Saturday, August 12, 2006

Aerial Bombing of Beirut

Mark Grimsley has an interesting post on the History News Network bringing to our attention two interactive graphics of Beirut before July 12 and after July 31 which show the extent of the bombing. Be sure to look at the area maps to put the extent of the bombing in perspective.

MSNBC has an interactive graphic showing a satellite photo of a portion of Beirut as it appeared on July 12 and another satellite photo showing the same area on July 31. You can toggle back and forth between the two. Only four targets are captioned -- a highway overpass, Hezbollah offices, the municipal building and Al Manar television -- but if you examine the photos in their entirety, it's plain that a substantial number of other buildings were also targeted or at least struck. The graphic is a litmus test of sorts for one's appraisal of the IAF strikes. Do you see evidence of a discriminate, proportional air campaign; or something more extensive?

UPDATE, August 12, 2:02 PM - The New York Times ran a similar graphic last week. It labels the bombed zone, "Main area of Hezbollah offices (before attacks, this area was fenced off and surrounded by guards)," which to my mind removes the litmus test. So to that extent, never mind. But both graphics are worth a look. Interestingly, the NYT's "before" image is in color, the "after" image in black and white.

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