90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
The Civil War in Iraq
photo

The White House does not, does not, does not want to call it a civil war. But at a certain point, the political spin doctors do not get the last word. The death tolls are through the roof. Sunni and Shiite militias are slugging it out with exploding sophistication and lethality.

President Bush said today it’s a lot of sectarian violence provoked by Al Qaeda. Does that mean it’s not a civil war?

Prominent military historians now put it this way: American troops in Iraq are now in the middle of one of the world’s bloodiest civil wars in half a century. It will likely go on for years – until one side wins. And the United States has choices to make.

This hour On Point: civil war, and Iraq.

Quotes from the Show:

“Iraq is like Somalia with oil.” James Fearon

“The average length of a civil war is a decade.” James Fearon

“The US has picked sides. It’s siding with the Iraqi government and the moderates.” Nicholas Sambanis

“The historic pattern shows that when parties fighting in a civil war receive assistance, then the war tends to last longer.” Nicholas Sambanis

“I’m not a big fan of the partition [of Iraq] idea.” James Fearon

“You see two narratives on Iraq: one that is written in Washington DC and another that is written on the ground in Iraq.” Anthony Shadid

Guests:

Bobby Ghosh, Baghdad bureau chief Time magazine

James Fearon, professor of political science at Stanford. He testified in September before the U.S. House of Representatives.

Nicholas Sambanis, professor of political science at Yale. He is co-editor of two volumes of case studies on civil war

Robin Wright, diplomatic correspondent for The Washington Post

Anthony Shadid, foreign corespondent for The Washington Post

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 31, 2014
Nurse Kaci Hickox, right, and her boyfriend, Ted Wilbur are followed by a Maine State Trooper as they ride bikes on a trail near her home in Fort Kent, Maine, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014.  (AP)

Quarantines and Ebola. An exploding rocket. Apple’s CEO comes out. Hawaiian lava flows. Midterms in the home stretch. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 31, 2014
Doc Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) and Sauncho Smilax (Beninico del Toro) share a drink in a scene from the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film, "Inherent Vice," an adaptation of the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Entertainment)

From “Interstellar” to “Into the Woods.” The biggest and best movies of the fall and holiday seasons. What to see, what to skip.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 30, 2014
Soylent is a new meal-replacement substance meant to offer a complete nutritional alternative to traditional food. (Courtesy Soylent)

Soylent is a grey smoothie the consistency of pancake batter that claims it can replace all your food. On a crowded planet, is this the future of food? Plus: what does the Antares rocket crash mean for private space travel?

 
Oct 30, 2014
Realtor Helen Hertz stands in front of one of her listings in Cleveland Heights, Ohio Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Hertz, a real estate agent for more than three decades, has seen firsthand what has happened to the market in the wake of the recession and foreclosure crisis. (AP)

Home ownership rates are at a 20-year low. Millennials and more aren’t buying. We’ll look at what American’s think now about owning a home.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Awards Season 2014: The Movies Worth Your Time
Friday, Oct 31, 2014

What movies should you watch before 2014 comes to a close? Our critics offer their picks for the movies of the season right here.

More »
Comment
 
A Bit More On The History Of Quarantine
Thursday, Oct 30, 2014

So this whole quarantine thing — why to do it, when to do it, and when to just say no.

More »
Comment
 
The Explicast, Episode Two: Why Is Election Day On A Tuesday?
Friday, Oct 24, 2014

The Explicast is back for another round. This time, we’re looking at Election Day, and why we all keep voting on a random Tuesday in early November.

More »
2 Comments