Larry Kaplow

Stories by Larry Kaplow

  • Q&A: Iraq's Maliki on Bush, Challenges

    In a candid interview, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki talks about his struggles, relationship with President Bush and nation's future.
  • CFR: What are Iraq's Benchmarks?

    Probably no world leader has to deal with crises more frequently than Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. This weekend, his capital was under emergency curfew in the aftermath of the bombing Wednesday of the Golden Mosque in Samarra, a holy site for Shiite Muslims. An attack on the mosque last year caused a steep escalation in sectarian fighting.Maliki reacted faster than his predecessor did in the last attack, imposing a days-long curfew in the capital and visiting the site within hours. There have been fewer reprisal attacks than last time, as well, at least under the curfew. With his meeting pace slowing some, Maliki met with NEWSWEEK on Friday in his official residence, one of Saddam Hussein's old guest villas. It's mainly an office building, as Maliki actually lives nearby.The prime minister, a known workaholic, seemed relaxed despite the formal setting—a non-descript salon with Maliki's aides and official photographer on hand. He talked about the sensitivities of the American...
  • Working for Peace: An Anglican Priest in Baghdad

    The legion of foreigners here includes soldiers, diplomats and contractors, but considering the religious overtones to so much of Iraq's strife, there are few outsiders toiling in the realm of faith itself. That's where British Anglican priest Andrew White comes in, with his soaring voice, blunt opinions and belief that a man of God can open doors closed to others in war.White, president of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East, is currently working his clerical and political connections try to free five Britons kidnapped May 29 from a meeting at a Ministry of Finance office in Baghdad. At the same time, he is organizing a Pentagon-backed meeting of more than 40 Iraqi clerics to seek ways of calming the sectarian fighting. In both cases, White relies on long-standing relationships with those he calls "friends," including clerics who may or may not be inciting violence themselves. "You've got to know the landscape," he sa...
  • Milestone U.S.-Iran Talks Make Minimal Progress

    After the most formal, direct talks between the United States and Iran in decades, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker today said the two sides found "broad agreement" in their declared policies and principles about the war in Iraq. That is, both sides say they want a stable, democratic Iraq. But stated policies and principles don't add up to much amid conflict that is becoming more and more a proxy war between the United States and Iraq's most powerful neighbor. Crocker, who gave a 15-minute news conference after the four hours of talks here today, said the United States told Tehran to stop supporting Iraqi militias with weapons, training and money. He said the Iranians denied the allegations. The Iranians proposed setting up a trilateral security group consisting of the United States, Iran and Iraq to work on Iraqi security issues. Crocker says he told them the purpose of the meeting was not to discuss further meetings. Instead, the purpose was "to la...
  • Why has Sadr resurfaced in Iraq?

    Shiite Muslim cleric Moqtada al-Sadr made a dramatic return today to the public stage from wherever he had been hiding. After about four months out of sight, he picked an opportune time to show his might and sound his message to a movement that seems to feed off Iraq's protracted chaos.Sadr climbed the minbar, or pulpit, of the large Kufa mosque for Friday prayers while the city was under complete and open control of Sadr's Mahdi Army militia (traffic police were the only government forces in view). His bodyguards, in beige business suits with earphones in place, stood by and his three convoys, including BMWs with tinted glass, were on hand to provide an exit and decoys.True to form, he took after the United States and called for an end to the American presence in Iraq. Also, Sadr said he decided to "advise" the Mahdi Army to avoid conflict with Iraqi police and the army and to use peaceful tactics, though that does not indicate any call for disarming his loyalists.But he also...
  • Three Missing, One Unidentified Body

     As reports emerged Wednesday from Iraqi ranks that a body found in the Euphrates River was believed to be one of three soldiers missing nearly two weeks, U.S. officials were studiously avoiding any confirmation about the identity of the body....
  • A Desperate Hunt

     It's one of the U.S. military's core beliefs. All soldiers carry it stamped into the metal dog tags around their necks: "I will never leave a fallen comrade."On Sunday, 4,000 U.S. troops conducted ground searches in one of Iraq's most dangerous regions--looking for three Americans who went missing after their convoy was attacked the day before. The apparent ambush took place roughly 12 miles west of Mahmoudiya, a place U.S. troops can expect to find little sympathy. Lying about 20 miles south of Baghdad, it is part of the capital's continuous sprawl of workshops, stores and scrappy one- or two-story houses. It straddles a major highway and forms part of the belt of Sunni towns around Baghdad known to Westerners as the Triangle of Death. Last June, three soldiers were killed in the vicinity; insurgents released video showing the mutilation of two of them. The insurgents said they were avenging the rape of an Iraqi girl by U.S. troops who killed her...
  • It's Tough in Iraq's Parliament. And Even Vacations Get Political.

    There are plenty of stark reminders for those who grouse about the increased security at the entrances to Iraq's National Assembly. A flimsy sign pleads for cooperation. A poster bears the photo of the lawmaker killed in a bombing in the parliamentary cafeteria last month. "It's dangerous," warns the guard running the X-ray machine.It's also hot. As if to underscore the institution's marginal powers, it was afflicted again this week by, well, marginal power. An electrical outage forced the suspension of Tuesday's session and crippled air conditioners, leaving the cavernous convention center built under Saddam Hussein to bake the politicians in their business suits, tribal robes and, for many women, long black capes and head scarves. Workers crisscrossed the marble floors and worn carpets with dollies hauling cartons of bottled water.It's certainly not easy being a parliamentarian in Iraq these days. Many of the politicians have sent their fa...
  • Remembering Dmitry Chebotayev

    Leonid Parfenov, editor-in-chief, Russian Newsweek, issued the following statement after the death of Russian photographer Dmitry Chebotayev:Yesterday the Russian Ambassador to Iraq, Vladimir Chamov, and representatives of the US military command in Baghdad confirmed that Dmitry Chebotayev was killed on May 6th near Bakuba alongside American servicemen from the unit in which he was working as an embedded photographer. He died when the convoy he was traveling in was hit by a roadside bomb. Dmitry Chebotayev was 29 years old. He had been a regular freelance contributor to the Russian edition of Newsweek magazine. He had worked as a photographer for a number of international publications, and specialized in covering war zones. His most recent photographs, which he sent to Russian Newsweek days before his death, are a photo-reportage on the work on the Iraqi police. His last photographs will be published in the next edition of Russian Newsweek. Dmitry was a professional and widely res...