Thursday, August 03, 2006

Google Home

Google Earth now offers updated satellite pictures of Lebanon. Yesterday a customer at Cafe Younes in Hamra laid out the before and after shots of Beirut and the surrounding suburbs. While I can't read a road map without getting dizzy much less make sense of a satellite view of this city, a swarm of anxious people immediately gathered, in the hope of locating their homes.
Many of the inhabitants of Dahieyeh, the densely populated southern suburb that has been hit repeatedly with missiles and vacuum bombs since the beginning of the war, haven't been able to return to survey the damage. They don't know if their house is still standing, if it has been pulverized along with all their belongings. A young man scoured the photos, and finally recognized a football field adjacent to his apartment block. But he couldn't make out any buildings; just a dark rectangular void where a cluster of high-rise tenements once stood, one of which was his home.


Anonymous said...

Vaccum bombs. Aha. YESSS. I like it...

If there were vacuum bombs there would be no Beirut there. Not a block, not a suburb - the whole city. Common - be realistic - the principles of vacuum bombs is to fill with flammable gas square kilometers(!!!) and then burn it.

It reminds me Iraqi division running for their life back in 1948, when they were cought near Zfat (Galilee) by hand-made mortar. They thought it is atomic bomb.

EDB said...

Amnesty International reports:

There are also reports that Israel has used vacuum bombs in this conflict. These are a type of thermobaric weapon, also called fuel air explosives. This type of weapon introduces an aerosol cloud of volatile gases in the target area, which is then ignited to create a fireball that sucks air out of the atmosphere and produces lethal effects, such as severe burns and lung collapse, to individuals in the target area. Like all weapons of modern warfare they pose a danger to civilians and could be used in indiscriminate or other unlawful attacks. Their great destructive potential raises concerns that they are more likely to result in indiscriminate killing.

An example of the horrific toll on civilians of such weapons came in 1982, during the Israeli army’s siege of Beirut. The Israeli air force dropped a vacuum bomb on an apartment block in which they believed PLO leader Yasser Arafat was hiding. Around 200 people were reported to have been killed in that attack. Arafat is said to have left the building moments before the attack.

Fayez said...

FYI in case you're wondering Moronic US legislators have forbidden even remotely close to detailed photographs of "Israel".


(a) COLLECTION AND DISSEMINATION- A department or agency of the United States may issue a license for the collection or dissemination by a non-Federal entity of satellite imagery with respect to Israel only if such imagery is no more detailed or precise than satellite imagery of Israel that is available from commercial sources.

(b) DECLASSIFICATION AND RELEASE- A department or agency of the United States may declassify or otherwise release satellite imagery with respect to Israel only if such imagery is no more detailed or precise than satellite imagery of Israel that is available from commercial sources.

M. Simon said...

Vacuum bombs are used to suck all the air out of Lebanon.

Without air Hizbollah will lose the war.

BTW that explains the Israelis in space suits seen so often at night near Beirut.

It is a wonder any one can still breathe.

Of course modern weapons pose a threat to civilians. What you are not aware of and even the Red Cross won't tell you is that even rocks are dangerous in the wrong hands.

I'm told the diabolical Israelis are working on a rock gun to take people by surprise.

How do I know this? Some evil Jew has cornered the market on rocks.He plans to profit from the impending rock shortage.

M. Simon said...

Well I read the Wiki and it says that the expected effective combustion of the fuel is just 10%.

In other words it may be useful in some limited situations, but would not be used extensively due to low effectiveness vs high explosives.

I guess you can breathe a little easier.

I'd still worry about the rocks.

M. Simon said...

Uh, oh. I just found out that the most extensive use of vacuum bombs is in novels.

Time to stop reading?

Or maybe you could destroy the enemy with a hail of books.