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August 19th, 2010
01:06 PM ET

Today's Show: August 19, 2010

For more information on today's segments:

Mission Possible 

 The Big I

Filed under: Ali Velshi • Mission Possible • The Big I
August 19th, 2010
10:59 AM ET

Today's XYZ: The Conversation Continues...

Time now for the XYZ of it...

Yesterday, for the first time, I dipped a toe into the debate about the proposed Islamic Center and Mosque near ground zero. I had held back because, frankly, another voice wasn't needed. I have been reading and listening and talking to you on Twitter and Facebook about it, and I could see a growing trend of misinformation and prejudice. So I put an idea out there yesterday – not an opinion – but an idea. I compared the anger over this proposed Islamic Center and Mosque to the Oklahoma City bombings, and asked whether Timothy McVeigh's Catholicism would create objections to a Catholic church near the Murrah Building. Moments later, I read a tweet which, out of context, implied that I had SUGGESTED banning Catholic churches from Oklahoma because of McVeigh. Obviously, I didn't. But it seems in this climate it's hard to profess ideas without ideologues trying to pin you down. Moments after that, adjectives were added to the dozens of retweets, identifying me both as "Kenyan born" and a "Muslim". I am Kenyan born and, unlike President Obama who faces the same accusation from some quarters, I actually AM a Muslim; he's not.

I wish I were as open to ideas as I profess to be on a daily basis. But the truth is we all have inherent prejudices. That's why I work really hard to make THIS show a place for ideas; ideas about technology and science and health and education and politics. And so what I said about the Mosque yesterday – well – those were some ideas to provoke discussion and thought. It clearly provoked something, and so many of you offered thoughtful responses. I agree with some of you and disagreed with some, but that's why this dialogue is so great – we can agree or disagree and still respect so much about ideas.

For what it's worth, my ideas can evolve; they are subject to ever improving arguments about a situation; I try not to get dug in. But where I was born, and the religion I was born into – that's about as malleable as the color of my skin or the way I do my hair. It would be better that we pay more attention to each other for what we say and write than where we're from or how, or even WHETHER, we choose to worship.

Watch my XYZ here.

Filed under: Ali Velshi • Anchors • XYZ
August 19th, 2010
09:54 AM ET

Winding Down the War

The last full U.S. combat brigade is heading home from Iraq. Members of the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division crossed the border into Kuwait early this morning. The move comes more than seven years after the U.S. invaded Iraq. The Pentagon says 4,406 American troops have died in the Iraq war. According to Iraq Body Count, 106,146 civilians have died.
 That’s where we want you to weigh in. Was it worth it?

Leave us a comment. We’ll share some of them on the air in the CNN Newsroom, 11am ET — 1p ET.

Filed under: Tony Harris
August 19th, 2010
08:20 AM ET

This Week's Q&A:

You’ve probably heard the screams “The Double-Dip is coming!”  Sound like a great dessert? Maybe some soft ice-cream dipped once in chocolate and once in caramel? Yum!  Or maybe nachos dipped once in sour cream and once in guacamole?

Unfortunately, we’re talking about a “double-dip” recession – something many economists and doom-sayers say we are headed straight for.  Are we?  And if we are, what, if anything, can you do to protect yourself?  Richard Quest and I will duke it out for the best answer today on Q&A. 2:00pm ET / 1800 GMT on CNN.

Filed under: Ali Velshi • Anchors • Q&A
August 19th, 2010
08:01 AM ET

Last U.S. Combat Convoy leaves Iraq

The last U.S. brigade combat team in Iraq has left the country, a move that helps U.S. President Barack Obama reach his goal of 50,000 troops in the country by September 1. Their departure leaves about 56,000 U.S. troops in the country, according to the U.S. military. Their departure comes more than seven years after U.S. combat forces entered, though their departure does not signify the end of all U.S. combat forces in the country. Another 6,000 U.S. troops must leave Iraq to meet Obama's deadline for the end of U.S. combat operations in the country and the beginning of Operation New Dawn in which the remaining U.S. forces are expected to switch to an advise-and-assist role.

This 7-year war has impacted lives all across this country.
We want to hear your thoughts on this milestone. We'd especially like to hear from current and former veterans

Post your comments and Kyra will read your some of them during the 10am hour of Newsroom.

Filed under: Kyra Phillips