Plain Text Transmissions

A Rumor of War by Philip Caputo

I recently re-read this book for a second time. As before, I read it entranced but also with a great sense of unease. This time around Marine Lieutenant Caputo’s memoir had a bit more color, as I have been thinking of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. In both the Vietnam War and the current Russian invasion, the aggressor’s soldiers were were (1) misled about why they were there, and; (2) ended up doing atrocious things to survive.…
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Hannah Arendt on the Subject of Totalitarianism

Hannah Arendt, in the Origins of Totalitarianism, wrote: The compulsion of total terror on one side, which with its iron band presses masses of isolated men together and supports them in a world which has become a wilderness for them, and the self coercive force of logical deduction on the other, which prepares each individual in his lonely isolation against all others, correspond to each other and need each other in order to set the terror-ruled movement into motion and keep it moving.…
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Colombian Ex-President Uribe should be given due process

Two Colombian lawyers, Pedro Pizano and Andrés Manosalva, wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times Spanish edition last week, wherein they described a potential political and legal inflection point in Colombia. Ex-president Álvaro Uribe has been placed under house arrest to inhibit his potential ability to tamper with witnesses in a case against him. The prosecution argues that his lawyer has threatened and bribed witnesses in a legal case against him.…
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