The Islamic State is one of the most lethal and successful jihadist groups in modern history, surpassing even al-Qaeda. Thousands of its followers have marched across Syria and Iraq, subjugating millions, enslaving women, beheading captives, and daring anyone to stop them. Thousands more have spread terror beyond the Middle East under the Islamic State's black flag.

How did the Islamic State attract so many followers and conquer so much land? By being more ruthless, more apocalyptic, and more devoted to state-building than its competitors.

Based almost entirely on primary sources in Arabic-including ancient religious texts and secret al-Qaeda and Islamic State letters that few have seen - William McCants' The ISIS Apocalypse explores how religious fervor, strategic calculation, and doomsday prophecy shaped the Islamic State's past and foreshadow its dark future.

  The regional premiere of the Donald Margulies play Time Stands Still opens tonight and runs through October 15th at the Curtain Call Theater in Latham, NY.  

After barely surviving a bomb blast in Iraq, photojournalist Sarah Goodwin finds herself caught in a tug of war between her career and the quiet of domestic life.

Returning home into the care of her long-time lover, James, Sarah is caught off-guard by James’ desire for family and by the simple domestic life pursued by Richard, her editor, and his much younger girlfriend, Mandy. Two of the cast-members join us this morning – Amy Lane and Tom Templeton. 

  Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales shares his account of grappling with the critical decisions that helped navigate the Bush Administration through national crisis, politics, and war in his new book: True Faith and Allegiance, A Story of Service and Sacrifice in War and Peace.

Gonzales is the former Attorney General of the United States and former Counsel to the President and is the only lawyer and only Hispanic to hold both these positions.

Notwithstanding all of the commentary to the contrary, the Iraqi army assisted by U.S. Special Forces is putting the Islamic State on the defensive in Iraq. In fact, the Iraqi army is poised to retake the northern province of Nineveh and may soon gain control of Mosul, the province’s largest city and a militant stronghold. This is the good news, but it is not the whole story.

  From Syria to Iraq to Afghanistan, there are trouble spots in much of the Islamic world.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut Representative Elizabeth Esty tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock about what she learned on a recent trip to Afghanistan. 

 Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Post reporter Joby Warrick and author of The Triple Agent has a new book, Black Flags: The Rise of Isis. Which is a dramatic account explaining how the strain of militant Islam behind the Islamic State first arose in a remote a Jordanian prison and spread with the unwitting aid of two American Presidents. 


  In The Great War of Our Time: The CIA's Fight Against Terrorism--From al Qa'ida to ISIS, recently retired Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency Michael Morrell uses his talents to offer an unblinking and insightful assessment of CIA's counterterrorism successes and failures of the past twenty years.

Herbert London: The Debacle In Ambar Province

May 27, 2015

The Islamic State dealt a crushing blow to the Iraqi army in Iraq’s largest province (Ambar), including the city of Ramadi – once home to nearly half a million people. What this victory revealed is the fragility of the Iraqi army, despite vigorous U.S. efforts to train it.

5/18/15 Panel

May 18, 2015

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, political consultant and lobbyist, Libby Post, and essayist, author, editor and activist - Barbara Smith.

Scheduled topics include Key Iraqi City Falls To ISIS; Marco Rubio on Iraq; Jeb Bush on Same-Sex Marriage; Biker Gang Shooting; Boston Bomber Death Penalty.

  When Emma Sky volunteered to help rebuild Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003, she had little idea what she was getting in to. Her assignment was only supposed to last three months. She went on to serve there longer than any other senior military or diplomatic figure, giving her an unrivaled perspective of the entire conflict.

4/16/15 Panel

Apr 16, 2015

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, SUNY Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Professor, Rosemary Armao, and political consultant, Libby Post.

Scheduled topics include EU Google Case; Hernandez Guilty; de Blasio Midwest trip; Iraqi PM on Yemen; Gyrocopter landing on Capitol lawn; Skelos corruption; new studies on exercise.

Stephen Gottlieb: War On What - Crime Or The Poor?

Oct 14, 2014

  Many of us have realized that sending troops into some areas can be counter-productive. No matter how many the Israelis kill, more Palestinians prepare to fight them. Our boots on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan led many to take up arms against us. To them, we were the invaders.

U.S. Navy

President Obama finally delivered a presidential address in his strategy view of the war against ISIS. As a speech, it was admirable; as a strategy, it is questionable.

Stephen Gottlieb: ISL And US Foreign Policy

Sep 16, 2014

America decided to deal with the Native Americans by war and exile. It took three centuries, as succeeding generations of Indians realized that the White Man would honor no treaty and give them no peace.

9/16/14 Panel

Sep 16, 2014

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain & Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao.

Topics include:
Iraq on ISIS
Ebola Effort
Ukranian Concessions
Hepatitis Drug
Urban Outfitters Kent State Sweatshirt
TU Stories

9/9/14 Panel

Sep 9, 2014

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain & Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao.

Topics include:
Ray Rice
Ferguson Changes
New Iraq Government
Cuomo Event
Unused Pills
TU Stories

8/15/14 Panel

Aug 15, 2014


  Today's panelists are NYPIRG legislative director Blair Horner and College of St. Rose Communications Professor, Mary Alice Molgard.

Topics include:
Iraq Update
Robin Williams - Parkinsons
Obama Urges Calm
Military-like Response in Ferguson
Baseball Commissioner Battle

8/14/14 Panel

Aug 14, 2014

  Today's panelists are College of St. Rose Communications Professor Paul Conti, Daily Gazette Editor Judy Patrick and Associate Editor of the Times-Union, Mike Spain.

Topics include:
Iraq Ground Troops?
Rikers Update
Ebola Update
Reporters Detained in Ferguson

8/13/14 Panel

Aug 13, 2014

  Today's panelists are College of St. Rose Professor of Communications Mary Alice Molgard, NYPIRG Legislative Director Blair Horner and Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain.

Topics include:
Mike Brown Death
Advisors to Iraq
Palestinian Cuomo Invite Declined
Lauren Bacall Dies
Tony Stewart Update

8/12/14 Panel

Aug 12, 2014

  Today's panelists are Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain, Legislative Director of NYPIRG, Blair Horner and tech attorney with Phillips Lytle LLP, Rich Honen.

Topics include:
Robin Williams Dead
Maliki Standoff
Cuomo Poll
Teachout Can Run
St. Louis Teen Death Anger
TU Stories

7/14/14 Panel

Jul 14, 2014

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Newsman Ray Graf and Political Consultant, Libby Post.

Topics include:
Elusive Cease-Fire
Iraq Stalemate
Immigration Politics
DEA Pot Fight
World Cup Over

    What should the U.S. do about Iraq?

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York Representative Chris Gibson — a Republican from the 19th district — tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that a three-way partition would not solve the country’s problems.

6/26/14 Panel

Jun 26, 2014

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Political Activist Libby Post and Daily Freeman Publisher Emeritus, Ira Fusfeld.

Topics include:
SCOTUS Decisions
Utah and Indiana Gay Marriage
Democratic reunification of state senate
Iran - Iraq
New Anchor for ABC News
Boehner Sues Obama

Herbert London: Choosing Sides for World War IV

Jun 25, 2014

With the fall of Mosul to ISIS terrorists the goal of a new state incorporating territory in northern Iraq and Syria may be a reality. As I see it, this is more than a Sunni-Shia conflict within the confines of one region. It has the potential to be the catalyst of World War IV, the Cold War being World War III.

    The situation in Iraq is dangerous and troubling.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Paul Tonko tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that the U.S has already made a huge investment there.

6/24/14 Panel

Jun 24, 2014

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain and Political Consultant Libby Post.

Topics include:
Iraq Dissatisfaction
SCOTUS on Emissions
Clinton's Imperial Image
NYC Rent Freeze Rejection
Mormon Ruling on Women

6/23/14 Panel

Jun 23, 2014


  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Newsman Ray Graf and Times Union Associate Editor, Mike Spain.

Topics include:
Iraq Update
Kerry on Ties to Egypt
Clinton - Imperial Image?
Honey Bee Initiative
US World Cup Draw

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Adam Hinds is the gang prevention program coordinator for the City of Pittsfield, but is also a Truman National Security Fellow who recently finished nearly 10 years working for the United Nations in the Middle East. This included three and a half years in Iraq, where he survived a roadside bomb attack, and until three months ago he was working on the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons program.

6/20/14 Panel

Jun 20, 2014


  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Times Union Associate Managing Editor, Mike Spain and WAMC Newsman Ray Graf.

Topics include:
Military Advisers to Iraq
Medical Marijuana Deal
McCarthy In
Wisconsin Gov
Rangel Poll

6/19/14 Panel

Jun 19, 2014


  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, WAMC newsman Ray Graf and Associate Editor of the Time Union, Mike Spain.

Topics include:
Iraq Update
Heart Attack Prevention
Redskin Patent
Hybrid Pension Plan
Amazon Phone
TU Headlines