from the world's big
Soldiers Speak About the Unspeakable
Question: Which stories\r\nfrom your conversations with soldiers stood out?\r\n\r\n
Nancy Sherman:\r\nTwo stories—two or three really come to mind. So,\r\n one story is by a guy who I worked with at the Wilson\r\nCenter in Washington D.C., he was a Tech Support and he had just come \r\nback from\r\nIraq and found out I was working on this book, and he said he had wanted\r\n to go\r\nto Afghanistan in the early part of these wars. He\r\n thought that was a cause he could believe in. He\r\n had fought in Bosnia and really felt\r\nthat that was an important cause. \r\nHe was called up for Iraq. \r\nHe is part of the Reserves, he’s an older guy, he is now in his\r\nmid-fifties. He’s called “Pop” by\r\nhis troops, but he couldn’t believe in the war, so he said he felt\r\nsuckered. And that was a really\r\npotent word for me. One of those\r\nmoral words, it meant betrayed. \r\nAnd he said for your upper echelon to sucker you in that way is a\r\n hard\r\npill to swallow. And he has sad\r\neyes, a bit of melancholic appearance. \r\nAnd I thought about it and what he really meant was that he—and \r\nhe\r\nsaid, "I’m patriotic, I would go again, there’s no doubt, you don’t let \r\nyour\r\nother comrades go and you stay back—you go. And I\r\n would do it again. And I don’t care if it’s a \r\nDemocrat or a Republican, but to\r\nbe suckered like that." And in his\r\ncase, he was looking for WMD’s or at least part of a war movement, part \r\nof the\r\nforces that were there because of them, and he felt it was a story that \r\nhe\r\ncouldn’t believe.\r\n\r\n
And he would say, “I collected body parts.” That’s what you hear and we don’t see\r\nit on TV much, or we don’t see the images of charred body parts and our \r\nfellow\r\nsoldiers are collecting them and bagging them and smelling it afterward,\r\n and\r\nthe sense that—and he said, “I was almost killed. My\r\n buddy was killed. \r\nBut I can’t believe in the reason.” So \r\nthat dis-sync, that dissidence between a cause and the\r\nmost upright conduct, and a sense of betrayal I think was really potent \r\nfor\r\nme.\r\n\r\n
Another story is from a different side of the war; \r\nand\r\nthat’s interrogation. We think of\r\ninterrogation often in terms of torture. \r\nThat’s been a national debate, are we a country that allows our\r\nsoldiers, our military interrogators to torture? Do\r\n we torture? \r\nAnd not only is it useful, which most people say, no, but is it \r\nmoral,\r\nirrespective of utility?\r\n\r\n
I have a student at Georgetown who I learned was in\r\n Abu\r\nGhraib, an interrogator at Abu Ghraib for the Army, in the clean-up act. And so, I said, did you do anything\r\nthat you felt awkward about, or that you didn’t feel good about. And I was expecting really quite frank\r\ndiscussion of some things that might have verged on waterboarding, or \r\nmaybe\r\nsome sleep deprivation. And he\r\ntold me three things that you might say showed a side of his \r\nsensitivity, but\r\nwere things that he really worried about.\r\n\r\n
One was, he would turn the screw on one of his \r\ndetainees\r\nwhen he couldn’t get him to talk and remind him of his adulterous \r\ninfidelities,\r\nwhich really made this detainee feel awful. But \r\nit kind of brought him down to feel like he had to start\r\ntalking because he had sort of been—his guard was off.\r\n\r\n
The second case had to do with, he had a Sunni and a\r\n Shiite\r\ndetainee and they were both in solitary for a while and they both were \r\ndying\r\nfor recreation and he put the two of these to men together out in\r\nrecreation. It was as good as if\r\nthey were still in solitary confinement.\r\n\r\n
The third incident was someone, a woman, fell in \r\nlove with\r\nhim, or at least showed signs of falling for him. And\r\n so there was a sense in this case of, he did everything\r\nthe right way interrogators are supposed to build intimacy, build \r\nrapport in\r\norder to exploit it, and to exploit it and to manipulate it and to use \r\nhis\r\npower so, so rawly, just rubbed him the wrong way afterward where it \r\nleft\r\nresidue, moral residue you might say, or a moral remnant, a remainder. And he would do it again, and he knows\r\nit was absolutely right as a soldier, or as a military interrogator. But it’s not something he would ever do\r\nto his friends.\r\n\r\n
And so that dis-sync, lack of synchrony between \r\nwhat you do\r\nin uniform and what you would do as a civilian is often the soldiers I \r\nspeak to\r\nand in his case, it wasn’t about fighting for survival or victory, which\r\n is\r\nwhat a ground soldier might explain, but rather in his case, what he was\r\n living\r\nwith was power. The power trip. And\r\nthat he could reduce someone to a sort of abject servility almost, and \r\nthen\r\nmanipulate them. That’s a hard\r\nfeeling to live with. And yet, he\r\ndid what was required, his duty, and honorable conduct in the military, \r\nbut\r\nleaves a residue as a civilian.\r\n\r\n
Question: Did the soldier\r\nfeel guiltier about psychological torture?\r\n\r\n
Nancy Sherman:\r\nThat’s right, it wasn’t physical. \r\nIt was all about emotional manipulation. Good\r\n rapport building is to find the emotional soft spots\r\nand then to just dig, dig, dig and what was fascinating about this \r\nindividual\r\nis that he has a conscience and he didn’t leave his conscience behind. He didn’t check it out. He \r\nbrought it to the interrogation\r\ncell. But, you have to leave it\r\nbehind a tiny bit, so there are moments when he said he would come out \r\nafter\r\neight hours and kind of laugh and say, “I really finally got that guy to\r\n talk.” One case he showed him pictures of\r\nfamily members who had been killed in an explosion by a rival tribe, and\r\n upon\r\nreflection he thought, that was an awful way to deal with the hardship I\r\ninflicted on him. Yes, it’s about\r\nemotional suffering, psychological suffering, but even in the case of \r\nextremes\r\nof torture, it’s often about psychological torture, it’s not just about \r\nburning\r\npeople, or pulling off their fingernails, old-fashioned style.
From mangled bodies to the twisted psychological world of Abu Ghraib, the stories Middle East veterans tell Nancy Sherman reveal a side of war not shown on TV.
Sallie Krawcheck and Bob Kulhan will be talking money, jobs, and how the pandemic will disproportionally affect women's finances.
Health officials in China reported that a man was infected with bubonic plague, the infectious disease that caused the Black Death.
- The case was reported in the city of Bayannur, which has issued a level-three plague prevention warning.
- Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
- Chinese health officials are also monitoring a newly discovered type of swine flu that has the potential to develop into a pandemic virus.
Bacteria under microscope
needpix.com<p>Today, bubonic plague can be treated effectively with antibiotics.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">Healthline</a>. "We know how to prevent it — avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where there is transmission. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick."</p>
This plague patient is displaying a swollen, ruptured inguinal lymph node, or buboe.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<p>Still, hundreds of people develop bubonic plague every year. In the U.S., a handful of cases occur annually, particularly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html" target="_blank">where habitats allow the bacteria to spread more easily among wild rodent populations</a>. But these cases are very rare, mainly because you need to be in close contact with rodents in order to get infected. And though plague can spread from human to human, this <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">only occurs with pneumonic plague</a>, and transmission is also rare.</p>
A new swine flu in China<p>Last week, researchers in China also reported another public health concern: a new virus that has "all the essential hallmarks" of a pandemic virus.<br></p><p>In a paper published in the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/23/1921186117" target="_blank">Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</a>, researchers say the virus was discovered in pigs in China, and it descended from the H1N1 virus, commonly called "swine flu." That virus was able to transmit from human to human, and it killed an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people worldwide from 2009 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p>There's no evidence showing that the new virus can spread from person to person. But the researchers did find that 10 percent of swine workers had been infected by the virus, called G4 reassortant EA H1N1. This level of infectivity raises concerns, because it "greatly enhances the opportunity for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses," the researchers wrote.
The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.
- The terms 'education' and 'learning' are often used interchangeably, but there is a cultural connotation to the former that can be limiting. Education naturally links to schooling, which is only one form of learning.
- Gregg Behr, founder and co-chair of Remake Learning, believes that this small word shift opens up the possibilities in terms of how and where learning can happen. It also becomes a more inclusive practice, welcoming in a larger, more diverse group of thinkers.
- Post-COVID, the way we think about what learning looks like will inevitably change, so it's crucial to adjust and begin building the necessary support systems today.
Scientists uncovered the secrets of what drove some of the world's last remaining woolly mammoths to extinction.
Every summer, children on the Alaskan island of St Paul cool down in Lake Hill, a crater lake in an extinct volcano – unaware of the mysteries that lie beneath.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.
- Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
- New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
- Crisis times tend to increase self-centered acts.