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The International Herald Tribune March 10, 2003

Sample a web of views on Iraq

Richard Allen, an IHT news editor, is not a policy wonk, but he nonetheless enjoys dipping into think-tank Web sites to sample a variety of views on the dangers of the Iraqi crisis:

Just two clicks on the home page of the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies take you to maps showing nuclear sites and the reach of Iraqi missiles that could carry chemical or biological weapons. Analytical material focuses on land, air and sea forces deployed by the United States.

The Council on Foreign Relations has an Iraq research center that includes a timeline taking you back to the origins of the current round of the crisis, with handy links to UN resolutions and the texts of reports by Hans Blix, one of the chief arms inspectors. A readable Q&A will walk you through the UN debate on giving arms inspectors more time.

At the Brookings Institution, a convenient Iraq home page coherently organizes analysis and commentary, policy briefs, and books and journals. An article says nearly 10 million Muslims living in France and Germany helps explain why continental Europe might look at the Middle East differently than the United States, and then invites readers to give their views.

For in-your-face conservative arguments, try the Heritage Foundation. Learn how European "arrogance and weakness" dictate the shape of the coalition lined up against Iraq and why Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain "must not go wobbly on Iraq."

For bells and whistles, clocks ticking down to zero hour - perhaps - a Baghdad weather report and help tracking the U.S. carrier task forces on station near Iraq, turn here. Click on a picture of Saddam Hussein and you can jump to pro- and anti-war sites.

Copyright 2003, The International Herald Tribune