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 formed in a basement in Baghdad under the Saddam Hussein regime — not exactly the easiest place to play thrash metal. The group, featured in the 2007 documentary Heavy Metal in Baghdad, just released its first EP, called Only the Dead See the End of the War.
This interview was originally broadcast on March 17, 2009.
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.