Middle East

10:19 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Obama's Toughest Audience: His Die-Hard Supporters

President Obama returns to the White House on Friday after the G-20 summit in Russia.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 12:37 pm

Brent Rosenberg was an early and enthusiastic Barack Obama supporter at a place and time when it mattered most: Iowa 2008, in the run-up to the first-in-the-nation presidential-nominating contest.

"I worked hard during the caucuses," said Rosenberg, a Des Moines lawyer and lifelong Democrat. "I led all my friends and relatives to him."

So it's with evident pain that he now speaks about the president, on the eve of Obama's speech on military action against Syria, with disappointment, if not regret.

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7:39 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Ordinary Americans React To Calls For Strikes On Syria

Soldiers rappel at the Sabalauski Air Assault School at Fort Campbell, Ky.
U.S. Army Jennifer Andersson AP

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 9:55 am

Before we hear from President Obama Tuesday night, let's hear now from some concerned citizens. The president will go on television to ask for support to press Syria to stop using chemical weapons.

Polls suggest Americans are largely opposed to military strikes in Syria. For a sampling of opinions we have reports from Pennsylvania, Los Angeles and Kentucky.

We begin at a place whose residents know a lot about overseas conflicts: Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Our report is from Blake Farmer of member station WPLN.

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Where We Live
11:03 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Passionate Politics: Syria and Local Elections

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel addressing the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday.
Ana Radelat (CT Mirror)

President Barack Obama has found some unlikely congressional support for his plan to intervene in the Syrian war. He’s got the backing of Republicans like House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Senator John McCain, and House Speaker John Boehner.

"This is something that the United States as a country needs to do," said Boehner. "I’m going to support the president’s call for action. I believe my colleagues should support this call for action.

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10:17 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Congressional Delegates Weigh a Military Strike on Syria

Senator Richard Blumenthal
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

President Obama is winning some Republican support for military action against Syria. But judging by response from Connecticut's congressional delegation, he won't have an easy time with members of his own party.

"The authorization document that the President has submitted to Congress is insufficiently limited in defining our objectives and strategy," Senator Richard Blumenthal told WNPR's Where We Live. He said the authorization the President is asking congress for is far too broad in its scope, and he wants more information on the long-term objectives.

"Our national security has to be one of the predominant factors that we consider," he said.  

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10:33 am
Tue September 3, 2013

Syria Resolution Will Hit Mark, Obama Predicts

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 11:25 am

The White House is working with congressional leaders to shape a resolution that authorizes the type of military action that would send a "clear message" to President Bashar Assad and cripple the Syrian leader's "capability to use chemical weapons not just now but in the future," President Obama said Tuesday.

Sitting with leaders from both major parties, the president also said he is confident lawmakers are "going to be able to come up with something that hits that mark."

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The Wheelhouse Digest
1:04 pm
Fri August 30, 2013

Exit Stage Right

Dave Chappelle in 2006.
Credit Matias3000 (Flickr Creative Commons)

Hartford's Comcast Theatre seemed like an odd venue for the Oddball Comedy Tour.

Well, the night ended oddly enough when David Chappelle walked off after a few minutes. Unfortunately for him, audiences now obsess with recording everything (see this NSFW Louis CK bit), and there is lots of crummy cell-phone footage circulating from the performance.

Compared to some of the other stories in the world right now, this isn't a big deal. But it got us talking about something other than the VMAs.

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10:35 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Limited U.S. Strikes ... Followed By Major Attacks On U.S.

A month after U.S. naval ships shelled Lebanon, Muslim extremists blew up the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 U.S. military personnel on Oct. 23, 1983. Over the past three decades, limited U.S. military strikes have been followed on several occasions by major attacks against U.S. targets.
Bill Foley AP

Originally published on Wed August 28, 2013 5:23 pm

As President Obama weighs a possible limited military strike against Syria, he may want to consider the track record of his predecessors on this front. It's not encouraging.

The Obama administration and several before it have seen limited attacks as a way to send a tough message without drawing the U.S. into a larger conflict.

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Here & Now
4:02 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Senator Bob Corker: Action Is 'Imminent' In Syria

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is pictured April 2, 2013. (Kristin M. Hall/AP)

Originally published on Fri March 14, 2014 10:43 am

There are now four United States Navy destroyers positioned in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea — each equipped to fire cruise missiles at targets up to 1,500 miles away.

In a speech yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry called the use of chemical weapons on Syrian civilians “a moral obscenity,” signaling a toughening stance by the Obama administration on the Assad regime.

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12:36 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Senator Chris Murphy Opposes Military Action Against Syria

Credit Travel Aficionado / Creative Commons

The Obama Administration is considering military strikes on Syria in response to the Assad regime's deadly poison gas attacks in Damascus last week.

While there is growing support for military intervention in Syria by members of Congress, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy says he's against it. Rather, Murphy says the president should focus on a diplomatic way to deter the Assad regime from further attacks. 

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11:49 am
Tue August 20, 2013

CIA's Acknowledgment Of Iran Coup Role Is Latest Revelation

Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in October 1951. The CIA this week acknowledged publicly for the first time that it played a role in the coup that ousted Mossadegh.

Originally published on Tue August 20, 2013 12:45 pm

The CIA isn't exactly known for its openness. But for a spy agency, it's been a gusher of information over the past week when it comes to old controversies.

The CIA has now acknowledged its role in the 1953 coup that deposed Iran's left-leaning Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. Few Iranians will be surprised. They have always believed Mosaddegh was ousted by U.S. and British interests, and those suspicions are a big part of Iran's mistrust of the West to this day.

The Iran revelation was not the only one.

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The Two-Way
7:15 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Barrage Of Car Bombings Kills Dozens In Iraq

Iraqis walk past a wall that a car bomb destroyed, next to the Ahl al-Bayya' mosque in southeastern Baghdad Monday. At least 10 bombings were reported in the city today.
Ali Al-Saadi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 10:22 am

More than a dozen car bombs exploded in Iraq early Monday, killing more than 50 people in Baghdad and other areas. At least 10 explosions were reported in the Iraqi capital during the morning rush hour.

Monday's bombings wounded more than 100 people, the BBC reports.

"Police and medical sources said the attacks, which appeared to be coordinated, were concentrated on towns and cities in Iraq's predominantly Shi'ite south," Reuters reports, "and districts of the capital where Shi'ites reside."

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2:30 pm
Fri July 26, 2013

A Tale Of Two Massive Rallies In Egypt

Muslim Brotherhood supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi attend a protest near Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo on Friday.
Mohammed Saber EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri July 26, 2013 2:59 pm

At the request of Egypt's army chief, Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, many Egyptians took to the street Friday to give him a mandate for what he calls a "war against terrorism" on Islamists.

His call drew a huge response from those opposed to Mohammed Morsi, but it also brought out large numbers of supporters of the ousted president who is allied with the Muslim Brotherhood.

As the following photographs show, anti-Morsi protesters rallied in Cairo's Tahrir Square ...

... while those allied with Morsi gathered near the Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque.

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The Faith Middleton Show
2:05 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

The Long Walk and The Yellow Birds

Elliott Plack, Flickr Creative Commons

Today we’ll talk to two veterans of the Iraq war. Brian Castner served three tours of duty in the Middle East, two of them as the commander of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit in Iraq. His book, The Long Walk, chronicles his "story of war and the life that follows."

When veteran Kevin Powers returned from Iraq, he turned his experiences there into The Yellow Birds, a novel about two young privates trying to stay alive at war. Castner and Powers join us for the full hour.

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The Faith Middleton Show
2:05 pm
Thu July 11, 2013

The Long Walk and The Yellow Birds

Elliott Plack/flickr creative commons

Today we’ll talk to two veterans of the Iraq war. Brian Castner served three tours of duty in the Middle East, two of them as the commander of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit in Iraq. His book, The Long Walk, chronicles his ‘story of war and the life that follows.’ When veteran Kevin Powers returned from Iraq, he turned his experiences there into The Yellow Birds, a novel about two young privates trying to stay alive at war. Castner and Powers join us for the full hour.

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Where We Live
11:11 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Political Turmoil In Egypt, Educational Turmoil In Bridgeport And New Details On Adam Lanza

Chion Wolf

Egyptian military officials have set a deadline of today for President Mohammed Morsi to agree to share power, or face a coup.

Sharif Abdel Kouddous is an Egyptian-American journalist and correspondent for the program Democracy Now!

When he was on Where We Live earlier this year, he spoke about the unrest in the country - a year after democratic elections that brought Morsi to power.

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Coming Home Project
3:45 pm
Wed May 22, 2013

Army Captain Andrew Pedersen-Keel: A Remembrance

Courtesy of Helen Pedersen Keiser

On Thursday, May 23, the photo of U.S Army Captain Andrew Pedersen-Keel will be added to the State of Connecticut's Wall of Honor, a tribute to servicemembers who died while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

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Coming Home Project
11:05 am
Wed May 22, 2013

Special Visas for Iraqis Who Worked for the U.S. Could Expire

Courtesy of Timothy Coon

Some veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are closely watching the immigration reform bill as it moves to the U.S Senate for a vote. The bill calls on extending a visa program for the people servicemembers often relied upon while in combat.

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Where We Live
10:55 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Syria and Chemical Weapons

anevillemorgan, creative commons

The situation in Syria gets more confusing by the day. The Obama Administration is treading very cautiously around conflicting reports of who actually staged a sarin gas attack, the government of besieged President Bashar al Assad, or the rebels fighting to take over the country.

The U.S. backed Israel’s decision to make military strikes by air in Damascus - but there are questions over whether this might mean an escalation of tensions in the region.

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Where We Live
11:26 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Ryan Crocker: U.S. Needs Diplomatic Officers in Syria

U.S Embassy Kabul Afghanistan

As the civil war in Syria continues to wreak havoc on the country, President Barack Obama is facing political pressure to respond. 

In a news conference earlier this week, Obama addressed evidence that chemical weapons were used in that country - something he says could be a "game changer."

Ryan Crocker is a former U.S. Ambassador in the Middle East and is currently a Senior Fellow at Yale. Speaking on WNPR's Where We Live, he described the conflict as "the problem from hell."

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Where We Live
10:39 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Sharif Abdel Kouddous

Chion Wolf

Two years after the uprisings of the “Arab Spring” - and the overthrow of Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak, that country is in political turmoil. The state - and it’s president - Mohammed Morsi was even the target of the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart.

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Coming Home Project
2:28 pm
Tue March 19, 2013

Trumbull Resident Honors Veterans and Their Families

Photo by Lucy Nalpathanchil

Forty men and women from Connecticut died in the Iraq War. Trumbull resident Mike Mastroni created the Connecticut Fallen Heroes Foundation to remember veterans killed after 9-11 and to honor their families.

WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil spoke with him in Hartford about his decision to get involved in this way.

More about the Connecticut Fallen Heroes Foundation can be found here. The state of Connecticut has also created a website to remember local veterans who died in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.


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Where We Live
10:57 am
Tue March 19, 2013

The Iraq War: Ten Years Later

U.S. Air Force photo - Tech. Sgt. Rick Sforza (Creative Commons)

Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the start of the Iraq war. Throughout the day, we're looking back at what has changed over the last 10 years both there and here at home. It was a war that cost trillions of dollars and more importantly, thousands of lives.

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Global Affairs
8:48 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Tony Blair And Ernesto Zedillo Discuss Global Crises

Diane Orson

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo spoke Monday at Yale University.  They discussed global crises facing world leaders.  

Much of the discussion centered on the Middle East and the Israeli/Palestinean conflict. 

Tony Blair is a peace envoy to the region.  

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Where We Live
10:33 am
Wed March 14, 2012

Returning To Iraq

USAG-Humphreys (Flickr Creative Commons)

Roman Baca entered the U.S. Marine Corps in 2000 and was eventually deployed to Iraq. He returned to Connecticut and struggled to adjust to civilian life. He finally found purpose in his life...in dance. Baca started the Exit 12 Dance Company and is the artistic director there. He’s getting ready to embark on a trip back to Iraq later this month where he will teach dance to local children there.

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Where We Live
10:34 am
Fri November 11, 2011

Returning Home

HarshLight Creative Commons

Last month, President Barack Obama announced the U.S. will withdraw troops from Iraq by the end of 2011. 100,000 troops have already been removed and the latest withdrawal will bring the last 40,000 home. Today, where we live, as we celebrate Veterans Day a conversation about the transition from military life to civilian life for the thousands of Veterans who have and will return from Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Coming Home Project
11:51 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Afghan Surge: "The Untold Story"

US Navy photo by (SCW) F. Julian Carroll

A briefing with a three star Army General was the first order of business Tuesday at the journalists conference at Ft Leavenworth. Lieutenant General William B Caldwell was all set to appear before us via video teleconference from Afghanistan but technology got in the way. The link up didn't work properly so he spoke with reporters using the old fashioned telephone conference.

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Coming Home Project
6:15 pm
Wed July 13, 2011

Wounded Warrior Program Hires Iraq Veteran to Help Servicemembers

The U.S Department of Labor says nearly 12 percent of veterans who've served since 9-11 were unemployed last year. Twenty-five percent of them have service-related disabilities. The number of unemployed is expected to grow now that more veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan are returning to a country trying to recover from the recession.  A small program by Congress aims to help veterans get back into the workforce. 

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Iraq War
7:57 am
Fri June 17, 2011

Court Martial of Connecticut Marine Staff Sergeant Postponed Indefinitely

The court-martial of a Marine Staff Sergeant from Connecticut has been postponed indefinitely.  Frank Wuterich of Meriden is accused of leading a 2005 assault that killed more than 20 Iraqi civilians.

In November 2005,  a squad of U.S. Marines led by Staff Sargeant Frank Wuterich, killed 24 men, women and young children in the Iraqi town of Haditha. The Marines had been searching for those responsible in an IED explosion that led to one death and two injuries. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
2:07 pm
Fri May 13, 2011

Politics, Burgers and Beer: Torture, Pakistan and Bin Laden's Death

creative commons, swanksalot

Today the president was in New York to meet with 911 families and responders. In this hour we look at the renewed debate on torture to extract evidence, and at President Obama's decision not to release the bin Laden death photos. Plus, Pakistan...what do its nuclear bombs have to do with our administration's refusal to abandon that country...even as we wonder, what they knew and when they knew it.

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Journalist Detained in Libya
6:23 am
Thu May 12, 2011

Family Waits For Journalist's Return; Harvard Holds Vigil

The Atlantic

It's been more than a month since freelance journalist Clare Gillis was detained in Libya.  Gillis' parents still live in New Haven, where she was raised, and they are anxiously awaiting her release.  Last night, friends held a candlelight vigil for her at Harvard.

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