The Iraq War – It’s Hell Mr President: The BBC2 documentary brings events to the present day as we hear from more top-ranking officials including Jack Straw

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The story of the Iraq war is brought up to date in this final instalment of BBC2’s documentary series. The programme speaks to controversial Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki and shows why Iraq now faces its worst sectarian violence in five years. Jack Straw, the former Foreign Secretary, tells how he and Condoleezza Rice forced Iraq’s previous Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafaari to step down.

US National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley describes how America helped to choose Nouri Maliki as Iraqi Prime in 2006. The programme shows what the decision to appoint him has meant for Iraq in the years since.
Sectarian violence was rife and Meghan O’Sullivan, Adviser on Iraq to President Bush, describes how she helped persuade him that a surge of thousands of additional US troops was needed to stem the violence.

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Commander of the Coalition Forces, General David Petraeus, describes how he had to convince Prime Minister Maliki into taking action against the Shia militias who dominated some of the ministries in his government.

When British forces withdrew from Basra, Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mahdi Army took control there. Maliki describes how, against US advise, he flew to Basra and faced the immediate prospect of defeat. The Americans rescued him by bombing Muqtada’s militia. At last, Maliki could assert government control. He describes how he promptly sought and obtained an agreement from President Bush that the US would leave Iraq.

But with the US army finally gone, Maliki’s Shia government appeared to target Sunni rivals. The programme shows why Iraq is suffering intense Sunni/Shia violence once again.

The Iraq War concludes tonight on BBC2 at 9pm

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