Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Human Side of War

A look at the effect of conflict on people, lives and families whilst re-humanising the effects of conflict that is so often lost in the news. The conflicts in question are Iraq, Gaza and Afghanistan

Photojournalism by Zoriah who can be contacted at

Music is by Tomislav Letinić who can be reached at


Afghanistan war escalation:
The war in Afghanistan is increasingly taking center stage in American political life. As the Obama administration, urged on by the Pentagon, prepares to deploy tens of thousands more US troops to the bloody conflict, popular opinion is turning against the involvement. A crisis of historic dimensions is shaping up.

The American liberal “left,” the Nation magazine, the so-called anti-war movements, various publications and think tanks, all endorsed Barack Obama in the 2008 election, claiming that his—in the words of Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel last November—would be a “Transformational Presidency.”

Far from acting to “end the endless wars” and initiating “a politics of sanity and justice and peace,” as vanden Heuvel encouraged people to believe Obama would do, the new administration has continued and even deepened the carnage in Central Asia. While attempting to maintain the fragile stability in Iraq, based on the mass killings of opponents to the foreign occupation and a savage “ethnic cleansing,” Washington is expanding the war into Afghanistan and Pakistan, threatening a much wider conflagration. The election of Barack Obama, for US ruling circles, was merely an opportunity to effect a change in tactics.

Popular expectations of the Obama government are fading; a mood of widespread disappointment and even bitterness is setting in. In this context, the American ex-left acts to promote illusions in the Democrats and shore up the two-party system, in the interests of US imperialism.
{more -David Walsh at wsws}


It takes both parties to tango in the continuing wars.

GOP Support May Be Vital to Obama on Afghan War

Names of the Dead

The Department of Defense has identified 804 American service members who have died as a part of the Afghan war and related operations. It confirmed the deaths of the following Americans on Wednesday:

BROCHU, Jordan M., 20, Pfc., Army; Cumberland, Me.; Second Infantry Division.
WALSHE, Tyler R., 21, Specialist, Army; Shasta, Calif.; Second Infantry Division.
WELCH, Jonathan D., 19, Specialist, Army; Yorba Linda, Calif.; Second Infantry Division.


Questioning the Police State, Not Just the Tactics
The torture debate focuses on the wrong issues, serving only to obscure the bigger picture. The real life issue is not that our elected government has used police state tactics on prisoners, but that our elected leaders believe that the United States has some sort of moral authority to define its own set of standards, freeing American spies and soldiers to operate outside of the laws that bind the rest of the human race. The torture debate has merely exposed the terror that our government utilizes everyday, to have its way with the world.

The recent revelations contained in CIA releases is kid’s stuff in the real spy world, but it is revealing enough to give the public a whiff of the stench that rolls out of the agency’s secret prisons and nightmarish hell holes, where they show the world what American democracy really means—POWER, plain and simple.

The US has the power to create its own authority, under the auspices of some reputable institution, like the UN, or the World Bank. The outrage comes not so much over revelation of the brutal tactics used to beat human beings into drooling submissives, but that young soldiers were assigned these tasks that should have been reserved for the medieval thinking spooks and their evil minions.

The issue is the core contradiction of American politics, between those on one side who believe that “manifest destiny” justifies every brutality that America has committed to claw its way to the top of the world, and those who believe that the United States must be held to the same standards of the rest of the human race.

If we don’t fully and openly investigate that bastion of fascism that resides in that odd-shaped building in Langley, Va., then, we will be fully consumed by the monsters who dwell within, who think nothing of threatening a child, or even killing the, or abduction them and subjecting them to torture, electroshock and sexual abuse...

All in the name of freedom and national security, we dutifully march into the police state, in synchronized goose-step.
{more - Peter Chamberlin}


  1. Brilliant, thank you. What this situation reminds me of several things. One is a cartoon by Mr. Fish that I am going to add to my post.

    Do you remember in Apocalypse Now when the soldiers went wild and totally lost it? Crazy with the idiocy and hideousness of their lives there? The stress changed normally ok guys into psychopathic, over the edge hysterical mad men.

    I love Zoriah's work. This must be a new post and I am going over there now. Thanks for this one mon ami. It will be posted to balance out the filth of the one I just put up.

    Oh, and why did I put up such stuff? Just because, as with the dead babies of Gaza, I felt America has to see what the reality of what these wars cost the human species. All it takes is the spark of one degenerate and a fire spreads.

    I would like to believe that these men, or most of them, will be appalled once they come to their senses, if ever they do. And they do not even see active combat!

  2. The ones in your post will not come to their senses. They are there for the money and the degeneracy, not only their personal perversions but also the perversions of war. They typify the sickness of the US empire.

  3. Thank you for posting the photo essay.

    The graffiti of the seesaw on the wall broke my heart.

    The same goes for the desperation and complete and utter despair on the faces of the three men grieving for their loved ones just before the "Forgive Me" tattoo slide.