IRAQ - a teachable moment

My Favorite Web Sites - Winchester Star, 4/10/03
 by Martin Zombeck

This is one of many columns providing annotated lists of Web sites that may be of interest to the community. Each column lists sites that belong to a particular category: search engines, art, online newspapers and magazines, health and medicine, history, business and economics, etc. or sites relevant to a particular season, for example, skiing or gardening. Most sites are non-commercial. To make it easier to access the sites, each column is posted on the Town of Winchester's Web site so that the sites can be accessed and bookmarked without having enter the URL by hand.

Recently (April 3, 2003) Peter Haley, Chairman of the Winchester School Committee wrote an article in the Winchester Star titled, "How to Teach about the War". He saw the war in Iraq as a "teachable moment" and mentioned the obligation we have as citizens to be informed when discussing and thinking about the current situation our country is facing.

This article is an attempt to respond to some of the suggestions in his article. The Web is a wonderful up-to-date source of information on the history of Iraq, the current war, the events of the past decade leading up to the war, the overall current international situation, the reaction of other nations, and postbellum Iraq plans. Both heavily biased and relatively unbiased sources can be found on think tank sites, online journals and newspapers, and one-issue Web sites. In the listing below I will try to avoid the heavily biased sites and provide a broad selection of Web sites to help you become well informed about the history of Iraq, the Iraq war and its causes, and the probable aftermath.

Online News

The online sites below provide detailed late-breaking news about the war. However, maintain your usual skepticism regarding sensational news stories as you would with any TV or print media. I have also provided links to foreign news sources so that you can obtain other, not necessarily balanced, points of view.

CNN Online
Latest news.

CNN Special Iraq Coverage
Latest information, maps, statistics and other news.

Washington Post
Latest news and in-depth background articles.

New York Times
Latest news and in-depth background articles.

KIOSKEN has links to news media all over the world, mainly to newspapers in the countries' own language(s).

Arabic newspapers and Magazines
Get the Arab point of view.

Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty
War in Iraq. Arab press comments, analytical reports, feature articles, daily inspection reports, and much more.

Think tanks, foreign policy journals, reference works, and research institutes

Foreign Policy Magazine Online
Global politics, economics and links to major think tanks, university programs, global reference guides, international intergovernmental organizations, regional sources, and more. The war in Iraq is featured on the Web site.

The Middle East Institute
Information and links about the current situation in Iraq. The Washington-based Middle East Institute site has policy papers, and many links to scholarly, business, and government sites. It includes many speeches relate to Iraq.

Iraq Watch
"Iraq Watch is a comprehensive web site devoted to monitoring Iraq's progress in building weapons of mass destruction. Iraq Watch describes key Iraqi organizations and sites, lists their foreign suppliers, and provides access to U.N. and other documents that describe Iraq's activities."

International Crisis Group
The International Crisis Group (ICG) is an independent, non-profit, multinational organization, with 90 staff members on five continents, working through field-based analysis and high-level advocacy to prevent and resolve deadly conflict.

Foreign Affairs Journal Online
From the Journal of the Council on Foreign Relations. Authoritative foreign policy articles by university experts, US and non-US government policy makers and officials - Iraq, a collection of eight crucial articles from the past twelve years, selected by the editors of Foreign Affairs.

World Factbook 2002
The World Factbook is prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency for the use of US Government officials. It is in the public domain. The Factbook provides maps and brief geopolitical information for every country. The online directory of chiefs of state and cabinet members of foreign governments is updated weekly. This link is for Iraq.

The Middle East Media Reserach Institute
Provides a current translation or summary of what is appearing in the newspapers of the current Middle East on almost a daily basis. It is represented as the undoctored news as it appears in the arabic press translated to English. The site is not interpreting the news, only telling you what is appearing in the Islamic press.

UN resolutions pertaining to the Iraq situation

UN Resolutions
The complete text (in pdf format) of UN resolutions from 1990 - 2002.


Washington Post Battle Maps
Detailed battle maps starting on March 19.

CNN maps.

Coalition and Iraqi Weaponry

Images and brief descriptions.


Iraq History
A brief history from ancient times to the present.

Previous columns with live links can be found at

When he is not updating the Town of Winchester Web site (, Martin Zombeck can be found at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, where he is a physicist, or at the tennis courts in Winchester.