September 28, 2007
With the testimony of General Petreaus and Ambassador Crocker, there's certainly no shortage of Iraq progress assessments in the mix. But George Packer and Deborah Amos, both experienced Middle East reporters, think there are things that aren't being talked about in Washington.
Amos has been covering the Iraqi refugee crisis for NPR according to the United Nation Commission on Refugees, more than 4.2 million Iraqis have left their homes. Of these, some 2.2 million Iraqis are displaced internally, while more than 2 million have fled to neighbouring states Amos says: "This community that's now in Damascus and Amman, and increasingly going to Lebanon, is the middle class. These are the technocrats, the kind of people that you need if you want to rebuild a country."
George Packer contends that what is lacking is the long view of the role of the U.S. in Iraq: "We fought this war in three month increments....No one in the administration that I've talked to and no one in Congress that I've talked to seems to be thinking ahead to what we want in Iraq in five years, what we can possibly achieve in Iraq in five years."
Find out more about the refugee crisis and explore a variety of Iraq progress reports below.
George Packer is a staff writer for THE NEW YORKER and the author, most recently, of THE ASSASSINS' GATE: AMERICA IN IRAQ (2005), which won the Overseas Press Club's 2005 Cornelius Ryan Award and the Helen Bernstein Book Award of the New York Public Library, was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize, and was named by THE NEW YORK TIMES as one of the ten best books of the year. He has published two other works of non-fiction, THE VILLAGE OF WAITING (1988), a memoir about his years in the Peace Corps in West Africa, and BLOOD OF THE LIBERALS (2000), a three-generational political history, which won the 2001 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. He has also published two novels, THE HALF MAN (1991) and CENTRAL SQUARE (1998), and is the editor of THE FIGHT IS FOR DEMOCRACY: WINNING THE WAR OF IDEAS IN AMERICA AND THE WORLD (2003).
His articles, essays, and reviews on foreign affairs, American politics, and literature have appeared in THE NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE, HARPER'S, DISSENT, and other publications. He received the 2006 Edward Weintal Prize for Diplomatic Reporting from Georgetown and his magazine reporting has won three Overseas Press Club awards. He was a 2001-2 Guggenheim fellow and has taught writing at Harvard, Bennington, and Columbia.
Deborah Amos covers Iraq for NPR News. She has returned to work with NPR after a decade in television news, including ABC's NIGHTLINE and WORLD NEWS TONIGHT and the PBS programs NOW WITH BILL MOYERS and FRONTLINE.
Prior to her work with ABC News, Amos spent 16 years with NPR, where she was most recently the London Bureau Chief. Previously she was based in Amman, Jordan, as an NPR foreign correspondent. Amos won an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, a Breakthru Award, and widespread recognition for her coverage of the Gulf War in 1991. She spent 1991-92 as a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, and is the author of LINES IN THE SAND: DESERT STORM AND THE REMAKING OF THE ARAB WORLD (1992).
She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Guest photos by Robin Holland
Published on September 28, 2007