PLEDGE NOW
Basra: Defining Moment?
photo

What just happened in Iraq?

A week ago, prime minister Nouri al-Maliki and central government troops charged into the southern oil port of Basra, vowing to clean up the town and laying down a tough deadline for rogue militiamen to surrender their arms.

President Bush hailed the move as bold and necessary, “a defining moment” for Iraq.

Then, in what seemed like minutes, the rogue militia threw Maliki out on his ear. Anti-American cleric Moktada al-Sadr was calling the tune.

We glimpsed some truths that are hard to understand.

This hour, On Point: what did just happen in Iraq?

Guests:

Ned Parker, a correspondent for the Los Angeles Times in Baghdad.

Barry Posen, director of the Security Studies Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he is also a professor of political science

Juan Cole, professor of Middle East and South Asian History at the University of Michigan, he’s the author of “Napoleon’s Egypt: Invading the Middle East” (2007) and “Sacred Space and Holy War: The Politics, Culture and History of Shiite Islam” (2002).

Reuel Marc Gerecht, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, where his work focuses on Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, he served as an advisor to the Iraq Study Group, and is the author of “The Islamic Paradox: Shiite Clerics, Sunni Fundamentalists, and the Coming of Arab Democracy” (2004).

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 25, 2015
New York Times columnist David Brooks explores a history of American moral character in his new book, "The Road to Character." Former US Labor Secretary Frances Perkins (R), is one of the subjects he profiles in his books. (David Burnett / AP)

New York Times columnist David Brooks on finding moral character in a self-preoccupied society.

May 25, 2015
Violinist Regina Carter warms up in the On Point studio on Friday, October 17. (Robin Lubbock / WBUR)

Regina Carter turns her jazz violin down home with her new album “Southern Comfort.”

RECENT
SHOWS
May 22, 2015
The Barden Bellas, the all-female a cappella group at the center of Pitch Perfect 2. (Richard Cartwright/Universal Pictures via AP)

Pitch Perfect 2 is the number one movie in the country, and it’s over the top on a capella.

 
May 22, 2015
Crashed cars with airbags deployed are shown to visitors as part of the display of Toyota Motor Corp.'s safety performance standards at the automaker's exhibition hall in Toyota, central Japan. (Shuji Kajiyama/AP)

ISIS rolls on. A TPP vote. Biggest recall ever – airbags. And Letterman’s last bow. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
A Former Bike Gang Member Explains "The Life"
Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Larry called in from Lawrenceburg, KY and told us he was once a member of the Pagan’s Motorcycle Club, a mid-Atlantic biker gang. He didn’t sugar coat the facts as he explained the draw of the brotherhood and what makes the outlaw motorcycle corner the underworld go round.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: May 15, 2015
Friday, May 15, 2015

We cancel a few hours and suddenly all of you get convinced of a global radio conspiracy! Plus, dragon zoos.

More »
1 Comment
 
Caller: ‘It Doesn’t Always Turn Out Okay’
Wednesday, May 13, 2015

One caller shares her own story of an extremely premature birth. Her daughter, born at 22 1/2 weeks in 2012, was taken off life support after seven days.

More »
Comment