PLEDGE NOW
Pulling Back in Iraq: Reflections

President Obama lays out plans to withdraw combat units from Iraq at month’s end. We get a boots-on-the-ground perspective on the sweep of the war.

In this June 29, 2010 photo, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Richard "Ross" Coffman, left, talks to a village sheik in al-Bailona, Ninevah province. (AP)

When President Obama took office, there were 144,000 troops in Iraq. By the end of August, there will be 50,000 left.

Yesterday, the President said combat missions are ending. As the U.S. pulls back – and eventually out – of Iraq, we’re reflecting on the meaning of that toil, sacrifice, service and bloodshed. What it means for regular Iraqis, and for the armed forces who gave much, and lost comrades.

Today, we hear two in-depth war accounts, from a soldier-author and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.

Guests:

From Baghdad, we’re joined by Anthony Shadid, Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent for the New York Times. His latest book is “Night Draws Near: Iraq’s People in the Shadow of America’s War.”  

David Finkel, Pulitzer Prize-winning staff writer for the Washington Post. His book “The Good Soldiers,” chronicling a battalion that was part of the U.S. “surge” in Iraq, is now out in paperback. You can read an excerpt. You can watch some video, narrated by him, about his time in Iraq.

Matt Gallagher, former Army captain who served in Iraq from 2007 to 2009. His memoir of his days in Iraq is “Kaboom: Embracing the Suck in a Savage Little War.” You can read an excerpt.

More:

It’s worth listening back to our show this year on “The Hurt Locker,” where we spoke with real-life bomb squad members, and our segment with NPR’s Daniel Zwerdling on troops coping with brain injuries.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Aug 31, 2015
A television photographer takes video of a memorial for the two slain journalist in front of the studios of WDBJ-TV7 in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward from the station were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday.  (AP)

Lessons from the Roanoke TV shootings. We’ll look at the way forward with the New York Times’ Nick Kristof and other top thinkers.

Aug 31, 2015
While the jury still deliberates, former St. Paul's School student Owen Labrie, left, leaves the Merrimack Superior Court at the end of day with security in tow Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, in Concord, N.H.  Labrie was convicted by a jury of several misdemeanors, but ruled not guilty in the most serious felony sexual assault charges. (AP)

A verdict in the New Hampshire prep school rape trial. And calls for changing sexual assault laws.

RECENT
SHOWS
Aug 28, 2015
Lightning first ignited the Meadow fire on July 20, 2014 in Yosemite. By September 8, the fire had charred 2,582 acres. Bernie Krause has recorded soundscapes of national parks destroyed by large areas of forest fires. Listen below.  (National Park Service)

A legendary natural sound collector shares his recordings. We’ll listen in.

 
Aug 28, 2015
WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

A deadly shooting on live TV. Wall Street’s roller coaster ride. Biden considers a White House bid. 10 years since Katrina.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: August 28, 2015
Friday, Aug 28, 2015

You say #hashtag, we say, #forwhat? That, plus Usain Bolt and the ominous lurking Segway cameraman. Friday!

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: August 21, 2015
Friday, Aug 21, 2015

Do you even click? (And other reflections on link sharing and web commenting).

More »
6 Comments
 
Do You Recognize Amazon’s Workplace Culture? Tell Us!
Tuesday, Aug 18, 2015

Do you recognize the workplace conditions described in a recent New York Times piece on Amazon? We want to hear from you!

More »
5 Comments