"Iraq: Death of a Nation" examines how the U.S. invasion and occupation created a multi-faceted civil war in which the U.S. is now actively arming multiple factions. Last summer, the project focused on how Iraq's refugee crisis was created by the invasion and the fighting that has followed. This summer, Enders and Rowley will focus on Iraq's upcoming elections, the issue of US detention of Iraqis and continued US pacification efforts in Sadr City and Falluja. These two locations, while at the opposite poles of local Iraqi politics, are both important test cases for the US as it attempts to move forward in Iraq. Enders and Rowley also travel to Syria to examine the continuing struggle for Iraqi refugees there.
What was it like working as a female reporter in Iraq?
As a female journalist working in Iraq I face all sorts of difficulties in terms of the conservative society against women, in terms of working in a men's field and also working for international organizations and outlets or any sort of international or foreign company. While I did my work I was all the time more than men accused of collaborating with the occupier, with being loose, with not being conservative. And even though I had to put on this scarf I still had to act in a very conservative way.
The tough terms dictated by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki in the newly completed U.S.-Iraqi status of forces agreement marked a tactical concession in a domestic Iraqi battle for power that remains far from resolved.
Maliki’s homegrown antagonist is the Tayyera al Sadrieen, the Iraqi religious-nationalist movement led by Moqtada al Sadr that has resisted the U.S. occupation militarily and politically since 2003.
Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been detained by the US, one and a half million have had an immediate family-member detained, almost every Iraqi knows someone who has been through the US detention system. Few American institutions affect the lives of ordinary Iraqis more directly and profoundly than the US detention system.
At one point during "the Surge" the US was holding 27,000 Iraqis. Today it holds 17,000.
Moqtada al Sadr and his militia, the Mehdi Army - or 'JAM' in American military shorthand, have been America's most intractable opponents in Iraq. But after recent attacks launched by the US and Iraqi military against Sadr strongholds, cease-fires were negotiated and the Mehdi Army melted away from the streets. Has the Mehdi Army finally been defeated, and is this the end of the armed Shiite resistance to the occupation?
Begins airing Friday, December 5th, 2008 on public television's Foreign Exchange with Daljit Dhaliwal