zenpundit.com » war

Archive for the ‘war’ Category

COVID-19 on the global stage

Sunday, April 12th, 2020

[ by Charles Cameron — a miscellany of must read articles in must read times — with just a taste of each of them ]
.

Be at peace, take up your courage, fight the good fight, be at peace: happy Easter

**

George Monbiot, Covid-19 is nature’s wake-up call to complacent civilisation

I hope we never have to witness fights over food. But it’s becoming difficult to see how we will avoid them.

A large body of evidence is beginning to accumulate showing how climate breakdown is likely to affect our food supply. Already farming in some parts of the world is being hammered by drought, floods, fire and locusts (whose resurgence in the past few weeks appears to be the result of anomalous tropical cyclones).

Locusts?

While we’re worrying over COVID-19, Africa has its own natural calamity, threatening countless lives with death by starvation:

Newsweek, Locust Swarms as Big as Cities are causing a Crisis in Africa as experts warn they could get 400 times bigger

And in case that title is hard for you to read in red, here it is in black and white, in bold and in italics:

Locust Swarms as Big as Cities are causing a Crisis in Africa as experts warn they could get 400 times bigger

“The herders will have a real challenge of pasture, and this may also cause movement from one place to another in search of pasture, with inherent risk of communal conflict over pasture or grazing land or passing territories,” the UN Ambassador for Kenya, Lazarus O. Amayo, said in a statement.

Others will have no choice but to stay put.

“At least for livestock keepers in northern Kenya, south and eastern Ethiopia and north and central Somalia, they have an option of moving with their livestock to areas not affected by the locust swarms, but for smallholder agricultural farmers, they are left with no option but to consider their hard labor and food source gone,” said Emoru.

**

Locusts? Coronavirus? When what’s barreling down the tunnel of future high likelihoods is nothing less than an uninhabitable climate, uninhabitable planet?

David Wallace, The Coronavirus Is a Preview of Our Climate-Change Future

if the disease and our utter inability to respond to it terrifies you about our future staring down climate change, it should, not just as a “fire drill” for climate change generally but as a test run for all the diseases that will be unleashed in the decades ahead by warming. The virus is a terrifying harbinger of future pandemics that will be brought about if climate change continues to so deeply destabilize the natural world: scrambling ecosystems, collapsing habitats, rewiring wildlife, and rewriting the rules that have governed all life on this planet for all of human history

**

For the warfighter, all this means war:

Kahl & Berengaut, Aftershocks: The Coronavirus Pandemic and the New World Disorder

if we want to understand the even darker direction in which the world may be headed, leaders and policymakers ought to pay more attention to the two decades after the influenza pandemic swept the globe. This period, often referred to as the interwar years, was characterized by rising nationalism and xenophobia, the grinding halt of globalization in favor of beggar-thy-neighbor policies, and the collapse of the world economy in the Great Depression. Revolution, civil war, and political instability rocked important nations. The world’s reigning liberal hegemon — Great Britain — struggled and other democracies buckled while rising authoritarian states sought to aggressively reshape the international order in accordance with their interests and values. Arms races, imperial competition, and territorial aggression ensued, culminating in World War II — the greatest calamity in modern times.

And that war was a nuclear war, Hiroshima, Nagasaki remember all too well.. a coupld of small holocausts — burnt offerings, fire sacrifices — at 10,830 °F if you were close to ground zero..

**

For the United States, “Democracy may be dying”:

Paul Krugman, American Democracy May Be Dying

the scariest news of the past week didn’t involve either epidemiology or economics; it was the travesty of an election in Wisconsin, where the Supreme Court required that in-person voting proceed despite the health risks and the fact that many who requested absentee ballots never got them. ..

Authoritarian rule may be just around the corner.

**

And right now, in our hospital ERs and ICUs, the medical profession lices — an dies — as it saves lives..

Nicholas Kristof, Life and Death in the ‘Hot Zone’

Ms. Gifford recalled a patient who had come from an assisted-living center. “I’m really scared,” he told her. “I don’t want to have Covid. I’m in a facility and there are people dying there.”

I’ve chosen that snippet because it cuts so close to home (my own nursing facility) for me..

But more generally:

For health workers, intubation is nerve-racking because it causes the virus to spray out from the lungs into the air. In this case, the procedure was performed in a room on the edge of the hot zone with negative air pressure, so that the virus would remain in the room. A plastic box was placed over the patient’s head, and the nurse-anesthetist put her arms through holes in the box to perform the intubation.

And the doctors and nurses perform this nightmare procedure perhaps eight or more times in a day.. What an unimaginable, multiple proof of the strength of the Hippocratic Oath!! If you yearn for miracles, look no farther.

**

Be at peace, have courage, fight the good fight, be in peace, : have compassion..ight the good fight, be at peace: have compassion..

A very interesting title from 2014, & a title match, 1972

Saturday, February 15th, 2020

[ by Charles Cameron — a biker gang as alt-army, a chess board as Cold War battlefield — Night Wolves, and Fischer Spassky ]
.

I mentioned the Night Wolves bikers in my post It’s how we / they roll in May 2015, and there have been many reports of their activities elsewhere — but yesterday I was pointed to some videos I hadn’t seen before, and came across this intriguing title on an RT video from Sevastopol, 2014:

Russia: Epic Night Wolves biker rally takes war in Ukraine to the stage

Similar, is this Guardian headline from 2916:

Putin’s Angels: the bikers battling for Russia in Ukraine

**

Think about it. Taking a war to the stage — with a couple of rock bands, a light show, plenty of fires, and the Night Wolves themselves making high bike jumps across the stage — may sound like little or nothing, but for the citizens of Sevastopol is’s either w pretty profound warning or a pretty powerful affirmation that the Crimea belongs to Mother Russia.

That’s quite an audience! And read the caption:

This city will come back
Sevastopol will stay Russian

**

Note — this is a very short video clip — that Putin rides with the Night Wolves — in Crimea:

Note that Putin‘s bike has the Russian Imperial insignia of a double-headed eagle — on his gas tank!

Note the crown at the very top, and St George slaying the dragon in the center panel.

**

If you have 35 minutes, watch this — it’s pretty damn impressive for a show put on by a biker gang:

If you don’t have 35 minutes, just flick through it, catching a sense of the thing. But uit’s well worth watching in full, so perhaps you can find time to come back and watch it later.

**

The title of this post claims that “Epic Night Wolves biker rally takes war in Ukraine to the stage<" is A very interesting title". Any text which suggests that war can be considered a drama, a game, or a dream -- a subset of reality -- is of inherent interest: think of the impact of the black American athlete Jesse Owens crushing his German opponent to win four gold medals in Hitler's 1936 Summer Olympics!

In this case we have the claim that war can be enacted in a rock and roll and light show. A comparison with warfare as chess may prove illuminating: consider the Telegraph article titled How Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky became pawns — the title itself is extraordinary, making pawns of two great chess grand masters!

Even before Fischer-Spassky, we are told:

For the USSR, chess had always been a key weapon in the Cold War.

And the match itself? For this, let’s turm to an Irish Times article:

Cold War in Reykjavik as Fischer breaks Soviet defender Spassky

Never before or after has a chess tournament, or perhaps any sporting event, taken on such non-sporting significance. This was not Spassky v Fischer. It was the USSR v US. [ .. ]

The fate of a nation has rarely depended on the result of a sporting endeavour. But that was how the match-up between Fischer and Spassky was portrayed in the lead-up to Reykjavik in 1972.

When he defeated Spassky, we are told, Fischer “was treated as a war hero.” Spassky resigned by telephone– and Fischer? Ever the eccentric —

The audience (about 2,500) burst into rhythmic applause and rose. Fischer, still busying himself at the chessboard, again nodded, looked uncomfortable, glanced at the audience from the corner of his eyes and rushed off.

Break it Down Show with Zen Co-Hosting: Mazarr on Leap of Faith

Saturday, October 12th, 2019

[mark safranski / zen]

Friend of ZP, Pete Turner invited me to join him at his place The Break it Down Show to interview RAND scholar Michael J. Mazarr about his new book Leap of Faith Hubris, Negligence, and America’s Greatest Foreign Policy Tragedy :

Mike Mazarr – Leap of Faith Hubris, Negligence, and America’s Greatest Foreign Policy Tragedy

Mark Safranski joins Pete A Turner with author, think-tanker Dr Mike Mazarr.
Mike’s book is called, Leap of Faith Hubris, Negligence, and America’s Greatest Foreign Policy Tragedy
Why is the invasion of Iraq viewed as a tragedy? Mike explains to us and draws conclusions to help us better understand by comparing and contrasting past conflicts to Iraq. Mark, brings his experience understanding presidential security council dynamics to push the show to even great depth and uniqueness.

Listen to the episode here.

Without giving way any spoilers, Mazarr has penned our time’s version of The Best and the Brightest. It’s a step by step reconstruction using the best evidence available and extensive interviews of principal figures or their aides and colleagues to explain how the Bush administration decided to go down the road to war in Iraq.  Like David Halberstam explaining the origins of Vietnam, Mazarr’s task was to explain how so experienced a national security team as the one that served George W. Bush could make so catastrophic a strategic error, the effects of which continue to unfold to this day.

See the source image

 

Cats as 16th century weapons, foxes as Old Testament precursors

Saturday, September 7th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — cat picture meets strategy, history meets scripture ]
.

Here you go:

With thanks to @alabandine.

Here is a word, maybe even a sentence, in the language of menace

Monday, May 20th, 2019

[ by Charles Cameron — behold Abraham Lincoln of the USN sending a signal to Iran, the IRGC, and various Shia militias of dubious reliability ]
.

Here is a word, maybe even a sentence, in the language of menace:

It looks even more menacing in the full-sized image as I found it, thanks to Julian West, in the Guardian. – hit the link to see it, it’s too large for the Zenpundit format!

Now imagine how menacing that word or sentence becomes when it’s not a photo but a carrier strike group sailing your way..

And now think how menacing that carrier group becomes when John Bolton‘s the one who may be — pardon the pun — calling the shots

**

Let’s go back to the image up above for a moment, and pray there are no unfortunate accidents, and that the carrier strike group seen here as a sentence in the language of menace doesn’t become anyone’s death sentence..


Switch to our mobile site