The David Rumsey Map Collection is a pretty impressive accomplishment. According to the site, the collections “contains more than 150,000 maps. The collection focuses on rare 16th through 21st century maps of North and South America, as well as maps of the World, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania. The collection includes atlases, wall maps, globes, school geographies, pocket maps, books of exploration, maritime charts, and a variety of cartographic materials including pocket, wall, children’s, and manuscript maps. Items range in date from about 1550 to the present.”
I generally stay out of politics, and here I am only passing on news that reveals that putting yourself in the wrong place can only lead to unwanted results. In this case, American soldiers killed two children, two Reuters photographers, and a number of Iraqi civilians in addition to one or two Iraqis who may, or may not, have been armed. The killing happened at a great distance as the young soldiers circled around the scene in Apache helicopters and evaluated the situation through telescopic lens. The entire scene was captured in black and white by the gun cameras and includes their audio. At such a distance, within the confines of a context in which little they do leads to successes they can celebrate, young men become cynical killers, eager to shoot and have something decided. The result is that as one of the reporters attempts to crawl to safety, the gunners urge him to pick up a gun so that they can shoot him again. A few minutes later, a van arrives, and two men attempt to pick up the reporter, apparently in an effort to, I don’t know, help a wounded man. They don’t stand a chance. The gunners ask for, and receive, permission to shoot. The event was made more tragic by the fact that two children, a boy and a girl, were sitting in the front seat of the van. When ground forces arrived, they immediately sought to rush the children to medical care, in a scene somewhat reminiscent of _Apocalypse Now_, but were told to drop them off with the Iraqi Police.
[The shortened version of the video is here](http://collateralmurder.com/).