Secret Iraq - Awakening

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Sociopolitical Documentary hosted by Quicksilver Productions, published by ABC broadcasted as part of ABC Four Corners series in 2010 - English narration

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Image: Secret-Iraq-Awakening-Cover.jpg

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Secret Iraq - Awakening Reporter: Quicksilver Productions Broadcast: 18/10/2010

Three years after the invasion of Iraq the country was in turmoil. Insurgents had mounted a brutal resistance against the allied forces, seeing them as invaders not saviours. At the same time religious groups within the country were waging war against each other. This situation created a major opportunity for Al Qaeda to gain a foothold inside Iraq. In part two of this remarkable series we hear how Sunnis first courted, then turned on Al Qaeda and how the U.S. changed its strategic policy. It's a brutal story filled with violence, intrigue and duplicity, all told by the people at the heart of the struggle.

In April 2005, U.S. President George W. Bush made this extraordinary claim.

"Freedom is taking root in Iraq. The people of Iraq no longer live in fear of being executed and left in mass graves."

In fact, nothing could have been further from the truth. In the third year after the invasion Iraqis were not only killing Allied soldiers, they were slaughtering each other in waves of sectarian violence.

When General David Petraeus took command of the American forces he was shocked to see the state of the country.

"The day after I took command I went out to several areas in Baghdad. It was frankly much worse than I thought it would be. These areas were wastelands."

General Petraeus had every reason to be concerned. Shia Moslem members of the police force formed death squads waging war on their Sunni countrymen. In response, Sunni forces had forged an alliance with Al Qaeda in several key locations. Those places effectively became no-go areas that could be used as bases for terror attacks on the Allied forces.

At the same time the U.S. Forces were in trouble. In the north, opposition to the British presence in the south was also getting out of hand. The police force there had been corrupted and the militias too were conducting a reign of terror on anyone they did not like.

Part two of 'Secret Iraq' tells how the United States was forced to change its strategy in an attempt to bring the country back from the brink. In a remarkable interview a key U.S. commander explains how he engineered a deal to work with Sunni insurgents to supply them with weapons, so they could help the Americans kill Al Qaeda terrorists who'd spun out of control.

Contributors to this week's program include General Jack Keane, former Vice Chief of the U.S. Army and the man tasked with telling the President the strategy had to change. We also hear from U.S. Commander, General David Petraeus and British officers who speak candidly for the first time about their country's failures in the south of Iraq.

Set against these stories are never before seen interviews with those who ran the insurgency and the people who dealt with Al Qaeda first hand. If you want to understand what happened in Iraq and what might happen in the future, this program is not to be missed.

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[edit] Technical Specs

  • Duration: 44mn 48s
  • Filesize: 619 MiB
  • Format: Matroska
  • Video Codec: x264 core 93 r1542 5b86182
  • Video Bitrate: 1 800 Kbps
  • Video Resolution: 1008 x 568
  • Video Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Frames Per Second: 25.000
  • Bits-(Pixel*Frame) 0.126
  • Audio Codec: AAC
  • Audio Bitrate: 128 kb/s 48KHz
  • Audio Channels: 2
  • Audio language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Source: DVB-T
  • Capture: DVBViewer
  • Demuxer: ProjectX
  • Encoder: Avidemux 2.5.3
  • SubMux: MKVMerge

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