As American tanks approach Baghdad and British troops fight to secure Basra, people worldwide are trolling the Web to catch up on the latest news, stream video, and hear the rumors that CNN isn’t reporting. Just before the bombs began to fall, Slate summarized the Net-based war coverage, directing readers to mainstream news outlets, Middle Eastern media, satellite pictures of the war zone, Iraq-centered blogs, and slide shows mocking Saddam.
But a lot has changed on the Web, and in Iraq, since last Wednesday. Some of the sites we mentioned last week are gone. Annoyingly, CNN journalist Kevin Sites’ blog was shut down. Alarmingly, the superb Baghdad blogger Salam Pax has fallen silent. But there are also a lot of new sites to see on the road to Baghdad. Here are some of them.
The BBC covers most breaking news faster than its American rivals. On Tuesday, it beat CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News to the Basra uprising by nearly an hour. The Beeb’s foreign correspondents also contribute to a brilliant bloglike journal.
Middle Eastern Media
On Tuesday, Slate’sPaul Boutin explained how to use your PC to access Iraqi television.
Earlier this week, Al Jazeera posted an English-language Web site, but it may not be working because it has been deluged by hackers. You might be able to watch the Al Jazeera video stream at ish.com. For more reliable video streams from around the world, see tv4all.com.
Intel Dump, a blog run by a former Army officer and strategic planner, has emerged as an excellent source for real-time military analysis. Unlike the TV generals, the Intel Dumper provides substantive information on tactics. A good example is a March 24 post explaining why American troops are rushing to Baghdad and seemingly ignoring large swaths of southern Iraq.
For rapid armchair commentary from all sides, see warblogs.cc, a joint effort by several blogs to collect war information and opinion.
Madtrimmer.com is a jingoistic warblog/news portal filled with loud rock ’n’ roll, violent games, and American eagle images. It’s so aggressively patriotic that it’s almost a self-parody.
Foreign Rumor, Conspiracy, “Intelligence” Sites
What to make of Venik’s Aviation? A Russian-run aerospace site, it purports to deliver Russian army intelligence reports on the war, all exceptionally anti-American.
DEBKAfile, an Israeli “intelligence” site, is filled with rumors, up-to-the-minute conspiracy theories, and the occasional good scoop.
Antiwar.com is a one-stop shop for those who think we shouldn’t be in Iraq.
Games and Humor
Click here to play the game “Gulf War 2,” a cartoonish, doomsday simulation of the war.
The Onion has commenced its coverage of “Operation Piss Off the Planet.” As usual, it is on the side of the angels: It disses both Sheryl Crow and the Fox News Channel.