Archive for Monday, October 22, 2001

War sites range from the front lines to ‘Frontline’

October 22, 2001


With war on our minds, we go hunting for Web sites about that frightening art.

"Warfare is a great matter to a nation; it is the ground of death and of life; it is the way of survival and of destruction, and must be examined." Thus begins this online translation of Sun-Tzu's "The Art of War," a 2,000-year-old Chinese masterpiece of strategy on and off the field of battle.

The Rand think tank published this study last year to suggest new strategies for winning a war waged on urban battlefields. Its chilling contents include "Aerial Weapon Delivery in the Urban Environment," and ways to "Detect and Neutralize Snipers."

The how-to manual of the elite Rangers is riveting. Battlefield instructions are precise and focused: "Team leaders lead their teams by example; for example, 'Follow me, do as I do;'" or "The assaulting fire team fights through enemy positions using fire and movement."

The PBS show's Web site is highlighting material from its recent reports on terrorism, especially investigations into Osama bin Laden. The text of a 1998 interview with bin Laden can easily be read to contain seeds of the recent attacks. For example, he says of Americans, "We do not have to differentiate between military or civilian. As far as we are concerned, they are all targets."

According to this site, you can learn to identify "the seven basic propaganda devices: Name-Calling, Glittering Generality, Transfer, Testimonial, Plain Folks, Card Stacking and Band Wagon." Examples from history span the 20th century, including domestic efforts to promote our cause in World War I, and Newt Gingrich's 1990 GOPAC pamphlet titled "Language: A Key Mechanism of Control."

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