The weekend's massive protest marches in Europe and the U.S. show that, Colin Powell's charts and graphs notwithstanding, there's still a debate to be had about Iraq, and time to get informed. While the op-ed pages of major papers brim with opinions, there's impressive analysis being done outside the mainstream press. In the spirit of enlivening the shopworn arguments, we surveyed some online sources with singular coverage and picked four of our favorites.
WHO'S BEHIND THE SITE: Council on Foreign Relations, publishers of wonky and policy-obsessed journal Foreign Affairs. The organization promotes public understanding of international affairs, and the site reflects it, dividing its copious and informed readings on Iraq into sections: U.S. Allies & Friends, Costs of War, etc.
* A study by the International Crisis Group seeking to elicit true attitudes of Iraqis toward U.S. intervention, even as their opinions are constrained by a repressive government.
* A release from the Bush administration outlining its full expectations of compliance in disarmament.
* A lengthy text on what constitutes advisable policy for the U.S. to implement in Iraq if Saddam Hussein is toppled.
WHO'S BEHIND THE SITE: Craig Brown, a former staffer to Tom Andrews, a progressive U.S. rep from Maine. Brown saw the benefit in culling and compiling important articles for the boss, and in May 1997 he took to the Web.
* A transcript of the floor speech U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) delivered last Wednesday, emphasizing the dangerous precedent of preemption President Bush is establishing.
* A link to a U.K. Independent article exploring claims by Democrats that the CIA may not have given U.N. inspectors all the information they possessed about Iraqi weapons sites.
* A link to a Christian Science Monitor article on whether peace demonstrations have true political efficacy.
WHO'S BEHIND THE SITE: London's venerable Guardian, which is in a interesting position to analyze motivations for with war, with its distance from the U.S. yet central importance for Tony Blair's Labor Party. Among the most frequently updated Iraq sites, the Guardian also posts special sections on the United States, oil issues and the fate of the Kurds.
* The centerpiece of the site: a collection of 29 interviews about the potential war, including former Iraqi citizens, oil experts, academics and a former weapons inspector.
* An article on the reaction of American and British officials to the news that U.N. inspectors have found greater compliance than expected.
* A summary of a secret U.N. document predicting that war would prompt 1.5 million refugees from Iraq and that 30 percent of the country's children could risk malnutrition.
WHO'S BEHIND THE SITE: The Independent Media Institute, promoters of alternative journalism. The site features original pieces as well as content handpicked from their 200 contributing sources.
* An article about MoveOn, an organization that has uniquely used its website to mobilize U.S. peaceniks, including many of the past weekend's marchers.
* An article from the London Independent exploring the effects of war on Iraq's 12 million children.
* An analysis of the Bush administration's missile-rattling as a dynamic among three White House factions.