90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Iraq Teeters On The Edge Of Civil War

We look at Iraq now, two years after Americans boots marched out. New elections next week, and the country on the verge of all-out civil war.

Security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack in the town of Suwayrah, 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, April 21, 2014. Suicide bombings and other attacks across Iraq killed and wounded dozens on Monday, officials said, the latest in an uptick in violence as the country counts down to crucial parliament elections later this month. (AP)

Security forces inspect the site of a suicide attack in the town of Suwayrah, 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, April 21, 2014. Suicide bombings and other attacks across Iraq killed and wounded dozens on Monday, officials said, the latest in an uptick in violence as the country counts down to crucial parliament elections later this month. (AP)

It was two years and four months ago that the last American troops marched out of Iraq.  After most of a decade and more than $2 trillion spent there.  After nearly 4500 American deaths, and more than 32,000 Americans wounded.  After an Iraqi death toll so big it’s still being debated.  After all that, right now Iraq is on the verge of civil war.  Some say it’s effectively there.  Fallujah and Ramadi overrun with insurgents.  Al Qaeda back, and trouble north, south, east and west.  Bombings in Baghdad.  Syria’s upheaval bleeding in.  This hour On Point:  the new trouble in Iraq.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Ned Parker, Baghdad bureau chief for Reuters. (@nedmparker1)

Lukman Faily, Iraqi ambassador to the United States. (@FailyLukman)

Sarhang Hamasaeed, senior program officer for the Middle East and Africa at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Denise Natali, senior fellow at the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University.

From Tom’s Reading List

Reuters: Islamist militants kill 30 in attacks around Iraq — “Suspected Sunni Muslim militants killed at least 30 people around Iraq on Thursday including 12 soldiers in an assault on a remote army base in the north, deepening insecurity with a national election just two weeks away. Sectarian bloodshed has increased since the Shi’ite Muslim-led Baghdad government began an offensive against insurgents, some of them affiliated with al Qaeda, dug in around Falluja and Ramadi in the western province of Anbar.”

New York Times: Iraq Shuts Down the Abu Ghraib Prison, Citing Security Concerns — “In a statement, the Justice Ministry said it had moved 2,400 prisoners to other high-security prisons in central and northern Iraq, adding that Abu Ghraib’s location — west of central Baghdad and on the edge of insurgent-controlled areas of Anbar Province — had become a ‘hot zone.'”

The Wall Street Journal: Tensions Percolate Ahead of Iraqi Election — “Over the past four years, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has overseen a gridlocked Parliament, contended with renewed sectarian conflict and made a host of political enemies. But when Iraqis go to the polls on April 30 for the first parliamentary elections since U.S. forces left in late 2011, they are expected to reward the 63-year-old Shiite politician with a third four-year stint.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 21, 2014
David Perdue, Michelle Nunn

Two weeks to go till Midterm Election Day. We’ll look at how the biggest issues are playing out around the country.

Oct 21, 2014
This undated image provided by Google, shows an early version of Google's prototype self-driving car. For the first time, California's Department of Motor Vehicles knows how many self-driving cars are traveling on the state's public roads. The agency is issuing permits, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 that let three companies test 29 vehicles on highways and in neighborhoods. (AP)

The future of the car: from the fuels they’ll run on, to the materials they’ll be made of, to the computers that may drive them.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 20, 2014
In this Oct. 2, 2014 photo, patrons line up for “Nightmare: New York,” a haunted house attraction in New York. (AP)

Afraid of snakes? Heights? Ebola? We’ll unpack the science of fear.

 
Oct 20, 2014
A statue of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on New York City's Roosevelt Island. (Flickr / Alexisrael)

Greatness and the American Presidency. Aaron David Miller says aim for good. Really good.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

More »
Comment
 
Two LIVE Tracks From Jazz Violinist Regina Carter
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Regina Carter shares two live tracks — one arrangement, and one original composition — with Tom Ashbrook in the On Point studio.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 17, 2014
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

We talk Facebook mishaps, whether Katy Perry was actually right and the glory of architectural giants and their iconic windows.

More »
Comment