Female models pose for Japanese military calendar

Scanned images of the 2014 calendar for Japan Self-Defense Forces, featuring some pretty models and actresses to “boost morale” of the military forces. Not sure if it’s an annual practise or a one off thing; the 2014 girls are Anna Konno, Azusa Yamamoto, Narumi Konno, Erina Matsui, Mai Fuchigami, Mai Hakase and Rina Nagai…

Anna Konno Japanese military calendar 2014

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Black Friday for Somali pirates

January 21 was a bad day for the Somali pirates as two of their hijacks were thwarted by the Malaysian and South Korean navies.

The Malaysian navy commandos rescued a Malaysian chemical tanker and its 23 crew members in the Gulf of Aden just after midnight following a distress signal from the vessel. A total of 18 pirates were captured, three being injured.

Hours later in a separate operation, the Korean navy special forces stomped a vessel which was hijacked on January 15 in the Arabian Sea and rescued its 21-person crew. Eight pirates were killed and five were captured.

There’s no serious injuries among the navies and crews. Job well done for both, which were aided by the fact that most of those less equipped Somali pirates had decided to surrender instead of going berserk.

The piracy off the Somali coast has been a threat to international shipping for the past few years. Some countries have sent out military escorts for their cargo vessels as countermeasure, which together with other anti-piracy efforts, have managed to reduce the piracy activities in 2010.

The bad news is that the piracy activities will not be completely halted despite the fresh setbacks. There’s other complicated social-political issues involved.

Wikileaks Iraq War Logs

Whistleblowers’ website Wikileaks has released the Iraq War Logs, with 391,832 reports documenting the war and occupation in Iraq, from 1st January 2004 to 31st December 2009, as told by soldiers in the United States Army.

The reports detail 109,032 deaths in Iraq, comprised of 66,081 ‘civilians’ (is 31 civilians dying every day); 23,984 ‘enemy’ (those labelled as insurgents); 15,196 ‘host nation’ (Iraqi government forces) and 3,771 ‘friendly’ (coalition forces).

The original logs are hardly accessible due to Wikileaks’ heavy website traffic; there are too much data to digest anyway… I suggest you to check the intro articles at Guardian and NYtimes to catch what the document is about.

As expected there’s accusations of war crimes being ignored etc… but lots of the time the line between right or wrong is blurred during war. War is the demon itself. Don’t blame the soldiers… but those who caused the war instead.