Monday, November 06, 2006

Pro or Against the War, you need to hear these stories

I keep coming back to the topic of podcasting, because this new technology allows you to hear stories you really need to know about--stories you won't hear anywhere else. Today I want to tell you about two recent public radio shows that have provided excellent coverage of the Iraq War. One thing I know for sure is that whether we as individuals support or oppose Bush's War Plan, all of us need to understand the consequences of war. Long-form radio is providing some of the most educational coverage and compelling stories. [Remember that you don't need an iPod to listen to a podcast, just access to a computer. FAQ]

I firmly opposed our country's plan to invade and occupy Iraq but I understand that this plan is being carried out in my name, and on my behalf. There is no way for a U. S. citizen to opt-out of this war. I feel deeply concerned for the men, women and children affected on all sides of this conflict--civilian, military, American, international, and Iraqi.

Below you'll find links to two stories I believe you need to hear. If I could make one wish through my blog today it would be that every elected offical in the United States would listen to these incredible pieces of journalism. This is not about being partisan. It is about willing to look at the consequences of our actions, taking responsiblity for the situation we have created. Listening to these stories is a first step toward understanding. The show descriptions below are taken from the episode descriptions from each show's website. Both The Story With Dick Gordon and This American Life are available as free podcasts and streaming audio.

The Story With Dick Gordon "Been There, Done That" November 6, 2006

When you think of dangerous jobs in Iraq you might not think of civilian contract truck drivers. Thousands of them have been driving all over the country, including to the most dangerous areas. Unofficial trackers are now calculating that of the sixty-two drivers killed, twenty-five are Americans. This is the story of one trucker who survived, David (Bud) Meredith. Bud is now home with his wife Abbi. He has a new job, but is dealing with post traumatic stress from his time in Iraq. He is also preparing to see his daughter Hannah off. She's headed to Iraq. She'll be there as a soldier, with a gun.

[Note from Amy: The Story with Dick Gordon is produced by my hometown public radio station, WUNC. I am thrilled to be a supporter of North Carolina Public Radio. WUNC is proudly launching this original new show hosted by Dick Gordon as its first nationally-broadcast program that is produced right here in Chapel Hill.]

This American Life "What's In a Number? 2006 Edition" November 3, 2006, episode 320

A new study in the British medical journal The Lancet estimates the number of Iraqi dead since the U.S. invasion at over 600,000. This week, we look at whether that number might be accurate, and return to a in-depth look at a similar study in The Lancet, with similar methodology. That study came out a year ago, and was largely ignored by the press. We also hear U.S. forces dealing with the aftermath of some of those Iraqi civilian deaths.

[Note from Amy: this show description sounds rather dry but the progam definitely tells one of the more compelling stories I've ever heard.]

Pictured: Marc Garlasco, former chief of high-value targeting at the Pentagon, talking with Iraqis in a village where civilians had been injured by U.S.-led attacks.


Anonymous obxmom said...

Thanks for recommeding these shows. They are on my Ipod waiting to be listened to.

I could not aggree with you more that we need to hear these stories. We need to understand what is being done in our name as American citizens.

Another side of the story is how are troops and their families are being affected. So many reservesist are being called up for active duty. Many of them will tell you that they know what they signed up for, but our reservists are facing longer deployments than our active duty personnel. The lack of support and unpreparedness of this administration has put an undue strain on our forces. (sorry did not mean to get political). It just sickens me, when my friends who are reservists have been gone for 4 out of the last 5 years! The come back to little to zero support.

The most recent story I have heard was on Dick Gordon's "The Story" last week entitled a "Difficult Return." It truly gets at the heart of what our soldiers are facing upon their return home.

8:24 PM  
Blogger PunditMom said...

Thanks, MojoMom. I will definitely listen to these. I can't even get started about the war in Iraq and the politics here that drive this fiasco. I'm just hoping that the political winds will shift significantly enough tomorrow on Election Day that things will start to change for everyone, Americans and Iraqis.

10:08 PM  

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