Hole in the Clouds

Tag: war


Jan 5, 2011

 Militarily speaking, the Greek War for Independence from the Ottoman Turks went pretty badly for the Greeks throughout the 1820s. Their first leader, the heroic Alexander Ypsilanti, died in battle almost immediately; his successors were provincial military strongmen who squabbled with one another and could not sustain focus on the overall goal. Even when Greek warriors succeeded in wresting a town or an island from the Turks, they often failed to hold onto it for long, as ships belonging to the Ottoman ally Egypt patrolled the sea and starved out the Greek "victors."

But in the non-military propaganda war, which is what we see here in this 1826 painting by the Belgian-French artist Henri Decaisne, Greece performed magnificently. The philohellenism then fashionable in England, France, and Germany--the worship of all cultural things Greek--kept the war in the Western spotlight and provided the rebels with financial support, Romantic young volunteers, and ultimately military rescue and a Western-imposed peace settlement.

The British navy routed the Turks and Egyptians. Greek armies followed up on the naval victory with another round of attacks on the Turkish-held cities. Finally, in 1830, the crumbling Ottoman regime in Constantinople was forced to accept Western terms for Greek independence.

Decaisne called this painting, "Failed Military Operation."


Greece   exile   war   Lord Byron   Ottoman Empire   (Art by Henri Decaisne)  


Jul 31, 2013

This camp at Zaatari in northern Jordan just marked its first anniversary. Refugees fleeing the Syrian civil war have flooded in so fast that attempts at accurate headcounts have been abandoned. Back in March and April, when the fighting was especially intense, the influx from Syria was estimated at 5,000 to 10,000 new refugees every day.

The current camp population is believed to be approximately 144,000, making Zaatari the fourth largest community in Jordan.

birdseye view   aerial   war   Jordan   Syria   refugees  


Mar 10, 2018

Hundreds of women and children fled their homes in South Sudan in 2016 and hid in this cave for safety from bombs being dropped by warplanes of their own government. Civil war consumed the young country, founded in 2011, reducing almost all of it to rubble and ashes.

Recently, the fighting has mostly abated, but the government is still blocking delivery of food and medical supplies in regions destroyed by war. Famine and massive migrations have resulted.

More than four million refugees have left South Sudan; about 100,000 of them have resettled in the United States, including 3,000 in Portland and Lewiston, Maine.

war   refugees   South Sudan   cave   (Image credit: Adriane Ohanesian)