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But justice? As long as the killers are alive – however old they are, however long ago their crimes were committed – justice would seem to be served by punishment. John Demjanjuk’s trial in Germany this year is a case in point. Reconciliations and amnesties are a postponement of justice in the hope that the victims’ relatives will die off and their descendants will lose all interest in the outrages of the past. Unlikely. Who now remembers the Armenians, Hitler asked? Millions of people, is my reply.
Robert Fisk (Article-Prosecuting War Crimes?)
All of us bare some responsibility to do something, nothing big, nothing heroic, even something small, because great social movements are made up of very small actions undertaken by very large numbers of people which at certain points in history come together to bring about change.
Howard Zinn  (via zeitgeistmovement)



“In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful. The government assures the people that they are in danger from the invasion of another nation, or from foes in their midst, and that the only way to escape this danger is by the slavish obedience of the people to their government. This fact is seen most prominently during revolutions and dictatorships, but it exists always and everywhere that the power of the government exists. Every government explains its existence, and justifies its deeds of violence, by the argument that if it did not exist the condition of things would be very much worse. After assuring the people of its danger the government subordinates it to control, and when in this condition compels it to attack some other nation. And thus the assurance of the government is corroborated in the eyes of the people, as to the danger of attack from other nations.”

-Leo Tolstoy, in Christianity and Patriotism (1895)

The state they arrive in is shocking: you get used to seeing skinny children, but it gets me when they have the look of an old man’s face, typical of marasmus [severe malnutrition]. The saddest thing is to hear the refugees’ distress when they arrive and realise that the response is still slow in preparation for these arrivals.

Alice Gude, a nurse for Médecins sans Frontières, described the condition of the children who have been coming daily to one of the charity’s clinics there.

Ethiopia Counts the Cost of East Africa’s Crisis..

Sixty-six years ago, Hiroshima was turned into a burning inferno as the Americans dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city.

Keijiro Matsushima was 16 years old when he witnessed the attack which claimed roughly 100,000 lives in one day.

He recalls how August 6, 1945, was a beautiful day, with a blue sky. Matsushima had returned to school only a week earlier, after he and his peers were mobilised to work for a year and a half in a factory producing military uniforms.

At 8.15 in the morning, his class had just started. He was listening to his teacher explaining a question on differential and integral calculus.

I was looking out through the window and saw two American B-29 bombers. I just thought ‘American planes again’, assuming they were out for some routine work.

When he looked back at his books, the bomb exploded. 

There was a very strong flash and a heat wave. The whole world turned into something orange. I felt like I was thrown into an oven for a moment”.

Later, he learned that temperatures on the ground near the hypocentre, 2km from his school, had reached at least 3,000 degrees centigrade.

The flash was followed by a loud boom. Until now, Matsushima doesn’t know whether it was the sound of the explosion or of collapsing buildings.

I covered my ears and eyes and jumped under the desk," he says.

It was pitch black, I could see nothing. So many boys in the room, but no one screamed.

"There was a deadly silence. I was crawling around, thinking ‘help me mother, help me Buddha’. It was the first time I prayed to Buddha."

Matsushima describes himself as one of the most fortunate survivors. He got some cut wounds from glass splinters, but suffered no serious injuries.

 ”I thought it had been just one bomb. But when I got out, I was shocked to see that all buildings had been hit. I was thinking, ‘just two planes, what did they do?

One of his friends had a big cut in his head. Matsushima covered the wound with a piece of textile and supported his friend as they walked slowly towards the nearby Red Cross hospital.

Buildings were on fire and the two boys met scores of injured people walking along the tram tracks, away from the mayhem in the heart of the city.

Their hair stood up straight. Some had lost their hair," Matsushima recalls.

Some were so badly burned from head to toe, their skin peeling from their heads. Their clothes were burned, some were almost naked.

"I thought to myself, ‘Hiroshima is dying’.

I could see red muscle under their skin. They held their arms forward, all of them, maybe because of the wounds. They were walking slowly in a long line, hundreds of them, like a procession of ghosts.

But a lot of people could walk no more.

People were crawling towards the river, crying out for water to cool their burns. But many died on the river banks or drowned. The river was full of bodies.

Matsushima says the Red Cross hospital had also been damaged in the blast, and only a few doctors and nurses, themselves wounded, were struggling to treat hundreds of injured.

Realising that there was no help to get, Matsushima walked away with his friend, who was fortunate enough to be picked by a rescue truck and taken to a hospital outside the city.

Within 2km of the hypocentre, most buildings were completely burned and destroyed.

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I don’t believe you can see what’s beyond the edge unless you put your head over it; I’ve many times been right up to the precipice, not even a foot or an inch away. That’s the only place to be if you’re going to see and show what suffering really means… I’ve spent fourteen years getting on and off aeroplanes and photographing other people’s conflicts. I will never get on another aeroplane and go photograph another country’s war.
Don McCullin (a War Photographer)…

Somali men carry a severely malnourished child, under the instruction of a African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) peacekeeper, from a camp for internally displaced people to the peacekeeping operations headquarters where the child was admitted for emergency medical treatment, in this handout photograph provided by the African Union-United Nations Information Support Team, in Mogadishu July 15, 2011. 

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