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Interviews with news makers and discussion of topics important to Southwest Michigan. Subscribe to the podcast through Apple itunes and Google. Segments of interview are heard in WestSouthwest Brief during Morning Edition and All Things Considered

WSW: Iraq Close to the Brink

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AP/Karim Kardim
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Iraq Oil Report founder Ben Lando says in many ways Iraq is close to "falling apart." 

The Kalamazoo native and Western Michigan University graduate was joined by the Report's Baghdad bureau chief, identified here as Ali, for security purposes. Lando says there is the possibility that Iraq could be divided into separate countries. But he says there would likely be a war over oil rich  territories. Ali, a native of Iraq says the threat of violence from the group which calls itself the Islamic State, and is known as ISIS, has made some Iraqis think that separate nations could make them safer. 

Lando says Iraqi citizens face threats, besides the threat of terrorism. He says there are regular explosions in Baghdad. But Lando says people in Iraq also have to deal with a lack of services and the development of security forces which is "behind schedule." 

Ali says Iraqi civilians are frequent targets of the group known as ISIS or ISIL. He says for many Iraqis there is a daily threat of roadside bombs and other violence. 

Asked about day to day life in Iraq, Ali says it's largely been the same for the last decade. He says it will take many years to address problems of economy, security and sectarian violence. Lando says the government faces a huge challenge of correcting institutional mistakes of the last ten years.  But he says Iraqis do their best to maintain life as normal. 

benlandoandali111814-web.mp3
Interview with Ben Lando and Ali - web version

In the extended interview Lando and Ali discuss the roots of ISIS' power in Iraq and how it compares to Al Qaeda.  Lando also makes the link between ISIS and oil in Iraq. They also discuss negotiations over oil between the government in Baghdad and Kurdistan. 

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
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