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Thursday night, January 16, 1991. Here is what the war looks like so far:

Blowtorch flares from F-15 Strike Eagles burning above "a large airbase somewhere in Saudi Arabia"... Street maps of downtown Baghdad with an ID shot of Holliman, Arnett, or Shaw stuck on ... Peter Jennings, automaton avunculus, looking like he could use a few minutes on the nod, which makes him seem almost human ... Men in fatigues standing on hotel roofs trying to repeat the obvious while jets scream across the sky ... Television as Radio: lots of reports coming in "Live on the Phone"... Gun camera footage from Libya a few years back: think of these shots as rushes ... Ominous blue domes glowing against the night sky of Riyadh, architecture of the Apocalypse that's really just the roof of an indoor pool ... The President reading his war poem, invoking FDR, JFK, even the Great Communicator ...

It's a familiar feast, all fragments and repetition stuck together with a paste of groundless spec. And of course it's what we don't see that counts.

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