Interacting with a Misleading War

As the January 4th approved surge continues to dwindle its numbers into Iraq, CNN re-launched its War on Terror interactive maps website, tauting its ability to make the war closer to home, accessible to those who may not be able to read the news everyday, etc… on disassociation bullshit. 

I am an especial fan of the Biological Warfare and Terrorism section of the site, in which viewers are treated to a world map surrounded by threatening images of strange and distant bacterial forms, mad scientist machienes, and random words like “plague” and “smallpox.” (Side note: Smallpox? WTF?)  Viewers can interact with the map by clicking on countries with “biological warfare programs” which includes the USA, China, Russia, etc…  The descriptions upon click are just vauge enough to make the intellectual in me wonder why anyone takes these people seriously, if even for a moment.  There is not a shred of information available in this snippet:

China has acknowledged the existence of former chemical weapons production and facilities but not a chemical weapons stockpile. It denies the existence of a biological weapons program although some international intelligence sources said they have evidence to the contrary. 

Unbelievable.  “Stockpile” here is used in an interestingly vague and sinister light, whereas the good old US of admits to stockpiling, but well, you know.  We have to.

The United States said it does not maintain a stockpile of biological weapons although it does pursue defensive biological research. It has what it is believed to be the world’s second largest stockpile of chemical weapons, which it has committed to destroying by 2004. 

None of the  snippets allude to anything but speculation (Look out for Israel, sounds promising when they say, “Israel does not disclose details about its alleged chemical and biological weapons program.”  So they are on a map here because…?) as not a single breakout window fails to use “questionable” language.  It’s such a simplistic and overtly xenophobia map that I cannot help but laugh.

Even more shocking is the “Building a Coalition” section.   Here, we have a page that, contrary to the title, represents how nations around the world reacted to the attacks on 9/11.  For instance, Iraq and Iran fall under the “other responses” category.  Iraq’s pullout menu says the following:

The opponent of the U.S. in the Persian Gulf war, Iraq is one of the few countries that has not extended an official message of sympathy and condolences to the U.S. after the September 11 attacks. In an open letter to other world governments, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein wrote: “Americans should feel the pain they have inflicted on other peoples of the world, so as when they suffer they will find the right solution and the right path.”  

I suppose mention of the massive street-wide civilian support rallies and vigils after September 11th would be unpatriotic to report on.

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~ by 1womanarmy on February 21, 2008.

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