, we weren’t going to be front-page-above-the-fold, but I’m staggered this morning to wake up, scan the press and find…

Nothing.

Read More

34 notes 

fotojournalismus:

Myanmar | October 2, 2013

Terrified Muslim families hid in forests in western Myanmar on Wednesday, one day after fleeing a new round of deadly sectarian violence that erupted even as the president toured the divided region. The discovery of four bodies brought the death toll from the latest clashes up to at least five.

Tuesday’s unrest near the coastal town of Thandwe, which saw Buddhist mobs kill a 94-year-old woman and four other Muslims and burn dozens of homes, underscored the government’s persistent failure to stop the sectarian violence from spreading.

"Like in Korean movies, they have swords and sticks," said Muslim resident Tin Win. "There’s no law and order in this town. We’re in a serious situation, we’re really worried."

Another resident of Thandwe, Myo Min, said a small mosque in Kyikanyet, about 43 kilometers from Thandwe, was burned by attackers Tuesday night. Police said they were trying to confirm that report. 

Myo Min said he was concerned about the safety of families who fled Tuesday’s violence. Many families in Thabyuchaing, he said, fled into forests when their village was attacked.

"Many of them, including women and children, are still hiding, and they are cornered and unable to come out," Myo Min said. "They need food and water, and Muslim elders are discussing with authorities to evacuate them or send food."

Most of those targeted in Rakhine state have been ethnic Rohingya Muslims, considered by many in the country to be illegal migrants from Bangladesh, though many of their families arrived generations ago. But in the latest flare-up this week, the victims were Kamans, another Muslim minority group, whose citizenship is recognized.

Muslims, who account for about 4 percent of Myanmar’s roughly 60 million people, have been the main victims of the violence, but they have been prosecuted for crimes related to the clashes far more often than members of the Buddhist majority.

Clashes between Buddhists and Muslims since June last year have killed at least 237 people in Myanmar and 192 of those deaths were in Rakhine state, where Rohingya Muslims, most of whom are stateless, bore the brunt of the attacks.

(Photos by Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters)

follow-up of the year…

313 notes 

fotojournalismus:

Afghan villagers look at the bodies of women killed by NATO air strikes in Laghman province September 16, 2012. NATO-led air strikes in southern Laghman province on Saturday night killed eight women, according to a local official.
[Credit : Parwiz/Reuters]

reblog for new institutionalism (yes, again, second wave)

fotojournalismus:

Afghan villagers look at the bodies of women killed by NATO air strikes in Laghman province September 16, 2012. NATO-led air strikes in southern Laghman province on Saturday night killed eight women, according to a local official.

[Credit : Parwiz/Reuters]

reblog for new institutionalism (yes, again, second wave)

73 notes 

gifhound:

“Some women care for style, and some women care for their people” is one of the messages in a video created by wives of U.N. ambassadors from Britain and Germany appealing to Asma al-Assad, the wife with a penchant for glamour of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, who the west holds responsible for the current uprisings in Syria. The video is billed as an ‪International Letter & Petition to Asma al-Assad‬. 
(Via Reuters)

gifhound:

“Some women care for style, and some women care for their people” is one of the messages in a video created by wives of U.N. ambassadors from Britain and Germany appealing to Asma al-Assad, the wife with a penchant for glamour of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, who the west holds responsible for the current uprisings in Syria. The video is billed as an ‪International Letter & Petition to Asma al-Assad‬. 

(Via Reuters)

85 notes 

If there is one human thing you do with your time today, its to view these photos, read the photographer’s commentary, and remember the thousands of lives lost in this senseless war.

If there is one human thing you do with your time today, its to view these photos, read the photographer’s commentary, and remember the thousands of lives lost in this senseless war.

4 notes 

The original piece is worth a read.

Bullet-point summary (content exclusively by Jonathan Naughton, the Guardian):

  • Once upon a time, aerial warfare consisted of guys climbing into aircraft and flying bombing missions over enemy territory. Now many, if not most, of the lethal missions mounted by the USAF are carried out by unmanned drones flying high over Afghanistan and Pakistan and piloted by uniformed guys sitting in computerised consoles in New Mexico.
  • More interestingly, it turns out that the stress levels for these pilots are unexpectedly high. A Pentagon study has found, for example, that 29% of them suffer from “burnout”. A co-author of the study says that the air force tries to recruit people who are emotionally well-adjusted, “family people” with “good values”. But “when they have to kill someone, or where they are involved in missions and then they either kill them or watch them killed, it does cause them to rethink aspects of their life”.
  • So maybe Heidegger was wrong [when he argues ‘that technology is, in essence, a way of organising the world so that one doesn’t have to experience it’].
  • But there is one new form of warfare where Heidegger’s insight might turn out to be more relevant. It’s called cyberwarfare. The ability to destroy a country’s infrastructure – to bring down its electricity grid or disrupt water supplies by hacking into the computers that run these systems – offers a nation the prospect of waging war without incurring either physical or psychological risks for the aggressor’s citizens: casualty-free war, if you like…

Content analysis:

  1. As many in the comments section have pointed out, Naughton admits he didn’t really ‘get’ this hardcore philosophic work (nor has he the training to analyse), so continuing, prior to a re-read or clarification report, WAS A MASSIVE ERROR.
  2. The subhead and end commentary suggests that drones produce ‘casualty-free’ wars. You don’t need to be a Mr. Chomsky or Mr. Foucault to realise that NO WAR IS CASUALTY-FREE. Even if one side is casualty free - HISTORY MATTERS. If  infrastructure, stability, resources, systems, etc. are (remotely) destroyed, there will be fallout and likely redistributive violence (general reference: Charlie Wilson’s War, ie: Cold War and post-Cold War US ‘intervention’ in Afghanistan).
  3. The Western-centric idea of reducing casualty and psychological effects of war is just, well, lies. There is no war that will be free of adverse effects. The idea of reducing the adverse effects for the West completely negates the existence, the humanity, of the Rest (see Judith Bulter or Hannah Arendt on the concept of ‘the other’)
  4. HOW IS DISRUPTING THE ELECTRICITY GRID/WATER GRID CASUALTY-FREE?!

Guardian writers… stop having a laugh on Sundays. Academics are bored and don’t want to work.

well, when I am finished with
[the Guardian], you won’t be able to get a
contract for a prepaid mobile phone!
I will tear you down, brick by
perfidious brick!

'Torvald Utne', UN representative, Archer (2009).

1 note 

After going through thepoliticalnotebook's Friday links, (especially the one on the US solider(s)’ 17 March killing of Afghan civilians from the first Western journalist to cover the story on the ground) I was left remembering the patches that went around tumblr a few weeks ago. Here were a few others I found while surfing.
…apparently these patches originate with Benjamin Franklin’s 1751 symbolism during the independence of the United States from Great Britain.
Tell me why/if/how these patches affect you?

1 note