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'No End In Sight'

If you're not already angry about the war in Iraq, this meticulously assembled documentary will almost certainly raise your hackles — either at the folks who've been prosecuting the war, or at director Charles Ferguson, whose clear aim is to hold their feet to the fire.

He does so with a quick summary of 2006 news reports about chaos and death on the ground in Iraq, then goes back to the origins of America's Iraq policy in the 1980s. Interviewing figures from inside a number of different administrations, most of whom talk about escalating miscalculations, he paints a portrait of unprofessionalism, incompetence, and devastating errors in judgment. His most damning witnesses served on the Bush team, including former Deputy Secretary of State Richard L. Armitage. There's nothing new about the case Ferguson makes, but it's rarely been made with such devastating force.

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Bob Mondello, who jokes that he was a jinx at the beginning of his critical career — hired to write for every small paper that ever folded in Washington, just as it was about to collapse — saw that jinx broken in 1984 when he came to NPR.