The Guardian's Gahaith Abdul-Ahad calls the Syrian battle fluid and complicated. "There is chaos, there is no military planning, there is no organization," he tells Fresh Air. He reported for the PBS Frontline documentary The Battle for Syria, which airs Tuesday.
For the past year, veteran war correspondent Anthony Shadid has been reporting on the Arab uprisings in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Bahrain and Tunisia. Last March, he was kidnapped and beaten by security forces in Libya. "It remains one of the scariest moments of my life," he says.
The Iraqi heavy-metal band Acrassicauda had problems playing their music under Saddam Hussein, but they didn't get death threats until after the American invasion. Two band members — and the filmmaker who made a documentary about them — talk with Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
A fellow at Oil Change International and at the Institute for Policy Studies, she argues that the oil industry's grip on policy and government has never been stronger. She documents her concerns — and argues for remedies — in a new book.
There are 100,000 private military contractors in Iraq. Mercenary John Geddes explains why he thinks this is a good thing. His new book Highway to Hell is an account of his experiences in Iraq as a soldier for hire.
Yanar Mohammed, an internationally renowned Iraqi activist, founded the Organization of Women's Freedom in Iraq to advocate for women's rights. It's an uphill fight: From the 1950s to the 1970s, Iraqi women could legally work, study, marry and divorce, and wear what they wanted, but the new constitution in Iraq, based on the Islamic Sharia law system, denies women the civil and social rights guaranteed to men.
Since 2004, journalist Huda Ahmed has been covering the war in Iraq for the McClatchy (formerly Knight Ridder) News Service. This spring, she was awarded the Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship by the International Women's Media Foundation. The fellowship is named for Boston Globe reporter Elizabeth Neuffer, who was killed while on assignment in Iraq. Ahmed has written about the issues of women and children in a war zone, human rights abuses and the struggle of women in a Muslim society, and will discuss the particular dangers of covering the war in Iraq.
Journalist T. Christian Miller of The Los Angeles Times talks about his new book, Blood Money: Wasted Billions, Lost Lives, and Corporate Greed in Iraq. Miller writes, "In almost every way, the rebuilding has fallen short."
Deputy Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction Ginger Cruz oversees the audit, inspection and investigation operations established to prevent waste, fraud and abuse in the U.S. reconstruction of Iraq. Cruz just returned from Iraq.
British diplomat and journalist Rory Stewart walked alone across Afghanistan following the fall of the Taliban. The former fellow at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Havard's Kennedy School of Government wrote about it in the memoir The Places in Between. Stewart was later appointed a provincial governor in post-invasion Iraq, and has a memoir about that experience as well.
The new documentary Baghdad ER goes inside the 86th Combat Support Hospital in Iraq, the Army's premier medical facility in Iraq. Shot over two months in 2005, the film tells the stories of the hospital's doctors and wounded soldiers. The film debuted on HBO last week. Filmmakers Jon Alpert and Matthew O'Neill discuss their project with Terry Gross.
A new Hamas-led government; protests against cartoons of Muhammad; a re-started nuclear program in Iran: It's a busy time for journalists specializing in the Middle East. Christopher Dickey is the regional editor for Newsweek.
A need for foreign workers in Iraq -- and the flood of American dollars into the country -- have created a labor network that critics call misleading, illegal and even dangerous. Chicago Tribune correspondent Cam Simpson retraced the fatal journey of 12 men from Nepal.
Anthony Shadid's new book is Night Draws Near: Iraq's People in the Shadow of America's War. Shadid is the Baghdad correspondent for The Washington Post. The book culls stories from Shadid's many visits to Iraq over the past eight years.
Anderson writes the Letters from Baghdad column for The New Yorker magazine. His new book is The Fall of Baghdad. Anderson's conversations with people in Iraq, including an artist, a driver and a plastic surgeon, as well as his travels around the country, formed the basis of his new book.
Christopher Dickey is Paris bureau chief and Middle East regional editor for Newsweek.. His new novel, The Sleeper, is a thriller about a former terrorist living the United States who hunts down his former al Qaeda comrades after Sept. 11.
Diamond is a professor of political science and sociology at Stanford University and an expert on democratic development and regime change. He is the coordinator of the Democracy Program of the new Center for Democracy, Development and Rule of Law at Stanford's Institute for International Studies. Diamond spent three months earlier this year advising the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq.