Friday, April 04, 2003

Idea for the day

For journalists to be useful during this conflict I suggest that the next time they are in the same room with the Iraqi "Information Minister" they rush him, put him in a headlock and administer noogies.


How well did you sleep last night? (You need power point.)

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Stay Away

After seeing footage of bombs dropping in CENTCOM briefings, shown live on television, I've been wondering what a JDAM explosion is really like. Its not like you can witness TNT explosions in your day-to-day life, much less hundreds of pounds of TNT. Well, this description at least gives some food for thought.
When this bomb detonates in a blinding millisecond flash it gives an awesome high-speed lesson in chemistry and physics. All that Tritonal is instantly transformed into a very hot gas expanding with such force that it pushes the heavy steel bomb casing out in all directions like a balloon until it shatters into thousands of white hot fragments.

Any human being within the immediate radius of the detonation (about 200 feet in the open) has no choice but to die, instantly roasted, blown to bits (shockwave and overpressure) hurled at high speed against some object, or pierced through countless times by shrapnel.

The air where the explosion takes place is compressed and driven outward at supersonic speed, creating a pressure wave that results in, as one medical treatise chastely puts it, "patterns ranging from traumatic amputation to total body disruption." If you are not blown apart or don't suffer massive trauma from being slammed into a wall or other object, chances are your internal organs will be crushed by overpressure that may reach thousands of pounds per square inch (normal pressure on a human being at sea level is 14.5 psi). The inner ear, lungs and intestines are usually the first to go.

You get the picture. Bombs are ugly things. And although we have the amply proven ability to drop JDAMs in the windows or doors of "embedded" military targets, it's still not a good thing to be in the adjoining building or the mosque across the street when they go off. Blast wave and shrapnel effects can reach as far as 4000 feet beyond the hit.
Pretty scary.

Monday, March 31, 2003

Random Thoughts

This morning, commuting to work, I was staring out the window of my bus, looking at the Hudson River and for some reason Abraham Lincoln's quote about fooling people floated to the top of my head
You can fool all of the people some of the time,
and some of the people all of the time,
but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.
Now Lincoln was no angel. He certainly did his share of damage to this republic and the Constitution. But you have to admit that is a pretty clever thing to say.

About Time

Finally, some of the message seems to be sinking in.
"America, a power deeply injured, and has become very dangerous, and it thinks to take over the whole Arab world," Belgian RTL TV quoted [Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt] saying.
Not the taking over the Arab world part, but the "very dangerous" part.
He said the US regards the Arab world responsible for all terrorism. "This is a logic which I do not share," he said. An estimated 30,000 Muslims mainly from North African countries live in the port city of Antwerp.
Its amazing how thick some people are, the lengths you have to go to convince them that this is not a game is amazing. You have to wonder what is going on inside their little heads. It just goes to show you that actions speak louder than words.
Via Drudge.

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Poor Arnett

Just got wind that lots of folks pissed off about Peter Arnett's comments on Iraqi television. While I don't hold out much respect for journalists in their ability to practice journalism, this incident is very suspicious. I would like to point out that the Iraqi regime is cornered like it has never been before. There are many people, besides Saddam, fighting for their lives, and Peter Arnett or "world opinion" is the least of their worries. If Peter Arnett survives this and emerges saying he was coerced it will not matter much in the press. He may emerge a week from now when the effects of his statements, intended or not, have passed. If you are wondering how they will play out notice how much play an explosion in a marketplace has gotten compared to the summary execution of POWs. He may just disappear, poor guy. If this is what Arnett calls journalism his career is over.

Personally, I think the guy is in over his head. He pushed the envelope, went to Baghdad, and now... God help him.

UPDATE: Apparently, Pete did not have a gun to his head. He was seen apologizing for his comments. Quite the journalist, that Arnett.