PLEDGE NOW
The Civil War in Iraq
photo

The White House does not, does not, does not want to call it a civil war. But at a certain point, the political spin doctors do not get the last word. The death tolls are through the roof. Sunni and Shiite militias are slugging it out with exploding sophistication and lethality.

President Bush said today it’s a lot of sectarian violence provoked by Al Qaeda. Does that mean it’s not a civil war?

Prominent military historians now put it this way: American troops in Iraq are now in the middle of one of the world’s bloodiest civil wars in half a century. It will likely go on for years – until one side wins. And the United States has choices to make.

This hour On Point: civil war, and Iraq.

Quotes from the Show:

“Iraq is like Somalia with oil.” James Fearon

“The average length of a civil war is a decade.” James Fearon

“The US has picked sides. It’s siding with the Iraqi government and the moderates.” Nicholas Sambanis

“The historic pattern shows that when parties fighting in a civil war receive assistance, then the war tends to last longer.” Nicholas Sambanis

“I’m not a big fan of the partition [of Iraq] idea.” James Fearon

“You see two narratives on Iraq: one that is written in Washington DC and another that is written on the ground in Iraq.” Anthony Shadid

Guests:

Bobby Ghosh, Baghdad bureau chief Time magazine

James Fearon, professor of political science at Stanford. He testified in September before the U.S. House of Representatives.

Nicholas Sambanis, professor of political science at Yale. He is co-editor of two volumes of case studies on civil war

Robin Wright, diplomatic correspondent for The Washington Post

Anthony Shadid, foreign corespondent for The Washington Post

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
RECENT
SHOWS
Jun 9, 2016

Newly-minted college graduates on the job hunt. We’ll look at who’s hiring, starting salaries, and strategies for landing that first job.

 
Jun 9, 2016

Europe, India and China, are taking on American tech giants over privacy, monopolies, and more. We’ll look at the global technology pushback against the U.S.A.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Jessica Valenti: ‘Objectification Is About Dehumanizing People’
Wednesday, Jun 8, 2016

“There is some power in laying claim to the word victim.” — Jessica Valenti on the Stanford sexual assault case, and the importance of language.

More »
Comment
 
Why The ‘Roots’ Remake Matters (And What Stays The Same)
Tuesday, Jun 7, 2016

The recent remake of “Roots” on the History Channel makes important changes, Morehouse College’s Stephane Dunn argues. But it also holds true to the original story.

More »
Comment
 
Former Trump Advisor Roger Stone: ‘Trump’s Going To Be The Next President’
Monday, Jun 6, 2016

Longtime political consultant Roger Stone apologizes for his “two martini tweets,” even as he predicts Donald Trump will be the next U.S. president.

More »
Comment