Dealing with catastrophe ... articles and discussions at kuro5hin.org
* The War Behind Closed Doors - PBS (the Public Broadcasting Service) is running an informative Frontline program "The War Behind Closed Doors", which is about America's new foreign policy, what it is, where it came from, who is behind it, and how it shaped the events leading up to the current war with Iraq. The program itself is viewable online, in Windows Media and RealPlayer, along with a wealth of related information.
* War coverage: Timely or Amateur? - During operations in Grenada, Panama and Desert Storm, the press howled about being cut off from the troops and the action. They seemed to have learned that sitting in a press briefing put on by the military does not make for accurate reporting. In Desert Storm, for example, the accuracy of US Precision Guided Munitions was greatly exaggerated by the military. This was almost entirely ignored until after the war, as was the fact that PGMs accounted for only a tiny percentage of ordnance used in the air campaign.
* Iraq Day 6 - Heading for a Worst Case Scenario? Basra is the Key - Early indications are worrying. Guerrilla tactics are to be expected and are obviously Saddam's best card. But they've started much further south and with much greater intensity than UKUSA intelligence estimated. The smart money was on the South rising up as one to greet the liberators with open arms. It hasn't happened. Instead we've seen the first signs of the Fedayeen in action against the UKUSA forces. This could indicate the beginning of a prolonged urban struggle which though not as costly as Vietnam in terms of human lives, could tie up large numbers of UKUSA military not for months but decades. Vietnam it will not be. Chechnya - it might.
* U.S. Administration and the Geneva Convention - In his Guardian column this week, One rule for them, George Monbiot discusses the U.S. Administration's somewhat schizoid interpretation of the Geneva Convention. Even for someone (like me) who's pretty saturated on Iraq war stuff, it's worth a read.
* Attend a Protest, Go to Jail - In the United States, Senator John Minnis has proposed a bill in the Oregon Legislature that would imprison for life those convicted of "terrorism." A minimum of 25 years would be served without the possibility of parole. The definition of terrorism in Senate Bill 742 could include people attending protests where others are disruptive.
* Old UN Peacemaking Rule Might See New Relevance - I raised an eyebrow when I read this article. Apparently, in case there is a "threat to peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression" and the Security Council is deadlocked and unable to intervene, the UN General Assembly has the right to invoke the "Uniting for Peace" rule. This would allow them to issue a decree to stop aggression.