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The State of Iraq48:23
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photoToday, the death toll approached nearly 400 since a new Iraqi government was unveiled two weeks ago. About 30 people were killed and 60 wounded in a single suicide bombing in Tikrit, hometown of Saddam Hussein. The governor of a western Anbar province was kidnapped Monday, as U.S. forces continued a major offensive in the area along the Syrian border.

On the political front, one of four Sunni Arabs selected to join Iraq's new Shiite majority Cabinet rejected the job, embarrassing a Shiite Prime Minister who hoped to appease Sunni fury over their diminished clout. Also, although a committee has been named to draft a permanent Iraqi constitution, it may foreshadow what may be the fiercest struggles yet over the country's future.

On the streets of Baghdad and elsewhere, disillusionment is real, and violence unchecked. In the U.S., the war's price tag has now gone well past $200 billion.

Hear a conversation with NPR's Phillip Reeves on the tumult of conflict and the state of Iraq.

Guests:

Philip Reeves, NPR foreign correspondent based in New Delhi, India

George Packer, staff writer for The New Yorker.

This program aired on May 11, 2005.

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