April 02, 2003

HERE'S SOME SATELLITE IMAGERY OF BAGHDAD and related areas, dated yesterday, courtesy of Space Imaging Eurasia. (The item above, cropped from the "Republican Palace" photo, is used with their kind permission.):

Overview of City with Smoke Plumes - 4-meter resolution (4MB)

Republican Palace - 1-meter resolution (1.4MB)

Dawrah area - 1-meter resolution (1.6MB)

Area South of Shaab Stadium - 1-meter resolution (2.7MB)

Abu Ghurayb Palace - 1-meter resolution (2.6MB)

North Baghdad - 1-meter resolution (1 MB)

Saddam International Airport - 1-meter resolution (3 MB)

Pretty cool stuff. Two points. First, only spy agencies had access to this quality imagery last time around. And second, note how much of Baghdad is intact, and how precise the bombing is. This is a useful antidote to Iraqi propaganda and to "peace" activists' hopeful fantasies of mass destruction due to U.S. bombing.

UPDATE: Reader Gerald Hanner emails:

Saddam International Airport - 1-meter resolution (3 MB)"

Yep. Pretty nifty. Note all the small craters on the runway and taxiways. Neither the runway nor the parallel taxiway is useable, the high-speed taxiways are also punched up a bit. The south end of the runway indicates that it is RWY 33 Right; I wonder where 33 Left is. Also note that AN-Whateveritis parked all by its lonesome.

Meanwhile another reader notes:

Great pictures! Thanks for posting them. Most of the smoke plumes seem to be from the trenches filled with burning oil, not from air strikes.

Yeah, I noticed that.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Daniel Altchek emails:

One other thing about those pictures (of Baghdad at least) - a lot of cars on the roads, don't you think? Assuming those are civilians - real civilians, I mean - it kind of seems like they are not too worried about indiscriminate American bombing.

Indeed. And sharp-eyed reader Brian Messer notes:

The south end of the taxiway for 33L is near the lower left corner of the picture --and it's beat all to hell, too. Wonder if we left enough of that access road to the right of the taxiway clean so that a C-130 can touch down....

I know how I'm betting.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Ralph Peters quotes Jon Lee Anderson of The New Yorker as calling Baghdad

a landscape of death and wanton devastation, all stamped "Made in America."

Give it up, dude. This is the Internet -- and now we can fact-check your ass from orbit.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Another reader writes that the dark marks on the runways at Saddam Airport are probably objects, not craters. Okay. They looked like craters to me. Meanwhile, if you think my comment above about the "peace" people hoping for civilian casualties was too harsh (not that anyone emailed to say so. . . .) well, read this.