Oct 29 (3/12): State Terror: Not a Bug


The filming and distribution of atrocities by the side committing the atrocities is a fascinating development to me. I’m reading a history of war reporting and up until very recently, “atrocity propaganda,” true or not, was something nations used against their opponents. Nations have tended to cover-up atrocities their soldiers commit or blame them on the enemy. And made up atrocities to blame on the enemy.

Other than terrorist groups, who are by definition in the terrorize-the-enemy-civilians business, has it ever happened that nations have, in effect, bragged about committing war crimes? I mean in modern times, say, since 1800.

Turkey just hit the water supply of a town with a refugee camp?

How’s that for an answer?

That doesn’t really answer your question though, does it? ;) :unsure:

RIC also reporting that Russians have been injured by Turkish forces. That’s obviously a big deal if true.***

But, as per your implications above that there aren’t the kind of repercussions for things we’d normally expect, I really don’t know how anyone is going to respond to that.

***But how should Russia respond? A violent attack could rip apart their best laid plans, especially if it was a stupid accident.


If this is a digression we can break it out to its own thread or continue via PM. My hot take hypothesis on this phenomenon — nations broadcasting their own soldiers’ atrocities — is that the world has become anesthetized to terrorism. States have always used terror, but have been checked somewhat by public opinion, donestic and international. So they’ve been careful to deny using terror and have gone to great lengths to cover it up. But now, some nations, like Turkey apparently, have calculated that if there’s no downside cost, domestically or internationally, publicizing state terrorism and atrocities against civilians magnifies its effectiveness.

(The irony is that Turkey still adamantly denies the Armenian genocide and is extraordinarily touchy when it’s brought up.)

So if Turkish soldiers bayonet babies, who’s going to do anything about it? Trump? The EU? The UN? Even if there is some short-term slap-on-the-wrist, Erdogan will never end up on trial in The Hague. Only small-state losers are ever arrested, charged and tried.

If only they had some means to send a message. Like, online maybe.

So, I wonder what the Twitters are saying.

Nobody trolls like the Russians.

matrix fields neo


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