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About the coalition efforts to extricate ISIS from the Iraqi city of Mosel it's called they will have to die now Mosel and the fall of the caliphate you said he initially came to Iraq in twenty sixteen with a one month visa and stayed nearly a year and that the reason you stayed had to do with the sense of guilt or shame yeah what do you feel guilty about when I was a young reporter in New York my first real newspaper job was with the New York observer back when that was a real newspaper and the first real story I covered was nine eleven I was twenty three year old cub reporter when nine eleven happened and I you know we covered the destruction of the World Trade Center so for my entire adult life in professional career jihadism had been on my mind and along with everyone else in the world I watched as the United States reacted to nine eleven by invading of all places Iraq is in what was a stridently irrelevant war and I think like many other Americans I objected to it and came to feel increasingly ashamed and guilty over it as as it became clear what we were doing to the country and as the country descended into a civil war as a reaction to our own invasion I wanted to go to a rock in the mid two thousands but I frankly was too cowardly tune too frightened to and I didn't make it there and sold two thousand sixteen as you say by which point I had decided I guess that I had to face up to Iraq to the American war in Iraq by twenty sixteen I had become something of a conflict journalist I guess I covered mainly conflict in Africa where I was living and in the Middle East and Latin America and I I came to feel that if I was going to be an American journalist who covered conflict that I had to cover rock that I had to write about a rock that I had some form of moral obligation to write about it to write about this place that my country had invaded and in many ways ruined and specifically I wanted to tell the stories of Iraqis much if not most of the American military reporting that had come out of Iraq and to the point hadn't had to had to do with the American military specifically I wanted to write about Iraqi soldiers an Iraqi civilians and I wanted to describe how they were living through this conflict you know you were in plenty of dangerous situations I mean you describe once in the book around of sniper fire hit the turn of the home the you were sitting in just above your head and and there are plenty of times where you were moving with troops through city streets exposed to gunfire and and a lot of journalists were killed in Iraq how terrified I find that it actually reduces my feelings of fear about the world generally when you're in a place like Mosul saying all you have to worry about is staying alive and doing your job if you can just if you can make it through the day and you can get some good scenes then you've you've done everything you could do and you and you sleep well that night I never found that I was particularly frightened or terrified in the city I certainly was extremely saddened at times and terrified on behalf of the people of Mosul or the soldiers I got to know but I never I myself never so though I knew I was very close to death I never felt prickly frightened by it I suppose it afterwards you'll come to realize how close you came in and you can get the server sometimes but I have to say it's never been too much of a problem the coalition forces the sudden ended the battle of Mosel said that it was liberated in July of twenty seventeen after what a roughly a nine or ten month conflict what was left of the city so on the east side of the city there was a great deal left the east side was you could tell there was still city and then it would recover pretty quickly already was recovering by the when the when the operations on the west side began the university of muscle which is on the side was largely destroyed but other than that that portion of the city that have the city was pretty intact not so on the west side of the city in the west side looked as though some vengeful daily had wiped his hand across the city it was rubble blocks and blocks acres and acres miles and miles of rubble from air strikes and artillery and small arms fire in the V. bit explosions and this was tragic of course for many reasons not the least of which is that this was the center of historic muscle this is where the Abbasids had built their city and where the grand mosque of all nori had been which I assisted taken over and where so many of the beautiful old mosques and buildings had been and those will never be a rebel and what about the population I mean it is it coming back today two years later as far as I know no I I should emphasize that I have not been back since twenty seventeen but I know many people who have been I've I've what I've looked at contemporary footage and pictures and know the west side of the city is not being rebuilt not most of it is not anyway people have returned return to their homes tried to start businesses and and many have but the west side of the city city still looks destroyed and so hundreds of thousands of people who live there are what in refugee camps so many people the the camps have mostly been emptied out many people have moved to other parts of Iraq few have stayed in camps many have been incarcerated or tried in in much of Iraq including and muscle many SUNY families have not been allowed to return to their homes because they are presumed to be are accused of being jihadis and many have many have left the country as well you know that now that the U. S. has withdrawn from northeastern Syria and the Kurdish forces there had to make a chaotic retreat there's fears that thousands of ISIS fighters which were held in detention there may get away were either scape or be released and that it could lead to a resurgence of the ills Islamic state do you have a sense of how likely it is that it could become a service that again well it it never stopped being a threat the caliphate was dismantled you know I sis's territory in Iraq and Syria was largely dismantled but ISIS never went away ISIS persists in being an organization and as we know has expanded to other parts of the world to Afghanistan the Philippines Libya soon enough we'll be seeing them in Kashmir I'm sure so the threat never went away their territory went away and so long as you have organizations like the Turkish military or the Syrian military or the Russians who are perfectly content to abuse civilians and to massacre civilians then organizations like isis will be successful people will join them they will have a because they will have a reason for being so I I think inevitably are pulled out and the resulting influx of Syrian forces and Russian forces in Turkish paramilitary forces will inevitably result in a resurgence of isis in one form or another Jennifer any thanks for your reporting and thanks so much for speaking with us thank you to the pleasure James Reaney spoke with fresh tears Dave Davies Carini is a contributing writer for The New York Times magazine and National Geographic is the author of the new book they will have to die now Mosel and the fall of the caliphate after we take a short break Justin Chang will review the new.

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