October 15, 2010

Iraq After Us

Operation Iraqi Freedom is over. And the next chapter of Iraq is being written now. But what actually happened there the last seven years? Producer Nancy Updike and reporter Larry Kaplow spent a month in Iraq talking to Iraqis and Americans about the war that tore the country apart, and what's happening as we try to put it back together.
Nancy Updike


Host Ira Glass speaks with reporter Larry Kaplow and producer Nancy Updike, who spent a month in Iraq as the US combat mission was ending, in August 2010, talking to Iraqis. They play excerpts from a conversation they had with a Shiite professor—who had pizza recently with a Sunni friend, and realized just how tense things still are in Iraq. (8 minutes)
Act One

What Just Happened?

To understand where we are today in Iraq, we tell the story of one Iraqi, Saad Oraibi Ghaffouri Al-Obeidi, also known as Abu Abed—a man who fought alongside the US during the surge, and is now in exile—and what he saw, and was part of, over seven years of the war. (28 minutes)
Act Two

Politics as Usual

Larry and Nancy head to Diyala Province north of Baghdad, and meet with a mayor and a member of the provincial council—like a state legislature—to see why is politics in Iraq utterly stalled. (9 minutes)
Act Three

Today in Babylon

The worst violence ended two years ago. Iraq is stable. Larry and Nancy go to an amusement park in Baghdad, a wedding hall, an herbal medicine shop, and other places to see what stability means—and doesn't mean—for Iraqis' everyday lives. (9 minutes)

Larry Kaplow reported from Iraq for six and a half years. Here are a few articles he wrote while he was Iraq bureau chief for Newsweek:
The Last Day of the Iraq War
Iraq Steps Out of Iran’s Shadow


“Wen Inti, Habibit Umri? (Where Are You, the Love of My Life?)” by Hussam Al-Rassam