Paul Zimmer is eighty-three years old now, and he’s still haunted by something he saw in his teens. Something very few Americans have ever seen: The explosion of an atomic bomb.
Earlier this month, North Korea fired an intercontinental ballistic missile… one powerful enough, news reports said, to reach Alaska. People were shocked.
In Iraq, everyone from the militant group known as ISIS to the government security forces and shiite militias have been putting on such a deliberate show. Each faction has its own videos, parades, flags, propaganda and counter-propaganda.
Sarah Carr is a reporter and blogger in Cairo, Egypt. Her blog inanities.org is regularly cited as one of Egypt's best blogs and English language news sources coming out of Egypt.
In 2009, a U.S. soldier contacted our show and offered to send audio dispatches from his deployment in Afghanistan, to do a story about what it's really like to go to war. But what he learned when he was over there was way more personal and honest than we, or he, expected.
Writer Michael Lewis tells the story of a man named Emir Kamenica, whose path to college started with fleeing the war in Bosnia and becoming a refugee in the United States. Then he had a stroke of luck: a student teacher read an essay he’d plagiarized from a book he’d stolen from a library back in Bosnia, and was so impressed that she got him out of a bad high school and into a much better one.
Susan Orlean tells us about the moment America asked untrained household canines to make the ultimate sacrifice: to serve in World War II. Susan talks to Gina Snyder, who remembers being a teenager when her dog Tommy joined the service.
Ira tells the story of how Oscar Ramirez, a Guatemalan immigrant living near Boston, got a phone call with some very strange news about his past. A public prosecutor from Guatemala told Oscar that when he was three years old, he may have been abducted from a massacre at a village called Dos Erres.
Oscar Ramirez Castaneda and His Family
Marian Fontana, whose husband was a firefighter who died on 9/11, originally appeared on our show in 2005. Ira talks with Marian today, about what has changed for her over the last 10 years.
The podcast and stream versions of the show include a story here that is not included in broadcast. It catches us up with an Iraqi translator named Basim, who fled the country to Norway after his life was threatened because he aided the American forces.
Ever wondered what you might do with 18 days of rest after serving 15 months in combat? Reporter David Finkel followed one group of soldiers in Iraq for 15 months, and reported all of it in his book The Good Soldiers. Here is our radio version of one of the chapters in his book, where we hear actors read aloud what soldiers and families of soldiers told David about their break.
Host Ira Glass speaks with reporter Larry Kaplow and producer Nancy Updike, who spent a month in Iraq as the US combat mission was ending, in August 2010, talking to Iraqis. They play excerpts from a conversation they had with a Shiite professor—who had pizza recently with a Sunni friend, and realized just how tense things still are in Iraq.
To understand where we are today in Iraq, we tell the story of one Iraqi, Saad Oraibi Ghaffouri Al-Obeidi, also known as Abu Abed—a man who fought alongside the US during the surge, and is now in exile—and what he saw, and was part of, over seven years of the war.
Private Contractors True Number of Iraqi Deaths Lessons Learned in the War Soldiers' Stories Soldier Bloggers A House in Baghdad Citizen-Diplomat Tries to End the War Two Random Guys Try to Help Trying to Rebuild Iraq Start of the War And on the aftermath: Talk to an Iraqi - from TV series Sam Slaven
Allen Wigington, former Chief Deputy at the Pickens County Sheriff's department, now magistrate judge, tells the story a soldier killed in Iraq—Specialist David Collins—arriving back home in Georgia to be buried.
Sara Blaisdell tells the story of a group of Iraqi brothers whom her husband Sam befriended over the internet, and has been speaking with weekly for almost seven years. Their surprisingly intimate relationship has pulled Sam into a world that few Americans can access.
On every British nuclear submarine, there is a safe. Inside that safe is another safe.
Producer Nancy Updike speaks with Specialist Lindsay Freeland of the Oregon National Guard about the trips Freeland takes at night in Iraq, providing security for convoys heading to forward operating bases.
Dal LaMagna, millionaire and creator of the Tweezerman tweezer, prepares to go to Iraq on a diplomatic mission he invented for himself—despite concern (and mocking) from his own sister.
Dal LaMagna made a fortune selling high-quality grooming products. And after retiring, he wanted to do some good in the world.
Ira speaks with Milt Hileman of the Center for Army Lessons Learned about the single most-requested publication they put out, Soldiers' Handbook: The First 100 Days: Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures. It explains how to avoid getting killed in your first hundred days in Iraq, which is when a disproportionate number of U.S. casualties occur.
TAL producer Alex Blumberg talks to Lt. Col.