micdotcom:

Potent minimalist art sends a strong message about police and vigilante brutality in America

Journalist and artist Shirin Barghi has created a gripping, thought-provoking series of graphics that not only examines racial prejudice in today’s America, but also captures the sense of humanity that often gets lost in news coverage. Titled “Last Words,” the graphics illustrate the last recorded words by Brown and other young black people — Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant and others — who have been killed by police in recent years.

Let us not forget their voices

An impressive collection of street art in a Dublin car park off Francis St.

Photo credit: Torie Rose DeGhett

A partially removed mural on a side street, visible off Falls Road in Belfast. The nationalist-themed mural reads “25 Years of Resistance …And 25 more if needs be!”
Credit: Torie Rose DeGhett

A partially removed mural on a side street, visible off Falls Road in Belfast. The nationalist-themed mural reads “25 Years of Resistance …And 25 more if needs be!”

Credit: Torie Rose DeGhett

West Belfast: A number of mural tributes to Gaza and Palestine appear along the Falls Road and nearby side streets like Amcomri (bottom right). Saw a number of Palestinian flags flying from various residences and windows in this area.
Photo credit: Torie Rose DeGhett

West Belfast: A number of mural tributes to Gaza and Palestine appear along the Falls Road and nearby side streets like Amcomri (bottom right). Saw a number of Palestinian flags flying from various residences and windows in this area.

Photo credit: Torie Rose DeGhett

futurejournalismproject:

New York Times reporter James Risen, via Twitter.

James Risen recently won the Elijah Parish Lovejoy Journalism Award for excellence in journalism.

The Pulitzer Prize winning national security reporter has long been hounded by the US Justice Department to disclose his confidential sources from his 2006 book State of War.

As the Washington Post wrote back in August, “Prosecutors want Mr. Risen’s testimony in their case against Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA official who is accused of leaking details of a failed operation against Iran’s nuclear program. Mr. Risen properly has refused to identify his source, at the risk of imprisonment. Such confidential sources are a pillar of how journalists obtain information. If Mr. Risen is forced to reveal the identity of a source, it will damage the ability of journalists to promise confidentiality to sources and to probe government behavior.”

While accepting the Lovejoy Award, Risen had this to say:

The conventional wisdom of our day is the belief that we have had to change the nature of our society to accommodate the global war on terror. Incrementally over the last thirteen years, Americans have easily accepted a transformation of their way of life because they have been told that it is necessary to keep them safe. Americans now slip off their shoes on command at airports, have accepted the secret targeted killings of other Americans without due process, have accepted the use of torture and the creation of secret offshore prisons, have accepted mass surveillance of their personal communications, and accepted the longest continual period of war in American history. Meanwhile, the government has eagerly prosecuted whistleblowers who try to bring any of the government’s actions to light.

Americans have accepted this new reality with hardly a murmur. Today, the basic prerequisite to being taken seriously in American politics is to accept the legitimacy of the new national security state that has been created since 9/11. The new basic American assumption is that there really is a need for a global war on terror. Anyone who doesn’t accept that basic assumption is considered dangerous and maybe even a traitor.

Today, the U.S. government treats whistleblowers as criminals, much like Elijah Lovejoy, because they want to reveal uncomfortable truths about the government’s actions. And the public and the mainstream press often accept and champion the government’s approach, viewing whistleblowers as dangerous fringe characters because they are not willing to follow orders and remain silent.

The crackdown on leaks by first the Bush administration and more aggressively by the Obama administration, targeting both whistleblowers and journalists, has been designed to suppress the truth about the war on terror. This government campaign of censorship has come with the veneer of the law. Instead of mobs throwing printing presses in the Mississippi River, instead of the creation of the kind of “enemies lists” that President Richard Nixon kept, the Bush and Obama administrations have used the Department of Justice to do their bidding. But the effect is the same — the attorney general of the United States has been turned into the nation’s chief censorship officer. Whenever the White House or the intelligence community get angry about a story in the press, they turn to the Justice Department and the FBI and get them to start a criminal leak investigation, to make sure everybody shuts up.

What the White House wants is to establish limits on accepted reporting on national security and on the war on terror. By launching criminal investigations of stories that are outside the mainstream coverage, they are trying to, in effect, build a pathway on which journalism can be conducted. Stay on the interstate highway of conventional wisdom with your journalism, and you will have no problems. Try to get off and challenge basic assumptions, and you will face punishment.

Journalists have no choice but to fight back, because if they don’t they will become irrelevant.

Bonus: The NSA and Me, James Bamford’s account of covering the agency over the last 30 years, via The Intercept.

Double Bonus: Elijah Parish Lovejoy was a minister in the first half of the 19th century who edited an abolitionist paper called the St. Louis Observer. He was murdered by a pro-slavery mob in 1837. More via Wikipedia.

Images: Selected tweets via James Risen.

Photos from today’s water rights protest march in downtown Dublin

Image credit: Torie Rose DeGhett

Service Interruption Notice…

There will be no This Week in War post/newsletter for the next two weeks because I’ll be travelling. The round-up will be restored to its usual cheerful hijinks on October 24th. 


This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.
An excellent piece of longform with accompanying photography in the Washington Post on life amidst a forgotten conflict in the Congo.
Photographer Phil Moore talks about covering the Congo for the past three years. 
A new video shows Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau alive and well (and flipping off the camera) despite the Nigerian government’s claims they killed him two weeks ago.
South Sudan’s government twice delays discussion on the security bill.
30 Libyan soldiers were killed in a double suicide bombing and clashes in Benghazi on Thursday.
Violence in Lebanon targets Syrian refugees.
Evaluating changing balances of power in Yemen.
The reconstruction plan in Gaza is drawing criticism for its restrictive monitoring of supplies, with detractors saying the plan puts the UN in charge of a continuing Israeli blockade.
The White House criticized Israeli settlement plans in east Jerusalem, saying it will “poison the atmosphere.”
Palestine drafts a UN resolution to end Israeli occupation.
The OPCW-UN mission to destroy chemical weapons in Syria has completed and will withdraw from the country.
ISIS beheaded ten people in the Kurdish region of Syria: a civilian, a handful of Kurdish fighters and Syrian Arab rebels.
The northern Syrian town of Kobane is under heavy fire, caught in fighting between ISIS and Kurdish forces.
Iraqi security has deteriorated in recent days, with an uptick in car bombs and mortar attacks, like the Baghdad car bomb Wednesday night that killed 14 and wounded 51.
According to UN figures, at least 1,119 Iraqis were killed as a result of acts of terrorism and violence in September (these numbers exclude Anbar province).
US bombing in Iraq is not being held to the “near-certainty” standard for avoiding civilian casualties.
In desperation, an Iraqi unit defending itself against ISIS in Anbar made as many calls as they could for assistance which never came, forcing them to flee.
ISIS uses wheat as a tool of control.
A third video of ISIS hostage John Cantlie has been released.
Is that VICE documentary on ISIS illegal?
The ISIS war machine and the limitations of leadership targeting.
Marines deployed a new 2300-strong quick reaction force in Kuwait.
A look at Qatar’s relationship with extremism
After Ashraf Ghani was sworn in as the new president  of Afghanistan, the US finally got its signed Bilateral Security Agreement, one that permits US troops to stay “until 2024 and beyond.” Here is the agreement in full.
Ghani also ordered a reopening of the Kabul Bank fraud investigation.
A suicide bombing killed three army officers in Kabul Thursday and two similar attacks killed eleven the day before.
Blurred lines between militants and military in Pakistan.
The bombing of a passenger bus in Peshawar in northwest Pakistan killed seven.
Tensions between Hong Kong protesters and the government deepen.
Militants in the Abu Sayyaf group in the Philippines threaten to behead one of two German captives if their demands go unmet.
Ukrainian rebels have renewed their offensive against the Donetsk airport.
A Swiss Red Cross employee was killed after shells hit the Red Cross offices in Donetsk.
A Ukrainian activist recounts his experience in captivity at the hands of pro-Russian separatists. 
The young survivors of the 2004 Beslan school hostage crisis move ahead with their lives, documented by photographer Oksana Yushko.
New inquests have been ordered into the deaths of two Belfast civilians shot by security forces in 1972.
AFP editors talk about the experience and process of sifting through graphic photographs from war zones. 
The September update on US drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
A federal judge denied the Department of Justice’s request to close the Guantánamo Bay force feeding hearings, a request she called “deeply troubling.”
VICE interviews Guantánamo’s new commander, Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad.
Terrorism charges against former Guantánamo inmate Moazzem Begg fell apart, resulting in a not guilty verdict and setting him free from Belmarsh prison.
Photo: Syrian Kurds on the border between Turkey and Syria just after mortars hit on both sides. Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty.

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.

  • An excellent piece of longform with accompanying photography in the Washington Post on life amidst a forgotten conflict in the Congo.
  • Photographer Phil Moore talks about covering the Congo for the past three years. 
  • A new video shows Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau alive and well (and flipping off the camera) despite the Nigerian government’s claims they killed him two weeks ago.
  • South Sudan’s government twice delays discussion on the security bill.
  • 30 Libyan soldiers were killed in a double suicide bombing and clashes in Benghazi on Thursday.
  • Violence in Lebanon targets Syrian refugees.
  • Evaluating changing balances of power in Yemen.
  • The reconstruction plan in Gaza is drawing criticism for its restrictive monitoring of supplies, with detractors saying the plan puts the UN in charge of a continuing Israeli blockade.
  • The White House criticized Israeli settlement plans in east Jerusalem, saying it will “poison the atmosphere.”
  • Palestine drafts a UN resolution to end Israeli occupation.
  • The OPCW-UN mission to destroy chemical weapons in Syria has completed and will withdraw from the country.
  • ISIS beheaded ten people in the Kurdish region of Syria: a civilian, a handful of Kurdish fighters and Syrian Arab rebels.
  • The northern Syrian town of Kobane is under heavy fire, caught in fighting between ISIS and Kurdish forces.
  • Iraqi security has deteriorated in recent days, with an uptick in car bombs and mortar attacks, like the Baghdad car bomb Wednesday night that killed 14 and wounded 51.
  • According to UN figures, at least 1,119 Iraqis were killed as a result of acts of terrorism and violence in September (these numbers exclude Anbar province).
  • US bombing in Iraq is not being held to the “near-certainty” standard for avoiding civilian casualties.
  • In desperation, an Iraqi unit defending itself against ISIS in Anbar made as many calls as they could for assistance which never came, forcing them to flee.
  • ISIS uses wheat as a tool of control.
  • A third video of ISIS hostage John Cantlie has been released.
  • Is that VICE documentary on ISIS illegal?
  • The ISIS war machine and the limitations of leadership targeting.
  • Marines deployed a new 2300-strong quick reaction force in Kuwait.
  • A look at Qatar’s relationship with extremism
  • After Ashraf Ghani was sworn in as the new president  of Afghanistan, the US finally got its signed Bilateral Security Agreement, one that permits US troops to stay “until 2024 and beyond.” Here is the agreement in full.
  • Ghani also ordered a reopening of the Kabul Bank fraud investigation.
  • A suicide bombing killed three army officers in Kabul Thursday and two similar attacks killed eleven the day before.
  • Blurred lines between militants and military in Pakistan.
  • The bombing of a passenger bus in Peshawar in northwest Pakistan killed seven.
  • Tensions between Hong Kong protesters and the government deepen.
  • Militants in the Abu Sayyaf group in the Philippines threaten to behead one of two German captives if their demands go unmet.
  • Ukrainian rebels have renewed their offensive against the Donetsk airport.
  • A Swiss Red Cross employee was killed after shells hit the Red Cross offices in Donetsk.
  • A Ukrainian activist recounts his experience in captivity at the hands of pro-Russian separatists. 
  • The young survivors of the 2004 Beslan school hostage crisis move ahead with their lives, documented by photographer Oksana Yushko.
  • New inquests have been ordered into the deaths of two Belfast civilians shot by security forces in 1972.
  • AFP editors talk about the experience and process of sifting through graphic photographs from war zones. 
  • The September update on US drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
  • A federal judge denied the Department of Justice’s request to close the Guantánamo Bay force feeding hearings, a request she called “deeply troubling.”
  • VICE interviews Guantánamo’s new commander, Rear Adm. Kyle Cozad.
  • Terrorism charges against former Guantánamo inmate Moazzem Begg fell apart, resulting in a not guilty verdict and setting him free from Belmarsh prison.

Photo: Syrian Kurds on the border between Turkey and Syria just after mortars hit on both sides. Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty.

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.
The ICC will probe possible war crimes in the Central African Republic.
Fighters in Nigeria’s Boko Haram drive fear in neighboring Cameroon.
The number of refugees fleeing violence in South Sudan nears 2 million.
French mountaineering guide Herve Gourdel was beheaded by Jund al-Khilafah, an Algerian extremist group who has aligned themselves with ISIS.
The Syrian army has overrun the town of Adra al-Omalia, about 30km from Damascus.
A great visual guide to ongoing strikes in Iraq and Syria. 
The British debate joining the airstrikes.
The Al-Nusra Front leader Abu Yousef al-Turki was reportedly killed in strikes.
International law and strikes inside Syria - from Just Security.
The UAE’s bombing mission against ISIS targets was led by its first female fighter pilot, Mariam al-Mansouri. Fox News correspondents later joked that she represented “boobs on the ground”* and that she had probably been unable to park her jet. 
A newly-discussed terrorist element, Khorasan, appeared in the news this week. Khorasan is often misleadingly characterized in reports as a separate terrorist group, but this AP report is a really comprehensive explanation of who these people are.
The White House has said that any ISIS prisoners captured will not end up in Guantánamo.
The main theme of President Obama’s speech at the UN this week was ISIS and the plans to combat them.
The US believes about 20 to 30 Americans are currently fighting in Syria. 
Sameera Salih Ali al-Nuaimy, an Iraqi lawyer who fought for women’s rights, was executed by an ISIS firing squad after several days of torture — another instance of the group’s targeting of professional women.
The IAEA rejected an Arab bid to push Israel to sign the global anti-nuclear weapons pact. 
Hamas and Fatah have reached an understanding that paves the way for a unity government.
Radical cleric Abu Qatada was acquitted of terrorism charges in a Jordanian court.
The US has ordered some diplomats out of Yemen. Is the country on the brink of civil war?
Adam Baron on the myth of the “Yemen model” of counterterrorism.
Ashraf Ghani is now officially Afghanistan’s president-elect. 
Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan seized the Ajrestan district of Ghazni province Thursday night, killing 70 people.
A suspected drone strike killed 10 Uzbek and Pakistani militants near the border with Afghanistan on Wednesday. 
Photographer Massimo Berruti documents the injuries and traumas of victims of drone strikes.
The US transferred 14 Pakistani prisoners from military detention to Pakistani custody.
Human Rights Watch calls out abuses of political prisoners in Uzbekistan.
50 people were reported killed in Xinjiang last Sunday in what Chinese police are calling an act of terrorism.
The US is preparing to ease the Vietnam arms embargo.
Pro-Ukrainian residents remaining in the east live in a world of intense scrutiny and propaganda.
Latvia fears Kremlin aggression.
Hungary suspended gas supplies to Ukraine.
The Treasury Dept named 12 Specially Designated Global Terrorists.
Interpol is expanding its foreign fighters database.
The FBI has identified the killer responsible for the beheadings of James Foley, Steven Sotloff and David Haines, but is not revealing that information to the public.
The US is undergoing a major atomic renewal, an overhaul and update of its nuclear weapons systems (despite previous ideas floated about disarmament).
The Boston bombing trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been delayed two months. 
Elliott Ackerman wrote a beautiful essay for The New Yorker about the two photos marking a beginning and a kind of end for his war.
*As well as being sexists, Fox correspondents also apparently do not have the greatest grasp of the difference between aerial bombing and ground warfare.
Photo: Suruc, Turkey. Syrian Kurd refugees gather at the Syrian-Turkish border. Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.

  • The ICC will probe possible war crimes in the Central African Republic.
  • Fighters in Nigeria’s Boko Haram drive fear in neighboring Cameroon.
  • The number of refugees fleeing violence in South Sudan nears 2 million.
  • French mountaineering guide Herve Gourdel was beheaded by Jund al-Khilafah, an Algerian extremist group who has aligned themselves with ISIS.
  • The Syrian army has overrun the town of Adra al-Omalia, about 30km from Damascus.
  • A great visual guide to ongoing strikes in Iraq and Syria. 
  • The British debate joining the airstrikes.
  • The Al-Nusra Front leader Abu Yousef al-Turki was reportedly killed in strikes.
  • International law and strikes inside Syria - from Just Security.
  • The UAE’s bombing mission against ISIS targets was led by its first female fighter pilot, Mariam al-Mansouri. Fox News correspondents later joked that she represented “boobs on the ground”* and that she had probably been unable to park her jet. 
  • A newly-discussed terrorist element, Khorasan, appeared in the news this week. Khorasan is often misleadingly characterized in reports as a separate terrorist group, but this AP report is a really comprehensive explanation of who these people are.
  • The White House has said that any ISIS prisoners captured will not end up in Guantánamo.
  • The main theme of President Obama’s speech at the UN this week was ISIS and the plans to combat them.
  • The US believes about 20 to 30 Americans are currently fighting in Syria. 
  • Sameera Salih Ali al-Nuaimy, an Iraqi lawyer who fought for women’s rights, was executed by an ISIS firing squad after several days of torture — another instance of the group’s targeting of professional women.
  • The IAEA rejected an Arab bid to push Israel to sign the global anti-nuclear weapons pact. 
  • Hamas and Fatah have reached an understanding that paves the way for a unity government.
  • Radical cleric Abu Qatada was acquitted of terrorism charges in a Jordanian court.
  • The US has ordered some diplomats out of Yemen. Is the country on the brink of civil war?
  • Adam Baron on the myth of the “Yemen model” of counterterrorism.
  • Ashraf Ghani is now officially Afghanistan’s president-elect. 
  • Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan seized the Ajrestan district of Ghazni province Thursday night, killing 70 people.
  • A suspected drone strike killed 10 Uzbek and Pakistani militants near the border with Afghanistan on Wednesday. 
  • Photographer Massimo Berruti documents the injuries and traumas of victims of drone strikes.
  • The US transferred 14 Pakistani prisoners from military detention to Pakistani custody.
  • Human Rights Watch calls out abuses of political prisoners in Uzbekistan.
  • 50 people were reported killed in Xinjiang last Sunday in what Chinese police are calling an act of terrorism.
  • The US is preparing to ease the Vietnam arms embargo.
  • Pro-Ukrainian residents remaining in the east live in a world of intense scrutiny and propaganda.
  • Latvia fears Kremlin aggression.
  • Hungary suspended gas supplies to Ukraine.
  • The Treasury Dept named 12 Specially Designated Global Terrorists.
  • Interpol is expanding its foreign fighters database.
  • The FBI has identified the killer responsible for the beheadings of James Foley, Steven Sotloff and David Haines, but is not revealing that information to the public.
  • The US is undergoing a major atomic renewal, an overhaul and update of its nuclear weapons systems (despite previous ideas floated about disarmament).
  • The Boston bombing trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been delayed two months. 
  • Elliott Ackerman wrote a beautiful essay for The New Yorker about the two photos marking a beginning and a kind of end for his war.

*As well as being sexists, Fox correspondents also apparently do not have the greatest grasp of the difference between aerial bombing and ground warfare.

Photo: Suruc, Turkey. Syrian Kurd refugees gather at the Syrian-Turkish border. Bulent Kilic/AFP/Getty

todaysdocument:


"Books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can put thought in a concentration camp forever. No man and no force can take from the world the books that embody man’s eternal fight against tyranny. In this war, we know, books are weapons."
-Franklin D. Roosevelt
"Books are weapons in the war of ideas", 1941 - 1945
From the series: World War II Posters, 1942 - 1945

Banned Books Week is September 21 - 27, 2014

todaysdocument:

"Books cannot be killed by fire. People die, but books never die. No man and no force can put thought in a concentration camp forever. No man and no force can take from the world the books that embody man’s eternal fight against tyranny. In this war, we know, books are weapons."

-Franklin D. Roosevelt

"Books are weapons in the war of ideas", 1941 - 1945

From the series: World War II Posters, 1942 - 1945

Banned Books Week is September 21 - 27, 2014

If ever a wire photo deserved thought bubbles, it’s this one… Afghanistan’s two presidential candidates — Ashraf Ghani (middle) and Abdullah Abdullah (right) have been battling it out since June over who gets to succeed Karzai. (Who wouldn’t want that job?) They have finally signed an agreement for a unity government in which Ghani will be president and Abdullah his chief executive. This picture of the two of them with Secretary Kerry is from back on August 8th while negotiations were ongoing. Your unity government, ladies and gentlemen.
Photo: AP
(HT Don Gomez)

If ever a wire photo deserved thought bubbles, it’s this one… Afghanistan’s two presidential candidates — Ashraf Ghani (middle) and Abdullah Abdullah (right) have been battling it out since June over who gets to succeed Karzai. (Who wouldn’t want that job?) They have finally signed an agreement for a unity government in which Ghani will be president and Abdullah his chief executive. This picture of the two of them with Secretary Kerry is from back on August 8th while negotiations were ongoing. Your unity government, ladies and gentlemen.

Photo: AP

(HT Don Gomez)

Important news context:

This past few days there have been reports that there is a  ”just as bad as ISIS” terror group plotting international attacks from the same region — a group named Khorasan.

The director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., said on Thursday that “in terms of threat to the homeland, Khorasan may pose as much of a danger as the Islamic State.”

If you’ve never heard of Khorasan, that’s fine. It’s probably because Khorasan’s not actually a terror group, new or old. It’s still Al Qaeda and Jabhat al-Nusra doing what they do. 

Journalist and Syria in Crisis editor Aron Lund explains it:

"Khorasan" would be a great name for a terror group, with nearly unlimited potential for ominous mispronounciation. Sadly, it is not. It’s a word used by al-Qaeda (& others) for the Afghanistan-Pakistan region, where its top leadership sits. What has happened, if US intel is telling the truth, is that a group of AQ veterans have relocated to Syria to support AQ’s local franchise, Jabhat al-Nosra, and (this is the newsworthy part) to develop its capacity for international attacks. All this, apparently, on the urging of AQ’s core leadership. The "Khorasan group" thing comes from them being sent to Syria from "Khorasan" – that is, by AQ’s leadership in Pakistan – and presumably taking their orders straight from there. It’s not the name of a group and they’re not an independent organization. As described in reports so far, they’re a specialized working group inside or otherwise attached to Jabhat al-Nosra that seeks to use the training camps, resources & recruits that Jabhat al-Nosra controls in Syria to run global attacks for which AQ can then claim credit.

 

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.
The United Nations took over the peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, previously led by the African Union. 
Amnesty International has uncovered the extensive and horrifying torture practices of Nigerian security forces. 
5 UN peacekeepers were killed by a roadside bomb in Mali.
Egypt and Russia signed a preliminary arms deal worth $3.5 billion.
Egyptian activist Alaa Abd El Fattah has been released on bail.
Fighter jets from an unknown country carried out four airstrikes against militants near Libya’s capital.
ISIS released its third beheading video - this time of British aid worker David Haines, an RAF veteran working for the aid group Nonviolent Peaceforce. Here’s a brief profile of his life and work. The video then threatened the life of another captive Briton, a taxi driver named Alan Henning who was taken captive on his second aid convoy trip to Syria. 
Congress authorized arming and training the (non-ISIS) Syrian rebels.
President Obama and American military leadership show a split on ISIS strategy.
The three beheadings have drawn into debate the zero-concession policies of the US and UK. James Foley’s family have been deeply critical of the US government’s handling of their son’s case and treatment of the families of ISIS kidnapping victims. 
A second ISIS propaganda video featured another captive, British photojournalist John Cantlie in a mock newscast setting, wearing a prison-style jumpsuit and saying there will be more “programs” to follow.
The AFP will no longer accept work from freelance journalists in Syria.
France has ditched reference to the Islamic State or ISIS, instead opting for “Daesh,” as the extremist group is often referred to by Arabic speakers. 
Australia claims to have thwarted an ISIS attack on their soil. 
Christian Caryl comments on the incredible and underestimated power of collective rage in driving violent acts like those committed by ISIS.
"Al Qaeda denies decline, acknowledges ‘mistakes’ by its branches.”
A series of Friday car bombings in Baghdad have killed at least 17 people. Baghdad’s Thursday death toll was at least 45.
A new booming business in Baghdad defending people charged with terrorism offenses. 
Matthieu Aikins embeds with Syria’s first responders. 
43 veteran members of the clandestine Israeli military intelligence Unit 8200 are refusing to participate in reserve duty on moral grounds, based on the country’s treatment of Palestinians.
A deal has been reached between Israel and Palestine over reconstruction work in Gaza.
Serious fighting is ongoing in Yemen after weeks of continued unrest between Houthi rebels and Sunni militias. The Houthi have pushed into the capital city Sana’a and besieged a university known for Sunni radicalism.
Sharif Mobley, an American imprisoned in Yemen who has been missing inside the system for seven months, managed a phone call to his wife in which he alleged torture and said he feared for his life.
Politico goes deep inside the US’ first armed drone mission, in October of 2001, and the failed attempt to take out Mullah Omar.
Talks have stalled yet again between the sparring Afghan presidential candidates.
Palwasha Tokhi is the seventh Afghan journalist to be killed this year.
Muhammad Shakil Auj, the dean of Islamic Studies at the University of Karachi, was shot dead on his way to a reception at the Iranian Consulate.
A South Asian wing of Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for hijacking a Pakistani naval ship and attempting to use it to attack US ships.
BBC journalists were attacked and had their equipment smashed while investigating the death of a Russian soldier. 
Popular Ukrainian football team Shakhtar Donetsk has been forced to relocate, along with other eastern teams, to Kiev for its matches because of fighting.
Ukrainian rebels says that new self-rule laws are not enough.
An intense border dispute at the India-China border in the Himalayas occurred while the two nation’s leaders met for a summit.
The CIA released a set of newly-declassified articles from its in-house journal, Studies in Intelligence. 
The White House has said it sees legal justification for strikes against ISIS in both the 2001 authorization to fight Al Qaeda and the 2002 authorization of the Iraq War.
Photo: Zummar, Iraq. A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter launches mortar shells toward ISIS-controlled territory. Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters.

This Week in War. A Friday round-up of what happened and what’s been written in the world of war and military/security affairs this week. It’s a mix of news reports, policy briefs, blog posts and longform journalism.

  • The United Nations took over the peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic, previously led by the African Union. 
  • Amnesty International has uncovered the extensive and horrifying torture practices of Nigerian security forces. 
  • 5 UN peacekeepers were killed by a roadside bomb in Mali.
  • Egypt and Russia signed a preliminary arms deal worth $3.5 billion.
  • Egyptian activist Alaa Abd El Fattah has been released on bail.
  • Fighter jets from an unknown country carried out four airstrikes against militants near Libya’s capital.
  • ISIS released its third beheading video - this time of British aid worker David Haines, an RAF veteran working for the aid group Nonviolent Peaceforce. Here’s a brief profile of his life and work. The video then threatened the life of another captive Briton, a taxi driver named Alan Henning who was taken captive on his second aid convoy trip to Syria. 
  • Congress authorized arming and training the (non-ISIS) Syrian rebels.
  • President Obama and American military leadership show a split on ISIS strategy.
  • The three beheadings have drawn into debate the zero-concession policies of the US and UK. James Foley’s family have been deeply critical of the US government’s handling of their son’s case and treatment of the families of ISIS kidnapping victims. 
  • A second ISIS propaganda video featured another captive, British photojournalist John Cantlie in a mock newscast setting, wearing a prison-style jumpsuit and saying there will be more “programs” to follow.
  • The AFP will no longer accept work from freelance journalists in Syria.
  • France has ditched reference to the Islamic State or ISIS, instead opting for “Daesh,” as the extremist group is often referred to by Arabic speakers. 
  • Australia claims to have thwarted an ISIS attack on their soil. 
  • Christian Caryl comments on the incredible and underestimated power of collective rage in driving violent acts like those committed by ISIS.
  • "Al Qaeda denies decline, acknowledges ‘mistakes’ by its branches.”
  • A series of Friday car bombings in Baghdad have killed at least 17 people. Baghdad’s Thursday death toll was at least 45.
  • A new booming business in Baghdad defending people charged with terrorism offenses. 
  • Matthieu Aikins embeds with Syria’s first responders. 
  • 43 veteran members of the clandestine Israeli military intelligence Unit 8200 are refusing to participate in reserve duty on moral grounds, based on the country’s treatment of Palestinians.
  • A deal has been reached between Israel and Palestine over reconstruction work in Gaza.
  • Serious fighting is ongoing in Yemen after weeks of continued unrest between Houthi rebels and Sunni militias. The Houthi have pushed into the capital city Sana’a and besieged a university known for Sunni radicalism.
  • Sharif Mobley, an American imprisoned in Yemen who has been missing inside the system for seven months, managed a phone call to his wife in which he alleged torture and said he feared for his life.
  • Politico goes deep inside the US’ first armed drone mission, in October of 2001, and the failed attempt to take out Mullah Omar.
  • Talks have stalled yet again between the sparring Afghan presidential candidates.
  • Palwasha Tokhi is the seventh Afghan journalist to be killed this year.
  • Muhammad Shakil Auj, the dean of Islamic Studies at the University of Karachi, was shot dead on his way to a reception at the Iranian Consulate.
  • A South Asian wing of Al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for hijacking a Pakistani naval ship and attempting to use it to attack US ships.
  • BBC journalists were attacked and had their equipment smashed while investigating the death of a Russian soldier. 
  • Popular Ukrainian football team Shakhtar Donetsk has been forced to relocate, along with other eastern teams, to Kiev for its matches because of fighting.
  • Ukrainian rebels says that new self-rule laws are not enough.
  • An intense border dispute at the India-China border in the Himalayas occurred while the two nation’s leaders met for a summit.
  • The CIA released a set of newly-declassified articles from its in-house journal, Studies in Intelligence. 
  • The White House has said it sees legal justification for strikes against ISIS in both the 2001 authorization to fight Al Qaeda and the 2002 authorization of the Iraq War.

Photo: Zummar, Iraq. A Kurdish Peshmerga fighter launches mortar shells toward ISIS-controlled territory. Ahmed Jadallah/Reuters.

But my answer is always the same when I’m asked what outcome I prefer: either result will be the correct one. We’re a pretty canny bunch and don’t suffer fools, so we’ll see through the political game playing and make an informed decision. I know the day I return home to live there I will be safe in the knowledge that we, as a people, decided the shape of our own future. Not many generations get the chance to say that.

Gavin Quirk - a Scottish expat living in Los Angeles

The polls have closed and the decision, whichever it is, has been made in Scotland’s referendum. Keep up here on the Guardian and the BBC — although it’s going to be a bit of a wait. The final result probably won’t be until the AM (in Scotland). 

The Narcicyst’s new track “7amith 7ilu (Bittersweet) - ft. DAM.” 

Best ever or best ever?

Definitely the best ever. 

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