March 22nd Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, the Obama Doctrine, and Japanese burial rituals. In the second hour, the author of And Still Peace Did Not Come, and the role of psychiatric evaluations in the justice system.
NPR logo March 22nd Show

March 22nd Show

US President Barack Obama arrives to make a statement on Libya at the Tryp Convention Center in Brasilia, Brazil, March 19, 2011. JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Obama Doctrine
Since taking office, President Obama has gradually reduced the U.S. military presence in Iraq, vastly expanded that presence in Afghanistan and now made the decision to intervene militarily in Libya. The president's critics complain he prefers multilateralism over rapid action and argue his decision to launch airstrikes and a no-fly zone over Libya came too late and appeared hesitant. Others applaud his decision to work with the United Nations and the Arab League and to form an international coalition that supports military intervention. Neal Conan talks with Bob Woodward about the emerging Obama Doctrine.

Japan's Burial Rituals
Officials fear the death toll from Japan's disasters could reach as high as 18,000. The magnitude of the tragedy has overwhelmed many of the burial rituals practiced in Japan and added to the sense of loss for many families. Most Japanese adhere to Buddhist rituals to honor the dead, where priests read scripture and chant sutras before cremating and burying the dead. Host Neal Conan talks about Japanese burial rituals and the process for honoring the dead in the aftermath of mass disasters.

And Still Peace Did Not Come
Liberia's two civil wars killed nearly 250,000 people and pitted tribe against tribe, neighbor against neighbor and child-soldier against parent. When the war officially ended and dictator Charles Taylor fled the country, Liberians began a long and painful process of reconciliation. Agnes Fallah Kamara-Umunna found a way to help: She hosted a radio program in the capital, Monrovia, that allowed former child soldiers to call in and apologize, gave women who were raped the opportunity to call in and forgive their tormenters, and provided a forum for former warlords to admit their wrongdoings. She shares many of those stories in her new memoir, And Still Peace Did Not Come. Agnes Fallah Kamara-Umunna joins host Neal Conan to talk about her book and the process of reconciliation and forgiveness in the aftermath of brutal civil wars.

Psychiatric Evaluation
A federal judge yesterday ordered a mental evaluation for the alleged Tucson shooter to determine whether or not he is fit to stand trial. Defense attorneys in the case against 22 year-old Jared Loughner argued that an independent expert, not a government-employed psychiatrist, should conduct the exam, and that moving Loughner out of Tucson for the evaluation could harm their client. Host Neal Conan talks with a psychiatrist about the role of psychiatric evaluations in the justice system, how they're conducted and what evaluators look for to determine "fitness."