dramatical military

From the evidence so far, it’s clear that Trump and his top advisers are trying to pull off a domestic shock doctrine. The goal is all-out war on the public sphere and the public interest, whether in the form of antipollution regulations or programmes for the hungry. In their place will be unfettered power and freedom for corporations. It’s a programme so defiantly unjust and so manifestly corrupt that it can only be pulled off with the assistance of divide-and-conquer racial and sexual politics, as well as a nonstop spectacle of media distractions. And, of course, it is being backed up with a massive increase in war spending, and a dramatic escalation of military conflicts on multiple fronts.
— 

Naomi Klein

Though Trump breaks the mould in some ways, his shock tactics do follow a script, one familiar from other countries that have had rapid changes imposed under the cover of crisis. During Trump’s first week in office, when he was signing that tsunami of executive orders and people were just reeling, madly trying to keep up, I found myself thinking about the human rights advocate Halina Bortnowska’s description of Poland’s experience when the US imposed economic shock therapy on her country in the midst of communism’s collapse. She described the velocity of change her country was going through as “the difference between dog years and human years” and she observed that “you start witnessing these semi-psychotic reactions. You can no longer expect people to act in their own best interests when they’re so disoriented they don’t know – or no longer care – what those interests are.”

priorwaltering replied to your posthey folks, just to tell ya: ‘trump’s trans ban 

i mean it’s obviously bad in intention but it’s also not sth i care about bc that’s not a priority in my activism/life/whatever

i mean i get that and i don’t think it has to be everyone’s #1 priority 

but i absolutely think “being upset about this is wrong and morally impure because war is bad, ergo this act of incredible discrimination is actually good” is an objectively shitty opinion that i really can’t fuck with at the mo

9

The Garlean Empire controls the majority of the northern and eastern regions of the enormous landmass of the three continents—of which Eorzea is a part. Until some fifty years ago, Garlemald was a small, remote nation which held little more than a fraction of the northlands. But with the revolutionary advancements in technology and dramatic restructuring of the military ushered in by an ambitious commanding Legatus who later ascended to the seat of Emperor, Garlemald soon established itself as one of the most formidable forces in all of Hydaelyn.”

theguardian.com
'It felt like the heavens were falling': Afghans reel from Moab impact
Locals describe the moment the ‘mother of all bombs’ was dropped, as critics question the wisdom of deploying the weapon
By Sune Engel Rasmussen

After his evening prayers, Mohammad Shahzadah closed the house gates and sat down for dinner. Then the blast came, engulfing the sky in flames and sending tremors through the ground.

“The earth felt like a boat in a storm,” Shahzadah said. “I thought my house was being bombed. Last year a drone strike targeted a house next to mine, but this time it felt like the heavens were falling. The children and women were very scared.”

The US dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in combat on eastern Afghanistan on Thursday in another dramatic show of military force by the Trump administration.

The GBU-43/B, colloquially known as the “mother of all bombs” or Moab, targeted tunnels and bunkers in Achin district in Nangarhar province, built by fighters loyal to Islamic State who also kept prisoners there.

A GPS-guided demolition bomb with an explosive yield equivalent to 11 tonnes of TNT, it explodes above ground with a radius of more than a mile.

The bomb was dropped in the mountains close to Moman village in an area called Asadkhel. About 1.5 miles away, in Shaddle Bazar where Shahzadah lives, the impact was palpable.

“My ears were deaf for a while. My windows and doors are broken. There are cracks in the walls,” he said.

“There is no doubt that Isis are brutal and that they have committed atrocities against our people. But I don’t see why the bomb was dropped,” said the mayor of Achin, Naweed Shinwari. “It terrorised our people. My relatives thought the end of the world had come. Every day fighter jets, helicopters and drones are in the area.”

theguardian.com
'It felt like the heavens were falling': Afghans reel from Moab impact
Locals describe the moment the ‘mother of all bombs’ was dropped, as critics question the wisdom of deploying the weapon
By Sune Engel Rasmussen

After his evening prayers, Mohammad Shahzadah closed the house gates and sat down for dinner. Then the blast came, engulfing the sky in flames and sending tremors through the ground.

“The earth felt like a boat in a storm,” Shahzadah said. “I thought my house was being bombed. Last year a drone strike targeted a house next to mine, but this time it felt like the heavens were falling. The children and women were very scared.”

The US dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in combat on eastern Afghanistan on Thursday in another dramatic show of military force by the Trump administration.

The GBU-43/B, colloquially known as the “mother of all bombs” or Moab, targeted tunnels and bunkers in Achin district in Nangarhar province, built by fighters loyal to Islamic State who also kept prisoners there.

A GPS-guided demolition bomb with an explosive yield equivalent to 11 tonnes of TNT, it explodes above ground with a radius of more than a mile.

The bomb was dropped in the mountains close to Moman village in an area called Asadkhel. About 1.5 miles away, in Shaddle Bazar where Shahzadah lives, the impact was palpable.

“My ears were deaf for a while. My windows and doors are broken. There are cracks in the walls,” he said.

The US military said it had killed 36 militants. The following morning around 9am, fighter jets strafed the area, a local police commander, Baaz Jan, said.

“We don’t know who was killed yesterday or this morning. But there is confusion and fear in the radio chats we are intercepting. There is limited communication among Isis fighters,” he said.

A local security official said they had requested a large strike because fighter jets and drones had failed to the destroy the tunnel complex.

The top US commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, told reporters in Kabul that the decision to drop the bomb was made in Afghanistan, not in Washington, DC. “Since early March, we’ve been conducting offensive operations into southern Nangarhar,” Nicholson said. “However, this was the first time we encountered an extensive obstacle to our progress.”

Some observers, however, questioned the necessity of deploying a weapon of that scale against a group whose estimated 600 to 800 fighters pose only a limited threat to the Afghan state.

“There is no doubt that Isis are brutal and that they have committed atrocities against our people. But I don’t see why the bomb was dropped,” said the mayor of Achin, Naweed Shinwari. “It terrorised our people. My relatives thought the end of the world had come. Every day fighter jets, helicopters and drones are in the area.”

The US had sustained an air campaign to eradicate Isis in eastern Afghanistan for more than a year, and according to Borhan Osman, an Isis expert with the Afghanistan Analysts Network, it had already been effective.

“Isis was on the brink of losing their stronghold. It didn’t seem like there was a need for such a dramatic military measure,” he said.

Western security reports show that two days of regular airstrikes from 7 to 9 April killed 58 Isis militants.

“The greater threat to the government is the Taliban, but the US is fixated on this minor splinter group because, unlike the Taliban, the Isis group wants to destabilize the region,” said a western diplomat.

He speculated that the US was trying to send a message to countries in the region “that we’re all fighting the same enemy together”, but said the attack could erode US prestige among its allies.

“A basic tenet of international humanitarian law is the principle of distinction. You’re supposed to know what you’re hitting, and it’s not clear that any such targeting is possible with the Moab,” he said.

If the intention was to “shock and awe” Isis fighters and deter recruitment, Osman said he doubted it would be effective.

“Making such big news out of a small organisation, and countering this threat with such a huge measure could indeed make them look more attractive. One of the grounds on which Isis is building its recruitment drive is to say they are fighting the big enemy, the Americans.

“The more it can drive them to the battle, the more successful they are in recruiting anti-western radicals,” he said.

In an attempt to mock the US, an official Isis outlet, Khilafah News, distributed photos on the Telegram messaging app shortly after the bombing of its fighters supposedly continuing daily life in Achin.

The Taliban, who are rivals of Isis, condemned the attack, which the group called an act of “terrorism”.

The Kabul government praised the strike, but Afghanistan’s former president Hamid Karzai denounced it, as did Afghanistan’s envoy to Pakistan, Omar Zakhilwal. It was “reprehensible and counterproductive,” Zakhilwal said on Twitter.

Hours before Thursday’s bombing, the top US commander in Afghanistan, Gen John Nicholson, visited Nangarhar with the Afghan president’s national security adviser, minister of defence and intelligence chief.

The strike was closely coordinated with Afghan soldiers and special forces, and tribal elders had been informed to evacuate civilians, the district chief of Achin, Ismail Shinwari, said.

Sanat, a resident of Moman village, said he didn’t think any civilians were left in the area, but an MP from Nangarhar, Esmatullah Shinwari, said locals had told him a teacher and his young son had been killed.

As clearing operations continued into Friday, it was not possible to confirm casualties.

Donald Trump is not the first US president to bring heavy weapons down on Isis in Afghanistan. Last year, under Barack Obama, the US military deployed B-52s, which pack a payload three times greater than the Moab.

Javid Kohistani, a military analyst in Kabul, questioned the wisdom of such measures. “Isis has killed thousands of innocent Iraqis and Syrians. Why are they not dropping the bomb there? Why use it in Nangarhar?” he said.

To eradicate terrorism in Afghanistan, he said, the US should target the source of its finances and support. “The Trump government should put more pressure on Pakistan,” he said.

anonymous asked:

I can't come up with any reason this marriage would happen (maybe I don't understand Westerosi politics well enough but I just don't see how, at the very least, Mace Tyrell would not be against it) but I've read a few posts saying that had Robb married Margaery it could have changed a lot of things for the better. Do you think that's true?

Hi anon! Great question; a Stark-Tyrell alliance is one of my favorite ASOIAF hypotheticals to play around with, and it’s explicitly teased more than once in the text:

“Had it been me up there, I should have sent Ser Loras. He so wanted to go… and a man who has the Lannisters for his enemies would do well to make the Tyrells his friends.”

Bloody fool, thought Tyrion. “Sweet sister,” he explained patiently, “offend Tyrell and you offend Redwyne, Tarly, Rowan, and Hightower as well, and perhaps start them wondering whether Robb Stark might not be more accommodating of their desires.”

If you had to fall into a woman’s arms, my son, why couldn’t they have been Margaery Tyrell’s?

Now, why would this marriage happen?

Robb Stark’s campaign against the Lannister regime reaches its peak with the Battle of Oxcross. With Stafford Lannister’s army shattered, there’s basically nothing stopping Robb from sacking Lannisport and besieging Casterly Rock itself. Edmure holds Riverrun, Roose holds the Ruby Ford, and Maege Mormont and the Greatjon are raiding the rest of the Westerlands, makin’ off with all their gold and cattle. (Those rapscallions! Farmer Maggot’s gonna catch you one of these days!) Robb is an extremely attractive ally at this point to anyone not already committed to Joffrey’s rule. Indeed, we later learn that many Vale lords were champing at the bit to get in on the Young Wolf’s hot streak, prevented only by Littlefinger via Lysa.

We learn about Robb’s victory from Sansa’s POV in King’s Landing; the very next chapter, their mom witnesses Renly’s assassination. The Tyrells suddenly find themselves kingless, as Lord Mace has what you might call history with Stannis. (Namely, if not for Davos and his onions, Mace would’ve starved Stannis to death at Storm’s End during Robert’s Rebellion. Stannis does not forget. Stannis does not forgive.) What’s a wealthy, powerful, and conniving family to do? 

If Mace chose to marry Margaery to Robb, it’s almost impossible to imagine how either Stannis or Tywin could have defeated the new North-South alliance. Tywin’s vassals, now drastically outnumbered and with Robb loose on their lands, could well have demanded he sue for peace or even desert him if he refused. Even if they don’t, Harrenhal will soon come under siege by a massive, unwearied, and well-fed Reach army. The big question then becomes what happens at King’s Landing. Without Tywin and Mace riding in to save the day, Stannis will likely take the city and the throne…unless Robb and his new vassals stop him.

After all, with three of the seven kingdoms behind him, and a fourth (the Westerlands) about to fall to him as well, why shouldn’t Robb just go ahead and claim the Iron Throne for himself? (Putting aside for the moment the li’l matter that he has no claim to it but by force.) After all, up to this point, his kingdom hinged in large part on who his parents were; now it’s about who his kids will be. With the backing of Highgarden as well as Winterfell and Riverrun (and in all likelihood, Casterly Rock by conquest), Robb and Margaery’s kids won’t be ruling an “independent kingdom, as of old.” They will be ruling over the lion’s share (heh) of the Westerosi population. When your realm stretches from Oldtown to the Wall, you’re not really a secessionist any more. And of course Mace wants to see his grandson’s arse on the Iron Throne, and while his vassals (especially Randyll Tarly) would love to serve a king as classically charismatic and accomplished in war as Robb, they wouldn’t be happy being ruled from far-off and decidedly foreign Winterfell, where Northern lords would always have a leg up in influence.

But those Northern lords, naturally, want exactly that monopoly on the Young Wolf’s power; indeed, no sooner has Robb been declared king than Wyman Manderly moves to reap the benefits of independent fleets and finances. How would he feel about Tyrell gold suddenly displacing White Harbor silver as the literal and figurative currency of Robb’s realm? Moreover, there’s an ideological component to Robb’s declaration of independence that would lead Northerners to resist re-bending the knee to the Iron Throne, even if Robb himself were sitting on it. Rickard Karstark openly dismisses “their red castle and their iron chair as well.” Theirs, not ours. He swore an oath to the King in the North, not a half-Tyrell regime in King’s Landing.

As such, if Robb marries Margaery, he will immediately face one hell of a headache in managing the various interests of his new coalition; his best hope is claiming the Iron Throne to sate the Reach nobles while offering his father’s lords significant rewards (lands, marriages, positions at court) to earn their buy-in for this dramatic alteration of their military and political aims.

So why doesn’t this happen? Catelyn’s presence in Renly’s tent when he dies ruins any possibility of her serving as matchmaker (remember, she’s initially considered a suspect in his murder). Then Theon takes Winterfell. Just as Robb’s raids on the West made Tywin look dangerously weak in front of his lords (forcing him to march back toward home, despite the massive threat Stannis’ new army poses to the nascent Lannister dynasty in King’s Landing), Robb’s loss of his home castle destroys the aura of victory and legitimacy that would make him an attractive partner for the Tyrells. Mace instead teams up with Tywin to take down Stannis, but as Tyrion’s quote up at the top indicates, the lords of the Reach could still jump ship yet again, now in a position to open the capital’s gates to King Robb…except by then, King Robb has a queen. His marriage to Jeyne Westerling obviously poisons his relationship with the Freys, but if he’d married Margaery instead, Walder Frey wouldn’t have dared risk the Red Wedding, no matter how slighted he felt. (What Roose Bolton would’ve done in this scenario is a whole ‘nother post.) 

I love this hypothetical because it emphasizes the exquisite timing with which the War of Five Kings unfolds and the remarkable cultural upheavals it puts into play: when Robert Baratheon sat the Iron Throne, no one could have imagined the Tyrells fighting to sit a Stark there instead, but the dominos that fall after Robert dies bring us closer than you might think to exactly that scenario. It’s how you know GRRM’s a great writer; I love the story he tells, but the ones he doesn’t, choosing instead to faintly trace their outlines and structure the narrative around their absence, are almost as fascinating.

10 Fascinating Facts about Mata Hari

1.  Mata Hari was born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, on August 7, 1876.

2. After her mother’s death, Mata Hari and her three brothers were split up and sent to live with relatives.

3. At an early age, Mata Hari decided that sexuality was her ticket in life. In the mid-1890s, she boldly answered a newspaper ad seeking a bride for Rudolf MacLeod, a bald, mustachioed military captain based in the Dutch East Indies. She sent a striking photo of herself, raven-haired and olive-skinned, to entice him.

4. Mata Hari gave birth to two children, a daughter and a son. (The couple’s son died in 1899 after a household worker in the Indies poisoned him for reasons that remain a mystery.)

5. After her divorce in1900, she moved to Paris and became a mistress to a French diplomat who encouraged her to support herself as a dancer.

6. All things “Oriental” were the fad in the Paris of 1905. The time seemed ripe for Mata Hari’s exotic looks and the “temple dance” she created by drawing on cultural and religious symbolism and that she had picked up in the Indies. With characteristic confidence, she siezed the moment. She billed herself as a Hindu artist, draped in veils—which she artfully dropped from her body. In one memorable garden performance, Mata Hari appeared nearly naked on a white horse. Although she daringly bared her buttocks—then considered the most tittilating part of the anatomy—she was modest about her breasts, generally keeping them covered with brassiere-styled beads. Completing her dramatic transformation from military wife to siren of the East, she coined her stage name, “Mata Hari,” which means “eye of the day” in Indonesian dialect.

7. A reporter in Vienna described Mata Hari as “slender and tall with the flexible grace of a wild animal, and with blue-black hair.” Her face, he wrote, “makes a strange foreign impression.” Another enthralled newspaper writer called her “so feline, extremely feminine, majestically tragic, the thousand curves and movements of her body trembling in a thousand rhythms.”

8. Within a few years, however, Mata Hari’s cachet had faded. As younger dancers took the stage, her bookings became sporadic. She supplemented her income by seducing government and military men; sex became strictly a financial practicality for her.

9. Aged close to 40,  Mata Hari accepted a lucrative assignment to spy for France from Georges Ladoux, an army captain who assumed her courtesan contacts would be of use to French intelligence. However, the French soon suspected her of being a double agent.  A German diplomat had once paid her 20,000 francs to gather intelligence on her frequent trips to Paris. But she swore to investigators that she never actually fulfilled the bargain and always remained faithful to France. She told them she simply viewed the money as compensation for furs and luggage that had once disappeared on a departing train while German border guards hassled her. “A courtesan, I admit it. A spy, never!” she defiantly told her interrogators. “I have always lived for love and pleasure.”

10. Mata Hari was executed by firing squad on October 15, 1917 by the French. Dressed in a blue coat accented by a tri-corner hat, she had arrived at the Paris execution site with a minister and two nuns and, after bidding them farewell, walked briskly to the designated spot. She then turned to face the firing squad, waved away her blindfold and blew the soldiers a kiss. She was killed in an instant when their multiple gunshots exploded as one.

3

“The All-New, All-Different X-Men” in the original school uniforms by John Byrne. 2011.

This image was inspired by the drawing John did for the cover of The Comic Reader #167. 1979.

John had this to say when he posted the new drawing in 2011.

When I was working on this piece, there were a number of considerations I kept in mind. One, of course, was that the X-Men, in their original “school uniforms”, did not have distinctive, individualized looks, unless they were specific to their powers. Thus, Cyclops had his visor, and the Beast had bare hands and feet. Marvel Girl eventually got that pointy variant on a domino mask, which sort of made sense, given the amount of hair she needed to contain under a full head mask. Even letting some of it fall out the back would not have been an ideal solution.

So, drawing this, thirty years after I did the original version for the COMIC READER, there were a couple of things I considered, one of which I implemented. Ororo had worn her distinctive headdress when she was “in the wild” in Africa, and it was incorporated into the costume Xavier gave her, so I realized it should be treated as something more significant than just a costume element. It was obviously something important to her. So, this time I included it.

Wolverine’s mask/headgear was another matter. Having already changed it once, between his appearance in THE INCREDIBLE HULK and GIANT-SIZED X-MEN, it seemed it was not something that he would consider particularly important. And, in fact, extrapolating along the lines established by GSXM, it seemed that, having rather dramatically QUIT the Canadian military (later, Alpha Flight), he would probably not want to keep the outfit they’d issued to him.

One of the changes I made between this and the original cover drawing was strictly in my head. On the original, you can’t see Colossus’ hands, but in my head he was wearing gloves. With his hands visible in this later drawing, I realized gloves were not particularly practical for him, and so gave him something like his more familiar wristbands.

7

Sveaborg Fortress

Located in present day Helsinki, Finland, Sveaborg Fortress (Suomenlinna in Finnish) was considered the ‘Gibraltar of the North’ by many military contemporaries of the period. Work began around 1748 when Swedish King Frederick I ordered a new fortress to be built in order to protect Sweden’s eastern possessions against Russian attack in the Gulf of Finland. A well educated nobleman and military officer by the name of Augustin Ehrensfvärd was charged with the gigantic task of building a large Vauban-style fortress somewhere along the Finnish coast. Ehrensfvärd chose to build it on a group of skerries near the small city of Helsingfors (Helsinki). The fort itself was built in stages on rocky islands, with many of the engineering and architectual designs of the fortress were and still are considered masterpieces. The fortress was to be used as a weapons cache for Sweden’s Finnish Army in the east, as well as a deterrent to any Russian advance by sea. It also served as a large Swedish naval base, where ships were to be repaired and built. Its operational history had mixed results. During the Swedish-Russian war of 1790, it served its purpose well, and withstood a number of sieges and advances by the Russians on both land and sea. In 1808, however, with Russia invading Sweden by surprise, the fortress was bombarded and besieged again by Russian forces on land. With no reinforcements in site, the fortress’ commander, Carl Cronstedt, surrendered the fortress along with 7,000 men, bringing the end of effective Swedish rule in Finland to a close. (Some say he was bribed and a traitor). During the 19th century, the fortress was used by Russian forces in the Crimean War and World War One as a naval base and fortress. When Finland achieved independence in 1918, warfare had dramatically changed, and Sveaborg’s military purpose had become an anachronism. Today it is now a cultural UNESCO site and a main tourist attraction for anyone visiting Helsinki. 

CARD IV.

THE EMPEROR (ROGER WATERS)

The Emperor demands the respect that befits his role as a powerful leader and ruler of the Tarot. He symbolizes authority, law and order, masculine power, and strategic planning. Reversed, the Emperor can represent the negative side of such power and authority and take on an aggressive, domineering, dictatorial quality.

With that in mind I chose Roger Waters of Pink Floyd to be this deck’s Emperor. Not only was the visual too good to pass up, as he wears a dramatic black military uniform as Dictator Pink when performing The Wall, but his personality has been said by those who have worked with him to be incredibly controlling and domineering. However, it was these qualities that enabled him to realize his creative vision on some of Pink Floyd’s best albums, most notably Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, and The Wall.

Animals (full album)

I drew him in a uniform based on several different iterations of his stage costume from The Wall to represent authoritarianism. The animal heads at each corner are two pigs, a sheep, and a dog from the Animals album, which has themes of sociocultural and governmental power and what happens when those are corrupted.