ABC News looking at war '5 Years Later'


NEW YORK -- ABC News will mark the fifth anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War with a comprehensive look at the situation on the ground.

The weeklong "Iraq 5 Years Later: Where Things Stand" will kick off Saturday and include every one of the network's platforms from TV (including "Good Morning America," "World News" and "Nightline") to online to ABC News Radio. The work is being led in Baghdad by correspondents Terry McCarthy and Bill Weir, with White House correspondent Martha Raddatz traveling with Vice President Dick Cheney in his trip to the Middle East.

McCarthy worked on the first "Where Things Stand" in 2003 as a reporter for Time and has missed only one of the seven of them. The country has changed drastically since that time, from the relative hope after the fall of Saddam Hussein to the despair with the rise of the insurgency and the sectarian violence that followed in 2006. Today, with the surge working and fatigue among the Iraqi people on war, there's more hope.

"They've gone through an emotional roller coaster," McCarthy told The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday evening from Baghdad.

Part of the coverage will be the results of an exclusive poll of 2,200 Iraqis, sponsored by ABC News, BBC & Germany's ARD and NHK Japan. The poll hasn't been released yet, but McCarthy said some of the results are surprising.

"I think they're starting to think that they can pull it (the country) back, but there's still a long, long way to go," said McCarthy, whose current tour of duty in Iraq has lasted four weeks. McCarthy, Weir and other reporters spent time in more than 20 cities in Iraq to do the reports. Weir, who will anchor "Good Morning America's" weekend editions from Iraq, also traveled with an Army unit across the country.

McCarthy acknowledges that there's viewership fatigue among the American people in regards to the war. But he said that Americans still recognize it's an important story, as 160,000 U.S. troops remain in harm's way in the country. He said part of the approach with "Where Things Stand" is focusing on the stories of the individual Iraqis and American soldiers.