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Euphemisms, acronyms and outright lies: The language of war

For decades, politicians referred to the Korean War as the ‘Korean Conflict,’ as if the soldiers who fought and died on the battlefields of the disputed peninsula were somehow less soldierly or less dead if killed by conflict rather than war. Some 2.5 million people died in the Koreas between 1950 and 1953, including...
  • Reginald Wise: Saviour of Easter Sunday, 1945

    November 28, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    It was Easter Sunday and April Fool’s Day, 1945—the day that Corporal Reginald Wise, who was no fool and no martyr either, would cheat death. More than once. Wise and the rest of his Royal Marine commandos were advancing on a German position in Northern...
  • Scattering Canada’s armed forces

    November 27, 2018 by David J. Bercuson
    The Canadian military seems to be spread all over these days. During its deployment in Afghanistan, most of Canada’s non-North American military effort, especially that of the army, was focused almost exclusively on that mission. That was in keeping with the views of then Chief...
  • The seizing of Europe’s bells

    November 21, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    The bells that rang out across allied nations after the First World War ended what for many had been a four-year silence enforced by regulation in some places and imposed by confiscation in others. In Germany and across Europe, tens of thousands of bronze bells—some...
  • Inside Afghanistan: Politics, war and buzkashi

    November 14, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Few can claim a national game as violent or influential as Afghanistan has in buzkashi. The country in which Canadian soldiers fought for 13 years is home to a deceptively complex society. And buzkashi (pronounced ‘BOO-skeh-shee’), which dates to the times of Genghis Khan, is...
  • Inside Afghanistan: Remember the Afghan translator

    November 9, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    The night letters started arriving at his parents’ home in Afghanistan’s Helmand province soon after Ahmad Sajad Kazimi took a job translating for Canadian and other NATO forces fighting the war on terror. “Tell your son to quit his job and stop working for coalition forces,” one said....
  • Inside Afghanistan: Life and the art of the barter

    October 31, 2018 by Stephen J. Thorne
    Over the course of three Canadian army tours in their parched and war-ravaged homeland, Alex Watson came to know and respect the long-suffering Afghan people for their courage, resilience, devotion and unfailing courtesy. As a CiMiC (civilian-military co-operation) officer and later as a company commander...
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