The podcast this week opens with a vivid self-narrated piece from an American medic on one of his final patrols in Baghdad’s Sadr City neighborhood. The item is short. But it’s one of those examples of what makes radio so powerful. Here’s a guy on patrol leading you through the story himself, without narration from a reporter or pundit. I included this piece from the BBC in Baghdad at an important moment for Iraq. US troops have moved out of the city centers. But recent incidents of violence harken back to the bad old days of 2006-07.
Author Tom Ricks has written about what he sees at the “unraveling” of Iraq in a series of posts at his indispensible blog, The Best Defense at ForeignPolicy.com. Ricks’s most recent book, The Gamble: David Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008, is on Amazon’s list of best books of the year for 2009. And I’m going to have to go ahead and agree. It’s a fantastic account of the US military’s experience during the so-called “surge.” Segment two in the podcast is an extended interview with Ricks by The World’s host, Lisa Mullins.
The third and final segment in Episode #23 of the podcast is my interview with Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. I called up Sadjadpour to get his take on some of Barack Obama’s latest comments about the situation in Iran. We talked about that, and also about a friend of Sadjadpour’s who was just detained by the Iranians.
Thanks for listening!