Before / after satellite photos of Saddam's palace in Baghdad, Iraq. Note the new parking lots, modular housing, restoration of the waterworks, and other interesting markings of new tenants in the emperor's crib.
a picture is worth a thousand rants, right? Isn't that, pretty much, the premise of this blog? That a map is the most efficient way of narrating space? That who controls the narrative, controls the world, and whoever controls the most efficient form of narrative, controls the controllers? Or something?
I don't know who they are or what they do, besides making sometimes simple, sometimes complex, always high impact maps of the the conflict in the middle east. But the few minutes I've spent at their site looking over their maps have made the current conflict more clear to me than the past three years of news items and blog punditry.
Take the image above, the before/after satellite of Saddam's palace. It's a comment on the loneliness of the dictator, certainly, and the busyness of the ostensibly republican imperial client state. It's also all about capitalism vs. autocracy, warm cynicism and smiling self-interest vs. ruthless and corrupt idealism, democratic imperialism vs. Ba'athist tyranny, etc. etc. etc. etc. God, you can just spin all day.
Or look at this fantastic, and seemingly unending, animation (below) of imperium after imperium after imperium. My takeaway here is: location, location, location. Will they ever have peace? In a word: no. Not, at least, until all the real estate in the world is under one thumb and there's no room to fight anymore.