I was watching "55 Days in Peking" again when this dialogue struck me...

  • Empress Tzu Hsi: China is a prostrate cow, the powers are no longer content to milk her, now they are butchering her for her meat.
  • Sir Arthur Robertson: If China is a cow, your Majesty, she is indeed a marvelous animal. She does not only give meat as well as milk, but at the same time grows stronger. She's learning new arts of peace from the West. But China's greatest virtue is her patience. And if she will exercise that now, she will achieve everything.
  • Empress Tzu Hzi: And if not?
  • Sir Arthur Robertson: If not, if the counsels of violence and impatience prevail, then the blood of millions will be shed, and the agony will be prolonged.
  • I wonder if China's leaders remember the lessons of history as they pursue their policies in the South China Sea. I hope though that their leadership would not inspire and support a new group of "boxers."
Crimea: Where War Photography Was Born

With the great historical crossroads Crimea suddenly very much back in the news — as Russian troops tighten their hold on the Ukrainian peninsula and the United States and its allies threaten to “isolate” Russia over the escalating crisis — LIFE.com takes a look back at another, long-ago conflict in the region through a singular lens: namely, that of the very earliest war photography.
The Crimean War of the 1850s, after all, was arguably where the genre was born, with British photographers like Roger Fenton (1819 – 1869) and James Robertson (1813 – 1888), the Italian-British Felice Beato (1832 – 1909) and the Austro-Hungarian Carol Szathmari (1812 – 1887) making what most historians consider the very first photographs of a major military conflict. Their pictures might lack the often-brutal drama of modern war photography, but they nevertheless serve as compelling documentation of the look and, in a sense, the logistics of mid-19th century warfare. Within a few years, Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner and others would document the American Civil War more thoroughly and graphically than Fenton, Robertson, Beato or any others managed in Crimea — a clear indication of how rapidly photography took hold as a critical method of reportage.
Read more…

Hand in hand with war photography, war correspondence (or what we now call conflict journalism) was also born during the Crimean War.

Crimea: Where War Photography Was Born

With the great historical crossroads Crimea suddenly very much back in the news — as Russian troops tighten their hold on the Ukrainian peninsula and the United States and its allies threaten to “isolate” Russia over the escalating crisis — LIFE.com takes a look back at another, long-ago conflict in the region through a singular lens: namely, that of the very earliest war photography.

The Crimean War of the 1850s, after all, was arguably where the genre was born, with British photographers like Roger Fenton (1819 – 1869) and James Robertson (1813 – 1888), the Italian-British Felice Beato (1832 – 1909) and the Austro-Hungarian Carol Szathmari (1812 – 1887) making what most historians consider the very first photographs of a major military conflict. Their pictures might lack the often-brutal drama of modern war photography, but they nevertheless serve as compelling documentation of the look and, in a sense, the logistics of mid-19th century warfare. Within a few years, Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner and others would document the American Civil War more thoroughly and graphically than Fenton, Robertson, Beato or any others managed in Crimea — a clear indication of how rapidly photography took hold as a critical method of reportage.

Read more…

Hand in hand with war photography, war correspondence (or what we now call conflict journalism) was also born during the Crimean War.

On Russia…

 panchodelaluna said: 

Hi kimmy! russia i think is displaying muscles there is already a semi invasion… i pray that this will not end up in civil war…

Yep, it seems that way. It’s certainly trying to make sure that the new government in Ukraine will not issue policies which will be detrimental to Russia’s (Putin’s) interests.

The developments in Ukraine and how Russia is reacting seem to remind me of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution - where the Hungarians replaced their government with one of their liking, only to be crushed by the (then Soviet) Russians who felt that their power was being challenged by a mere satellite state.

It remains to be seen though how Russia will conduct itself in the next few days. Unlike what happened with Hungary then, the world is watching this time closely. But I do hope that the international community will not sit idly by as Russia moves in to reinstate a leader in Ukraine of its own liking. Back in ‘56, the world did nothing.

I hope things are better where you are my friend.