America Leaves Iraq: Is the Mission Accomplished at Last?
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President Obama says he's keeping his campaign promise to end the war in Iraq and that all combat operations will be over at the end of this month. We look at America's ongoing role and the state of the country seven years after the downfall of Saddam Hussein. Also, monsoon flooding creates a humanitarian crisis in Pakistan, and New York City's Landmarks Committee has cleared the way for a Muslim center including a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero. Is it an affront to the victims of 911 or an effort to bridge the gap between religions?
Banner image: US soldiers stand next to Iraqi military police vehicles lined up at the US army Forward Operating Base Constitution West of Baghdad on July 29, 2010. All US combat troops must leave Iraq by the end of 2011. Photo: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images
Monsoon Flooding Creates Humanitarian Crisis in Pakistan ()
Pakistan's worst floods in more than a century have left three million people homeless. Among the hardest-hit places is the Swat Valley, where two million people were driven away last year by fighting between government forces and the Taliban. That's according to Matthew Green who's currently in Islamabad for the Financial Times.
- Matthew Green: Afghanistan and Pakistan Correspondent, Financial Times
America Leaves Iraq: Is the Mission Accomplished at Last? ()
President Obama did not say "mission accomplished," but he did say yesterday that all combat operations in Iraq will end this month, as he promised. Fifty thousand American troops will remain, but the State Department will lead what's become a civilian effort, using the biggest embassy in the world. But Iraq has no permanent government. There's disagreement over how much violence has really declined and fears it will increase when US troops are gone. Is the US still relevant? What about Iran? How do Iraqis feel about America's role, and what's the future for five million displaced people?
- Liz Sly: Baghdad Correspondent, Los Angeles Times, @lizsly
- Wayne White: former Deputy Director, State Department's Middle East Intelligence Office
- Michael Rubin: Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute
- Hiwa Osman: former Media Advisor, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani
- Rami Khouri: Editor at Large, Daily Star
Decision Clears Way for Ground Zero Mosque ()
New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission has cleared the way for a Muslim community center, including a mosque, to be constructed two blocks from Ground Zero. The program director for Park 51 says it's designed to "build bridges between faiths," like Jewish Community Centers and YMCA's. Reacting to today's unanimous vote, some in the audience shouted, "Shame on you." Opponents include Sarah Palin, Tea Partiers, some Republican leaders and the Anti-Defamation League, all of whom call it an affront to the victims of 911. Victims' families are divided. Javier Hernandez covered today's hearing for the New York Times.
- Javier Hernandez: Reporter, New York Times
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