March 24, 2003

text only version

CNN Student News on CNN Headline News has been pre-empted today, March 24, 2003, due to coverage of THE WAR WITH IRAQ. However, you may find the CNN Student News program online along with the Daily Classroom Guide, at

First Up: War in IraqA number of U.S. troops are feared dead and others taken prisoner in southern Iraq.
The password for today's video is: access32
ShoutoutWhich of the following established guidelines for treatment of prisoners of war?
Answer: Geneva Conventions
Grenade AttackA 101st Airborne Division platoon sergeant allegedly attacks his fellow soldiers at Camp Pennsylvania in Kuwait.00:3003:45
British TornadoU.S. Patriot intercept missile shoots down a British Tornado aircraft near the Iraq-Kuwait border.00:2504:10
All About SaddamCNN's Bruce Burkhardt profiles Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.02:3006:40
Word to the Wisehyperbolic: (adj) relating to or employing hyperbole, which is a figure of speech in which exaggeration is used for emphasis or effect
Journalists Killed-A British news agency believes one of its top journalists is likely killed.
-Australian cameraman, Paul Moran, dies in an explosion blamed on a terrorist suicide bomber.
Technology in WarSatellite technology allows journalists to report from remote locations.02:0509:25
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First Up: War in Iraq
  1. What is the status of Operation Iraqi Freedom? Why was yesterday a difficult day for the coalition? Where are a number of troops feared dead and others believed to have been taken prisoner in Iraq? What did President Bush say regarding the treatment of the U.S. prisoners? What do U.S. military leaders say about Saddam Hussein showing U.S. prisoners of war on Iraqi TV?

  2. Refer students to the Holt, Rinehart and Winston map of Asia at to point out the allied troop movement and the areas of military engagement within Iraq.

  3. Point out to students that according to allied military leaders, televising the POWs is a clear violation of the Geneva Conventions. Direct student groups to library and online resources to learn about the Geneva Conventions. Pose the following questions to guide students' research:
    1. What is the purpose of the conventions?
    2. In what year were the treaties adopted?
    3. What events prompted the establishment of these treaties?
    4. How many countries have ratified these treaties?
    5. What rights are prisoners of war granted?
    6. Why is the doctrine named the "Geneva Conventions"?
    After students complete their research, ask: How should captured troops be treated under the conventions? Why does Iraq's alleged treatment of the U.S. soldiers violate the treaties? Do you think that there can be such a thing as "humane war"? State your rationale.

  4. Teachers: For a backgrounder on the Geneva Conventions, go to:

History of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement
A Summary of United Nations Agreements on Human Rights Special: War on Iraq War Tracker
Geneva Conventions
International humanitarian law (IHL) in brief
Bush demands humane treatment for coalition prisoners of war in Iraq

All About Saddam
  1. In what year did Saddam Hussein take control of Iraq? Who took over Iran that same year? What major crisis involving U.S. citizens occurred in Iran as a result of the Ayatollah Khomeini coming to power in Iran? What three conflicts involving Saddam are mentioned in the video? Which U.S. presidents assisted Saddam during Iraq's war with Iran?

  2. Inform students that Iraq's government is considered a republic. How is the Republic of Iraq different from a democracy? Discuss. If necessary, refer students to their textbooks to research the answer to this question.

  3. Have students make a list of the U.S. presidents since 1979 and the years that they were in office. Next, group students and assign each group a U.S. president from the list. Instruct each group to conduct research to learn about the history of U.S.-Iraq relations during the assigned presidency. Instruct each group to identify the key domestic and international issues and events that influenced the course of U.S.-Iraq relations during the assigned era. After groups present their findings, help students to create a timeline that depicts the significant events in the evolution of U.S.-Iraq relations. Then, ask students: Of these events, what are the key factors that have propelled the U.S. to take military action against Iraq at this point in time? Discuss.

U.S. Department of State: Iraq
Holt, Rinehart and Winston: Conflict in the Persian Gulf
CNN Student News: Backgrounder - Iraq remains defiant: Discussion/Activity
Holt, Rinehart and Winston: World Geography Today- The Persian Gulf and Interior
PRI: The World - Special Edition: Iraq History Series
CNN Student News: Backgrounder - Iraq remains defiant

Technology in War
  1. What types of technology are reporters using to cover the war with Iraq? At what other times has this new technology been used by journalists? What are the benefits of satellite phones and videophones in news reporting? What risks do journalists face on the front lines? Why do you think journalists would choose to cover war on the front lines?

  2. Guide students to multimedia resources to learn about the role of journalists during wartime and the ability of journalists to cover the war in Iraq. After students conclude their research, generate a class discussion using the following questions:
    1. How is news coverage of the war with Iraq different from any other war?
    2. What does it mean that journalists are "embedded" with troops in Iraq?
    3. What are the benefits and drawbacks of having embedding journalists covering Operation Iraqi Freedom? Have students consider the question from the perspectives of the Pentagon, Iraq, U.S. civilians, soldiers' families and the media.
    4. To what extent might journalists impact the course of the war against Iraq?
    5. What criteria should journalists use to decide what to report during the war against Iraq? Should any information be censored? Why or why not?
    Following the discussion, ask: If you were a reporter and had access to portable satellite equipment, what historical event would you like to have covered and why? Have each student assume the role of a field reporter with access to satellite technology. Instruct each student to learn more about the event and to use a video camera to prepare a mock television report of the incident. After each student shows his/her report to the class, discuss how the public's perception of the event might have differed had satellite coverage been available at the time.

Will embeds win the war?
CNN executives: Let reporters cover war E-war coverage depends on working technology British TV reporter dead, says ITN
New York Observer: Pentagon Vows to Allow Press Closer to War Australian cameraman killed
Newseum: Technology and Reporting in War

  • Iraq
  • Saddam Hussein
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom
  • POW
  • Geneva Conventions
  • republic
  • democracy
  • hyperbolic
  • embedded journalists
  • satellite phones

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