Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman's "On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society" is a fascinating work. It's required reading for much of the American military officers and law enforcement personnel. There's many counter-intuitive points in there, including that the vast majority (approximately 80%) of soldiers during the American Civil War and World War II never actually fired with the intent of hitting the enemy.
This paragraph stood out to me -
[In Dr. Jerome Frank's] Sanity and Survival in the Nuclear Age, […] he points out that civil wars are usually more bloody, prolonged, and unrestrained than other types of war. And Peter Watson, in War on the Mind, points out that "deviant behavior by members of our own group is perceived as more disturbing and produces stronger retaliation than that of others with whom we are less involved." We need only look at the intensity of aggression between different Christian factions in Europe across the centuries, or the infighting between the major Islamic sects in the Middle East, or the conflict between Leninist, Maoist, and Trotskyist Communists, or the horror in Rwanda and other African tribal battles, to confirm this fact.
Another nugget from Grossman: “You are only as sick as your secrets" intersects nicely with radical honesty.
This doesn't really surprise me. People who are fond of procedures and strict order are inherently violently averse to >other< people in their direct environment being unruly. It's typical of a pocedural (and rigid) mind to impose their views and value system on others. It's also common of such a person to gain a position of influence, thanks to their discipline. This type of mind generally ends up defining and shaping strict-order-based organisations (such as the military).
By the way, I love the new look&feel of your blog! :)
Happy new year!
I am hoping you would share your resources for your reading on Japanese history. Book titles and/or urls would be very helpful.
I got that a week ago, and I kind of sat there staring at the email. Japanese history is some of the most confusing to start to learn, because different elements of Japanese history and culture all play on and influence each other. I could run you through the military history of Japan from The Battle of Okehazama to Sekigahara to the Boshin War, from there into Dai Nippon Tekoku Era, from there into defeat and the Occupation under McArthur, and then we could do a little post-war history.
After beheading David Haines, a few people saw the message as provoking American and its allies to war. Yet, President Obama had given no indication of waging or not waging war. He continued to push his of ideas supporting the opposition of ISIS in the area to do the job. David Cameron, UK Prime Minister, was outraged by Haines' execution and vowed to bring justice. Although Obama pledged his support to Cameron, the scale in which forces were deployed were not in tandem with the expectation of the American public. The people wanted something to the magnitude of the "war on terror" type of deployment.
There is no doubt that ISIS wants to engage the US and its allies. They see this as a revenge for their predecessor, the Al-Qaeda. They tried to push the agitation further by setting up forum offering a tutorial on bomb-making to attack American high-profile tourist locations. New York, Las Vegas and Texas were the proposed targets. The purpose is to stir up sentiment to provoke a full scale attack as such threats would cause panic to the residents of these locations.