1. Human Rights Watch researcher Letta Tayler  just got back from Iraq where she documented tales of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) forcing mass expulsions and murders of Christians and ethnic minorities who are told to convert. Tayler explains the recent edict ISIS issued for Christians in the city of Mosul: 

"ISIS issued an edict around mid-July and it said, "You’ve got three choices: convert, pay us a jihad tax, get out of town—and if you don’t do those, you’ll face the sword."
This was, of course, an absolutely chilling message. It was disseminated throughout the city and on the Internet as well, and at that point most of the Christians had already fled Mosul, but the few remaining families, and we’re still talking several hundred, apparently, just packed up and left. Some left with nothing but the clothes on backs, others piled whatever precious possessions they could into their cars and some of them then found at ISIS checkpoints that they were robbed of those few precious possessions that they had hoped to bring out with them. So it has been an absolutely terrifying part of a broader campaign to “cleanse” … Mosul and surrounding areas, of anyone who does not espouse this strict interpretation of Sharia that ISIS espouses.” 

Propaganda image of ISIS via NBC news  View in High-Res

    Human Rights Watch researcher Letta Tayler  just got back from Iraq where she documented tales of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) forcing mass expulsions and murders of Christians and ethnic minorities who are told to convert. Tayler explains the recent edict ISIS issued for Christians in the city of Mosul: 

    "ISIS issued an edict around mid-July and it said, "You’ve got three choices: convert, pay us a jihad tax, get out of town—and if you don’t do those, you’ll face the sword."

    This was, of course, an absolutely chilling message. It was disseminated throughout the city and on the Internet as well, and at that point most of the Christians had already fled Mosul, but the few remaining families, and we’re still talking several hundred, apparently, just packed up and left. Some left with nothing but the clothes on backs, others piled whatever precious possessions they could into their cars and some of them then found at ISIS checkpoints that they were robbed of those few precious possessions that they had hoped to bring out with them. So it has been an absolutely terrifying part of a broader campaign to “cleanse” … Mosul and surrounding areas, of anyone who does not espouse this strict interpretation of Sharia that ISIS espouses.”
     

    Propaganda image of ISIS via NBC news 

  2. ISIS

    iraq

    terrorism

    human rights watch

    letta tayler

    interview

    fresh air

  1. We asked New Yorker staff writer Dexter Filkins to talk with us about ISIS, how it compares to Al-Qaeda, the power it now has in Iraq and Syria, and how it’s war is beginning to destabilize neighboring countries. 
Here Filkins gives some context about the divisions in the Middle East:

"The modern Middle East was formed really, all but on the back of an envelope after World War I. You had the Ottoman Empire, ruled out of Istanbul, which governed most of the Middle East, collapsed after World War I and the British and the French basically just took out the pen and started drawing the borders and those are the borders we have today and they don’t represent much of anything other than the whims of the colonial powers at the time. They’re not aligned with tribal identities or religious or sectarian or ethnic groups or mountains or rivers or anything. I mean, look at Iraq. It’s a bunch of straight lines drawn with a ruler."


Photo by Lynsey Addario/NYT View in High-Res

    We asked New Yorker staff writer Dexter Filkins to talk with us about ISIS, how it compares to Al-Qaeda, the power it now has in Iraq and Syria, and how it’s war is beginning to destabilize neighboring countries. 

    Here Filkins gives some context about the divisions in the Middle East:

    "The modern Middle East was formed really, all but on the back of an envelope after World War I. You had the Ottoman Empire, ruled out of Istanbul, which governed most of the Middle East, collapsed after World War I and the British and the French basically just took out the pen and started drawing the borders and those are the borders we have today and they don’t represent much of anything other than the whims of the colonial powers at the time. They’re not aligned with tribal identities or religious or sectarian or ethnic groups or mountains or rivers or anything. I mean, look at Iraq. It’s a bunch of straight lines drawn with a ruler."

    Photo by Lynsey Addario/NYT

  2. iraq

    ISIS

    dexter filkins

    middle east

    history

    interview

    fresh air

  1. Fouad Ajami, who wrote extensively on middle east and Arab history, and made many appearances on TV news show, died of cancer, yesterday, at the age of 68.   Ajami was also a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.    Ajami was controversial for some of his views, including his support of the 2003  American invasion of Iraq.  He advised some of the members of the Bush adminstration.   He criticized Arab dictators, but also criticized people across the Arab world  for their divisiveness. This month, he criticized Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki, who he called a dictator, for failing to unify the country.   Ajami grew up in Lebanon.  Terry spoke with him in 1988, 13 years after the start of Lebanon’s civil war.  He’d just published an essay in a book, describing how political catastrophe came to Beirut, and how the city became a land of cruelty and hatred, a place of kidnappings and car bombings. 

Hear the interview here. 
View in High-Res

    Fouad Ajami, who wrote extensively on middle east and Arab history, and made many appearances on TV news show, died of cancer, yesterday, at the age of 68.   Ajami was also a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.    Ajami was controversial for some of his views, including his support of the 2003  American invasion of Iraq.  He advised some of the members of the Bush adminstration.   He criticized Arab dictators, but also criticized people across the Arab world  for their divisiveness. This month, he criticized Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki, who he called a dictator, for failing to unify the country.   Ajami grew up in Lebanon.  Terry spoke with him in 1988, 13 years after the start of Lebanon’s civil war.  He’d just published an essay in a book, describing how political catastrophe came to Beirut, and how the city became a land of cruelty and hatred, a place of kidnappings and car bombings. 

    Hear the interview here

  2. fouad ajami

    iraq

    lebanon

    war

    obituary

  1. Today we spoke to journalist Dexter Filkins.  His latest piece on Iraq in the New Yorker, What We Left Behind, explores “An increasingly authoritarian leader, a return of sectarian violence, and a nation worried for its future.” In the conversation Filkins explains how Iraq is “falling back into civil war:”

"I think I was there in February, just off the top of my head I think January there were a thousand civilians killed… A thousand in a month, that’s 30 people a day or so, that’s right up there, not with the bloodiest of months of the civil war when the Americans were there, but it’s pretty bloody. That’s mostly, almost entirely Shiite civilians being killed at the hands of Sunnis, but of course there are plenty of Sunnis being killed by the government, which is mostly Shiite.


The civil war that we are witnessing—that we witnessed when the Americans were there—is certainly a consequence of the invasion. Iraq is this deeply artificial country cobbled together after World War I, lines drawn in the sand really with very little regard for sect or tribe or nationality or anything. The country has been held together—and certainly when we invaded was being held together by this steel frame of a dictatorship overseen by Saddam Hussein and he was a terrible, awful human being but he held the country together in this ruthless way. When we broke that steel frame it all came apart and that’s what we’re witnessing.”


photo: Members of an Iraqi tribe protest military operation in Fallujah on January 7, 2014. via ny post View in High-Res

    Today we spoke to journalist Dexter Filkins His latest piece on Iraq in the New Yorker, What We Left Behind, explores “An increasingly authoritarian leader, a return of sectarian violence, and a nation worried for its future.” In the conversation Filkins explains how Iraq is “falling back into civil war:”

    "I think I was there in February, just off the top of my head I think January there were a thousand civilians killed… A thousand in a month, that’s 30 people a day or so, that’s right up there, not with the bloodiest of months of the civil war when the Americans were there, but it’s pretty bloody. That’s mostly, almost entirely Shiite civilians being killed at the hands of Sunnis, but of course there are plenty of Sunnis being killed by the government, which is mostly Shiite.

    The civil war that we are witnessing—that we witnessed when the Americans were there—is certainly a consequence of the invasion. Iraq is this deeply artificial country cobbled together after World War I, lines drawn in the sand really with very little regard for sect or tribe or nationality or anything. The country has been held together—and certainly when we invaded was being held together by this steel frame of a dictatorship overseen by Saddam Hussein and he was a terrible, awful human being but he held the country together in this ruthless way. When we broke that steel frame it all came apart and that’s what we’re witnessing.”

    photo: Members of an Iraqi tribe protest military operation in Fallujah on January 7, 2014. via ny post

  2. iraq

    dexter filkins

    war

    new yorker

    civil war

    saddam hussein

  1. Fresh Air critic at large John Powers reviews Redeployment by Phil Klay, a short story collection that “addresses the gap between the American soldiers who’ve fought in Iraq and those of us back home:”

Klay makes you feel the physical and psychic cost demanded of our soldiers in Iraq. And he may be even better on what it means to return to an America that pays gaudy lip service to honoring the troops yet doesn’t try to understand their service. Because we have a volunteer army, our soldiers and vets remain weirdly invisible to their fellow countrymen.
View in High-Res

    Fresh Air critic at large John Powers reviews Redeployment by Phil Klay, a short story collection that “addresses the gap between the American soldiers who’ve fought in Iraq and those of us back home:”

    Klay makes you feel the physical and psychic cost demanded of our soldiers in Iraq. And he may be even better on what it means to return to an America that pays gaudy lip service to honoring the troops yet doesn’t try to understand their service. Because we have a volunteer army, our soldiers and vets remain weirdly invisible to their fellow countrymen.

  2. war

    soldiers

    veterans

    iraq

    book

    john powers

  1. I think there’s always a feeling among soldiers that what you bring home with you and what happened overseas may be something only you or your group will understand, and that any attempt to bring it to a larger audience or to tell the story of it is, in effect, a cheapening of it and a way of selling it rather than sharing it.

    — Jake Siegel who served in both Iraq and Afghanistan speaks to Fresh Air about the difficulty of writing about and sharing his experiences at war.

  2. fresh air

    iraq

    afgahnistan

    war

    veterans

  1. This is the Middle East, you think you know something and it just spins off into infinity, or it just dissolves into the shadows. So what you think you knew is suddenly something else a few seconds later.

    — 

    Dexter Filkins, reporter for The New Yorker is on the show today

    Filkins is an expert of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and he explains to Terry Gross that even he gets confused by the “always-turning” stories behind the wars and political operations.

    Today he talks about Iran's involvement in Syria, especially the Quds Force led by Qassem Suleimani.

  2. fresh air

    interview

    Dexter Filkins

    The New Yorker

    iran

    iraq

    Afghanistan

    syria

  1. The stakes were all too low suddenly. Whether I did the dishes or not didn’t seem to rise to the challenge of what I had done before. When nothing is important anymore, everything is important. Little things start to become too important and you start to become obsessive over the details. And that obsessive part of my brain that kept me alive in Iraq went into overdrive and it became the hindrance. It got in the way.

    — Brian Castner tells Terry Gross about transitioning to home life after three tours of duty in Iraq in which he disabled roadside IEDs.

  2. Fresh Air

    Interviews

    Brian Castner

    Iraq

    The Long Walk

  1. Veteran and poet Brian Turner talks about a poem he wrote about being shot at:

It (the bullet) was coming toward me. That poem has a lot of bravado to it, and I think that’s just the fear masking itself.  About eighty percent of that poem is fear, and twenty percent is an ugly psychology of finally wanting to meet that moment, because so often, as an infantry soldier what I actually experienced wasn’t direct combat, it was indirect attacks against us, roadside bombs, snipers, mortar attacks, those types of things.

Image by Lorianne DiSabato via Flickr

    Veteran and poet Brian Turner talks about a poem he wrote about being shot at:

    It (the bullet) was coming toward me. That poem has a lot of bravado to it, and I think that’s just the fear masking itself.  About eighty percent of that poem is fear, and twenty percent is an ugly psychology of finally wanting to meet that moment, because so often, as an infantry soldier what I actually experienced wasn’t direct combat, it was indirect attacks against us, roadside bombs, snipers, mortar attacks, those types of things.

    Image by Lorianne DiSabato via Flickr

  2. Fresh Air

    Interviews

    Brian Turner

    Iraq

    Poetry

    Memorial Day

    Lorianne DiSabato

  1. Chris Hayes tells Terry Gross about how the last decade affected his politics:

My disposition as a human being is kind of a go-along-to-get-along person. I tend to trust authority. I tend to think people in charge broadly know what they’re doing, don’t lie to you, aren’t going start wars for no reason and, you know watching Iraq happen and then watching the financial crisis happen and then Katrina in the middle of that, you know, you turn around and, you think, ‘Wait a second: No one is on top of anything. Who the heck is in charge here? These people who say that they know what they’re doing don’t know what they’re doing. I’m not going to trust them the next time they tell me they know what they’re doing.’ It’s a radically unmooring feeling to recognize that people that you just figured kind of had it under control don’t have it under control and might be totally incompetent or completely corrupt or totally self-dealing.

Image of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina by greenmanowar

    Chris Hayes tells Terry Gross about how the last decade affected his politics:

    My disposition as a human being is kind of a go-along-to-get-along person. I tend to trust authority. I tend to think people in charge broadly know what they’re doing, don’t lie to you, aren’t going start wars for no reason and, you know watching Iraq happen and then watching the financial crisis happen and then Katrina in the middle of that, you know, you turn around and, you think, ‘Wait a second: No one is on top of anything. Who the heck is in charge here? These people who say that they know what they’re doing don’t know what they’re doing. I’m not going to trust them the next time they tell me they know what they’re doing.’ It’s a radically unmooring feeling to recognize that people that you just figured kind of had it under control don’t have it under control and might be totally incompetent or completely corrupt or totally self-dealing.

    Image of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina by greenmanowar

  2. chris+hayes

    Interviews

    Fresh Air

    Hurricane Katrina

    New Orleans

    Iraq

    politics

    MSNBC

  1. Posted on 19 March, 2013

    357 notes | Permalink

    Reblogged from timelightbox

    It’s the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War. These photographs from Time —  with accompanying stories and context from the photojournalists who took them — create a larger picture of that decade.
To mark the occasion on the show today, Terry talks with journalist Aaron Glantz who has a series of articles out with the Center for Investigative Reporting about how the government is failing veterans.
timelightbox:

Photo by Yuri Kozyrev—NOOR for TIME
A decade has passed since the United States invaded Iraq. To mark the anniversary, we asked 55 photographers to share their images made in Iraq that moved them the most.
View in High-Res

    It’s the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War. These photographs from Time with accompanying stories and context from the photojournalists who took them — create a larger picture of that decade.

    To mark the occasion on the show today, Terry talks with journalist Aaron Glantz who has a series of articles out with the Center for Investigative Reporting about how the government is failing veterans.

    timelightbox:

    Photo by Yuri Kozyrev—NOOR for TIME

    A decade has passed since the United States invaded Iraq. To mark the anniversary, we asked 55 photographers to share their images made in Iraq that moved them the most.

  2. Time LightBox

    Iraq

    Anniversaries

    Aaron Glantz

    Center for Investigative Reporting

  1. Posted on 9 July, 2012

    539 notes | Permalink

    Reblogged from combatkarma

    combatkarma:

US Marine Lance Cpls. Matthew Scofield (left), and Jarrett Hatley, a squad automatic weapon gunner and an improvised explosive device detection dog handler, rest next to Hatley’s dog Blue after clearing compounds with Afghan National Army soldiers, Jan. 4.

Today: a member of an IED-removal squad talks about what he remembers from his time in Iraq View in High-Res

    combatkarma:

    US Marine Lance Cpls. Matthew Scofield (left), and Jarrett Hatley, a squad automatic weapon gunner and an improvised explosive device detection dog handler, rest next to Hatley’s dog Blue after clearing compounds with Afghan National Army soldiers, Jan. 4.

    Today: a member of an IED-removal squad talks about what he remembers from his time in Iraq

  2. iraq

    ied

    dog

  1. buckaroo-monroe:

An IED detection dog handler with Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment holds security with his dog Coot during a partnered patrol with the Afghan Border Police, which has established governance in the southern Garmsir district of Afghanistan through the mentorship of 3rd Bn/3rd MarReg Marines.

Today: Brian Castner, who led a team in Iraq that disabled IEDs.

    buckaroo-monroe:

    An IED detection dog handler with Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment holds security with his dog Coot during a partnered patrol with the Afghan Border Police, which has established governance in the southern Garmsir district of Afghanistan through the mentorship of 3rd Bn/3rd MarReg Marines.

    Today: Brian Castner, who led a team in Iraq that disabled IEDs.

  2. brian castner

    ied

    iraq

  1. Posted on 6 July, 2012

    188 notes | Permalink

    Reblogged from starbuckstiel

    Monday: We’re talking to Brian Castner, who commanded an explosive ordinance disposal unit in Iraq. (It was one of the most dangerous jobs in Iraq.)

    Above: a scene from The Hurt Locker. [Related: Kathryn Bigelow on Fresh Air]

  2. iraq

    brian caster

  1. thepoliticalnotebook:

This is Samar Hassan, now 12 years old. She was the screaming 5-year old girl in the striking photo taken by the late Chris Hondros, a photo that has become emblematic of the Iraq war.  She had never seen the famous photo of her, blood-spattered, the  night her parents were killed by American soldiers in Tal Afar in 2005.  She now lives in Mosul, with her older sister and her sister’s husband.  

The photograph of Samar is frozen in history, but her life moved on, across a trajectory that is emblematic of what so many Iraqis have endured. In a country whose health care system has almost no ability to treat the psychological aspects of trauma, thousands of Iraqis are left alone with their torment.

Read more at the New York Times. 
(Photo Credit: Ayman Oghanna for The New York Times)

On today’s Fresh Air, reporter Tim Arango talks about tracking down Samar Hassan View in High-Res

    thepoliticalnotebook:

    This is Samar Hassan, now 12 years old. She was the screaming 5-year old girl in the striking photo taken by the late Chris Hondros, a photo that has become emblematic of the Iraq war.  She had never seen the famous photo of her, blood-spattered, the  night her parents were killed by American soldiers in Tal Afar in 2005.  She now lives in Mosul, with her older sister and her sister’s husband.  

    The photograph of Samar is frozen in history, but her life moved on, across a trajectory that is emblematic of what so many Iraqis have endured. In a country whose health care system has almost no ability to treat the psychological aspects of trauma, thousands of Iraqis are left alone with their torment.

    Read more at the New York Times

    (Photo Credit: Ayman Oghanna for The New York Times)

    On today’s Fresh Air, reporter Tim Arango talks about tracking down Samar Hassan

  2. tim arango

    iraq

    samar hassan