Since ancient times, putting fear into the hearts of your opponents — essentially inspiring ‘shock and awe’ — as a way of weakening them mentally and emotionally have been standard tools of warfare. The photo below (explained in the linked article) would certainly be an excellent example of this practice.
Viral: Eerie photo of French soldier in Mali upsets military officials
Why this photo should “upset” military officials is beyond me. Frightening your enemies so they put up less resistance and even run away is an old, standard military tactic. It’s even, perhaps, ‘kind’ in the sense that scaring them away may be more merciful than killing them in the field (unless you choose to slaughter them in retreat, of course).
In any case, given the bloody butchery inherent in war, scary masks should be the least of any military’s concerns. Heck, maybe the French should even consider using this as a recruiting poster.
Rachel Maddow is one of the best “explainers” I’ve ever seen on television, let alone on a news show, and (as I too often remind folks when I make a statement like this) I’m no spring chicken.
After the Japan earthquake and tsunami in March of this year led to radioactive disasters at a half-dozen nuclear power plants, the most lucid, informative and understandable lay explanations of the crisis — the causes, technologies involved, dangers, etc. — were without question done by Rachel Maddow.
She’s also really good at focusing her attention on important stories — or angles on important stories — which might otherwise escape our notice.
Now she has done it again with a unique discussion of Osama bin Laden, and the strategy which was at the root of his style of asymmetrical warfare against the United States. Continue reading →