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.
Representatives for two rebel groups in Mali agreed to end hostilities and join together for peace talks with the government next month.
Thousands of Pakistani demonstrators, lead by Tahir ul-Qadri and Imran Khan, have camped out in front of parliament in Islamabad since mid-August demanding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif step down. Pakistan’s army chief has now been named mediator in the crisis.
"We didn’t even know our kids’ names yet," said Deborah Rogers, who teaches English and reading to 7th and 8th graders at the school. "We hadn’t given schedules out yet. But we had to sit down and have a serious conversation on race."
Like the rest of the St. Louis community, including their own teachers, Gateway students had emotional discussions about being black in America, about mistrust of the police, about peaceful demonstration and violent protest. They were asked to write down what they were feeling about Ferguson, with the assurance that no sentiments were out of bounds.
Below are excerpts from the responses penned by a group of 7th and 8th graders at the school.
I’m feeling, I don’t know, like I can’t even say the words I’m feeling because they are curse words. But I’m tired of turning on the news and know[ing] when they say someone has been shot that it’s one of my kind.
I’m mad that a 18 year old died and he was unarmed. I feel scared because people are using violence a lot and policemen are using teargas and rubber bullets. I’m shocked that police are doing this to humans. They just speaking their mind.
People have been treating us blacks wrong for so many years and we have done NOTHING WRONG.
White man kills black guy, paid to leave. Black man kills white guy, PRISON FOR LIFE NO BAIL.
What if one day my brothers are walking down the street and the police try to beat them or even kill [them]?
It hurts to know that a policeman, somebody who is hired and paid to protect me, has shot and killed a young man. This young man Mike Brown had his whole life ahead of him only 18 about to start college in a few days. It hurts me knowing somebody has it in them to kill somebody so easily.
This is more than hurtful it’s shameful, racist, ignorant, and just sad.
I think the protests have been good. What do you expect when something so ignorant happens? … I understand some things like looting and firing up stores seem crazy and uncalled for but if we’re not peacefully getting justice this is what has to be done.
I know and everyone knows that Darren Wilson had no right to shoot Michael Brown. Michael was unarmed and he surrendered. He had his hands up in the air.
I’m mad because showing the footage of Michael Brown stealing from a convenient store was so irelevent and unimportant.
I don’t like that when they put the video out, they were trying to make Michael look bad, look like a criminal.
I feel like the things that are happening in Ferguson are unfair. I thought after Trayvon Martin the killing will stop but it comes back again. What did Mike Brown do for the police officer to kill him?
Lucy E. Parsons was a leading figure in American socialism, anarchism and the radical labor movement.
She organized against capitalism and government, and she also helped organize the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World). Described by the Chicago Police Department as “more dangerous than a thousand rioters” in the 1920s, Parsons and her husband had become highly effective anarchist organizers primarily involved in the labor movement in the late 19th century, but also participating in revolutionary activism on behalf of political prisoners, people of color, the homeless and women.
She died in a house fire in 1942 in Chicago. Government agents searched her home after the fire and removed many of her papers. Most of her writings have been lost to history.
Extremely Rare “Year 2” Nerva Tetradrachm struck in Antioch (Syria), 97-98 AD
This coin shows the laureate head of Nerva surrounded by AYT NEPOYAΣ KAIΣ ΣEB ΓERM, the aegis can be seen at the front and in back of the neck. The reverse says ETOYΣ NEOY IEPOY B with an eagle with its wings spread. It’s standing on a thunderbolt with a palm branch in left field.
The inclusion of the title Germanicus on Nerva’s year 2 tetradrachms from Antioch date them to a short period between November 97, when he received the title, and his death in January 98. There are only 8 known specimens.
The portrait is of excellent style, but what the viewer is immediately attracted to is the huge size of the nose in proportion to the face and the large bulge of the forehead. We cannot know whether the engraver intended this effect or not, but it is striking nonetheless. A great example of exaggerated features on Roman coins.
While it is called a ‘World War’, we sometimes forget the truly global nature of the conflict. The war spanned the continents, not only the fields of Flanders. Here are a few resources to understand the international conflict:
Marathon runners eat your hearts out —- The Tendai Monks of Mt. Hiei.
The Tendai Monks of Mt. Hiei in Japan are an ancient Buddhist order that trace their origins as far back 806 AD. Masters of mental and physical discipline, among their regular meditation and religious worship, the Tendai Monks practice an ancient endurance challenge that ranks as one of the most grueling endurance challenges of all human history.
The Tendai Monks like to prove their mental discipline through acts of physical endurance. These devoted Buddhists take the saying, “where the mind goes, the body will follow” to the highest extreme. Called the “Kaihogyo” (circling the mountain), the Tendai Monks walk a series of roads and trails which circle Mt. Hiei. The full Kaihogyo takes seven years to complete altogether, with the first year being a trial period, and the remaining six being the ultimate challenge.
Most monks typically only do the first year of the Kaihogyo, which is a challenge in itself. In that year the monks walk 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) a day for 100 consecutive days. During the walk, the monks only take breaks to pray or meditate at the various shrines that circle Mt. Hiei. When walking the monks wear their traditional monastic garb, as well as hand woven straw sandals for footwear.
If a monk completes the first year of the Kaihogyo, he may petition the remaining monks to complete the remaining six years of the challenge. Originally in ancient and medieval Japan, there was no turning back after being accepted to complete the Kaihogyo. Those who failed to complete the challenge committed ritual suicide. Today in modern Japan, the suicide clause of the Kaihogyo has been removed from the challenge.
The remaining of the Kaihogyo follows as thus, on years 2 and 3 the monk must walk 30 km a day for 100 consecutive days. On years 4 and 5 the monk must walk 30 km a day for 200 consecutive days. On year 6 the monk must walk 60 km (37.3 miles) a day for 100 consecutive days. Finally on year 7 the monk must walk a whopping 84 km a day (52.2 miles) for a consecutive 100 days, followed by a “cooling off” period of 30 km a day for 100 consecutive days. During “rest periods” of the year, the monk is expected to complete all his monastic duties, such as administering to the public, meditating, worshiping, conducting scholarly studies, and completing chores around the monastery.
Those who complete Kaihogyo will have certainly achieved an amazing feet, walking 38,500 kilometers (23,860.7 miles). That’s only about 1,500 km short of walking the circumference of the Earth. Few have ever completed the challenge. In fact since 1885 only 46 monks have successfully completed the full 1,000 days. One of the oldest was a monk named Yusai Sakai, who completed the Kaihogyo at the age of 60 in 1987.