Rescue You, Rescue Me

Ira Glass interviews two volunteers who joined one of the provincial reconstruction teams in Iraq, working in rebuilding rods, bridges, schools, and hospitals after the invasion. Both volunteers described the tension between themselves and the Iraqis they worked with. After a few years seeing progress in the region, a new shiite general took command of the largely Sunni province and started replacing key officials with Shiites. The new general’s regime brought rebellion and chaos in the region, and the volunteers saw their work fall apart. Volunteers in Baghdad who had been tough enough to stay for years gave up and fled. Recently, construction volunteers have waned. The recent war on ISIS saw a surge of Americans volunteering to fight.

The fall of Saddam saw the destruction of his statues. Regime change would become a common part of life for Iraqi’s after this. Sunni, Shiite, ISIS and the US military would all be moving in and out of the city up to present day. The fall of the dictatorship also brought great instability.

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