Most Interesting Thing You've Read This Past Week

Howdy! Welcome to the our weekly open thread on interesting reads! This is where to post links to those great things that made you say "Ah!" when you read them, so the rest of us can read them too!

So what is the most interesting thing you've read in the past week?

It can be anything - a book, a news article, a blog post, a recipe, a cartoon, anything goes...

And please - if there's a link, link it; if it's a recipe post it. :D

 

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I stopped watching network TV news 35 years ago

traveler's picture

and unless pointed to by some relevant link elsewhere, have made it a point to ignore the establishment media totally since early 2009 when it rather quickly become obvious that the hope, change and openness we had heard so much about was just more bull feathers.

If one is looking for the truth, trying to get to the heart of the matter, look elsewhere. There are numerous sources on the Internet. Sometimes even the "conspiracy theorists" sites come closer to the truth than the corporate media.

 

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Tuesday Night 7 eastern Chronic Tonic at VOTS~

triv33's picture

Yes, you read that right. Starting tomorrow night at seven eastern threre will again be a place to share stories, advice and information and to connect with others with chronic conditions and those who care for them..a place of no judgement, just support~
 

 

 

 

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A primary source, or excerpts from it

geomoo's picture

The Laws of Armed Conflict, which is the law of the land, and condified without stinting in U.S. military procedure.  It is illegal to use disproportionate force in armed conflict.  It is illegal to use force which is random, which fails to target known military targets.  Likewise, it is illegal to place military facilities such as rocket launchers near hospitals, schools, and other essential public civilian places.  It is illegal to use force which is not of military necessity.  Hence the illegality of the whole insane rotten interprise of invading Iraq and others.  Someone must have actually believed that domino nonsense about Vietnam, and now they fantasize tumbling their own dominos.

Ugh.

Considering the guidlines, as well as the spirit of the LOAC, as stated below, can anyone think of any countries currently and actively in violation of these laws?

 

The LOAC arises from a desire among civilized nations to prevent unnecessary suffering and destruction while not impeding the effective waging of war. A part of public international law, LOAC regulates the conduct of armed hostilities. It also aims to protect civilians, prisoners of war, the wounded, sick, and shipwrecked. LOAC applies to international armed conflicts and in the conduct of military operations and related activities in armed conflict, however such conflicts are characterized.

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Thanks for that, traveler

geomoo's picture

What strikes me is how much the war is still with them, and how we hardly give it a thought.  Not only that, but how the war is tangibly present with them, still the engines of war which disrupted their lives so violently seen everywhere, while here, it's just an abstract notion, an interesting question of whether it was a good thing, of why we lost.  Sometimes we regret the psychological effect of the conflict on our side--very few Americans picture the impact on southeast Asia.  Finally, this series of photos underlines definitively the difference in wealth industrial development between the attacking armies and those we were bombing.  Looking at all that weaponry, I wondered where our deficit would be today had we not wasted so much in that brutal, useless conflict.

Yet, being an industrialized first-world power doesn't mean you can actually invade and occupy an agrarian pre-industrial peoples.  Why?  Because the cause is real to them, whereas as for us, the cause is merely a wet dream of powerful war criminals.  This, from you photo captions, is interesting:

John R. Campbell, a civilian psychological warfare advisor in Vietnam from 1965 to 1967 talks about the bravery and dedication of the troops coming down the trail in Are we Winning? Are they Winning: A Civilian Advisor’s Reflections on Wartime Vietnam, Author House, 2004:

There could not have been a starker documentation of the superiority in the depth of motivation, discipline and self-sacrifice of the average North Vietnamese soldier than knowing when he started down the Ho Chi Minh Trail that no one he had ever known ever came back. Yet they continued to go south in greater and greater numbers, year after year. Documentation shows that while few went with genuine enthusiasm, they still went. It wasn’t as if this was just a vague rumor to them, since for an average of 500 who started down the trail, only 400 came out at the end of their trek south. This was a 20% attrition rate even before they faced an enemy soldier.

In the early days of the war it took six months to travel from North Vietnam to Saigon on the Ho Chi Minh Trail. By 1970, regular North Vietnamese Army soldiers could make the journey in six weeks. By the end of the war with motorized transportation the trip might take one week. It is estimated that as many as 20,000 soldiers a month marched south at the height of the trail’s use. And, it wasn’t only men and trucks that came down the Trail. Captain Hammond M. Salley, recalls:

Another misconception is the common belief that the trail was named by the communists in honor of their esteemed leader, Ho Chi Minh. In fact, the designation “Ho Chi Minh Trail” was a slang term coined by the Americans. Throughout the war, and for many years after the conflict ended, the North Vietnamese referred to the network as the “Truong Son Road.” In recent years (I suspect as a result of increased tourism) the Lao and Vietnamese have embraced the name invented by the Americans and now use it on signposts and memorial markers

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Thank you geomoo

traveler's picture

Here is some additional related information on this topic. 

This policy of one-sided warfare continues today in parts of the world. Now, as then, the public will see little empathy expessed for the victims.

This is from Congressman Eni Faleomavaega (D-AS) Territory of American Somoa

... the extent of the damage inflicted was purposefully concealed. Cluster bombs and white phosphorus were used against a civil population of country for who the U.S. was not at war with.

And this:

From 1964 to 1973, the U.S. dropped more than two million tons of
ordnance over Laos during 580,000 bombing missions—equal to a planeload
of bombs every 8 minutes, 24-hours a day, for 9 years.

Cluster bombs as well as millons of tons of other high explosive bombs, some as large as 3000 pounds were dropped on Laos during that period.

During the war more than 270 million cluster bombs were dropped in Laos of which, it is estimated that up to 80 million did not detonate. To date still less than 1% have been found and destroyed.

Each year there continues to be counts of more than 100 casualties, the majority of which result in death. Approximately 40% of the victims are children.

The following is from the Falk Article about one-sided warfare which you forwarded to me several days ago.

But the disturbing underlying problem persists. The United States, and some of its allies, rely on and seeks to sustain and enhance a posture of military dominance enabling the pursuit of political goals throughout the world. And this dominance basically relies upon American technological superiority in warfare that enables it to inflict limitless devastation on a foreign country anywhere on earth without fearing retaliation at home. It is an accepted idea in national defense planning in all countries to develop the most effective weaponry that is technologically and financially feasible.

 

This disposition is reinforced by strategic thinking about how to inflict maximal damage in battlefield situations and as an instrument of coercive diplomacy. The U.S. Government, without any serious domestic challenge, has carried this image of national security to absurd limits, currently with an annual military budget about equal to that of the entire rest of the world. Such budgetary excess is needed to pay the costs of maintaining a network of about 1,000 overseas bases, navies in every ocean, and a multi-billion dollar investment in the militarization of space. The purpose of this rampant militarism is to further a grand strategy that is so overwhelming as to undermine the will of adversaries to offer resistance.

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Eighty Million Unexploded Cluster Bombs

geomoo's picture

Chalk that up, along with 4 million refugees from Iraq, as a staggering number that few Americans will have the imagination or the interest to begin to grasp.  Wow, that's incredible.  And they talk of austerity.  It's full spectrum dominance.  We're so powerful that we can just waste our resources, raining them down on your country like confetti.  We can do this forever, because we're so rich and powerful.  It is insane.  It's not hyperbole.  In the sense of being disconnected from any realistic sense of the probable outcome of this behavior, it's insane.

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