Monday, March 5, 2007

Interviews with a Iraqi Shiekh and a Marine Corps General on "the awakening" and ERU's

On my first day in Fallujah I was able to participate in a series of interviews with two American generals and a influential Iraqi shiekh discussing "the awakening" movement in Anbar Province.

The awakening is a homegrown effort by more than half the tribes in Anbar to create their own civil defense forces (known as ERU's) to provide neighborhood security, and fight Al Queda and insurgent forces in home areas.

This effort is particulary noteworthy because it is an example of Iraqi's getting fed up with the security situation, and taking matters into their own hands in a constructive way in cooperation with coalition forces and the Iraqi government.

Here are some the highlights from the interview with Shiekh Ahmed B. Abureeshah (aka: "Shaykh Ahmed Abu Rishah") , one of the shiekhs that was instrumental in starting the awakening movement.

Here are highlights from the interview with Major General Richard Zilmer, the commander of the 2nd Marine Expenditionary Force (II MEF) which was responsible for Anbar Province for the past year.

I also have footage from an interview with Lieutenant General Raymond Odierno Commanding General of Multi-National Corps Iraq, conducted on the same day, which I have not edited yet.

Most of the questions in all three of these interviews are being asked by Tom Bowman, the pentagon correspondent for National Public Radio (NPR), and by Pam Hess the pentagon correspondent for United Press International (UPI). I was a very interesting experience as an upstart amateur journalist to get to know these two seasoned pros, and tag along for a day and learn while they worked.

Here is a link to one of Pam Hess's articles based on these interviews:

Here is a link to Tom Bowman's report based on these interviews:


Robert said...

Wow! Great catch, Eric. You've got the only video of Ahmed Abu Rishah I've seen. Also the only video of one of the Abu Rishah brothers explaining the birth of the Awakening Movement.

This clip should be widely distributed on the web.

Welcome back to the States.


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Day by Day, by Chris Muir (updated daily)

Chris Muir is the cartoonist that I met in Kuwait. He spent two weeks in Iraq at the same time I was there in February 2007, and so thought it would relevant to showcase his work on my site. Here is a link to Chris' humorous travelogue of this Iraq trip: