Monthly Archives: February 2009

How We Got Here #5


Episode #5 is ready for consumption.  Here’s the iTunes link, the RSS feed or you can listen here. Visit the site of the famed Ferhadija mosque in Banja Luka, Bosnia. It was destroyed in 1993 and is now being lovingly restored. Last Friday a court ordered Bosnian Serb authorities to pay millions in compensation for the destruction of the Ferhadija and other mosques in Banja Luka in the early 1990’s. The ruling is being appealed.

“Hard choices” and the defense budget

In my piece on The World today, James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation and Travis Sharp of the Center for Arms Control and Nonproliferation talk about the choices ahead on the defense budget. Listen here:


Costs of War

My piece today on the costs of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars:


Charities hope to benefit from this year’s Oscar picks

I did a story today about the knock-on effect of the success of Slumdog Millionaire and the documentary short Smile Pinki on groups working on poverty, health and children’s issues around the world. Listen here:


Pakistan Policy

Today’s offering on what to do about Pakistan. Karin von Hippel of CSIS and Dan Markey of CFR talk about drone attacks, non-military aid and whether and how Obama will reconfigure U.S. policy. Check out the new CSIS report Afghanistan and Pakistan On the Brink: Framing U.S. Policy Options which von Hippel co-authored.

ICC decision on Sudan’s Bashir due March 4

The news has been dribbling out in strange ways but now there’s a date set for the announcement. Judges at the International Criminal Court are expected to issue a warrant for the arrest of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for alleged war crimes in Darfur. Here’s the latest NYT update by Marlise Simons.

Compensation for Banja Luka’s destroyed mosques

Last Friday a court in Bosnia ordered the Bosnia Serb authorities to pay more than 30 million Euros in compensation for the 16 mosques destroyed in Banja Luka during the Bosnian war. Bosnian Serb officials are appealing the decision. Here’s a BBC story and a piece at For background listen to the radio story I produced last year about  the destruction of the most famous mosque, the Ferhadija, and the restoration it is undergoing today. There’s a slideshow as well.  I’m hoping to find time to do a bit more reporting about what sort of legal precedent this represents and its implications for other cases of cultural destruction in the Balkans and beyond.

How We Got Here #4


This week’s episode of my history podcast is out. It’s a look back at the Cambodian genocide of the 1970’s with The World’s Mary Kay Magistad and anthropologist and genocide expert Susan Cook. And we remember Alison Des Forges of Human Rights Watch. 

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Alison Des Forges

Alison Des Forges was killed in the plane crash in Buffalo last night. She wrote the Human Rights Watch account of the Rwandan genocide Leave None to Tell the Story. She was a go-to source for journalists and a relentless critic of the current Rwandan government under Paul Kagame.  Here’s the Human Rights Watch press release and the NYT obit. Marco Werman interviews Kenneth Roth of HRW for The World. The coverage begins with President Obama paying tribute to another victim of the crash, Beverly Eckert.  Listen here:

How We Got Here #3


Episode 3 is online. You can subscribe at iTunes or The World or listen here.  It’s a story I did for the radio show about the British experience in Afghanistan and its legacy and lessons. Also on today’s show, Ahmed Rashid and Clare Lockhart.