Sunday, March 30, 2003

CNN has paosted a number of Quicktime animations of various systems operating in Iraq. First one I saw was Blackhawk Palace Takeover. Also posted:
Predator Drone
Bunker Buster
Air Strike Package
Urban Warfare
Cruise Missiles
Patriot Anti-missile missile
Taking an Airfield
GPS Jammers
This last one has a great graphic of the GPS satellite constellation around earth.
This Flash presentation of Amnesty International USA's Imagine ad campaign isn't history really. I mention it in the context of the last entry.

History may well hold groups like Amnesty accountable that more of us were unaware of the volume of attrocities. By diluting their message with domestic political squabbles, Amnesty wastes energy and goodwill which should focus on barberous acts like torture.
Today, for example, instead of using their website as a platform to bring attention to the years of horror in Iraq, they instead use their site to attack and urge action against the US President. Instead of cheering for an end to the torture regime of Iraq, they blast the US for attacking Iraqi TV. AI-USA callously calls this broadcast tower a civilian asset, though it has this week been used to remind Iraqi civilians and military alike that they risk being shot or worse if they help the coalition.
Feeding men into the plastic shredder
It being Sunday, perhaps you will pray that our friends who work and rally for Peace will not forget that peace cannot ever be merely an absence of war.
“There was a machine designed for shredding plastic. Men were dropped into it and we were again made to watch. Sometimes they went in head first and died quickly. Sometimes they went in feet first and died screaming. It was horrible. I saw 30 people die like this. Their remains would be placed in plastic bags and we were told they would be used as fish food . . . on one occasion, I saw Qusay [President Saddam Hussein’s youngest son] personally supervise these murders.
Sickened as the statement of this witness may make us, we should not stop here in remembering the suffering of those stricken people. For more testimony of the acts of Qusay Hussein, Uday Hussein, and other members of Iraq's Government, visit

Friday, March 28, 2003

Times Interactives
The Times continues its interactive series covering the war. Alas, some great maps are made nearly worthless by the "interactive" containers. We could read the maps much more easily if they were simply displayed full screen, with a small region map inset.
March 27: Consolidation and skirmishes
March 28: Close to Confrontation

More useful as interactives are:
Fighting Oil Well Fires.
A-10 Thunderbolt
Women in the Military
Also, they've added to their audio/visual War Briefing:
Thursday's Events

Thursday, March 27, 2003

The Empire Strikes Back
This project and blog are built to help teachers and their students. Sometimes, though, teachers seem to over-reach to shoot themselves in the foot.

In Milwaukee (where abominable graduation rates and scores set the legislature to action) per-pupal spending now passes $10,000 per year. Since the rest of us make due with a national average of $7,640, you'd think Milwaukee teachers would be grateful.

Hardly! Instead, they are this spring spending $2 million to defeat one member of the school board.

Of all things, in a bad budget year, he suggested that the teachers second pension should be reduced or at least contributed to. And yes, they'd like to see the voucher plan end, though 92% of low-income black Milwaukee residents support it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Our Coalition
Lest readers dispair that this blog is about weapons and destruction, I'll quote from Condoleezza Rice, who today explains the coalition.

Months ago, the prime minister of Estonia told President Bush that he did not need an explanation of the need to confront Iraq. Because the great democracies failed to act in 1930s, his people lived in slavery for 50 years.

The NYTimes interactive series continutes to grow. I note the latest not because its incredibly informative, but because it could serve as a great base if it were combined with other interactives:
A Week at War: March 19-25.
Americs's Arsenal
Sweet! gets the gold star for its animated explanations of several major weapons systems. Some show the systems in action; be sure you see:
B-52 Bomber, Tomahawk Missile, JDAM, and the 'Daisy Cutter' Bomb

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Not only could this be the first war with television correspondents embedded in every major unit, it could also be the first war history told with interactive graphics. CNN offers:
  • Major Iraqi Flash Points.
  • Ground Weapons
  • War Tracker page includes an interactive map of the day's situation. Previous days are also available.
  • Maps page is also interactive. It includes satellite imagery for several major locations. Look for palace in Taqrit.
  • Video viewing is now a premium service at CNN, but they have several audio slide shows which are great. Index
  • The Weapons page has interactive graphics for nearly every weapon in the inventories. If you make it to Iraq's WMD's, including gangrene, you've seen a pretty comprehensive list.
    See the neat 3-D view of the Scud launcher. (Uses Cult 3-D ).

    MSNBC also has Iraq: The Interactive Library. Most of these are quick text facts. I will point out the History of U.S. forays since 1898.
  • Speaking of war and Iraq, the New York Times carries a series of interactive graphics dedicated to it.

    You can find the series, and many more interactive graphics at their Multimedia Index page. Or, find it through their "Nation at War" page.

    Among the interactive features published so far:
    Objectives in Iraq
    U.S. Forces
    Iraqi Forces
    Iraq Journal: A Land of Open Secrets
    Europe and the Iraq Crisis
    Interactive Graphic: Building a Floating Bridge
    Interactive Graphics: Baghad From Above
    Interactive Map: Day 3: Action in Iraq
    Interactive Graphics: Anatomy of the Air Campaign
    On the Ground [sound]
    Apache Longbow
    March 22: Pushing North
    March 24: Monday's Action in Iraq
    March 25: Entering the 'Red Zone'
    Interactive Graphics: Downtown Baghdad
    The Republican Guard
    The Allies
    Iraq's Potential Future

    Thursday, March 20, 2003

    Today bore the Gulf War II, or Operation Iraq Freedom.

    This day will, in history, pass perhaps the fall of the Soviet Union in its mark on the peoples of much of the world.
    Will schoolchildren memorize Mar. 20, 2003? Perhaps not.

    We don't yet have our visual moment, a la the Liberation of Paris, the Fall of Saigon, the Boston Tea Party. Yet bound to that moment-to-come, whichever way it goes, are the yearnings of a region of people, yearnings to rise above extreme poverty for some, political oppression for most; yearnings to see a day when they have some say in their own fate, can change leaders more than every odd decade, may speak critically without fear of bodily harm.

    No one knows if Iraq will emulate Japan and Germany, remaining a people who choose their own leaders (and live peacefully) for a half century and more.