too much duolingo

Citizentot unilaterally declared himself the winner of a game of Settlers of Catan, so I rolled my eyes and said Da iawn ti, very good you, and he scrunched up his face and asked

“Is that a soccer player?”

…I told him it was a great soccer player name.  And now I’m just waiting to introduce the next great international football hero: Mazel Tov.

Nineteenth-century wars were kept within bounds by the tradition, well recognized in international law, that civilian property and business were outside the sphere of combat. Civilian assets were not exposed to arbitrary distraint or permanent seizure, and apart from such territorial and financial stipulations as one state might impose on another, the economic and cultural life of the belligerents was generally allowed to continue pretty much as it had been. Twentieth century practice has changed all that. During both World Wars limitless lists of contraband coupled with unilateral declarations of maritime law put every sort of commerce in jeopardy, and made waste paper of all precedents. The close of the first war was marked by a determined and successful effort to impair the economic recovery of the principal losers, and to retain certain civilian properties. The second war has seen the extension of that policy to a point at which international law in war has ceased to exist. For years the Government o'f Germany, so far as its arm could reach, had based a policy of confiscation on a racial theory that had no standing in civil law, international law, nor Christian ethics; and when the war began, that violation of the comity of nations proved contagious. Anglo-American leadership, in both speech and action, launched a crusade that admitted of neither legal nor territorial limits to the exercise of coercion. The concept of neutrality was denounced in both theory and practice. Not only enemy assets and interests, but the assets and interests of any parties whatsoever, even in neutral countries, were exposed to every constraint the belligerent powers could make effective; and the assets and interests of neutral states and their civilians, lodged in belligerent territories or under belligerent control, were subjected to practically the same sort of coercion as those of enemy nationals. Thus “total war” became a sort of war that no civilian community could hope to escape; and “peace loving nations” will draw the obvious inference.
—  William A. Orton, The Liberal Tradition: A Study of the Social and Spiritual Conditions of Freedom
Abridged version of Rhodesian Bush War and the Rhodesian army (mostly RLI and Selous Scouts because <3)

From (not so) Humble Beginnings

The Brits and South Africans began colonisation of Southern Rhodesia in the 19th century. Mineral and land rights were acquired from the local traditional leaders under treaties. The colony was administered by the British until 1965 when the government unilaterally declared themselves independent of British rule. The main reason for the unilateral, as opposed to the formal grant which the Brits were willing to do, was due to a new British policy of “no independence before majority rule”. In other words, until Africans were the single ruling gov’t, Rhodesia could not have its independence. While nice on paper, due to what happened in the Belgian colony of Congo when immediate majority rule was approved. In Belgian Congo, when independence was going through, there was a great deal of violence focused against people of European origin. As the government of Rhodesia didn’t want this to happen, they declared independence. However, they still planned to move towards majority rule though at a more controlled rate.

War were declared

The Rhodesian Bush War actually began before the declaration of Rhodesian independence. The first killings were executed by Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU) insurgents. ZANU was an African nationalist party under Robert Mugabe, who alongside the Zimbabwe African People’s Union (ZAPU) made up the majority of “opposition” (read, terrorist) forces. Though the two groups initially clashed for reasons of tribalism and ideals, they made up and took on Rhodesia in the end. It should be noted that both terrorist groups were supplied by the USSR and China respectively, though Rhodesia proper was only occasionally supported by South Africa, and Portugal during the early war.

Immediately after Rhodesia declared independence, they had sanctions placed on them by the British government, including an arms embargo. However, they were able to secure arms from Portugal (who ruled Mozambique until 1975) and produced licensed version of their weapons.

The war was relatively low-key until the 1970s, with a few major engagements happening, but mostly small scale.


In the early 1970s, a new tactic was introduced by the Rhodesian Light Infantry (RLI). Its purpose was effectively as a QRF, though much heavier handed. Generally involving 32 infantry troops, three helicopters, and one command aircraft (K-Car) which was generally a DC-3 or Cessna Skymaster. Occasionally a second aircraft called a “Lynx” was used, but more often than not there wasn’t one involved.

One of the reasons for the effectiveness of the tactics was the immediate superiority of force it gave to the Rhodesians. As the ZANU/ZAPU forces had no air force of their own and no way to shoot down the incoming craft effectively,it proved devastating. As well, many contacts were made with squad sized (9-12 troops) forces of insurgents, giving the Rhodesians the advantage in numbers as well as firepower.

The new tactic yielded an 80-1 kill ratio in favour of the Rhodesians, and often ended contacts in minutes (though a full Fireforce operation could take hours). As such, the RLI and other regiments (Rhodesian African Rifles, British South African “Police”) were quick to be regarded as some of the most effective in the world.

Pamwe chete

On the complete opposite side of fireforce tactics were the now famous Selous Scouts. In essence, they were the terrorists to the terrorists. Their tactics ranged from basic intel gathering and interrogation, to assassinations, bombings, and other such things. Another thing that made them quite special when compared to other units was that Africans made up 50-80% if their ranks, including the first African commissioned officers (in the Rhodesian Security Forces). 

By far the most famous operation executed by the Scouts was Operation Eland, a cross-border raid into Mozambique. Disguising themselves as FRELIMO (Mozambique Liberation Front) they snuck into a ZANU camp that had over 4000 troops in it. They assembled the vehicles on the camps parade square, and the leader of the group announced over his vehicles loudspeaker (in Shona) “We have taken Zimbabwe”. The ZANU troops began cheering and crowding into the parade square and around the vehicles. At this point, the Rhodesians opened fire and continued to shoot until there was no movement left on the parade square, at which time they returned to Rhodesia. Around 1000 ZANU insurgents were killed, and only four Scouts were wounded in the fight.

As well, the operational tactics and composition of the unit led the insurgent groups to occasionally engage in friendly fire, fearing that their allies were in fact Scouts.

There’s a great deal more information out there, and plenty more stories. But this is the short version, and just has the best stuff and content for basic understanding.

Submitted by absitplague, thanks pana! 

@smokeinganddrinking there you go.

ficlet: Questions and Answers

“I am going to fail.”

Varsha sighed. “You are not going to fail. You are always like this.” She looked up, pointing a pen in Lucy’s direction. It had a pink puffball of a heart on the end of it. “Always. And it is tiresome.”

“Is it too much to ask for a little reassurance from a friend?” Lucy asked.

“It is when you get a better score than me,” Varsha said, but she was smiling. “Study.”

“Hey, I can-” Her phone vibrated on her desk, and Lucy rolled to her knees, fumbling for it. “I am studying, I am studying hard, what the hell do you think I’m doing here?” She glanced down at her phone, and she flopped back down on her ass with a grin. “I am going to take this.”

“Not supposed to,” Varsha said, her back braced against the wall, her legs tucked neatly under her.  Her books were spread out on the floor around her in a precise semi-circle. “Study session. No distractions.”

“You going to tell on me?” Lucy challenged.

Varsha looked up, a smile curving her lips. “Is it him?” she asked, her eyes bright.

“Maybe,” Lucy said, clutching her phone to her chest. “Maaaaaaybe.”

Varsha let out a small, high pitched squeak of glee. “I hear nothing. Take it, take it!”

“You are the absolute best,” Lucy said. “Let me know if you hear someone coming.” With a flick of her thumb, she answered the call. “You’re not supposed to be calling me now, and you know it.”

“Question,” DJ said, and she grinned down at her notebook.

“Hello to you, too,” Lucy said. She tucked her pen behind her ear, flicking through her textbook with her other hand. “To what do I owe the pleasure of this call?”

“I have a question,” DJ repeated, his voice patient.

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

So dressing up as a culture other than your own, is racist? Even if it's in appreciation or admiration of that culture or particular character?

Haha, what’s up, you sputtering shitbrain racist fuck! Racists are always all, “buh buh buh, it’s a sign of appreciation” or “I didn’t mean to be offensive” or whatever when they get called out for their racist-ass depictions.

It would be laughable if it weren’t so sad and damaging.

Look, fuckhead, I know, as a racist, you love the argument you can just claim that your racist actions aren’t meant to be racist (fun fact! Dan “Racist Fuck” Snyder, the owner of the Washington R******s trots the argument out on the reg), because that argument puts all the power in the hands of the people racists love best: racists. Guess what, you piece of shit, you don’t get to decide what your racist actions mean to the people they affect (or, of course, to anyone who isn’t a complete piece of shit), and you don’t get to declare unilaterally that you’ve decided that, since you believe you’re personally pure of heart, everyone who isn’t a huge fucking racist like you are is just over-sensitive.

So yeah, fuck off.

Wait, do people actually think that the White House saying Trump is “disqualified to run” was meant literally? The White House can’t do that. The White House having the unilateral ability to declare who can and can’t run for President would be more of a threat to America than Trump is, actually

Honestly Montparnasse is one of the weirdest characters in the book for me?!?

I’ve seen some people say they expected him to be more important in the story than he actually is and I TOTALLY GET THAT? He get so much time and then he kind of…disappears?  He doesn’t really interact with anyone in the cast besides Gavroche, Eponine, and the rest of Patron-Minette?

Honestly all of Patron-Minette tends to feel to me like they were built for a bigger role than they end up having? I think the cut quarry scene hints at it too. And like, Claquesous/Le Cabuc does have a massively important role, but the rest get kind of brushed off? It’s weird, it feels weird. 

…Anyway my point is the only thing that matters to me in any happy AUverse re: Montparnasse is having him be in a different classroom/ team/ band/ coffee shop/ giant robot control tower/ whatever the trope here is,  and forever unilaterally declaring himself the lover/ mentor/ idol/ nemesis of varying characters who don’t actually know or care about what he’s up to 

and the whole story keeps hinting that he’s building  into a Very Serious Threat but then 

the series ends 

and all we finally see of him is hanging out at the Wrap Party with the rest of the crew sulkily eating cake and pretending like he’s not having a good time