Stuart Loory, Lee Hills Chair in Free-Press Studies at the Missouri School of Journalism: In his State of the Union message last week, President Barack Obama emphasized that the United States would have all of its combat troops out of Iraq by the end of August. He said, “Make no mistake, this war is ending and all of our troops are coming home.” Even as he was talking, the insurgency seemed to be building in Iraq. Days after the speech, a suicide bomber, her explosives strapped under her long dress, blew herself up in a tent meant to search women in a procession of Shiite pilgrims. She killed 41 and injured over 100 more. It was one of several such incidents in the past few days. And meanwhile, the Iraqi government was having trouble planning for next month’s parliamentary elections. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been trying to ban some 500 candidates because they had ties to opposition parties and supposedly to the Ba’ath Party of former President Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi Supreme Court said he could not do that, but it left open the possibility that it would act to oust members elected to the Parliament after the vote. This is not the kind of news that makes me think the war is ending. There is some history as well as the current situation, including the testimony by Tony Blair at the Chilcot Commission investigating the run up to the war in Iraq. Tell us a little bit about that, and how Tony Blair acquitted himself in that testimony.
GLOBAL JOURNALIST: Iraq still presents a confused picture
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