Who is Israel? How the National Character of Israeli Shapes our World

The Israeli Mind; Who is Israel?

by Alon Gratch

War, Peace and other Cycles of Change

Perhaps the best metaphor for change and how Israelis are affected by it was provided by the second Palestinian intifada (2000–2005), during certain periods of which suicide bombings took place almost daily deep inside Israel’s population centers. In a typical sequence of events, a Palestinian bomber would detonate himself in a crowded Israeli café, shopping mall, or market; blood and pieces of human flash would splash across tables, clothing racks, or trees; emergency police and medical teams would arrive to evacuate the injured and dead; media vans with television cameras and journalists would appear; special, religious SWAT teams would collect body parts and tissue residues; cleaning crews would wash floors, walls, and furniture; and in a short time, sometimes within a day or two, the establishment would open its doors for business as usual as if nothing had ever happened. Read more ›

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Posted in Contemporary History, Modern History

Zero Night: The 5 Forgotten Great Escapes of World War II

Zero Night

Mark Felton

Fans of the 1963 movie The Great Escape know that it was based on the real-life wartime escape of 76 Allied POWs from Stalag Luft III in Poland. But it wasn’t the only ‘Great Escape’ of World War II. Both before and after The Great Escape there were attempts to get out large numbers of men from German POW camps, using many different and ingenious methods. Here are some of the great escapes of World War II: Read more ›

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Posted in Military History

Base Nation – U.S. Military Bases Worldwide

Base Nation; The Empire Project

by David Vine

An introduction to the American Empire Project

From a hilltop at the Guantánamo Bay naval station, you can look down on a secluded part of the base bordered by the Caribbean Sea. There you’ll see thick coils of razor wire, guard towers, search lights, and concrete barriers. This is the U.S. prison that has garnered so much international attention and controversy, with so many prisoners held for years without trial. But the prison facilities take up only a few acres of the forty-five-square-mile naval station. Most of the base looks nothing like the detention center. Instead, the landscape features suburban-style housing developments, a golf course, and recreational boating facilities. This part of the base has received much less attention than the prison. Yet in its own way, it is far more important for understanding who we are as a country and how we relate to the rest of the world. Read more ›

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Posted in Military History

Behind The Mask: Vita Sackville-West

Sissinghurst Castle; Vita Sackville-West

by Matthew Dennison

Every Tolkien fan remembers Lobelia Sackville-Baggins. Rapacious, uppity, with a formidable temper and a keen eye for desirable possessions, Lobelia is among the terrors of the Shire. Married to Bilbo Baggins’s cousin Otho, she covets Bilbo’s house, Bag End. She covets generally, in particular Bilbo’s silver spoons. Read more ›

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Posted in Modern History

Life of a CIA Polygrapher: Ready Aim…. Part 2

Life of Lies and Spies, Airport Security

by Alan Trabue

Chapter 1: Ready Aim…. Part 2

I watched another soldier approach to assist the screaming soldier who seemed ready to shoot me. The two spoke excitedly. The second soldier started poking around the contents of my opened polygraph instrument. Chains, tubing, cuffs, finger plates, and ink bottles—it was a playground for a curious mind. He flipped switches and turned knobs. What an incredibly stupid thing to do if the instrument had actually been a bomb. Read more ›

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Posted in Military History

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