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Journalist Patrick Cockburn on Iraq's Tenuous Calm

Patrick Cockburn took a break from covering wars to write about his personal struggle.
Patrick Cockburn took a break from covering wars to write about his personal struggle.

The cease-fire that's kept Iraq's Shiite militias in check for months is in danger of unraveling. At the same time, there's a growing restlessness among some of the Sunni militias backed by the United States in the fight against al-Qaida in Iraq. Patrick Cockburn, author and Iraq correspondent for The Independent in London, joins Fresh Air to discuss what he sees as a tenuous calm in Iraq.

Cockburn is author of The Occupation: War and Resistance in Iraq. Before the 2003 invasion, he sneaked into the country to watch firsthand the defeat of the Iraqi military. The Occupation is a record of his observations, an analysis of the Sunni, Shia and Kurdish communities' interactions under occupation, and a description of how the country is falling into civil war.

Cockburn is also the coauthor of Saddam Hussein: An American Obsession and Out of the Ashes: The Resurrection of Saddam Hussein. His forthcoming book, Muqtada: Muqtada A-Sadr, the Shia Revival, and the Struggle for Iraq, will be published in April.

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