Who counts as a victim?

Innocent, passive, apolitical: after the Holocaust, the standard for ‘true’ victimhood has worked to justify total war A Dirk Moses is Frank Porter Graham Distinguished Professor of Global Human Rights History at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His latest book is The Problems of Genocide: Permanent Security and the Language of Transgression (2021). Edited by Sam Haselby In September 1945, a month after the foreign ministers of the Soviet Union, Great Britain and the United States issued the Charter of the Nuremberg Trials, the chief US prosecutor, Robert Jackson, wrote an article for The New York Times Magazine to explain the impending proceedings … Continue reading Who counts as a victim?

Reading John Gray in war

As a soldier, I was hard-wired to seek meaning and purpose. Gray’s philosophy helped me unhook from utopia and find peace Andy Owen is the author of All Soldiers Run Away: Alano’s War: The Story of a British Deserter (2017). He is a former soldier who writes on the ethics and philosophy of war. He lives in London. Edited by Nigel Warburton ‘All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.’Blaise Pascal (1623-62) Ifirst read the English philosopher John Gray while sitting in the silence of the still, mid-afternoon heat of Helmand Province in Afghanistan. In Black Mass: … Continue reading Reading John Gray in war

What We Can Learn About Nazi Psychology From the Wives of Hitler’s Top Officials

Adolf Hitler (1889 – 1945) with guests at at his residence on Dec. 31, 1939. Gerda Bormann is in the back row, fourth from left. Getty ImagesBY JAMES WYLLIE NOVEMBER 12, 2020 10:00 AM EST BY JAMES WYLLIE Among the thousands of books about Nazism, barely a handful focus on the wives of the leading figures in Hitler’s regime. While their men have left an indelible imprint on our collective memory the women who gave them vital support, encouragement and direction have largely remained relegated to the footnotes of history. Part of the reason for this is the nature of the source material, much of which … Continue reading What We Can Learn About Nazi Psychology From the Wives of Hitler’s Top Officials

A ‘Climate Anomaly’ Worsened World War I and the 1918 Flu Pandemic, New Research Suggests

by George Dvorsky A once-in-a-century “climate anomaly” exacerbated the awful conditions along the Western Front in Europe during the First World War, according to new research. This unusual weather may have also amplified—and possibly even initiated—the catastrophic 1918-19 flu pandemic, exposing an underappreciated threat posed by climate change. New research published in GeoHealth describes the impact of a six-year climate anomaly on World War I and the 1918-19 influenza pandemic. The unusual weather, which occurred from 1914 to 1919, included torrential rain and particularly cold temperatures, making a bad situation even worse, according to the study, led by climate scientist and historian Alexander More … Continue reading A ‘Climate Anomaly’ Worsened World War I and the 1918 Flu Pandemic, New Research Suggests

Hirohito, the war criminal who got away

Seventy-five years on, Japan still can’t come to terms with its past by Francis Pike This month the global media marked the 75th anniversary of the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The cities’ destructions were momentous indeed, but the coverage has squeezed out other memories of the Pacific War. Who remembers Japan’s genocidal campaign in China that killed more than 20 million people — thousands of them by poison gas and canisters containing plague and typhus? Or the murder of 35 percent of the 200,000 soldiers and civilians held in Japanese prisoner-of-war camps that meted out unspeakable … Continue reading Hirohito, the war criminal who got away

Harry Truman didn’t have hindsight before bombing Hiroshima

Letters to the Editor: Hiroshima wasn’t the start of the nuclear age; building the bomb at all was. To the editor: To argue we didn’t need to start the nuclear age by dropping the bombs on Japan 75 years ago, as historians Gar Alperovitz and Martin J. Sherwin do in their op-ed article, is overly simplistic. We didn’t start the nuclear age by dropping the bomb; we started it by inventing the bomb. And once we had, it was inevitable that the Soviet Union would feel the need to build their own, leading to the arms race. Also, we didn’t invent the … Continue reading Harry Truman didn’t have hindsight before bombing Hiroshima

Ashoka’s moral empire

Being good is hard. How an ancient Indian emperor, horrified by the cruelty of war, created an infrastructure of goodness Sonam Kachru is assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia. He is a contributor to Words Without Borders. Edited by Sam Haselby In the Khyber valley of Northern Pakistan, three large boulders sit atop a hill commanding a beautiful prospect of the city of Mansehra. A low brick wall surrounds these boulders; a simple roof, mounted on four brick pillars, protects the rock faces from wind and rain. This structure preserves for posterity the words inscribed … Continue reading Ashoka’s moral empire

Why South Africa’s Military May ‘Somehow Get Involved’ in Situation in Northern Mozambique

by Oleg Burunov Northern Mozambique has been in the grip of a jihadist insurgency since 2017, with the violence having reportedly already killed more than 1,000 people there. In an article published on the website Conversation, political scientist Theo Neethling from the Bloemfontein-based University of the Free State, focused on South Africa’s position pertaining to an increase in “deadly violence” in the northern parts of Mozambique. “There is now even a possibility that the South African National Defence Force might become involved in [Mozambique’s] most northern Cabo Delgado province, with a view to ending [… the] litany of atrocities, abductions and … Continue reading Why South Africa’s Military May ‘Somehow Get Involved’ in Situation in Northern Mozambique

The science behind the bombing of Hiroshima

Some 135,000 people were killed when the US dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima in Japan on 6 August 1945. Those who survived suffered radiation sickness and severe burns – and the city was utterly destroyed. Here, Jason Goodyer, commissioning editor of BBC Focus Magazine, reveals the devastating aftermath of bombing and explains the science behind it… The US produced the first nuclear weapons during the Second World War following extensive scientific research dubbed the Manhattan Project. When they dropped two bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, the world had never experienced anything … Continue reading The science behind the bombing of Hiroshima

This Is the One Reason Imperial Japan Attacked America at Pearl Harbor

Tokyo needed new oil supplies to wage its war in China and the only way to get them would be to attack Washington’s allies in the Pacific. by Sebastien Roblin The day after roughly 350 Japanese warplanes came screaming down over Pearl Harbor and sank or crippled eight of the U.S. Pacific Fleet’s battleships over a span of ninety minutes, Japanese newspapers published a statement by Emperor Hirohito declaring war with the United States and the United Kingdom and outlining its rationale for the attack. “It has been truly unavoidable and far from Our wishes that Our Empire has been brought … Continue reading This Is the One Reason Imperial Japan Attacked America at Pearl Harbor