Ottawa Citizen March 13, 2003
War and Peace: Netizens' views on an impending war in Iraq will depend on an online trove of information, analyses and opinions such as the sources below
By Doug Fischer
A site mixing news from mainstream sources like the Associated Press and Reuters with original reporting, often from the scene of the action. WND first made its name during the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia, reporting from the frontlines.
Probably the most complete collection of news and analyses from the world's alternative press and various media watchdog organizations.
For a clear-eyed perspective on world events, probably nothing beats the Web site produced by Britain's Economist magazine. For a mainstream U.S. viewpoint, it's hard to top The New York Times and Washington Post sites. CNN's site offers good current information, and CBC's site is quick and thorough. At http://www.canada.com/, you can get coverage from CanWest newspapers, including the Citizen.
Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based TV station that has become the most influential media voice in the Islamic world, recently added an English branch to its Web site. It's hit-and-miss, but on good days it offers a fascinating perspective on news from the Mideast. Alternately, http://www.cursor.org/ provides links to a range of English-language commentary about al-Jazeera news content.
This daily collection of news and commentary from the Arab press remains the most useful, objective source of what Arabs are thinking about the impending attack on Iraq.
The first of these sites is the United Nations' home page, offering links to various aspects of the debate over Iraq. The second site is produced by the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) and includes details of the various UN resolutions regarding Iraq as well as updates on the work of the weapons inspectors in Iraq.
If you want an unvarnished version of what President George W. Bush is thinking on Iraq, try the official site of the White House. There you'll find copies of his speeches, transcripts of his news conferences and as well as those of his cabinet, including Secretary of State Colin Powell.
www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/menu-en.asp vTrying to figure out Canada's position on Iraq? The homes pages of the Prime Minister's Office and the Department of Foreign Affairs offer the official version, the latter in considerable detail.
The U.S. Department of Defence offers links to sites of interest to military planners. None of it is top secret, of course, but it is still a good indicator of Pentagon thinking on Iraq and other global strategy concerns.
Military and Strategic Pages
Run by a small, Washington-based non-profit group, this is the ordinary citizen's best chance to get a first-hand look at Saddam Hussein's weapons programs. By publishing its analyses of commercial satellite pictures, GlobalSecurity.org offers a sophisticated assessment of Iraq's military capabilities and the issues being debated at White House and the United Nations.
The main site of Jane's Information Group provides generally first-rate analyses of breaking news related to war and defence. Because military matters are Jane's bread and butter, its reporting is sometimes noticeably one-sided. But as an overall guide to strategy and military hardware, it's unsurpassable.
more Military and strategic pages
This non-partisan site produced by the British-based Institute for Science and International Security provides analyses of science and policy issues affecting international security. It contains satellite images annotated with expert analysis, and offers a section devoted to Iraq.
Organized by Texas-based Stratfor Forecasting, a top private intelligence company, this site offers up-to-the-minute analyses, situation reports and intelligence. Designed for those directly affected by the conflict (military personnel and their families, businesses with ties to the region) it is also a good source of unbiased information for anyone.
The No. 1 U.S. site for information on the peace movement -- plans for the latest rallies, petitions and e-mail campaigns targeted at Congress, the White House and the United Nations. It also contains the American peace movement's take on the latest war developments and extensive links to like-minded organizations around the globe.
This unabashedly anti-war site relies on "on-the-ground" Iraqis recruited to submit photographs and written dispatches from inside Iraq. It could provide an interesting counterpoint to the official version of events once fighting begins.
These are two of the main sites of the Canadian peace movement, the first organized by the Ottawa-based Network to Oppose War and Racism and other by the Toronto-based Canadian Peace Alliance. Both contain the latest news on rallies and petitions, a wide range of links to the alternative press and other peace organizations.
Warblogging.com, created by the pseudonymous George Payne stands out as one of the more conscientious made-in-America anti-war efforts. At Instapundit.com, Glenn Reynolds blogs for the pro-war side. A good index of blogs can be found at http://www.daypop.com/, a kind of Google for bloggers.
Hawks and conservatives should savour the Web site of the Project for the New American Century, a non-profit educational organization dedicated to the proposition of American world leadership based on "military strength, diplomatic energy and commitment to moral principle." The group's chairman is William Kristol, editor of the influential Weekly Standard in Washington, which was advocating regime change in Iraq during the Clinton years.
AVOT stands for Americans for Victory over Terrorism, and this group's page heartily promotes the pro-war position. Its senior adviser is William Bennett, former U.S. education secretary and author of Why We Fight: Moral Clarity and the War on Terrorism.
These image galleries of high-resolution satellite photos makes for fascinating viewing. QuickBird's imagery, said to be the best commercially available pictures ever taken of Earth, provide detailed pictures of bridges, roads and buildings from around the world. Terraserver provides maps and daily imagery from the world's hot spots. Not to be outdone, DigitalGlobe recently posted an amazing photographic essay of Iraq, Iran and North Korea, the countries of George W. Bush's so-called Axis of Evil.
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