organization:united states army

  • Strong Economy Poses Recruitment Challenge for the U.S. Army – Foreign Policy

    The healthy state of the U.S. economy is posing a challenge for the U.S. Army, which is struggling to lure young people away from the hot job market and into military service.

    For the first time since the height of the Iraq War 13 years ago, the U.S. Army failed to reach it recruitment goals for the year, falling thousands of troops short of the target. The issue is especially troubling at a time when President Donald Trump is promising to expand the military.
    Foreign Policy: In September, the Army announced that it failed to meet its recruiting goal of 76,500 new recruits for fiscal year 2018 by 8.5 percent. What are you doing to beef up the Army’s recruitment numbers?

    [Army Secretary] Mark Esper ]a former defense industry executive]: We missed our numbers last year, but I was proud that we still put quality over quantity. Despite the miss, we actually had the highest retention rates in the last 10 or 11 years, and we recruited more soldiers, 70,000, than we did in that same time period.


  • Who writes history? The fight to commemorate a massacre by the Texas #rangers

    In 1918, a state-sanctioned vigilante force killed 15 unarmed Mexicans in #Porvenir. When their descendants applied for a historical marker a century later, they learned that not everyone wants to remember one of Texas’ darkest days.

    The name of the town was Porvenir, or “future.” In the early morning hours of January 28, 1918, 15 unarmed Mexicans and Mexican Americans were awakened by a state-sanctioned vigilante force of Texas Rangers, U.S. Army cavalry and local ranchers. The men and boys ranged in age from 16 to 72. They were taken from their homes, led to a bluff over the Rio Grande and shot from 3 feet away by a firing squad. The remaining residents of the isolated farm and ranch community fled across the river to Mexico, where they buried the dead in a mass grave. Days later, the cavalry returned to burn the abandoned village to the ground.

    These, historians broadly agree, are the facts of what happened at Porvenir. But 100 years later, the meaning of those facts remains fiercely contested. In 2015, as the centennial of the massacre approached, a group of historians and Porvenir descendants applied for and was granted a Texas Historical Commission (THC) marker. After a three-year review process, the THC approved the final text in July. A rush order was sent to the foundry so that the marker would be ready in time for a Labor Day weekend dedication ceremony planned by descendants. Then, on August 3, Presidio County Historical Commission Chair Mona Blocker Garcia sent an email to the THC that upended everything. Though THC records show that the Presidio commission had been consulted throughout the marker approval process, Garcia claimed to be “shocked” that the text was approved. She further asserted, without basis, that “the militant Hispanics have turned this marker request into a political rally and want reparations from the federal government for a 100-year-old-plus tragic event.”

    Four days later, Presidio County Attorney Rod Ponton sent a follow-up letter. Without identifying specific errors in the marker text, he demanded that the dedication ceremony be canceled and the marker’s production halted until new language could be agreed upon. Ponton speculated, falsely, that the event was planned as a “major political rally” for Beto O’Rourke with the participation of La Raza Unida founding member José Ángel Gutiérrez, neither of whom was involved. Nonetheless, THC History Programs Director Charles Sadnick sent an email to agency staff the same day: “After getting some more context about where the marker sponsor may be coming from, we’re halting production on the marker.”

    The American Historical Association quickly condemned the THC’s decision, as did the office of state Senator José Rodríguez, a Democrat whose district includes both Presidio County and El Paso, where the ceremony was to be held. Historians across the country also spoke out against the decision. Sarah Zenaida Gould, director of the Museo del Westside in San Antonio and cofounder of Latinos in Heritage Conservation, responded in an email to the agency that encapsulates the views of many of the historians I interviewed: “Halting the marker process to address this statement as though it were a valid concern instead of a dog whistle is insulting to all people of color who have personally or through family history experienced state violence.”

    How did a last-gasp effort, characterized by factual errors and inflammatory language, manage to convince the state agency for historic preservation to reverse course on a marker three years in the making and sponsored by a young Latina historian with an Ivy League pedigree and Texas-Mexico border roots? An Observer investigation, involving dozens of interviews and hundreds of emails obtained through an open records request, reveals a county still struggling to move on from a racist and violent past, far-right amateur historians sowing disinformation and a state agency that acted against its own best judgment.

    The Porvenir massacre controversy is about more than just the fate of a single marker destined for a lonely part of West Texas. It’s about who gets to tell history, and the continuing relevance of the border’s contested, violent and racist past to events today.

    Several rooms in Benita Albarado’s home in Uvalde are almost overwhelmed by filing cabinets and stacks of clipboards, the ever-growing archive of her research into what happened at Porvenir. For most of her life, Benita, 74, knew nothing about the massacre. What she did know was that her father, Juan Flores, had terrible nightmares, and that in 1950 he checked himself in to a state mental hospital for symptoms that today would be recognized as PTSD. When she asked her mother what was wrong with him, she always received the same vague response: “You don’t understand what he’s been through.”

    In 1998, Benita and her husband, Buddy, began tracing their family trees. Benita was perplexed that she couldn’t find any documentation about her grandfather, Longino Flores. Then she came across the archival papers of Harry Warren, a schoolteacher, lawyer and son-in-law of Tiburcio Jáquez, one of the men who was murdered. Warren had made a list of the victims, and Longino’s name was among them. Warren also described how one of his students from Porvenir had come to his house the next morning to tell him what happened, and then traveled with him to the massacre site to identify the bodies, many of which were so mutilated as to be virtually unrecognizable. Benita immediately saw the possible connection. Her father, 12 at the time, matched Warren’s description of the student.

    Benita and Buddy drove from Uvalde to Odessa, where her father lived, with her photocopied papers. “Is that you?” she asked. He said yes. Then, for the first time in 80 years, he began to tell the story of how he was kidnapped with the men, but then sent home because of his age; he was told that the others were only going to be questioned. To Benita and Buddy’s amazement, he remembered the names of 12 of the men who had been murdered. They were the same as those in Harry Warren’s papers. He also remembered the names of the ranchers who had shown up at his door. Some of those, including the ancestors of prominent families still in Presidio County, had never been found in any document.

    Talking about the massacre proved healing for Flores. His nightmares stopped. In 2000, at age 96, he decided that he wanted to return to Porvenir. Buddy drove them down an old mine road in a four-wheel-drive truck. Flores pointed out where his old neighbors used to live, even though the buildings were gone. He guided Buddy to the bluff where the men were killed — a different location than the one commonly believed by local ranchers to be the massacre site. His memory proved to be uncanny: At the bluff, the family discovered a pre-1918 military bullet casing, still lying on the Chihuahuan desert ground.

    Benita and Buddy began advocating for a historical marker in 2000, soon after their trip to Porvenir. “A lot of people say that this was a lie,” Buddy told me. “But if you’ve got a historical marker, the state has to acknowledge what happened.” Their efforts were met by resistance from powerful ranching families, who held sway over the local historical commission. The Albarados had already given up when they met Monica Muñoz Martinez, a Yale graduate student from Uvalde, who interviewed them for her dissertation. In 2013, Martinez, by then an assistant professor at Brown University, co-founded Refusing to Forget, a group of historians aiming to create broader public awareness of border violence, including Porvenir and other extrajudicial killings of Mexicans by Texas Rangers during the same period. The most horrific of these was La Matanza, in which dozens of Mexicans and Mexican Americans were murdered in the Rio Grande Valley in 1915.

    In 2006, the THC created the Undertold Markers program, which seemed tailor-made for Porvenir. According to its website, the program is designed to “address historical gaps, promote diversity of topics, and proactively document significant underrepresented subjects or untold stories.” Unlike the agency’s other marker programs, anyone can apply for an undertold marker, not just county historical commissions. Martinez’s application for a Porvenir massacre marker was accepted in 2015.

    Though the approval process for the Porvenir marker took longer than usual, by the summer of 2018 everything appeared to be falling into place. On June 1, Presidio County Historical Commission chair Garcia approved the final text. (Garcia told me that she thought she was approving a different text. Her confusion is difficult to understand, since the text was attached to the digital form she submitted approving it.) Martinez began coordinating with the THC and Arlinda Valencia, a descendant of one of the victims, to organize a dedication ceremony in El Paso.
    “They weren’t just simple farmers. I seriously doubt that they were just killed for no reason.”

    In mid-June, Valencia invited other descendants to the event and posted it on Facebook. She began planning a program to include a priest’s benediction, a mariachi performance and brief remarks by Martinez, Senator Rodríguez and a representative from the THC. The event’s climax would be the unveiling of the plaque with the names of the 15 victims.

    Then the backlash began.

    “Why do you call it a massacre?” is the first thing Jim White III said over the phone when I told him I was researching the Porvenir massacre. White is the trustee of the Brite Ranch, the site of a cross-border raid by Mexicans on Christmas Day 1917, about a month before the Porvenir massacre. When I explained that the state-sanctioned extrajudicial execution of 15 men and boys met all the criteria I could think of for a massacre, he shot back, “It sounds like you already have your opinion.”

    For generations, ranching families like the Brites have dominated the social, economic and political life of Presidio County. In a visit to the Marfa & Presidio County Museum, I was told that there were almost no Hispanic surnames in any of the exhibits, though 84 percent of the county is Hispanic. The Brite family name, however, was everywhere.

    White and others in Presidio County subscribe to an alternative history of the Porvenir massacre, centering on the notion that the Porvenir residents were involved in the bloody Christmas Day raid.

    “They weren’t just simple farmers,” White told me, referring to the victims. “I seriously doubt that they were just killed for no reason.” Once he’d heard about the historical marker, he said, he’d talked to everyone he knew about it, including former Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Mona Blocker Garcia.

    I visited Garcia at her Marfa home, an 1886 adobe that’s the same age as the venerable Marfa County Courthouse down the street. Garcia, 82, is Anglo, and married to a former oil executive whose ancestry, she explained, is Spanish and French Basque. A Houston native, she retired in the 1990s to Marfa, where she befriended the Brite family and became involved in local history. She told me that she had shared a draft text of the marker with the Brites, and they had agreed that it was factually inaccurate.

    Garcia cited a story a Brite descendant had told her about a young goat herder from Porvenir who purportedly witnessed the Christmas Day raid, told authorities about the perpetrators from his community and then disappeared without a trace into a witness protection program in Oklahoma. When I asked if there was any evidence that the boy actually existed, she acknowledged the story was “folklore.” Still, she said, “the story has lasted 100 years. Why would anybody make something like that up?”

    The actual history is quite clear. In the days after the massacre, the Texas Rangers commander, Captain J.M. Fox, initially reported that Porvenir residents had fired on the Rangers. Later, he claimed that residents had participated in the Christmas Day raid. Subsequent investigations by the Mexican consulate, the U.S. Army and state Representative J.T. Canales concluded that the murdered men were unarmed and innocent, targeted solely because of their ethnicity by a vigilante force organized at the Brite Ranch. As a result, in June 1918, five Rangers were dismissed, Fox was forced to resign and Company B of the Texas Rangers was disbanded.

    But justice remained elusive. In the coming years, Fox re-enlisted as captain of Company A, while three of the dismissed lawmen found new employment. One re-enlisted as a Ranger, a second became a U.S. customs inspector and the third was hired by the Brite Ranch. No one was ever prosecuted. As time passed, the historical records of the massacre, including Harry Warren’s papers, affidavits from widows and other relatives and witness testimony from the various investigations, were largely forgotten. In their place came texts like Walter Prescott Webb’s The Texas Rangers: A Century of Frontier Defense, which played an outsize role in the creation of the heroic myth of the Texas Rangers. Relying entirely on interviews with the murderers themselves, Webb accepted at face value Fox’s discredited version of events. For more than 50 years, Webb’s account was considered the definitive one of the massacre — though, unsurprisingly, he didn’t use that word.

    An Observer review of hundreds of emails shows that the state commission was aware of potential controversy over the marker from the very beginning. In an email from 2015, Executive Director Mark Wolfe gave John Nau, the chair of the THC’s executive committee, a heads-up that while the marker was supported by historical scholarship, “the [Presidio County Historical Commission] opposes the marker.” The emails also demonstrate that the agency viewed the claims of historical inaccuracies in the marker text made by Mona Blocker Garcia and the county commission as minor issues of wording.

    On August 6, the day before the decision to halt the marker, Charles Sadnick, the history programs director, wrote Wolfe to say that the “bigger problem” was the ceremony, where he worried there might be disagreements among Presidio County residents, and which he described as “involving some politics which we don’t want a part of.”

    What were the politics that the commission was worried about, and where were these concerns coming from? Garcia’s last-minute letter may have been a factor, but it wasn’t the only one. For the entire summer, Glenn Justice, a right-wing amateur historian who lives in a rural gated community an hour outside San Angelo, had been the driving force behind a whisper campaign to discredit Martinez and scuttle the dedication ceremony.

    “There are radicals in the ‘brown power’ movement that only want the story told of Rangers and [the] Army and gringos killing innocent Mexicans,” Justice told me when we met in his garage, which doubles as the office for Rimrock Press, a publishing company whose catalog consists entirely of Justice’s own work. He was referring to Refusing to Forget and in particular Martinez, the marker’s sponsor.

    Justice has been researching the Porvenir massacre for more than 30 years, starting when he first visited the Big Bend as a graduate student. He claims to be, and probably is, the first person since schoolteacher Harry Warren to call Porvenir a “massacre” in print, in a master’s thesis published by the University of Texas at El Paso in 1991. Unlike White and Garcia, Justice doesn’t question the innocence of the Porvenir victims. But he believes that additional “context” is necessary to understand the reasons for the massacre, which he views as an aberration, rather than a representatively violent part of a long history of racism. “There have never been any problems between the races to speak of [in Presidio County],” he told me.

    In 2015, Justice teamed up with former Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson and Sul Ross State University archaeologist David Keller on a privately funded excavation at the massacre site. He is working on a new book about the bullets and bullet casings they found — which he believes implicate the U.S. Army cavalry in the shooting — and also partnered with Patterson to produce a documentary. But they’d run out of money, and the film was taken over by noted Austin filmmaker Andrew Shapter, who pitched the project to PBS and Netflix. In the transition, Justice was demoted to the role of one of 12 consulting historians. Meanwhile, Martinez was given a prominent role on camera.

    Justice was disgruntled when he learned that the dedication ceremony would take place in El Paso. He complained to organizer Arlinda Valencia and local historical commission members before contacting Ponton, the county attorney, and Amanda Shields, a descendant of massacre victim Manuel Moralez.

    “I didn’t want to take my father to a mob scene,” Shields told me over the phone, by way of explaining her opposition to the dedication ceremony. She believed the rumor that O’Rourke and Gutiérrez would be involved.

    In August, Shields called Valencia to demand details about the program for the ceremony. At the time, she expressed particular concern about a potential Q&A event with Martinez that would focus on parallels between border politics and violence in 1918 and today.

    “This is not a political issue,” Shields told me. “It’s a historical issue. With everything that was going on, we didn’t want the ugliness of politics involved in it.” By “everything,” she explained, she was referring primarily to the issue of family separation. Benita and Buddy Albarado told me that Shields’ views represent a small minority of descendants.

    Martinez said that the idea of ignoring the connections between past and present went against her reasons for fighting to get a marker in the first place. “I’m a historian,” she said. “It’s hard to commemorate such a period of violence, in the midst of another ongoing humanitarian crisis, when this period of violence shaped the institutions of policing that we have today. And that cannot be relegated to the past.”

    After communicating with Justice and Shields, Ponton phoned THC Commissioner Gilbert “Pete” Peterson, who is a bank investment officer in Alpine. That call set in motion the sequence of events that would ultimately derail the marker. Peterson immediately emailed Wolfe, the state commission’s executive director, to say that the marker was becoming “a major political issue.” Initially, though, Wolfe defended the agency’s handling of the marker. “Frankly,” Wolfe wrote in his reply, “this might just be one where the [Presidio County Historical Commission] isn’t going to be happy, and that’s why these stories have been untold for so long.” Peterson wrote back to say that he had been in touch with members of the THC executive committee, which consists of 15 members appointed by either former Governor Rick Perry or Governor Greg Abbott, and that an email about the controversy had been forwarded to THC chair John Nau. Two days later, Peterson added, “This whole thing is a burning football that will be thrown to the media.”

    At a meeting of the Presidio County Historical Commission on August 17, Peterson suggested that the executive board played a major role in the decision to pause production of the marker. “I stopped the marker after talking to Rod [Ponton],” Peterson said. “I’ve spent quite a bit of time talking with the chairman and vice-chairman [of the THC]. What we have said, fairly emphatically, is that there will not be a dedication in El Paso.” Through a spokesperson, Wolfe said that the executive committee is routinely consulted and the decision was ultimately his.

    The spokesperson said, “The big reason that the marker was delayed was to be certain about its accuracy. We want these markers to stand for generations and to be as accurate as possible.”

    With no marker to unveil, Valencia still organized a small commemoration. Many descendants, including Benita and Buddy Albarado, chose not to attend. Still, the event was described by Jeff Davis, a THC representative in attendance, as “a near perfect event” whose tone was “somber and respectful but hopeful.”

    Most of THC’s executive committee members are not historians. The chair, John Nau, is CEO of the nation’s largest Anheuser-Busch distributor and a major Republican party donor. His involvement in the Porvenir controversy was not limited to temporarily halting the marker. In August, he also instructed THC staff to ask the Presidio historical commission to submit applications for markers commemorating raids by Mexicans on white ranches during the Mexican Revolution, which Nau described as “a significant but largely forgotten incident in the state’s history.”

    Garcia confirmed that she had been approached by THC staff. She added that the THC had suggested two specific topics: the Christmas Day raid and a subsequent raid at the Neville Ranch.

    The idea of additional plaques to provide so-called context that could be interpreted as justifying the massacre — or at the very least setting up a false moral equivalence — appears to have mollified critics like White, Garcia and Justice. The work on a revised Porvenir massacre text proceeded quickly, with few points of contention, once it began in mid-September. The marker was sent to the foundry on September 18.
    “It’s hard to commemorate such a period of violence, in the midst of another ongoing humanitarian crisis, when this period of violence shaped the institutions of policing that we have today.”

    In the end, the Porvenir descendants will get their marker — but it may come at a cost. Martinez called the idea of multiple markers “deeply unsettling” and not appropriate for the Undertold Marker program. “Events like the Brite Ranch raid and the Neville raid have been documented by historians for over a century,” she said. “These are not undertold histories. My concern with having a series of markers is that, again, it casts suspicion on the victims of these historical events. It creates the logic that these raids caused this massacre, that it was retribution for these men and boys participating.”

    In early November, the THC unexpectedly announced a dedication ceremony for Friday, November 30. The date was one of just a few on which Martinez, who was still planning on organizing several public history events in conjunction with the unveiling, had told the agency months prior that she had a schedule conflict. In an email to Martinez, Sadnick said that it was the only date Nau could attend this year, and that it was impossible for agency officials to make “secure travel plans” once the legislative session began in January.

    A handful of descendants, including Shields and the Albarados, still plan to attend. “This is about families having closure,” Shields told me. “Now, this can finally be put to rest.”

    The Albarados are livid that the THC chose a date that, in their view, prioritized the convenience of state and county officials over the attendance of descendants — including their own daughters, who feared they wouldn’t be able to get off work. They also hope to organize a second, unofficial gathering at the marker site next year, with the participation of more descendants and the Refusing to Forget historians. “We want people to know the truth of what really happened [at Porvenir],” Buddy told me, “and to know who it was that got this historical marker put there.”

    Others, like Arlinda Valencia, planned to stay home. “Over 100 years ago, our ancestors were massacred, and the reason they were massacred was because of lies that people were stating as facts,” she told me in El Paso. “They called them ‘bandits,’ when all they were doing was working and trying to make a living. And now, it’s happening again.”

    #mémoire #histoire #Texas #USA #massacre #assassinat #méxicains #violence #migrations #commémoration #historicisation #frontières #violence_aux_frontières #violent_borders #Mexique

  • SIMD Wrapper Libraries with Jeff Amstutz

    Rob and Jason are joined by Jeff Amstutz to discuss SIMD and SIMD wrapper libraries. Jeff is a Software Engineer at Intel, where he leads the open source OSPRay project. He enjoys all things ray tracing, high performance and heterogeneous computing, and code carefully written for human consumption. Prior to joining Intel, Jeff was an HPC software engineer at SURVICE Engineering where he worked on interactive simulation applications for the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, implemented using high performance C++ and CUDA. News Freestanding in San Diego Getting Started Qt with WebAssembly Trip Report: Fall ISO C++ standards meeting (San Diego) Jeff Amstutz @jeffamstutz Links CppCon 2018: Jefferson Amstutz “Compute More in Less Time Using C++ SIMD Wrapper Libraries” tsimd - (...)

  • Les Américains & 14-18

    Les Américains & 14-18

    Ce texte divisé en trois parties comprend deux parties datant du 23 juin 2008 et la troisième sur Le mythe du Sauveur américain datant du 14 juin 2017, le tout s’attachant au thème des Américains par rapport à la Grande Guerre, notamment du point de vue de leurs rapports avec les Français. Ce texte est le cinquième d’une série de dix reprises du site (plus un inédit), concernant la Grande Guerre. Cette série nous mènera jusqu’au 11-novembre, date du centenaire de la fin de ce conflit.

    L’histoire retrouvée

    Le texte de William S. Lind, que nous commentions le 17 juin (2008), fait largement référence à Robert A. Doughty, général de l’U.S. Army et chef des services historiques de l’U.S. Army lorsqu’il quitta le service actif en 2005. Doughty a été et reste le maître (...)

  • ‘I spent seven years fighting to survive’: #Chelsea_Manning on #whistleblowing and #WikiLeaks | US news | The Guardian

    Perhaps the most revealing part of my conversation with Chelsea Manning is what she doesn’t say. What she can’t or won’t talk about. It’s not that she doesn’t have a whole lot to say – she does, particularly about technology and how it can be used against us. Her job as an intelligence analyst for the US army, using data to profile enemy combatants – to be targeted and maybe killed – gave her an acute understanding of its potential uses and abuses. She understood the power of Facebook to profile and target long before the Cambridge Analytica scandal erupted. “Marketing or death by drone, it’s the same math,” she says. There’s no difference between the private sector and the military. “You could easily turn Facebook into that. You don’t have to change the programming, just the purpose of why you have the system.”

  • U.S. Navy Commences Oil Removal from Capsized German Cruiser ’Prinz Eugen’ in Marshall Islands – gCaptain

    The U.S. Army, in partnership with the U.S. Navy and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, are safely recovering oil from the capsized World War II German heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen in the Kwajalein Atoll.
    U.S. Navy Photo by LeighAhn Ferrari

    The Prinz Eugen was transferred to the U. S. Navy as a war prize from the British Royal Navy after the war, and in 1946, it was loaded with oil and cargo and used to test the survivability of warships during the Operation Crossroads atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll.

    During the test, the cruise withstood the initial blast but sustained heavy damage. Five months later, however, she capsized and sank in Kwajalein Lagoon, approximately 3.6 miles from Kwajalein.

    The wreck contained about 2,767 metric tons of oil when it sank, and an assessment of the wreckage has shown that there remains a high risk of a spill of more than 1,000 metric tons.

    A U.S. Navy report on the oil spill risk conducted in 1974 recommended that oil be removed from the wreck within 30 years, but  Ownership of the wreckage was eventually transferred to the Republic of Marshall Islands in 1986.

    • German cruiser Prinz Eugen - Wikipedia

      The ship survived two atomic bomb blasts: Test Able, an air burst on 1 July 1946 and Test Baker, a submerged detonation on 25 July. Prinz Eugen was moored about 1,200 yards (1,100 m) from the epicenter of both blasts and was only lightly damaged by them; the Able blast only bent her foremast and broke the top of her main mast. She suffered no significant structural damage from the explosions but was thoroughly contaminated with radioactive fallout. The irradiated ship was towed to the Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific, where a small leak went unrepaired due to the radiation danger. On 29 August 1946, the US Navy decommissioned Prinz Eugen.

      By late December 1946, the ship was in very bad condition; on 21 December, she began to list severely. A salvage team could not be brought to Kwajalein in time, so the US Navy attempted to beach the ship to prevent her from sinking, but on 22 December, Prinz Eugen capsized and sank.

    • Je vous avoue que je n’ai pas même réussi à lire le paysage en face de moi, même avec GG maps et À gauche, une usine avec de grosses cheminées, plus loin Singapour et partout à l’horizon des lumières. On aurait dit des bateaux ou une rade, parce que les dits bateaux ne bougeaient pas. Abandonnés ?

      Dimanche dernier, j’ai pris la mer dans un autre environnement singulier : Port Klang, pulau Ketam. C’est vraiment marrant à voir sur Internet avec cette carte des bateaux en circulation.

      J’ai un peu entendu parler de Forest City mais pas plus que ça, je me demande si c’était par toi @reka ou bien ici.

    • Je viens de remonter le temps avec gg:earth sur l’embouchure du détroit de Johor, la progression des terres à partir de 1995 est assez impressionnante.

      Quant aux paquets de bateaux qui sont mouillés en rade, la vingtaine qui sont devant les chantiers navals de ces nouvelles terres a l’air d’être là depuis un bon bout de temps (au minimum 3 ans) et on les voit éviter au fil des vents et des courants… Ceci dit, ils sont dans les eaux malaisiennes, la délimitation remontant à avant les polders passe maintenant presque à toucher la côte singapourienne.

      Je me demande, d’ailleurs, pour cette « flotte fantôme » s’il y a une quelconque forme de gardiennage et, donc, dans quel état se trouvent les navires ? En particulier l’équipement de passerelle (radar, radio, compas, …) et les apparaux de manœuvres. Ont-ils été démontés avant abandon, laissés en place en vue d’une réactivation éventuelle du navire (une partie est censée avoir été « mise sous cocon » ou vandalisés par les pirates dont la renommée n’est plus à faire dans ces détroits ?…

      On trouve quelques (en fait, pas temps que ça) photos des files de navires, mais jamais vues des ponts ou des machines. Bon, il faut déjà pouvoir grimper à bord et ce doit être une sacrée expédition. La surveillance singapourienne doit (devrait ?) être relativement sérieuse, mais qu’en est-il de celle exercée par les autorités de Malaisie ?

      Peut-être terrain glissant…

    • Je ne suis pas allée voir sur les bateaux !

      Il y a un autre projet de poldérisation en cours vers Tanjung Piai, donc à l’ouest, une usine de produits chimiques devrait voir le jour en mer. Nous sommes passés sur la petite route secondaire qui doit être élargie pour devenir un gros axe plein de poids-lourds.

    • U.S. Navy Salvage Team Completes Oil Removal from Former German Cruiser Prinz Eugen – gCaptain

      The U.S. Army, in partnership with the U.S. Navy and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, are safely recovering oil from the capsized World War II German heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen in the Kwajalein Atoll.
      U.S. Navy photo by LeighAhn Ferrari, chief mate, U.S. Naval Ship Salvor

      A U.S. Navy-led salvage team has successfully removed 229,000 gallons of oil from the sunken World War II vessel ex-Prinz Eugen located in the Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

      229000 gallons -> 866 mètres cube (à peu près autant de tonnes, entre 1/3 et 1/4 de piscine olympique, pour prendre les éléments de comparaison habituels ;-)

  • A Toronto, Michael Moore célèbre la résistance à Donald Trump

    Le réalisateur a présenté « Fahrenheit 11/9 », brûlot politique qui assimile le président américain à Adolf Hitler.

    Il n’y a pas de raison pour que le Festival de Toronto, dont la 43e édition a commencé le 6 septembre, se distingue du reste de l’Amérique du Nord – et du monde. Donald Trump règne en maître absolu sur les ­conversations, et pour l’une des soirées d’ouverture – celle de la section documentaire – sur l’écran.

    Michael Moore a présenté ­Fahrenheit 11/9 (le 9 novembre 2016, les médias américains ont admis la victoire de Donald Trump sur Hillary Clinton), ­un pamphlet colérique, sincère et roublard, divaguant et provocant – un retour à la manière de son plus grand succès, Fahrenheit 9/11.

    Le film de Michael Moore est à l’avant-garde d’une série de films politiques américains, documentaires ou fictions attendus au long du festival. Dans la première catégorie, on trouve les films de deux autres grandes figures du genre, que tout – méthode, style et inclinations politiques – oppose : Frederick Wiseman a filmé une petite ville au milieu des « flyover states » (les Etats qu’on ne fait que survoler) dans Monrovia, Indiana, pendant qu’Errol Morris a tenté de comprendre l’ancien conseiller du locataire de la Maison Blanche Steve Bannon dans American Dharma, déjà présenté à Venise. Les dirigeants du festival se demandent si le politicien d’extrême droite s’invitera à Toronto comme il l’a fait sur le Lido, ce qui pourrait provoquer quelque ­agitation dans une ville plutôt à gauche.

    Côté fiction, on a déjà vu ­Monsters and Men, de Renaldo Marcus Green, qui examine en un récit éclaté les conséquences de la mort d’un ancien combattant afro-américain tué par la police de New York et l’on attend, entre autres The Frontrunner, de Jason Reitman, dans lequel Hugh Jackman incarne Gary Hart, candidat démocrate à la Maison Blanche en 1988, défait par un scandale sexuel.

    Obsession de Trump pour sa fille

    De sexe, il en est question dans Fahrenheit 11/9, car Michael Moore fait sienne la fameuse phrase de Malcolm X : « Par tous les moyens nécessaires ».

    Dans la brillante série de montages qui ouvre son film, il aligne les interviews agressives d’Hillary Clinton par des journalistes mâles en superposant à l’image les accusations d’agressions sexuelles dont ces censeurs – Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer, Bill O’Reilly… – ont fait l’objet. Un peu plus loin, la succession d’images fixes ou animées ressassant l’obsession du président des Etats-Unis pour sa fille Ivanka.

    Après avoir établi sommairement et vigoureusement les raisons de la défaite d’Hillary Clinton (au premier rang desquelles l’hubris de ses partisans, dont on voit les plus célèbres, de Nancy Pelosi à Jay Z, annoncer son inévitable victoire) et celles pour lesquelles son concurrent n’aurait jamais dû mettre les pieds dans le bureau Ovale, Michael Moore prend la tangente. Il ne s’agit plus de dépeindre les turpitudes de Donald Trump ou les carences de l’appareil démocrate, mais de fouiller dans le terreau sur lesquels ces plantes se sont épanouies.


    Comme il aime à le faire, le réalisateur retourne chez lui, à Flint, Michigan. La ville ravagée par la désindustrialisation de Roger et moi (1989) est devenue un enfer pour ses habitants, dont les enfants ont été condamnés à boire de l’eau empoisonnée, dont les bâtiments abandonnés sont devenus des cibles pour l’artillerie de l’US Army qui s’entraîne là au combat de rue.

    Chacun décidera si Michael Moore force le trait ou s’il se contente d’exprimer en termes simples des situations dont les hommes politiques aiment à dire qu’elles sont compliquées. C’est ce que fait un représentant républicain à la chambre de ­Floride, lorsque l’un des étudiants du lycée de Parkland, ravagé par l’irruption d’un tueur armé d’un fusil d’assaut, l’interroge sur sa position quant à la vente libre de ces armes. Il était inévitable que le réalisateur de Bowling for ­Columbine passe par le lycée ­Marjorie Stoneman et célèbre ses élèves militants. Car cette deuxième partie de Fahrenheit 11/9 prend la forme d’un tour des Etats-Unis de la résistance. En présentant son film, Michael Moore a revendiqué le terme, l’associant explicitement à la résistance en France sous l’occupation nazie.

    Montagnes russes militantes

    On a mieux compris cette assimilation en découvrant la troisième partie de son documentaire : elle compare systématiquement les Etats-Unis à l’Allemagne de Weimar et Donald Trump à Adolf Hitler. Le renfort d’historiens, d’un ancien magistrat au tribunal de Nuremberg ne suffit pas à muer cette comparaison en raison. A la fin de la projection, il suffisait de voir Michael Moore, entouré de lycéens de Parkland et de militants de Flint pour comprendre qu’il ne s’agit plus seulement de cinéma mais d’urgence politique, d’intervenir avant qu’il ne soit trop tard.

    Il revenait à l’esprit l’un des ­innombrables faits énoncés ­pendant ces deux heures de montagnes russes militantes : depuis 1992, les démocrates ont remporté le vote populaire dans toutes les élections présidentielles, sauf en 2004. Quatre mois avant ce dernier scrutin, sortait le plus grand succès de Michael Moore, Fahrenheit 9/11.

  • L’héroïque 9/11 de Tulsi Gabbard

    L’héroïque 9/11 de Tulsi Gabbard

    A chacun son 9/11... Comme nous l’avons déjà vu et signalé avec force à plusieurs reprises et à propos de diverses situations dont évidemment et particulièrement la Syrie, la Représentante démocrate d’Hawaii Tulsi Gabbard, qui servit plusieurs fois en Irak dans l’US Army, reste dans le concert du simulacre conformiste des “experts” de la presseSystème, des lobbyistes et des parlementaires de l’establishment de “D.C.-la-folle”, et de Trump tel qu’il est advenu, une voix surprenante disant tout haut la vérité-de-situation dans une enceinte (le Congrès) dévolue à l’hypocrisie et à l’inversion-Système. Deux jours après la commémoration de 9/11, et en directe référence à cette attaque, elle s’est à nouveau signalée par le courage sinon l’héroïsme d’une condamnation publique du (...)

    • Gabbard juge et dénonce cette évidence que l’actuelle politique US en Syrie, provocatrice et interventionniste, de « se tenir aux côtés de 20 000 à 40 000 terroristes d’al Qaïda et d’autres groupe djihadistes, et de menacer d’attaquer militairement la Russie, la Syrie et l’Iran s’ils osent attaquer ces terroristes », constitue une « trahison du peuple américain, et spécialement des victimes de l’attaque 9/11 », et également de « ses compagnons d’arme » ayant servi et servant dans les nombreuses campagnes depuis 9/11. Elle accuse Trump de se conduire dans cette circonstance en « parrain protecteur d’al Qaïda et des autres terroristes ».

  • Army, UPENN uncover ways to better predict viral information | U.S. Army Research Laboratory

    Neuroscientists at the University of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory have forecasted what content will get passed along repeatedly. In an article published in August 2018 in the journal Cerebral Cortex, researchers analyzed the brain responses of 40 people as they read real New York Times health article headlines and abstracts. They found that those who don’t regularly read the news were best able to predict the popularity of those articles among real readers.

    dédicace spéciale à tous les paranoïaques :)

    il y a tellement de choses dans cet article, je ne sais même pas par où commencer…

    #mémétique #armée #manipulation #NYT #recherche #journalisme

    • Un copain me répond : « Intéressant de voir que les gens qui s’intéressent à ce domaine (la santé) ont tous une activation du cortex frontal ventro-médian, comparé aux gens qui s’en foutent un peu mais qui de temps en temps vont se faire accrocher par un titre qui les concerne. Je ne sais pas ce que ça peut être, mais je ne serais pas surpris, comme dans l’exemple donné dans l’image, que ça ait rapport avec quelques chose de fondamental du point de vue évolutif, donc survie, peur, danger, sexe, etc. Au fond, les publicitaires et les gens de com’ savent ça depuis longtemps, mais on le voit là dans un motif général d’activation cérébrale. Pas de quoi fouetter un chat, mais puisque l’armée est en train de perdre du temps avec ça, alors laissons-les faire... »

      #cerveau #USA

  • Special Report: Children poisoned by lead on U.S. Army bases as hazards ignored | Reuters

    Like most family housing on U.S. bases today, the home wasn’t owned and operated by the military. It was managed by Villages of Benning, a partnership between two private companies and the U.S. Army, whose website beckons families to “enjoy the luxuries of on-post living.”

    The symptoms began suddenly. At 18 months, JC would awake screaming. He began refusing food, stopped responding to his name and lost most of his words.

    #privatisation #sous_traitance #etats-unis #santé

  • Aux #Etats-Unis, lumière sur les disparitions et meurtres d’#Amérindiennes

    Autre facteur : les polices tribales n’ont pas autorité pour poursuivre les non-#Amérindiens, même pour des agressions commises sur leurs terres. La police fédérale délaisse beaucoup de cas et quand elle prend en charge un dossier, des mois ont parfois été perdus.

  • Vietnam: A Television History; Roots of a War; Interview with Archimedes L. A. Patti, 1981

    04/01/1981- Archimedes Patti was an officer in the United States Army and, after World War Two, the Office of Strategic Services. Mr. Patti describes the U.S. position on Southeast Asia during World War Two, and the emerging Vietnamese Independence Movement. He describes his first meetings with Ho Chi Minh and details the assistance of the Viet Minh in the war effort. He recalls the scene in Hanoi after the war and the attempts by the French to recoup their colony. He details his talks with Ho, and notes that the Vietnamese Declaration of Independence was quite similar to that of the United States. He concludes with his views of the Vietnam War from the perspective of one who understood the roots of the conflict and knew how it could have been avoided.

    #USA #Vietnam #histoire #guerre

  • Founder Interviews: John Lee Dumas of #entrepreneur On Fire

    JLD is the founder of the award winning #podcast Entrepreneur On Fire, which has done over $13 million in revenue since launching in 2012.Davis Baer: What’s your background, and what are you working on?​John Lee Dumas: I have my entire story on my About page :) short version is that I graduated college and was commissioned as an officer in the US Army. I spent 18 months in Iraq during my 4 years active, then spent 4 years in the reserves. After that I tried Corporate Finance, tried Law School — but wasn’t happy. I knew there had to be more out there.I started listening to podcasts and fell in love with the free, actionable, inspiring content they provided — especially the ones that interviewed entrepreneurs who had created their own lifestyle freedom through doing (...)

    #podcasting-tips #podcasting #founder-stories

  • The feminist storm troopers
    The battle for equal rights is being won, but do women really want the right to perpetrate war crimes or to maintain the occupation?
    Gideon Levy - Jul 01, 2018 -

    Merav Michaeli admires MJ Hegar. She even says she would vote for her – although, as far as is known, the Israeli Knesset member has no voting rights in Texas, where Hegar is vying for a Congress seat. Hegar was a helicopter pilot who served in Afghanistan until her chopper was shot down during her third tour. She’s since been on a crusade, aimed at opening combat roles in the U.S. Army up to women without discrimination.

    Michaeli, the queen of Israeli feminists and a representative of the center-left, wants to see more American female helicopter pilots in Afghanistan and Yemen – who can continue bombing no matter what, who and how much is on the receiving end. She also wants more female pilots in Israel to take part in airstrikes against Gaza, along with female tank combatants who can shell whatever the female helicopter pilots leave standing.

    The Labor Party meat grinder, which distorts the moral image of anyone elected to its list, alongside blind and rapacious feminism, have caused even Michaeli – one of the most impressive and committed members of the Knesset – to temporarily lose her moral compass. Just give her more female bombers. Let them bomb and shell in Afghanistan and Gaza, only let them be women.

    Four female soldiers who completed a tank commanders’ course last week induced drooling militaristic pride among numerous men and women in Israel: the feminist in the tank rules! Now there are female combatants in the air, on land and at sea, and the Israel Hayom and Yedioth Ahronoth dailies could not let the opportunity pass without spouting headlines such as “Queens of the skies” and “Armor piercing.”

    Corp. Keren Beit-On will complete her Snapir course this week and join a unit of naval speedboats patrolling the Gaza coast. On a good day, she might participate in the shooting of desperate Palestinian fishermen who exceeded the boundaries of their cages for their livelihoods, or at least spray them with water cannon until, helpless, they fall off their flimsy and pathetic surfboards into the water. This time, it won’t be at the hands of a macho male combatant, but one of the first female graduates of the feminist Snapir course. Beit-On, like Hegar the helicopter pilot, will fulfill the ideal of gender equality, without any discrimination. In the air, on land and at sea.

    The just and triumphant feminist train is racing ahead and no one stops to ask: Sorry, but equality in what? In oppression? In tyranny over another people? Female equality in abuse? Gender equality in perpetrating war crimes?

    A course instructor of the Snapir (“Fin”) Unit, a mixed male and female combat unit, practicing in inflatable rubber boats in the Haifa Bay.IDF Spokesperson’s Unit

    Is this what you want? Is this what you deserve? Is this what we deserve? After this goal is achieved, the feminists will be able to advance toward their next objective: gender equality in organized crime. That’s another arena where male dominion must be ended – to the barricades, until Rinat Abergil controls the family business equally with her husband Meir!

    Of course, the IDF should not be compared to crime families in order to understand the depth of the darkness. In order to achieve a goal that itself is absolutely correct – namely, gender equality in society – men and women are prepared to abandon any other moral value. It is true that the entrance to many halls of power still runs through service in combat units, though happily this is diminishing. But nothing could justify turning this service – a major part of which is geared toward perpetuating the occupation and the settlements – into a desired objective for women seeking equality.

    No Border Policewoman, armed from head to toe while evacuating a family in Silwan, raiding a house in Nablus in the middle of the night while brutally waking up female household members, or lording it over Palestinian passersby in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City in order to protect a handful of settlers, will add an iota of dignity to the struggle for gender equality. It will only bring shame by the fact that women are also participating in these actions.

    Women, you should be proud that you don’t have an equal role in maintaining the occupation. Be proud that you don’t share equally in bombing kite warehouses in Gaza, and that there isn’t yet gender equality in the disgraceful nightly arrest raids in the West Bank. There are more than enough male occupation-serving storm troopers doing this work.

    The road to equality, just and absolute, should be pursued using other, more moral, paths.


    The Syrian command ignored the US and the Israeli requests to exclude Hezbollah and the Iranian allies from being present in Daraa. Thus, the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad asked Hezbollah al-Ridwan Special Forces to take positions in Daraa and around it to participate in the forthcoming attack.

    Sources on the ground believe the US is not expected to pull out of al-Tanf crossing between Syria and Iraq – as requested by Damascus in exchange of Hezbollah and Iran absence in Daraa – because Israel believes the battle is not going to take place. Therefore, the Syrian government has decided to engage in the Daraa’ battle and remove all jihadists from the south to regain total control of the territory or even impose a negotiation by force to reached a withdrawal of the US forces from al-Tanf.

    The Syrian Army is also aiming to end the southern battle so it can move all offensive forces to the north and al-Badiya afterwards, to attack the remaining ISIS forces present in that part of Syria.

    The US faces a dilemma with thousands of trained, supported and funded Syrian proxies militias in the border area between Syria and Iraq. These militias can be a burden if the US decides to withdraw because they are Arab and non-Kurdish forces.

  • #Seymour_Hersh on spies, state secrets, and the stories he doesn’t tell - Columbia Journalism Review

    Bob Woodward once said his worst source was Kissinger because he never told the truth. Who was your worst source?

    Oh, I wouldn’t tell you.

  • This American Is A General For A Foreign Army Accused Of War Crimes In Yemen

    Stephen Toumajan spent most of his professional life as an officer in the US Army — but these days the country he serves is not the US but the United Arab Emirates. He is a major general for the Emirati military, according to his own statements and a UAE government website.

    He commands the UAE’s military helicopter branch at a time when that country’s forces are fighting one of the world’s deadliest conflicts: the brutal war in Yemen, which has left over a million people with cholera, 8 million people at risk of starvation, and 5,000 children dead or wounded. The UAE and its partners in the war have been accused of atrocities. Toumajan says he is not involved in that war.

    To be a UAE general is a step up for Toumajan, who left the US Army as a lieutenant colonel and once had a side gig running a women’s bust–enhancement business in Tennessee called Breast Wishes.

    More importantly, it represents a marked escalation of the role US private military contractors play in foreign conflicts. While military contractors have become deeply entwined in warfare all over the world, they traditionally have stuck to strict limits: advising, training, and supplying foreign armies — but not actually serving in them. It’s the distinction between being a contractor and a mercenary. Toumajan’s role blurs that distinction.

  • Army Green Berets Secretly Help Saudis Combat Threat From Yemen Rebels - The New York Times

    By Helene Cooper, Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Eric Schmitt
    May 3, 2018
    WASHINGTON — For years, the American military has sought to distance itself from a brutal civil war in Yemen, where Saudi-led forces are battling rebels who pose no direct threat to the United States.

    But late last year, a team of about a dozen Green Berets arrived on Saudi Arabia’s border with Yemen, in a continuing escalation of America’s secret wars.

    With virtually no public discussion or debate, the Army commandos are helping locate and destroy caches of ballistic missiles and launch sites that Houthi rebels in Yemen are using to attack Riyadh and other Saudi cities.

    Details of the Green Beret operation, which has not been previously disclosed, were provided to The New York Times by United States officials and European diplomats.

    They appear to contradict Pentagon statements that American military assistance to the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen is limited to aircraft refueling, logistics and general intelligence sharing.

    There is no indication that the American commandos have crossed into Yemen as part of the secretive mission.

    But sending American ground forces to the border is a marked escalation of Western assistance to target Houthi fighters who are deep in Yemen.

    Beyond its years as a base for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen has been convulsed by civil strife since 2014, when the Shiite Muslim rebels from the country’s north stormed the capital, Sana. The Houthis, who are aligned with Iran, ousted the government of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, the Americans’ main counterterrorism partner in Yemen.

    In 2015, a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia began bombing the Houthis, who have responded by firing missiles into the kingdom. Yet there is no evidence that the Houthis directly threaten the United States; they are an unsophisticated militant group with no operations outside Yemen and have not been classified by the American government as a terrorist group.

    The Green Berets, the Army’s Special Forces, deployed to the border in December, weeks after a ballistic missile fired from Yemen sailed close to Riyadh, the Saudi capital. The Saudi military intercepted the missile over the city’s international airport, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman renewed a longstanding request that the United States send troops to help the kingdom combat the Houthi threat.

  • S-300 en Syrie ? Panique en Israël

    S-300 en Syrie ? Panique en Israël

    Les conséquences de l’attaque contre la Syrie de la nuit du vendredi-13 continuent à apparaître régulièrement dans le même sens d’un tournant dans les rapports de force entre le bloc-BAO d’une part, la Russie et ses alliés de l’autre, en faveur des seconds. L’une de ces conséquences était la décision de la Russie de réévaluer sa position concernant la livraison éventuelle de missiles sol-air S-300 à la Syrie. (Cette décision n’est pas prise, répète-t-on à Moscou, mais l’option est effectivement étudiée.) La conséquence de cette conséquence est un vent de panique furieuse en Israël, après une visite secrète du commandant de CentCom, le général de l’US Army Votel, pour examiner avec les Israéliens les mesures possibles en cas de livraison des S-300, – ce qui constitue un prolongement (...)

  • The US Army is developing AI that can recognize faces in the dark and through walls

    The US Army is developing a machine learning method for identifying faces from thermal imagery. Soon the American government will be able to film people from outside of buildings, using cameras that can see through walls in near-total darkness, and an AI will recognize the people in the images. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) scientists Benjamin S. Riggan, Nathaniel J. Short, and Shuowen Hu recently released a white paper detailing military efforts to develop a method for applying facial (...)

    #algorithme #biométrie #thermique #facial

  • Checkpoint Charlie,qui va là ? - Libération

    Wat die andern so über uns erzählen. Diesmal: Frankreusch. Scheckpoingscharlie.

    A Berlin, l’ancien poste frontière entre l’Est et l’Ouest est toujours un no man’s land.
    Checkpoint Charlie,qui va là ?
    Après 18 heures, c’est le désert. Les Berlinois ont fui les bureaux modernes de la Friedrichstrasse qui fut, avant-guerre, l’une des rues les plus vivantes de la capitale prussienne. Avant de tomber à Berlin-Est. Depuis la chute du Mur, la rue est à nouveau très fréquentée. Les Galeries Lafayette construites par l’architecte Jean Nouvel, « le quartier 207 » de la haute couture et le showroom de Volkswagen attirent du monde. Mais plus on s’éloigne de Unter den Linden (les Champs-Elysées berlinois), plus les trottoirs se vident. Juste avant le croisement avec la Kochstrasse, deux terrains vagues sont envahis par des étals où l’on trouve des petits bouts de Mur, des casquettes de militaire russe, des Trabant (voitures est-allemandes) en plastique ou des matriochkas. Encore cinq mètres et « on passe à l’ouest ». Sur le sol, l’ancien emplacement du Mur est marqué par une rangée de pavés. Une baraque en bois blanche est posée au milieu d’un terre-plein. Deux énormes photos de soldats, un Russe et un Américain (une installation signée Frank Thiel), signalent aux passants que c’est bien là : Checkpoint Charlie, le plus célèbre de tous les points de passage entre Berlin-Ouest et Berlin-Est.

    Alphabet. Après la capitulation de l’Allemagne, Berlin avait été divisée en quatre zones d’occupation. A l’est, les Russes, et à l’ouest les forces alliées (France, Grande-Bretagne et Etats-Unis). Dès 1952, le régime communiste est-allemand commença à échafauder l’« opération muraille de Chine ». Le soulèvement ouvrier du 17 juin 1953 avait convaincu les dirigeants de l’ex-RDA de la nécessité de soustraire ses concitoyens aux mauvaises influences capitalistes. Le 13 août 1961, à minuit, la construction du mur de Berlin démarra. Séparée du nord au sud par ce « rideau de fer » de quatre mètres de haut, les deux parties de la ville étaient accessibles en sept postes frontières. Selon l’alphabet britannique, le troisième check point devait s’appeler Charlie (pour C), après Alpha (pour A) et Bravo (pour B). Situé dans la zone américaine, à la frontière des quartiers de Kreuzberg (Ouest) et Mitte (Est), Checkpoint Charlie est rapidement devenu le symbole de la confrontation entre les deux superpuissances.

    Le 17 août 1962, il fut le théâtre d’une tragédie qui a glacé toute une génération. Peter Fechter, un maçon de 18 ans, qui tentait de s’enfuir, a été laissé à l’agonie pendant des heures après avoir été criblé de vingt et une balles par les gardes-frontières de l’Est. Un an plus tôt, « certains pensaient vraiment qu’il y avait un danger de Troisième Guerre mondiale », racontent Werner Sikorski et Rainer Laabs, auteurs d’un livre sur l’histoire de Checkpoint Charlie (1). Le 22 octobre 1961, le ministre plénipotentiaire américain, Allan Lightner, s’apprêtait à traverser en voiture Checkpoint Charlie avec son épouse pour se rendre à l’opéra à Berlin-Est, quand un soldat de la NVA (Nationale Volksarmee) lui réclama ses papiers. Ce qui était totalement contraire aux règles en vigueur. Seuls les diplomates et les soldats alliés étaient autorisés à traverser librement Checkpoint Charlie. Les Allemands devaient choisir un autre poste frontière. Redoutant une modification des contrôles d’accès aux autoroutes reliant l’Allemagne de l’Ouest à Berlin, le gouvernement américain autorisa le général Clay à déployer des chars de protection. Une heure plus tard, les Soviétiques expédiaient trente chars T 54. Le 28 octobre, après quatre jours d’angoisse, la raison l’emporta. Checkpoint Charlie était entré dans l’histoire.

    1 008 morts. En 1963, on y vit s’y promener tour à tour le chef du Parti communiste soviétique Nikita Khrouchtchev (le 17 janvier) et le président américain John Kennedy (26 juin). Le poste frontière était désormais une station pour les visites officielles. Au même titre que la porte de Brandebourg.

    « ACHTUNG ! You are leaving the american sector » (Attention ! Vous quittez le secteur américain), indique encore un panneau d’époque. « Quand j’entends parler d’÷stalgie (nostalgie de l’Est), cela me révulse, s’exaspère Alexandra Hildebrandt, directrice du Musée du Mur baptisé Maison Checkpoint Charlie. 1 008 personnes sont mortes en tentant de s’évader d’Allemagne de l’Est. 270 000 personnes ont été emprisonnées pour des motifs politiques. La RDA était une dictature. Il ne faudrait pas l’oublier ! » Anticommuniste viscéral, Rainer Hildebrandt, son époux, mort l’été dernier, a ouvert ses premières salles d’exposition en 1963. Au fil du temps, il a pris possession de tous les bâtiments de la Friedrichstrasse, du numéro 43 au numéro 45. Son obsession : être le plus près possible du Mur.

    Pour pouvoir mieux observer le poste frontière, Rainer Hildebrandt avait même fini par prendre un appartement au-dessus du café Adler, le vieux café situé juste au coin de Checkpoint Charlie. « Souvent les photographes venaient dans le musée ou chez nous pour prendre des photos, raconte Alexandra. Après la guerre, tout n’était que ruines à Berlin, et l’un de leurs collègues avait eu un accident mortel en voulant prendre des clichés depuis un immeuble branlant. » Chaque année, 700 000 visiteurs arpentent l’exposition un brin poussiéreuse, consacrée aux diverses tentatives de fuite des Allemands de l’Est. Voiture-bélier, ballon, sac de courses... tout est là. Parfois, les réfugiés viennent raconter in vivo leurs histoires incroyables.

    « Foire ». En mai, la directrice du musée a eu un coup au coeur lorsqu’elle a vu deux personnages, déguisés en gardes-frontières de l’ex-RDA, s’installer devant la baraque de l’US Army. Se prétendant acteurs, ils proposent aux touristes de se faire photographier avec eux pour 1 euro. « Une atteinte insupportable à la mémoire des victimes du Mur », s’écrie Alexandra Hildebrandt qui rêvait de transformer cette place en « un lieu de recueillement » et non pas de « foire ». Les visiteurs, eux, sont enchantés. C’est la seule animation du quartier. Ici tout est gris, triste et moche. Comme si, le 9 novembre 1989, des milliers d’Est-Allemands n’étaient pas passés par là en hurlant de joie. Comme si Checkpoint Charlie avait gardé son côté no man’s land.

    #DDR #Geschichte #USA #Berlin #Mitte #Kreuzberg #Friedrichstraße #Kochstraße #Tourismus

  • Trump’s sending troops to the border to take on 200 kids and parents

    According to President Donald Trump, the mightiest, richest country in the world is under a threat so huge and scary that it will require the deployment of military forces — as many as 2,000 to 4.000, Trump said Thursday — along its 2,000-mile southern border. The danger consists of a ragtag caravan formed by several hundred impoverished people, many of them children from tiny Central American nations. Yes, the time has come to protect America from marauding youngsters and their parents.
    #Trump #frontières #armée #militarisation_des_frontières #USA #Etats-Unis

    • The cost of 2 National Guard border arrests would help a homeless vet for a year

      President Donald Trump’s decision to send #National_Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border has drawn a mixed response. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey welcomed the move, while California Gov. Jerry Brown’s National Guard said it would “review” the request.

      Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz., had a specific complaint: He said it was a poor use of tax dollars.

      “Using the National Guard to do border security is very expensive,” Gallego tweeted April 3. “For what it would cost the Guard to make just TWO arrests at the border, we could give a homeless veteran permanent housing for an entire year.”
      #USA #Etats-Unis #coût #économie #prix #surveillance_des_frontières

    • Guard border deployment creates issues for Pentagon

      Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) have now sent two requests for assistance to the Pentagon’s new Border Security Support Cell, which was hastily established to help coordination between the Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Homeland Security.

      It’s estimated that it will cost $182 million to keep 2,093 guardsmen at the border through the end of September, which represents just more than half of the personnel approved.

      The amount covers $151 million in pay and allowances for the 2,093 personnel, as well as $31 million for 12,000 flying hours for 26 UH-72 Lakota helicopters, according to a defense memo on the amount.

      #CBP #gardes-frontière #frontières

    • The Cal. National Guard Is Working At the Mexican Border, But Mostly Behind The Scenes

      In California - a state with strong differences with the White House on immigration policy - about 400 troops are on border duty. But they’re keeping a low profile.

      Signalé par Reece Jones sur twitter, avec ce commentaire:

      What are US National Guard troops doing at the border? Analyze intelligence, work as dispatchers, and monitor cameras “but not cameras that look across the border into Mexico”

    • L’armée américaine mobilisée pour défendre la frontière

      En campagne pour les élections américaines de mi-mandat, le président Trump a focalisé son discours sur la caravane de migrants d’Amérique centrale qui fait route à travers le Mexique. Il a promis de tout faire pour empêcher ces demandeurs d’asile de pénétrer sur le territoire américain (“Personne n’entrera”), y compris de déployer “entre 10 000 et 15 000 soldats” en plus de la police aux frontières et de la police de l’immigration.

      L’armée estime que seuls 20 % des migrants, soit 1 400 selon les estimations les plus hautes, iront jusqu’à la frontière qui se trouve encore à quelque 1 300 kilomètres et plusieurs semaines de marche, rapporte le Los Angeles Times. Le chiffre de 15 000 hommes correspond à peu près au nombre de soldats déployés en Afghanistan, observe le même quotidien. Les militaires envoyés à la frontière peuvent se poser des questions sur le sens de cette mission, comme l’illustre ici le dessinateur Chappatte.

    • U.S. Troops’ First Order at the Border: Laying Razor Wire

      Soldiers fill local hotels, joke about finding ways to keep busy.
      On Monday morning in this border town, about a dozen U.S. Army soldiers unfurled reams of razor wire on top of a wrought-iron fence alongside a bridge to Mexico.

      The soldiers from the 36th Engineer Brigade at Fort Riley, Kan., who wore helmets but didn’t appear to be armed, are among thousands of troops deployed in recent days to the southwest U.S. border as part of Operation Faithful Patriot.

      Around border crossings throughout Texas’ Rio Grande Valley, military personnel have filled up hotels and delivered trucks packed with coils of razor wire as they begin to support U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.
      The personnel were sent in advance of the anticipated arrival of thousands of Central Americans, including children, traveling in caravans currently several hundred miles south of the nearest U.S. border crossing.

      At the DoubleTree Suites Hotel in McAllen, Texas, the bar did brisk business Sunday night as soldiers who had changed into civilian clothes chatted over drinks. Some joked about needing to find ways to keep soldiers busy during their deployment.

      The Anzalduas International Bridge, where the Kansas-based troops were working, is used only for vehicle traffic to and from the Mexican city of Reynosa. The wire was placed on top of fences at least 15 feet high along each side of the bridge that sat several dozen feet above an embankment.

      Outside the port of entry where vehicles from Mexico are stopped after crossing the bridge, shiny razor wire recently placed around the facility glistened in the afternoon sun.

      Migrants seeking asylum who cross the border illegally generally don’t come to the port, but swim or wade across the Rio Grande and turn themselves in to Border Patrol agents.

      Near another bridge connecting Hidalgo, Texas, to Reynosa, a concertina wire fence was recently erected along the river edge, a placement more likely to impede illegal migrants who arrive on foot.

      U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials have determined where the military placed razor wire, Army Col. Rob Manning, a Pentagon spokesman, told reporters Monday during a briefing.

      It is part of an effort previously announced by Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, commander of the U.S. Northern Command, to “harden the points of entry and address key gaps.”

      Near the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge about 22 miles southeast of McAllen, troops on Monday were working on what looked to be a staging area to prepare for coming work. Two armed military police officers stood guard, opening and closing a gate as flatbed trailers carrying heavy military trucks and transports with troops inside arrived. At least one tent apparently intended to house troops was in place Monday.

      President Trump ordered the deployment last month after the first caravan made its way into Mexico. He had described the impending caravan’s arrival as an “invasion.”

      The Pentagon said Monday that more than 5,000 troops are at or would be on their way to the U.S.-Mexico border by the end of the day, with about 2,700 in Texas, 1,200 in Arizona and 1,100 in California. Eventually, nearly 8,000 will be deployed, according to a U.S. official. Officials from the Department of Homeland Security have said the troops won’t be used to enforce immigration laws but will provide backup for Border Patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection officers.

      At the Vaquero Hangout, an open-air bar within eyesight of the Anzalduas bridge, a flag declaring support for the U.S. military hung from the rafters. It was business as usual on Sunday evening. Some patrons watched the Houston Texans’ NFL game, while others were focused on a live band, George and the Texas Outlaws.

      A few folks briefly took notice of flashing lights from a U.S. Customs and Border Protection vehicle parked on the bridge as the soldiers lay down razor wire, an effort they would continue the next day.
      #fil_barbelé #barbelé

    • Pentagon to begin drawdown of troops at border: report

      The Pentagon is planning to begin a drawdown of troops at the southern border as soon as this week, the Army commander overseeing the mission told Politico on Monday.

      Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan told the news outlet that the 5,800 active-duty troops sent to assist Customs and Border Protection at the U.S.-Mexico border should be home by Christmas.

      “Our end date right now is 15 December, and I’ve got no indications from anybody that we’ll go beyond that,” said Buchanan, who is overseeing the mission from Texas.

      Buchanan said engineer and logistics troops, which make up the largest parts of the deployment, will begin returning home soon.

      According to Politico’s report, some troops will begin leaving the area before the so-called migrant caravan arrives at the border.

      The news of the troops’ return comes as critics call President Trump’s request to send thousands of troops to the border a “political stunt.”

      Trump before Election Day stoked fears over an approaching group of Central American migrants heading towards the southern border, which he referred to as an “invasion.” He requested the deployment of thousands of troops to the border in a support mission just before Nov. 6.

      Some lawmakers have accused Trump of wasting resources and manpower on the mission, as reports have emerged that the troops are restless and underutilized.

      Thousands of participants in the caravan over the weekend reached Tijuana, Mexico, where they were met with vast protests. Some of the protesters are echoing Trump’s language, calling the group a danger and an invasion, The Associated Press reported.

      Most of the members of the caravan are reportedly escaping rampant poverty and violence in their home countries.

      –-> commentaire sur twitter:

      Just 3 weeks after deployment, Trump’s Pentagon is sending the military home from the border. They’ve served their purpose as the GOP’s 11th hour campaign force. Now we’re stuck with a hundred miles of trashy concertina wire and a $200 million bill.

    • Troops at U.S.-Mexican border to start coming home

      All the troops should be home by Christmas, as originally expected, Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan said in an interview Monday.

      The 5,800 troops who were rushed to the southwest border amid President Donald Trump’s pre-election warnings about a refugee caravan will start coming home as early as this week — just as some of those migrants are beginning to arrive.

      Democrats and Republicans have criticized the deployment as a ploy by the president to use active-duty military forces as a prop to try to stem Republican losses in this month’s midterm elections.

      The general overseeing the deployment told POLITICO on Monday that the first troops will start heading home in the coming days as some are already unneeded, having completed the missions for which they were sent. The returning service members include engineering and logistics units whose jobs included placing concertina wire and other barriers to limit access to ports of entry at the U.S.-Mexico border.

      All the troops should be home by Christmas, as originally expected, Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan said in an interview Monday.

      “Our end date right now is 15 December, and I’ve got no indications from anybody that we’ll go beyond that,” said Buchanan, who leads the land forces of U.S. Northern Command.

      The decision to begin pulling back comes just weeks after Trump ordered the highly unusual deployment.

      In previous cases in which the military deployed to beef up security at the border, the forces consisted of part-time National Guard troops under the command of state governors who backed up U.S. Customs and Border Protection and other law enforcement agencies.

      But the newly deployed troops, most of them unarmed and from support units, come from the active-duty military, a concession the Pentagon made after Trump insisted that the deployment include “not just the National Guard.”

      Buchanan confirmed previous reports that the military had rejected a request from the Department of Homeland Security for an armed force to back up Border Patrol agents in the event of a violent confrontation.

      “That is a law enforcement task, and the secretary of Defense does not have the authority to approve that inside the homeland,” Buchanan said.

      The closure earlier Monday of one entry point along the California border near Tijuana, Mexico, was only partial and did not require more drastic measures, Buchanan said.

      “About half of the lanes were closed this morning, but that’s it,” he reported. “No complete closures.”

      Other ports might be closed fully in the future, he said, but he did not anticipate any need to take more drastic measures.

      “If CBP have reliable information that one of their ports is about to get rushed with a mob, or something like that that could put their agents at risk, they could ask us to completely close the port,” Buchanan said. “You understand the importance of commerce at these ports. Nobody in CBP wants to close a port unless they’re actually driven to do so.”

      The troop deployment should start trailing off as engineer and other logistics troops wind down their mission of building base camps and fortifying ports of entry for the Border Patrol.

      Army and Marine engineers have now emplaced about 75 percent of the obstacles they planned to, including concertina wire, shipping containers, and concrete barriers at ports of entry. “Once we get the rest of the obstacles built, we don’t need to keep all those engineers here. As soon as I’m done with a capability, what I intend to do is redeploy it,” Buchanan said. “I don’t want to keep these guys on just to keep them on.”

      Logistics troops, too, will be among the first to head home. “I will probably ask to start redeploying some of our logistic capability,” Buchanan predicted. “Now that things are set down here, we don’t need as many troops to actually build base camps and things like that, because the base camps are built."

      Among the troops who will remain after construction engineers and logisticians start departing are helicopter pilots, planners, medical personnel, and smaller “quick response” teams of engineers who can help Border Patrol personnel shut down traffic at their ports of entry.

      In contrast to the speed of the deployment in early November and the fanfare surrounding it, the withdrawal promises to be slower and quieter — but Buchanan expects it to be done before Christmas.

      “That doesn’t mean it’s impossible,” he added. “But right now, this is a temporary mission, and we’re tasked to do it until the 15th of December.”

    • Trump’s Border Stunt Is a Profound Betrayal of Our Military

      The president used America’s military not against any real threat but as toy soldiers, with the intent of manipulating a domestic midterm election.

      A week before the midterm elections, the president of the United States announced he would deploy up to 15,000 active duty military troops to the United States-Mexico border to confront a menacing caravan of refugees and asylum seekers. The soldiers would use force, if necessary, to prevent such an “invasion” of the United States.

      Mr. Trump’s announcement and the deployment that followed (of roughly 5,900) were probably perfectly legal. But we are a bipartisan threesome with decades of experience in and with the Pentagon, and to us, this act creates a dangerous precedent. We fear this was lost in the public hand-wringing over the decision, so let us be clear: The president used America’s military forces not against any real threat but as toy soldiers, with the intent of manipulating a domestic midterm election outcome, an unprecedented use of the military by a sitting president.

      The public debate focused on secondary issues. Is there truly a threat to American security from an unarmed group of tired refugees and asylum seekers on foot and a thousand miles from the border? Even the Army’s internal assessment did not find this a very credible threat.

      Can the president deny in advance what could be legitimate claims for asylum, without scrutiny? Most likely, this violates treaty commitments the United States made as part of its agreement to refugee conventions in 1967, which it has followed for decades.

      The deployment is not, in the context of the defense budget, an albatross. We are already paying the troops, wherever they’re deployed, and the actual incremental costs of sending them to the border might be $100 million to $200 million, a tiny fraction of the $716 billion defense budget.

      Still, we can think of many ways to put the funds to better use, like improving readiness.

      It’s also not unusual for a president to ask the troops to deploy to the border in support of border security operations. Presidents of both parties have sent troops to the border, to provide support functions like engineering, logistics, transportation and surveillance.

      But those deployments have been generally in smaller numbers, usually the National Guard, and never to stop a caravan of refugees and asylum seekers.

      So, generously, some aspects of the deployment are at least defensible. But one is not, and that aspect is the domestic political use — or rather, misuse — of the military.

      James Mattis, the secretary of defense, asserted that the Defense Department does not “do stunts.” But this was a blatant political stunt. The president crossed a line — the military is supposed to stay out of domestic politics. As many senior military retirees have argued, the forces are not and should not be a political instrument. They are not toy soldiers to be moved around by political leaders but a neutral institution, politically speaking.
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      Oh, some might say, presidents use troops politically all the time. And so they do, generally in the context of foreign policy decisions that have political implications. Think Lyndon Johnson sending more troops to Vietnam, fearing he would be attacked for “cutting and running” from that conflict. Or George W. Bush crowing about “mission accomplished” when Saddam Hussein was toppled. Those are not the same thing as using troops at home for electoral advantage.

      Electoral gain, not security, is this president’s goal. Two of us served in the military for many years; while all troops must obey the legal and ethical orders of civilian leaders, they need to have faith that those civilian leaders are using them for legitimate national security purposes. But the border deployment put the military right in the middle of the midterm elections, creating a nonexistent crisis to stimulate votes for one party.

      When partisan actions like this occur, they violate civil-military traditions and erode that faith, with potentially long-term damage to the morale of the force and our democratic practice — all for electoral gain.

      The deployment is a stunt, a dangerous one, and in our view, a misuse of the military that should have led Mr. Mattis to consider resigning, instead of acceding to this blatant politicization of America’s military.

    • The Military Is ’Securing’ a 1,900-Mile Border with 22 Miles of Razor Wire

      #Operation_Faithful_Patriot” is nothing more than a very expensive, politically motivated P.R. campaign.
      Skim through the Pentagon’s media site for Operation Faithful Patriot—the fittingly ridiculous name for the deployment of some 7,000 American troops to various spots along the Mexican border—and you’ll see lots of razor wire.

      There are photos of American troops laying razor wire (technically known as concertina wire) along the California-Mexico border. Of wire being affixed to the top of fences and to the sides of buildings. Everywhere you look on the Pentagon’s site, you find wire, wire, and more wire. Photos of soldiers carrying rolls of unused wire, snapshots of forklifts bringing more of the stuff to the border, and even videos of wire being unrolled and deployed. It’s thrilling stuff, truly.

      The message is not subtle. President Donald Trump might not have convinced Congress to blow billions for a fully operational border wall, but good luck to any immigrant caravan that happens to stumble into the thorny might of the American military’s sharpest deterrents.

      The focus on concertina wire isn’t just in the Pentagon’s internal media. The Wall Street Journal dedicated an entire Election Day story to how troops in Granjeno, Texas, had “unfurled reams of razor wire on top of a wrought-iron fence alongside a bridge to Mexico.” Troops stringing wire also appeared in The New York Post, The Washington Post, and elsewhere.

      There is so much concertina wire deployed to the southern border that if it were all stretched out from end to end, it would reach all the way from Brownsville, Texas, on the Gulf Coast to....well, whatever is 22 miles west of Brownsville, Texas.

      Yes. Despite the deluge of photos and videos of American troops are securing the southern border with reams of razor wire, Buzzfeed’s Vera Bergengruen reports that “troops have deployed with 22 miles of the wire so far, with 150 more available.”

      The U.S.–Mexico border is roughly 1,950 miles long.

      The wire doesn’t seem to be getting strung with any sort of strategic purpose, either. That WSJ story about the troops in Texas hanging wire from a bridge says that the “wire was placed on top of fences at least 15 feet high along each side of the bridge that sat several dozen feet above an embankment” while the bridge itself remains open to vehicle traffic from Mexico. If there is a goal, it would seem to be making the border look more prickly and dystopian while not actually creating any sort of barrier.

      It’s no wonder, then, that the troops deployed to the border are confused about why they are there. On Wednesday, when Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited some of the troops stationed near McAllen, Texas, he was met with lots of questions and provided few answers.

      “Sir, I have a question. The wire obstacles that we’ve implanted along the border....Are we going to be taking those out when we leave?” one of the soldiers asked Mattis, according to Bergengruen. Another asked Mattis to explain the “short- and long-term plans of this operation.”

      “Short-term right now, you get the obstacles in so the border patrolmen can do what they gotta do,” Mattis responded. “Longer term, it’s somewhat to be determined.”

      Even at a time when most American military engagements seem to be conducted with a “TBD” rationale, this feels especially egregious. Mattis did his best on Wednesday to make the effort seem like a meaningful attempt to secure the border, while simultaneously admitting that he does not expect the deployed troops to actually come into contact with any immigrant caravans. Lately he’s been talking about how the deployment is supposedly good training for unconventional circumstances.

      It’s becoming increasingly obvious that Operation Faithful Patriot—a name so silly that the Pentagon has decided to stop using it—is nothing more than a very expensive, politically motivated P.R. campaign. Of the 39 units deployed, five of them are public affairs units. There seems to be no clear mission, no long-term objective, and no indication that the troops will add meaningful enforcement to existing border patrols.

      As for all that wire? It doesn’t really seem to be working either.
      #Faithful_Patriot #barbelé