Iraq: The Next Act
"The democratic experience in Iraq is still very much in its infant stages, but it's being tested. It was tested over the course of the last four years, more recently it's being tested by the national elections, and now the challenge of putting a government together."
– Ambassador Gary Grappo, Counselor for Political Affairs in the U.S. Embassy
In this test, there are no cheat sheets, and the final grade has global implications. Iraq is trying hold its first democratic graduation and enroll a new government. At the same time, U.S. troops are starting to pack their bags for a permanent recess. And the question of what will be left behind is about more than Humvees and kitchen equipment. It’s about whether Iraq will be a stable, sovereign state that can stand up to bullies in its playground. In this episode, we visit Iraq to examine the fault lines, and whether the country is ready to stand on its own. And, we speak with Iraqi exiles here in the US about their new lives and whether they plan to return home.
Executive Producer: Aaron Lobel / AAM Producers: Monica Bushman, Sean Carberry, Matt Ozug, Chris Williams and Flawn Williams / Interns: Whitney Hall and Jeff Robbin / Web Producer: Javier Barrera / Photo: Sean Carberry.
Host: Deborah Amos
Special thanks to Joseph Ziauddin, President of the East County Refugee Center in El Cajon, CA.
Sean Carberry reports from Iraq on the current political climate and the challenges of forming a new government.
Guests include Maysoon Al-Damluji, a parliamentarian and member of the Iraqiya coalition; Ambassador Gary Grappo, Counselor for Political Affairs in the US Embassy; and Hamid Hassan, Professor of Political Science at Baghdad University.
Deborah Amos examines the 2008 negotiations between the US and Iraq that led to the signing of an important security agreement and laid the foundation for the future of the US-Iraq relationship.
Sean Carberry travels to Iraq to explore one of the thorniest and potentially destabilizing issues in the country — the status of the city of Kirkuk.
Guests include Felah Kassim Ahmed, resident of Dibak Tappah village in Kirkuk; Lieutenant Colonel Cormier; Captain Nick Loudon, Combined Security Force (CSF) Commander in Kirkuk City; Alan Meisenheimer, Senior Advisor for Ambassador Christopher Hill for Northern Iraq; Major General Abdul Rahman; Lieutenant Ben Robinson, Fourth Platoon Leader of the CSF Ali Saeed, member of the Iraqi Army; and Hassan Turan, Kirkuk Provincial Council Member and Deputy to the President of the Iraqi Turkmen Justice.
Hear the stories of Ammar Abdulameer, Haifa Pola and Mohammed Yussef, three Iraqi refugees making new lives for themselves in the US.
And, Deborah Amos speaks with Dr. Elizabeth Ferris of the Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement about the millions of internally displaced and exiled Iraqis.