Essays on War by NPR's Daniel Schorr

Daniel Schorr
NPR's Daniel Schorr

more More NPR commentaries about the war in Iraq.

In a series of commentaries, NPR senior news analyst Daniel Schorr shares his thoughts on the war in Iraq and its aftermath.

ListenPanel One Part of Answer
Schorr says that commissions like the one President Bush is establishing to investigate pre-war intelligence failures are a time-tested tool for taking the heat off of an administration. But they don't always work.
Feb. 2, 2004

ListenIraq's Imaginary WMDs
Former weapons inspector David Kay's assertion that Iraq's weapons program was largely imaginary will be fodder for the political struggle over the justification for the war, says Schorr.
Jan. 26, 2004

ListenHumility Needed in Iraq
Schorr remarks that asking the United Nations to help broker a compromise in Iraq between U.S. administrators and Shi'ite cleric Ayatollah al-Sistani will require the Bush administration to display a degree of humility.
Jan. 19, 2004

ListenPakistan and Nuclear Arms
Schorr shows how the acquisition of nuclear know-how by rogue nations like North Korea, Iran, and Libya, can be traced to one Pakistani scientist, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan.
Jan. 5, 2004

ListenLibya's Growth Arc
Schorr says the recent decision by Libya to scrap its own weapons program seems to have come overnight, but was actually a long time in the making.
Dec. 22, 2003

ListenIraq Bait-and-Switch
Barring non-coalition countries from seeking reconstruction contracts in Iraq may have been intended to sway those countries in favor of debt reduction for Iraq, Schorr says.
Dec. 17, 2003

ListenTurning Points in U.S. Policy
Schorr says the Bush administration is facing two critical decisions in Iraq: Ceding authority to the Iraqi Governing Council, and deciding what level of force U.S. troops should maintain.
Nov. 12, 2003

ListenSenate Took Easy Road to $87 Billion Package
Schorr is critical of the U.S. Senate for deciding to pass the $87 billion Iraq appropriations bill by taking a voice vote. The vote, instead of the roll-call tally usually used for major legislation, leaves no record of how individual senators stood on the issue.
Nov. 5, 2003

ListenIraq Exit Strategy
Schorr says that with the presidential election one year away, the Bush administration is training new Iraqi soldiers so that American troops can pull out of Iraq gracefully.
Nov. 3, 2003

ListenWar's Role in Elections
Schorr says the war in Iraq is already distracting Congress from taking action on several important measures, and if the situation continues to deteriorate there, it could be the most important issue in the 2004 election.
Oct. 27, 2003

ListenBush's New Attitude
Schorr says President Bush has begun to put aside his go-it-alone instincts in favor of a new "we're all in this together" attitude.
Oct. 26, 2003

ListenLying in the White House
Schorr examines the history of lying in various administrations. He says the American public remains unconvinced by the Bush administration's pre-war claims of the necessity of war with Iraq.
Oct. 19, 2003

ListenNo Rationale for War
Schorr says says that six months after the invasion of Iraq, the war still lacks a rationale.
Sept. 21, 2003

ListenBush's Speech on Postwar Iraq
Schorr says President Bush's speech to the nation -- about the postwar climate in Iraq -- sounded like an attempt to deflect criticisms before they appear.
Sept. 8, 2003

ListenAn Insurrection in Iraq?
Schorr says the recent series of deadly bombings in Iraq is causing some to question whether America is facing not just scattered remnants of Saddam Hussein's supporters, but an organized insurrection.
Sept. 2, 2003

ListenThe Cost of War
Schorr says the flap with the Saudi government over "sources and methods" had the intended effect of diverting attention from the cost of the war in Iraq.
July 30, 2003

ListenInternationalism in Iraq
Schorr says the British-American coalition in Iraq is quickly becoming internationalized, with manpower and troop contributions from a growing list of other countries.
July 28, 2003

ListenIntelligence on Iraq
Schorr says weeks after the Africa-uranium story hit the headlines, the Bush administration is still struggling to get its story straight.
July 23, 2003

ListenU.S.-Britain Relationship
Schorr says Prime Minister Tony Blair's visit to the United States, originally meant to celebrate the special relationship between America and Britain, is now fraught with tension.
July 16, 2003

ListenPresidential Responsibility
President Bush and the CIA are trading blame over intelligence that Iraq allgedly sought to buy uranium from Africa. Schorr compares different presidents and their willingness to accept responsibility for mistakes, or shift the blame to others.
July 14, 2003

ListenIraqi Weapons Intelligence
Schorr says mounting questions about whether intelligence was manipulated in the lead up to the Iraq war may undermine the Bush administration's credibility.
July 7, 2003

ListenIran and Iraq
Schorr says the Bush administration's Iran policy seems to be the opposite of its stance on Iraq.
June 23, 2003

ListenBush and Blair Under Fire
Schorr says President George Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair must both defend against accusations that they exaggerated Iraq's weapons threat in the months leading up to the war. But Bush's constituency is more willing to give him the benefit of the doubt.
June 18, 2003

ListenThe CIA and the White House
Schorr examines a dispute between the CIA and the White House. The CIA knew that documents claiming Niger sold enriched uranium to Iraq were forgeries nearly a year before President Bush cited them in his State of the Union address. The White House claims not to have been told the documents weren't legitimate.
June 15, 2003

ListenWMDs and White House Credibility
Schorr says the Bush administration's credibility could be damaged by insufficient evidence that Iraq's weapons program was truly a grave international threat.
June 9, 2003

ListenStill Divided
Schorr says that despite cooperation on issues such as terrorism, nuclear threats and trade, the United States and its newfound antagonists France, Germany, and Russia remain fundamentally divided.
June 2, 2003

ListenU.S. Relations with Iran
Schorr says U.S.-Iran relations are becoming increasingly strained as suspicions rise about Tehran's connection with terrorism.
May 21, 2003

ListenTaking Control in Iraq
Schorr says the role of the U.S. soldier in Iraq is shifting from "liberator" to "occupier."
May 18, 2003

ListenA New Tactic in Iraq
Schorr says the United States, having botched the first month of reconstruction in Iraq, is taking a new tactic with the appointment of Paul Bremer as the country's new civilian administrator and the invocation of the Hague and Geneva conventions.
May 12, 2003

ListenTurning to North Korea
Schorr says that with the war in Iraq over, an embargo against North Korea will likely be the next "battle" in President Bush's war on terror.
May 5, 2003

ListenU.S. Withdrawal from Saudi Arabia
Schorr says the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Saudi Arabia may signify early trouble for the Bush administration's plans for a democratic transformation of the Middle East.
April 30, 2003

ListenStarting a Democratic Process
Schorr says a meeting of political and religious leaders in Baghdad marks progress toward the birth of democracy in Iraq. But, there's a bumpy road ahead.
April 28, 2003

ListenUnderestimating the Shiites
Schorr says the Pentagon didn't expect Iraq's Shia Muslims to mobilize so quickly against a U.S. occupation.
April 27, 2003

ListenBeyond War in Iraq
Schorr says rising anti-Americanism in Iraq proves there's more to regime change than deposing Saddam Hussein.
April 23, 2003

ListenA Question of Priorities
Schorr questions the Bush administration's handling of the chaos in Iraq that led to the looting of the Iraq National Museum. The failure of U.S. forces to protect Iraq's cultural heritage represents skewed priorities, Schorr says.
April 20, 2003

ListenIraq's Looted Cultural Treasures
Experts from the British Museum and the United Nations cultural agency are headed to Baghdad to help catalog Iraq's destroyed cultural treasures. Looting began last week as the regime fell, and by Monday, the country's National Library also had been ransacked. Schorr says U.S. forces should be held accountable.
April 16, 2003

ListenReconstructing Iraq
Reconstructing Iraq won't be easy, Schorr says. The price tag for rebuilding Iraq is estimated to be around $100 billion and -- unlike the Gulf War -- this time the United States may find itself bearing most of the burden.
April 13, 2003

ListenWeapons of Mass Destruction
If allied forces don't find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, President Bush will have a lot of explaining to do, Schorr says.
April 9, 2003

Listen Bush-Blair Conference
Schorr says President Bush and Prime Minister Blair's meeting in Belfast may be Blair's chance to stake his claim in postwar international relations.
April 7, 2003

Listen Postwar Iraq
Schorr considers America's responsibilities once the war in Iraq is over.
April 6, 2003

Listen Arnett's Disservice
Schorr says that by giving an interview to Iraqi state television, NBC's ex-correspondent Peter Arnett did his profession a disservice.
April 2, 2003

Listen Suicide Bombs
Schorr says Iraq's tactics in the current war remind us that in an asymmetrical conflict, two sides don't always fight by the same rules.
March 31, 2003

Listen The Media & the Military
Schorr reflects on the sometimes rocky relationship between the U.S. military and the American media during times of war. The current practice of embedding reporters with combat units, he says, has not only given the media unprecedented access but also created new ethical dilemmas for journalists.
March 24, 2003

Listen The Moment of Truth
Schorr says President Bush's basis for invading Iraq rests on the assumption that Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass destruction. As specialists assemble in Kuwait, preparing to search for the weapons, Mr. Bush is surely hoping for a moment of truth.
March 19, 2003

Listen The End of Diplomacy
Schorr says that the end of the U.N. diplomatic process demonstrates an erosion of the democratic principles the Bush administration says it's working to uphold.
March 17, 2003

Listen Coalition Building
The Bush administration's efforts to build support in the United Nations for a war in Iraq are floundering. And British Prime Minister Tony Blair is facing troubles at home for his support of the war. Schorr says coalition-building, even with close allies, is a frustrating process.
March 12, 2003

Listen A Democratic Iraq?
With a history of monarchs and dictators, Iraq has never really known democracy. Schorr says establishing democracy in a liberated Iraq will be a difficult, uncertain process.
March 3, 2003