Two explosions rocked Syria’s Aleppo University on Tuesday, the very first day of the school’s exams, and it looks like it was carried out by way of a jet loyal to Bashar al-Assad.
[Images: SANA/ AP]
Twenty-one months after the conflict in Syria began as a popular uprising, rebel forces are making gains, tactics are changing, and the threat of chemical warfare has made an appearance. Syrian rebels reached a level of cooperation, forming a single entity — the Syrian National Coalition. The alliance has received recognition from Arab states and support from NATO members in its goal of unseating Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad, and replacing his government. But U.S. intelligence reports have noted activity within Syrian government-controlled chemical weapons facilities, and President Barack Obama has warned that the use of such weapons against rebels would cross a “red line.” There are signs that al-Assad’s hold on power is slipping as rebels gain ground and support, and even Russia, a longtime ally, has reportedly sent ships to the Syrian coast for a possible evacuation of Russian citizens. Collected here are images of this bloody conflict from just the past few weeks.
See more. [Images: AP, Reuters, Getty]
Would the Syrian rebels have proven a better choice for Time’s ‘Person of the Year’?
147 Years Ago Today, the U.S. Outlawed Slavery
Happy birthday, 13th Amendment! In honor of the anniversary, here’s a collection of excellent stories from The Atlantic’s archives.
- Where Will It End? (Dec. 1857): In The Atlantic’s second issue, Edmund Quincy urges readers to take a stand against slavery. “It is only the statement of the truism in moral and in political economy,” he wrote, “that true prosperity can never grow up from wrong and wickedness.”
- American Civilization (Apr. 1862): Ralph Waldo Emerson’s vehement argument for the federal emancipation of slaves. “Morality,” above all else, he asserted, “is the object of government.”
- The President’s Proclamation (Nov. 1862): Seven months later, Emerson hails Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation as an act that would mean “the lives of our heroes have not been sacrificed in vain.”
- Reconstruction, and an Appeal to Impartial Suffrage (Dec. 1866): In the same month the 13th Amendment was adopted, Frederick Douglass pushed lawmakers to grant black Americans the vote: “Slavery is not abolished until the black man has the ballot.”
- The Death of Slavery (Jul. 1866): William Cullen Bryant’s stirring poem about the demise of the “cruel reign” of slavery.
This is a very, very incomplete collection of stories from the era about slavery. (We were, after all, an abolitionist magazine.) For more, take a look at the commemorative Civil War issue we published last year.
[Image: Wikimedia Commons/National Archives]
While much recent media attention has been focused on Hurricane Sandy and America’s presidential election, Syria’s horrific civil war continues. In some places, it has worsened. Aerial bombardment of civilian neighborhoods, deadly sniper fire, brutal street fighting, assassinations, and summary executions have become the norm in Syria. Cease-fire agreements have collapsed, rebel forces remain disorganized, foreign intervention is still hamstrung, and no path to peace appears to be forming yet. Britain is now reportedly looking for options to circumvent an arms embargo in order to supply rebels with weaponry. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remains defiant, stating in an interview with Russia Today that he planned “live and die in Syria,” adding, “I am tougher than Gaddafi.” Collected here are images of this bloody conflict from just the past few weeks.
See more. [Images: AP, Reuters, Getty]
Warfare and chaos have come to the ancient streets of Aleppo, Syria’s largest city. Rebel groups battling Syrian government forces moved into the metropolis in recent weeks, in an effort to liberate it from the control of Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad. Fierce street battles and air attacks followed, leaving behind a shattered city, strewn with charred rubble and bodies in many places. An estimated 30,000 Syrians have already been killed in the past 18 months of civil war, and as many as 700,000 will have fled the country by the end of 2012, according to the United Nations.
See more. [Images: AP, Reuters]
On this week in 1863, the celebrated Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was returning from a nighttime reconnaissance ride near Chancellorsville, Virginia, when he was mistakenly shot by his own camp’s picket guards. On May 2, Jackson’s wounded arm was amputated; Jackson’s chaplain, Beverley Tucker Lacy, buried it the next day in a nearby family graveyard. Seemingly on the mend, Stonewall Jackson was removed far behind the battle lines to recuperate at Fairfield Plantation, but his condition soon worsened. Stonewall Jackson died eight days later, on May 10, 1863, of pneumonia.
General Robert E. Lee assessed the gravity of the situation for himself and the army when he first heard of Jackson’s amputation. “William,” Lee declared to his cook, “I have lost my right arm. I’m bleeding at the heart.”
The spot where Jackson was shot is marked today by a large boulder, just behind the Chancellorsville battlefield visitor center, and the outbuilding at Fairfield plantation where Jackson died is known to this day as the Stonewall Jackson Shrine. His lost limb is buried in a graveyard off the main Chancellorsville battlefield, at what was then Ellwood Plantation. Among the unmarked graves of men and women, mothers and sons, there is one monument—to an arm.
Read more. [Image: U.S. Park Service]
Lincoln is a president I turn to often. From time to time, I’ll walk over to the Lincoln Bedroom and reread the handwritten Gettysburg Address encased in glass, or reflect on the Emancipation Proclamation, which hangs in the Oval Office, or pull a volume of his writings from the library in search of lessons to draw.
Always thoughtful, always eloquent, Lincoln’s writings speak to me as they speak to so many Americans, reminding us what is best about ourselves and the Union he saved: that though we may have our differences, we are one people, and we are one nation, united by a common creed. Read more.
[Image: National Portrait Gallery]
Our commemorative Civil War issue — which features Atlantic stories by Mark Twain, Henry James, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, and many more — is now online. Take a look, it’s a fantastic collection.