Explaining the War

I’ve been covering the war on Israel’s northern border and throughout Lebanon, as well as in Gaza, since the first attack by Hamas resulting in deaths, injuries and one soldier kidnapped. Friends, co-workers, vendors, folks in the neighborhood.

The tools available on the web such as Google’s Earth and map web site have been invaluable — to a point. Zoom in on Israel’s northern border and try to move east from the coast. At a certain point, the vision gets vague: satellite imagery gets blurry around Har Meron and Tsfat, and then totally unplottable. Check out this picture: the clear settlement is a border kibbutz, to the right is a land heading east towards Meron. This obviously helps Israel, but I wonder who makes these rules? Before North Korea’s test-spewing of missiles, I was able to track, in painful detail, all of North Korea in search of missile silos and other military structures. Not all that many vehicles up there, by the way, except for near where South Korea might be able to see.

Here’s another example: Lebanon’s Beirut International Airport versus Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport. Which one do you think makes for better targeting?

So someone has pull with Google. Microsoft’s Live site solves the problem by simply not providing high-resolution shots at all of Israel, but it’s the same story on the Lebanese side.

I’m glad tactical information about Israel isn’t being made available to Iran for targeting. Google is living up to its motto of doing no evil. But I think it’s interesting that that ability is being governed according to what seem to be United States interests.