America at a Crossroads America at a Crossroads
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Gangs of Iraq

In the Film

Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III

Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III

Ambassador L. Paul Bremer III
Head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, 2003-2004

As head of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) from 2003-4, Bremer acted as the top civilian administrator of Iraq until the Iraqi Interim Government took over in June, 2004. During his tenure, Bremer issued a number of controversial orders, including the disbanding of the Iraqi army and the decentralization of the police forces.  In this film, Bremer discusses these decisions, plus his thwarted efforts to arrest Shia militant Muqtada al-Sadr.

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Dexter Filkins

Dexter Filkins

Dexter Filkins
New York Times correspondent

Filkins reported from Baghdad for The New York Times from 2003 to 2006. He won a George Polk Award for War Reporting for his reports from his experience embedded with Marines fighting in Fallujah in November 2004.

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Abdul Aziz al-Hakim

Abdul Aziz al-Hakim

Abdul Aziz al-Hakim
Iraqi Political Leader

Hakim is the leader of both the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq [SCIRI], the powerful Shia political party and the Iraqi National Alliance, a coalition of Shia parties that currently holds a majority of seats in the Iraqi Parliament.  In this film, he claims that the Badr Organization, formerly the military wing of SCIRI, “does not carry arms and is not fighting” any longer.

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Bayan Jabr

Bayan Jabr

Bayan Jabr
Iraqi Minister of Interior, 2005-2006

A top deputy in the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq [SCIRI], a major Shia political party supported by Iran, Jabr was appointed Minister of Interior after the Iraqi elections in January 2005. After his appointment, allegations surfaced that the Ministry was serving as cover for death squads manned by Shia militia forces bent on eliminating Sunni rivals.  Jabr denies that he sanctioned such squads, and says that his forces were focused only on taking out terrorists and insurgents.

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Nouri al-Maliki

Nouri al-Maliki

Nouri al-Maliki
Iraqi State Prime Minister

Dawa party leader Maliki replaced Ibrahim al-Jaafari as Iraq’s Prime Minister in April 2006. He has criticized the coalition military’s approach to dealing with militias.  In this film he sates, “Military action is not a suitable method to confront terrorism, militias and secret organizations.” He also claims that reports of militia infiltration of the security forces are exaggerated, and says that, “We are purging these elements every day.”

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General David Petraeus

General David Petraeus

General David Petraeus
Commander, Multi-National Force - Iraq (MNF-I)

In January 2007, Petraeus took over command of the Coalition forces in Iraq [Multinational Force-Iraq, MNF-I]. Three years earlier, he had been sent to Iraq to revamp and revitalize the training of the Iraqi security forces.  In this film, he talks about challenges of coordinating a training system amidst increasing sectarian violence and insurgent activity in Iraq.

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Matthew Sherman

Matthew Sherman

Matthew Sherman
Advisor, Iraq Ministry of Interior, 2003-2006.

Sherman worked as deputy senior adviser to Iraq's Ministry of Interior from 2003-2006. During that time, he worked closely with four different Iraqi Ministers. He believes that the CPA--and US decision makers in Washington--did not realize the importance of building a reliable civilian security force in Iraq, or of disbanding the growing sectarian militia forces.

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