90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
What Should The United States Do In Iraq?

American options, American action in Iraq.  To get in, to stay out, and the emerging White House plan.

In this Monday, June 16, 2014 file photo, Demonstrators chant pro-al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as they carry al-Qaida flags in front of the provincial government headquarters in Mosul, 225 miles (360 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq. (AP)

In this Monday, June 16, 2014 file photo, Demonstrators chant pro-al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as they carry al-Qaida flags in front of the provincial government headquarters in Mosul, 225 miles (360 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad, Iraq. (AP)

Iraq is, right now, coming apart at the seams.  What should the US do?  The White House isn’t saying yet.  But everybody else is, and the range of fervent recommendations is vast.  On the gung ho end:  get back in there.  Special forces, intelligence, drones, bombers, politics, arms into Syria, deals with Iran, boots on the ground.  Essentially, renewed American war.  At the other end, this firm advice:  do nothing.  Do not get involved.  Let Iran handle it.  Let it take its course.  And if a threat to the US develops, hit it then. This hour On Point:  what to do, what not to do, now, in Iraq.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Josh Lederman, White House reporter for the Associated Press. (@joshledermanAP)

Barry Posen, Ford International professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Director of the MIT Security Studies Program. Author of “Restraint,” “Inadvertent Escalation” and “The Sources of Military Doctrine.”

Denise Natali, Minerva Fellow at the Center for Strategic Research in the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University.

Max Boot, senior fellow in national security studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Author of “The Savage Wars of Peace,” “War Made New” and “Invisible Armies.” Contributing editor at The Weekly Standard and the Los Angeles Times. (@MaxBoot)

From Tom’s Reading List

POLITICO Magazine: The Case For Doing Nothing in Iraq — “Maliki’s heavy-handed employment of surveillance, incarceration, and violence has driven Sunni Arab fence sitters into the arms of ISIS fanatics; he’s part of the problem, not the solution.That ought to make us cautious about meddling in Iraq’s internal politics. Restraint strategists are alert to the costs of intervening in the internal politics of other countries and the low odds of success inherent to doing so.

Washington Post: The United States should not cooperate with Iran on Iraq — “The idea that the United States, a nation bent on defending democracy and safeguarding stability, shares a common interest with the Islamic Republic of Iran, a revolutionary theocracy that is the No. 1 state sponsor of terrorism in the world, is as fanciful as the notion that Neville Chamberlain and Adolf Hitler could work together for the good of Europe.”

The Wall Street Journal: Iraqi Government Forces Battle for Control of Major Oil Refinery — “Iraq’s counterterrorism units backed by other security forces and helicopter gunships battled insurgents on Wednesday for control of the country’s main oil refinery, trying to keep the fuel hub that supplies Baghdad from falling to a powerful week-old offensive by Sunni Muslim militants, Iraqi officials said.The gunships bombarded positions of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham fighters inside the refinery in the northern city of Beiji, a state oil official said.”

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 24, 2014
Ottawa police officers, with Parliament Hill in the background, guard the area around the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa on Thursday. (Reuters/Landov)

Gunfire in Canada’s capital. Billionaire millions hit the midterms. Huge airbag recall. Ben Bradlee is dead. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Oct 24, 2014
Andrew (Miles Teller) and his often demanding conductor, Terrence (J.K. Simmons) in a scene from the new film, "Whiplash." (Courtesy Sony Pictures Classics)

The new movie “Whiplash”. The thin line between obsession and abuse on the road to greatness. In music, the arts…sports.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 23, 2014
A screenshot from the interactive game, "Depression Quest," the game at the root of the ongoing #GamerGate controversy. (Courtesy  "Depression Quest")

#GamerGate. Sexism, misogyny and rough stuff in a video game world culture clash.

 
Oct 23, 2014
Specialist Ronnie Howard, center, calls out prices as he works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, Oct. 16, 2014. Beyond the turmoil shaking financial markets, the U.S. economy remains sturdier than many seem to fear. (AP)

The global economic wobble. Europe weakness. China fears. Wild markets. We’ll lay out the global economy now.

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 »
3 Comments
 
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