Anderson anchored AC360 live from Iraq beginning on Monday, September 10, 2007. While the video from that day seems to have been misplaced during our cleaning project earlier this year, we do have a blog post about a trip Anderson made to a detention center that day ~
Monday, September 10, 2007 ~
Back in Iraq: Prison population surges
Iraqi prisoners arrive at Camp Cropper, a U.S.-run prison home to more than 4,000 detainees.It's a bit surreal to be sitting in a U.S. military trailer in Baghdad as I watch General Petreaus and Ambassador Crocker testify back in Washington, DC. Outside, a Blackhawk helicopter just whizzed by, momentarily drowning out the sound from the TV.
I spent all day at Camp Cropper, a U.S.-managed detention center where more than 4,000 Iraqi detainees are being held. It's run by Major General Douglas Stone, a hard-charging Marine. He is now responsible for all detainees in Iraq -- more than 24,000 of them -- a population which has surged because of the so-called surge.
In past years, detention centers were prime recruiting grounds for extremists. In fact, if you know anything about the history of Islamic extremism, you will know that prisons have always been places where radical ideologies were born and spread. (For a great history of al Aqaeda you should read "The Looming Tower" by Lawrence Wright.)
Anyway, Major General Stone says he is waging a "battle of the mind" inside the detention centers. He is trying to separate moderate Iraqis from the influence of extremist detainees. We'll show you how he is doing that tonight, and you can judge for yourself how successful you think it will be. He is certainly motivated, and the troops working under him are dedicated and impressive.
Tonight, of course, Iraq will be our main focus. We have a number of reporters stationed throughout the region. Michael Ware will join us, as always. So will Gary Tuchman, who is reporting on efforts to train Iraqi police. Also, Nic Robertson is reporting from Saudi Arabia on a reformed jihadist who now tries to convince others not to join al Qaeda.
It's good to be back in Iraq. It's only my fourth trip here, but I'm looking forward to going out on patrols the next couple days. One thing I hope to see is how U.S. troops are working with Sunni tribal groups against al Qaeda in Iraq. Of course, the attempt to work with former Sunni insurgents raises lots of questions; we'll examine some of them tonight and all this week.
This time last year, we were in Afghanistan. We will also have reports from there this week.
I hope you join us tonight, as we report live from Baghdad. See you then.
-- By Anderson Cooper
Tuesday, September 11, 2007 ~
Anderson once again anchored AC360 from Camp Victory in Baghdad, on the 6th Anniversary of 9/11 ~
Anderson had spent most of the day with the U.S. Army's 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division south of Baghdad and filed this report ~
and wrote a blog post about what was happening in the "triangle of death" ~
U.S. military makes new friends in Iraq
U.S. Col. Michael Kershaw meets with Sunni leaders in Yusufiyah, formerly a hot spot for insurgent activity.YUSUFIYAH, Iraq (CNN) -- Until recently, Yusufiyah was among the most dangerous places in Iraq.
Located in the so-called "triangle of death," a violent area south of Baghdad, it was the site of frequent clashes between coalition forces and Sunni fighters. In May, two U.S. soldiers went missing in Yusufiyah and were never found, despite a massive search.
But today, Sunni tribal leaders in this town cooperate with U.S. forces in their battle against foreign fighters and al Qaeda in Iraq.
"It's all the roll of the dice. It's people and politics all intertwined down here," said Col. Michael Kershaw, commander of the Second Brigade, 10th Mountain Division.
Kershaw now greets his former enemies with kisses, hears their grievances, spends time in their homes and even shares meals with them. He is surprised at how far relations have progressed.
Click here to read more
-- From Anderson Cooper and Pierre Bairin
Throughout the program scenes were shown from the remembrances taking place at Ground Zero, The Pentagon and in Shanksvile, PA. The Shot of the day was also a tribute to the victims ~
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Wednesday night, Anderson anchored AC360 from the CNN Compound in the Green Zone ~
Anderson previewed his Al-Maliki interview preview with Rick Sanchez earlier in the day ~
Some notes from Iraq...
I'm sorry I didn't blog yesterday. I spent most of the day with the U.S. Army's 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division south of Baghdad. It's one of the areas where local Sunnis have turned against al Qaeda in Iraq and now are getting paid by the U.S. to man checkpoints. (Editor's note: see above to read Anderson's report on this transformation)
The person in charge -- U.S. Colonel Michael Kershaw -- is a student of history, a smart, hard-charging West Point grad who is working hard to capitalize on the Sunni switch. The question of course is what happens when the U.S. leaves? Do these armed Sunni groups become insurgents once again, attacking the Shiite dominated central government we are now trying to support?
The 2nd Brigade has taken hard losses; 53 troops have been killed in their area of operations. So the drop in violence there over the last couple months is very welcome.
Yesterday, there was an attack on Camp Victory, the U.S. base where we had been staying. One person was killed and 11 others wounded.
It's strange: Camp Victory is a sprawling U.S. base near the Baghdad airport, and the previous day I went for a run on the grounds. I could occasionally hear shots in the distance, but for the most part I could have been on any base in any part of the world. The base gets attacked with rockets and mortars with some regularity, but I was still shocked to hear of the losses.
We've since moved to the CNN compound. That was our plan all along: two nights with the military; two nights on our own.
Today, I interviewed Iraq Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, as well as General David Petraeus, who is still in Washington. Both interviews will be on the program tonight. Prime Minister al-Maliki surprised me. I expected him to disagree with Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who called his government "dysfunctional." But al-Maliki actually agreed with him.
Anyway, I've been up for two days straight and have to finish editing the al-Maliki interview, but I hope to see you later tonight on the broadcast. By the way, I am curious to hear what you all thought of Petreaus' testimony this week: Was it what you expected? Did it change anyone's mind? Let us know.
-- By Anderson Cooper
Then his interview with Al-Maliki, Iraq's Prime Minister aired as part of the broadcast ~
By the time the broadcast was ending the sun was coming up in Baghdad; no wonder he hadn't slept in two days!
Thursday, September 13, 2011
Anderson was again anchoring AC360 from Baghdad ~
Anderson gave us a "tour" of the bunker where he keeps his Kevlar vest, though why he's not wearing it, I have no idea; and also talks about one of the harsh realities of this war.
Once again as AC360 came to a close, the sun was coming up in Baghdad. Friday was a travel day for Anderson, but during the week, Anderson gave a couple of quick shout outs to the men and women in uniform ~
And because I miss Larry King and his tosses to Anderson, wherever in the world Anderson happened to be reporting from that night ...