Examining the strike on Iraq
March 20, 2003
Web posted at: 2:51 AM EST (0751 GMT)
Overview: President Bush's deadline for Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq passed on Wednesday night at 8 p.m. EST. Shortly after 9:30 p.m., White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said that the beginning of the forced disarmament of the Iraqi regime was underway.
After students read "U.S. leads opening stages of strike against Iraq" and watch the first segment of CNN Student News (the video can be accessed from CNNStudentNews.com) pose the following questions:
1. What ultimatum did President Bush issue to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein earlier this week? When did the U.S. announce an attack on Iraq? What name has been given to this military operation? What is the goal of the initial strikes against Iraq? How many U.S. troops were in position when the strike began? What types of weapons did the U.S. use during the initial phase of Operation Iraqi Freedom? What targets have been hit?
2. What was the purpose of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's televised national address? How did he characterize the U.S.-led military campaign against Iraq? Point out to students that at the end of his speech, Saddam stated, "Long live jihad and long live Palestine." What does this statement mean? Why do you think he chose to deliver this message? How do you think his speech will be regarded by different segments of the international community?
3. In an effort to avoid war, what options did members of the international community present to Iraq? Why do you think the other options were not effective in preventing war? What attempts did anti-war protesters make in an effort to stop the war? Why do you think they were ineffective in accomplishing their goals? Was war inevitable? Why or why not?
4. During his national address last night, President George W. Bush stated that "35 nations worldwide supported the (U.S.) military campaign." Have students, working individually or in small groups, conduct research to identify these 35 nations and the types of support they are providing to the U.S.-led military campaign against Iraq. After students present their findings, have them consider the possible benefits and risks these nations assume by supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. To what extent is the support of the international community important to the success of this U.S.-led military operation?
5. What are your feelings about this war? Do you agree or disagree with the use of force against Iraq? Do you think you have enough information to have an opinion? If not, what other information do you need before you can have an opinion? Do you have any concerns or fears about the war? If so, what are they? Invite your school counselor to your classroom to talk about any fears and concerns you and your classmates may have.