Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

First the Pentagon says we can't use Wi-Fi because it screws up their radar. Then they say that their GPS is so good that they can target things EXACTLY. Now they're saying that they can't tell the difference between a television uplink and a military target? Or are they saying that independent journalists ARE military targets?

US threatens to eliminate independent war journalists
Cheney has Kate Adie in the crosshairs
By Paul Hales: Tuesday 11 March 2003, 10:20
IN A CYNICAL bid to ensure that the people of the world see only what they need to see, the US has threatened to target independent journalists working in Iraq when the invasion kicks off.
She said she was told by "a senior officer in the Pentagon" that "if uplinks -- that is the television signals out of... Baghdad, for example -- were detected by any planes ...electronic media... mediums of the military above Baghdad... they'd be fired down on. Even if they were journalists .."

From Ken via Dave Farber's IP List


This is all very sad. I want to avoid it all -- all this war talk. I thought maybe, hopefully, we'd evolved beyond that. For all the pentagon's high talk of how sophisticated they are it all comes down to "we'll kill anyone who gets in our way." Very sad.

I heard about this through Back to Iraq 2.0 whose proprietor, Christopher, is soliciting donations to help send him into Northern Iraq (he has contacts in Syria and among the Kurds) to blog what he sees as he sees it, kind of a people's antitdote to the rather rigidly controlled, Pentagon sanctioned corporate newsmedia.

He did some personal legwork calling people up within the Department of Defence, since he's planning on doing at least some reports via sattelite phone and this has a direct bearing on that issue. You can see what he uncovered here

Interesting. Thanks Josh. Back to Iraq is cool. I saw it on Blogdex, but didn't go look. Another good example of the value of contextual linking.

Another random thought... This article is sort of an example of blowing stuff a bit out of proportion. The guy in Iraq 2.0 has a very practical viewpoint. I guess both sides try to blow everything out of proportion. If you think of this as humor, I guess it's OK, but I wonder if I'm contributing to noise by amplifying over-reaction...

"Out of proportion"? If you refer to the fact that there are too many Anti-Semites and genuine Anti-Americans involved in the protest, you are correct.
But talking about the importance of the war decision itself, I would have to contradict. Given the fact that the IMF says war in Iraq will curtail this year´s world economic growth by 50%, there would not seem to be any single more important event this year.
Another point: The rich Arabs on the Arabian peninsula are actually responsible for not stopping Bush. If they decided to not accept dollars for their oil and insist on gold or euros for payment the dollar would slide so steeply as to cause sudden crisis in the US. If they just threatened to do so, Bush would retract and suddenly announce that the inspections had turned out to be a success. Since they do not do it, they invite al-Quaeda to attack them and intensify recruiting there. Maybe that will lead those states to finally crack down on the fanatics. On the other hand, one would have to suppose that the US is going to be even nicer to them because they acquiesced to the US invasion of Iraq. Which would, of course, run counter to the aggressive rhetoric coming out of the Defense Policy Board and further undermine American credibility...
A course of action from which only bin Laden ultimately profits would seem to be very unwise indeed.

I guess both sides try to blow everything out of proportion. If you think of this as humor, I guess it's OK, but I wonder if I'm contributing to noise by amplifying over-reaction...

Indeed, as things seem to get closer and closer to zero-hour, the wild and unsupportable analogies are flying faster and faster. For instance, the tendency for both sides of the debate try to associate the other somehow with Nazism, which is quite hyperbolic anyway you look at it.

The problem is that no matter which side you are on, this is all very serious. People advocating both positions are desperate to be vindicated, to win. I've felt the overwhelming frustration that comes from seeming to have no possible avenue of effective action, and I can easily see how it becomes a sort of hysteria.

However, I don't think you're merely contributing to the noise by linking to possibly sensationalistic articles. Part of the real value of the blogosphere is that it seems to have a great ability to sort out real solid truths from overstated grandstanding, to shed light on an issue from many minds and as such from many angles. While on some of the more homogeniously opinionated warblogs, the after effects of a posted article amound to little more than ditto-head ranting or repeatitive flamewars, this is certainly not always the case.

Putting a link up for comments and trackbacks can be a means of generating context, of creating a far more holistic bundle of information that the original article might have contained. This works no matter what end of the political spectrum you're from.

The entire text for traveling with the 1st Marine Division is here: BELOW ARE A FEW THINGS YOU WILL WANT TO KEEP IN MIND IN PREPARATION FOR EMBEDDING WITH US

I particularly liked the last little homily at the end of 'EMBEDDING WITH US': ""Be professional, be polite, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet."
- IMSC Rules for Gunfighting #21

Did a Google on IMSC in order to find rules 1-20, but came up with the following organizations, none of which quite seem to fit the bill:
International Mass Spectrometry Conference,
Interactive Marketing Shopping & Communications,
Integrated Media Systems Center,
and maybe the most likely source, the
Internet Mahjong School & Clinic--sounds like it might be a good gaming tactic.

Here is a copy of the rules: USMC Rules for Gunfighting

I have to admit I'm not entirely surprised to see that sort of warning. The current anti-radiation munitions are good at finding things onto which to lock. I suspect this is the U.S. government lawyers' way to reduce their liability for an untoward incident during the "fog of war."

That having been said, I would hope that the builders of those weapons would be able to distinguish an SNG uplink's waveform from that of a target acquisition RADAR.

Speaking of uplinks, if anyone is looking for other media perspectives on this, and more real-time info from Iraq, there are about 15 Middle East TV channels currently Free-To-Air on the Telstar 5 satellite. This is receivable with a dish as small as 76cm in the USA.

One of them is Iraqi TV. I'm wondering how long that link stays up.

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Here's a quote from the Stratfor Weekly. Stratfor, the strategy forecasting company run by George Friedman tells it like it Read More

Here's a quote from the Stratfor Weekly. Stratfor, the strategy forecasting company run by George Friedman tells it like it Read More