Category Archives: law of armed conflict

The Modern Nation States’ Victims

Adam Henry Hughes, whose original title runs thus “Hiding the Body Bags: The Nation-State, Killing and Death”

During a lecture [in 2010], the famous news correspondent Robert Fisk told a story of the reaction of a Reuter’s news agency (London) to receiving graphic pictures of civilian death and destruction caused in Iraq by British forces. Reuter’s called the pictures “obscene” and therefore not fit to be shown back home.(1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We learn about the abstract war, the war of nationalist or ideological sacrifice and endurance, the achievement of some military objective or another; the war that is remembered in one national cemetery or memorial museum. But we must not see the broken and mutilated bodies—the final state of the human being once steel, bomb, bullet or blade meets flesh.(2)

 

 

 

 

Many died in the Battle at LONE PINE

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The Smuggling Networks & Wherewithal of VVT: A Key Factor in the Rise to Power of the LTTE

Jane Russell and Michael Roberts in Interaction

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“Once, while waiting for a CTB bus at Kurumbacciddy Junction in 1974, I saw a blackboard advertising a lecture by the then proto-LTTE which showed speedboats pulling the Jaffna peninsula across the Palk Straits and joining it to Tamil Nadu.”[1]

DEAR JANE, WHEN precisely in 1974?

Yours is an intriguing piece of ethnography … The Tamil New Tigers were a tiny group then[2]…. and the ISSUE IS: who had the vision/imagination to formulate this prospect and/or this propaganda line? KP? Pirapaharan? …………………….. michael

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The Sinhala-Tamil Conflict, 1983-2009: A Brief Overview

“Double Eagle” responding to a Query that I sent re the Assassination of Retd Major-General Janaka Perera in 2008.[i]

He was assassinated by the LTTE in their calculated political-military strategy directed towards selectively eliminating potential Sri Lanka Sinhalese leaders whom the Tamils considered a threat to their Eelam ambition. I am inclined to believe that the Tamil grand strategy to selectively take out strong Sinhala leaders was not of LTTE making. The LTTE were fighters and not strategists. The strategy may have evolved at a higher level from the pro-Eelam Tamil community within the country and abroad.[ii]

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Turmoil & Transformation in Afghanistan: A Sri Lankan Writer’s Assessment of the situation NOW

Lynn Ockersz, in The Island, 2 September 2021, where the title is  “Power and sovereignty issues come to the fore in Afghanistan”

“More and more strength to those women and other vulnerable groups that are mustering for their rights in Afghanistan right now.” This is likely to be the wish of progressives everywhere. The enormity of their courage could be gauged from the fact that they are in direct confrontation with the Taliban who are no champions of fundamental rights. Now more than ever before, women’s organizations the world over and international progressive opinion need to rally round these protesting sections in Afghanistan.

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Taliban’s Rise as Major Setback for India: A Lament exposing Power-Plays in Asia

  Sunil Sharan in New Delhi, 22 August 2021 where his chosen title is “The Lonesomeness of Defeat” **

Afghanistan has been a debacle for the Americans, but no less so for the Indians. The great generals of the modern era, the Guderians, the Rommels, the MacArthurs, and Without doubt the greatest of them all, Napoleon, always saw things clearly. They recognized Victory to be victory and defeat to be defeat and did not confuse between the two. A superb German army opened two fronts in World War II, which led to its downfall. The Americans did the same in Iraq and Afghanistan, meeting humiliation in both places.

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USA’s Bungling-Programmes in Afghanistan

“Double Eagle’s” Serial Commentary 

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Even as the Vice-President with Obama, Biden was opposed to keeping US troops in Afghanistan. When Obama supported the Army’s request for a troop surge in 2009, VP Biden strongly opposed it. It is also known that most Americans did not want their soldiers and airmen to remain in that country after Bin Laden was taken out.

Biden made the announcement in May this year, that he will pull out all US troops by the end of August. His desire was to complete the withdrawal before Sep 2021 (the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 attacks on the USA).

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The Taliban Campaign. The West in Deep Shit in Afghanistan

David Kilcullen, in The Australian, 31 July 2021,.  [and  The Inquirer, 31 July ]where the title reads  Making sense of the Afghan fiasco, and how to fix it” … 2021 and with this byline : “there are four moves that could stabilise the situation long enough to get talks back on track.”

If a gaffe is when a politician accidentally tells the truth, US President Joe Biden committed one a few weeks ago, answering a question about Afghanistan, when he said “the mission hasn’t failed, yet”. That “yet” contains multitudes: a tangle of military and humanitarian factors refracted through political spin and a hyper-partisan US media.

 Afghan militia gather with their weapons to support Afghanistan security forces against the Taliban, in Afghan warlord and former Mujahideen Ismail Khan’s house in Herat on July 9. Picture: AFP

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The CHINA Bogey in Western Circles

Clive Williams, in The Australian, 9 July 2021, where the title reads “Chinese Military Threat is Overstated”

Despite its technology-poaching history, China is now capable of autonomously designing and producing advanced military items, and much more cheaply than its Western competitors.
Despite its technology-poaching history, China is now capable of autonomously designing and producing advanced military items, and much more cheaply than its Western competitors.

Comments in May by a Beijing newspaper editor suggesting strategic missile strikes on Australian targets under some cir­cumstances should not alarm Australians. They were made in response to comments coming out of Australia about supporting the US in any conflict over Taiwan, and in the context of the Chinese Communist Party’s 100th anniversary celebrations.

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Biden and USA stray into Untenable Territory

Jean-Pierre Page, in New Cold War, 27 April 2021, where the ttile runs thus: “The Longer War and Sleepy Joe in Wonderland,”

The Biden Administration appears to be implementing most of the recommendations in the Atlantic Council’s  Longer Telegram: Toward a new American China strategyan important strategic document about US policy towards China published in January 2021.

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The SBS: Marine Commandos of the Sri Lankan Navy

Michael Roberts

A recent article by Dishan Joseph (see below) has marked the role of a commando outfit known as the SBS, or Special Boat Service, that was developed within the Sri Lankan Navy (SLN) during the Eelam Wars.  The story is complex and demands an elaborate ‘companion piece’ that is attentive to time, combat locations, initiatives and the lessons derived from a remarkable and formidable enemy, namely, the Sea Tigers. In war one becomes like one’s opponent in order to survive. The innovativeness of the LTTE was monumental and its sea-faring capacities were one reason why it outdid-and-outbid the other Tamil militant organisations in the fight to lead the claim for independence for Thamililam during the 1980s/1990s.

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