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IRAQ: THE ROAD TO KIRKUK

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total length: 24:47

Clip 1 (length 6:19)
Kurdish victims of ethnic cleansing in Saddam's Iraq

Clip 2 (length 5:39)
The Kurdish peshmerga fighters' push to Kirkuk

Clip 3 (length 6:41)
American GI tries to mediate ethnic tensions between Kurds, Arabs and Turcomen

Clip 4 (length 6:08)
Graphic violence and one woman's sad homecoming

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Image from the storyCalming Tensions Between Arabs and Iraqi Kurds

Target Grade Levels:
Grades 7-12

Themes:
Conflict, U.S. Influence Abroad

The Activity
Extensions
Relevant National Standards
Cross-Curricular Activities
Ties to Literature


The Activity


To bring down the regime of Saddam Hussein, U.S. forces teamed with Iraqi Kurds to secure positions in northern Iraq. Show the class where Iraq is on a map. Then, expand student knowledge of the Kurds by having them organize information from the timeline Kurds at the Crossroads
pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/iraq203/crossroads01.html
into a "concept map" graphic organizer. (For a model of a concept map, visit graphic.org).
graphic.org/concept.html
Note: The timeline contains some strong images of violence and protest in Iraq. Please be sure to preview the content before sending students to it.

Since the fall of Hussein, U.S. soldiers have gone from being liberators to being peacekeepers as tensions between Kurds and Arabs have risen over historical grievances and ethnic and religious differences. One point of contention is housing. Kurds, who had been ethnically cleansed from their own villages during the decades of Hussein's rule, are threatening to kill Arab residents if the Arabs don't abandon the homes that the Kurds claim as theirs.

Ask students to play the role of a U.S. Green Beret who goes to a house where a dispute is under way between a Kurdish woman and an Arab woman who both claim to be the rightful owner of the house. The Kurdish woman says she was ethnically cleansed from the house four months ago. The Arab woman says she's been there for years. As you listen to the women's arguments, a small crowd starts to gather. What do you, the soldier, do?

Have students think for a few minutes to brainstorm and write out some options. Then allow a few minutes for students to discuss and modify their written ideas with a partner before sharing with the class. They might share their ideas in a straightforward presentation, as a mini-play, or in any other appropriate form. Ask the students to consider these questions in their discussions.

  • What are some of the cultural and political issues that you, as a U.S. soldier, have to keep in mind?
  • How can you keep tempers cool and prevent violence from breaking out?
Students can research additional information on these issues by visiting some of the Web sites listed in the Links & Resources
pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/iraq203/links.html
section of "Iraq: Road to Kirkuk." After discussing students' ideas, play a video clip that shows what a U.S. Green Beret did in that situation.

At about 16 minutes into the story
In: "There are only about 50 Green Berets ..."
Out: "... have blacks, whites and Spanish."
Length of clip: 2:25

How did the approach of the soldier in the video differ from ideas put forth by students? Do students think he did the right thing? Why or why not? If students have sufficient background, ask them to compare this situation with other conflicts in which land claims have been at issue.

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Extensions

Expand class discussion on the Kurds by exploring these related FRONTLINE/World stories:

Iraq: The Road to Kirkuk
Learn about the history of the Kurds, and examine life for these people before and just after Saddam. (May 2003)

Return to Kirkuk (from FRONTLINE/World's 'Rough Cut' series)
A Kurdish exile who supports the establishment of an independent Kurdistan returns home to vote in the first national elections since the overthrow of Saddam's regime.

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Relevant National Standards


These standards are drawn from "Content Knowledge," a compilation of content standards and benchmarks for K-12 curriculum by McRel (Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning), at http://www.mcrel.org/standards-benchmarks/.

Geography, Standard 13: Understands the forces of cooperation and conflict that shape the divisions of Earth's surface

Level III, Benchmark 5
Understands the factors that affect the cohesiveness and integration of countries
World History, Standard 44: Understands the search for community, stability and peace in an interdependent world
Level III, Benchmark 4
Understands instances of political conflict and terrorism in modern society

Level IV, Benchmark 4
Understands the oil crisis and its aftermath in the 1970s (e.g., how the oil crisis revealed the extent and complexity of global economic interdependence; events that have affected world oil prices since 1950; relationships between U.S. domestic energy policy and foreign policy in oil-producing regions since 1970)

Level IV, Benchmark 6
Understands the role of ethnicity, cultural identity and religious beliefs in shaping economic and political conflicts across the globe

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Cross-Curricular Activities
Consider building on the themes of the above activity by working with colleagues in other disciplines to conduct the following activities.


Create a Dracula-inspired Travel Brochure (English, Art)

The Activity

To help fuel its postcommunist economy, Romania is capitalizing on the legend of Dracula, made famous by the Hollywood movie. To appeal to Western tourists, two towns have even proposed competing vampire-based theme parks: Dracula Land and Empire Dracula. What is the fascination with vampires? And how can a concept so creepy be successfully marketed to bring big bucks to Romania?

Explain to students that they have been contracted by the Romanian government to create a promotional brochure that will draw American tourists to Romania's Dracula-related haunts. Pique student interest by having them take the brief online quiz How to Identify and Cure a Vampire.
pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/romania/quiz.html
Next, ask students to trace the origin of the Dracula legend by reading "Dracula: The Metamorphosis of a Fiend".
pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/romania/dracula.html
Students should then work in teams to design, write, illustrate and present their brochures to the class. Have the class or a larger group vote for their favorite brochure and reward the winning team with a creepy prize.

Resources

Visit the "Romania: My Old Haunts" Web resources to find the features mentioned in this activity, to watch the full FRONTLINE/World segment in streaming video, or to gather related links and facts:
pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/romania/

Relevant National Standards

Language Arts, Standard 6: Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of literary texts

Visual Arts, Standard 1: Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes related to the visual arts

World History, Standard 44: Understands the search for community, stability and peace in an interdependent world

Level III, Benchmark 6 Understands the emergence of a global culture (e.g., connections between electronic communications, international marketing and the rise of a popular "global culture" in the late 20th century; how modern arts have expressed and reflected social transformations and political changes and how they have been internationalized) ---

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Design Propaganda Posters to Bolster the United States' Image Abroad (English, Art)

The Activity

Some groups around the world have an unfavorable opinion of U.S. president George W. Bush, and they use propaganda to shape how others view him. In your study of World War I or other conflicts in which propaganda played an important role, extend your discussion of propaganda techniques by showing and discussing these perspectives on President Bush as U.S. forces engaged in Iraq in 2003.

Story: "India: Starring Osama Bin Laden"
At about 1:13 into the story
In: "And I had arrived at a provocative time."
Out: "... the opera 'Osama Bin laden.'"
Length of clip: 28 seconds
Description: Images of Indian protests against the United States, plus a poster of President Bush with devil horns and fangs with the caption"Warmonger!"

Story: "Lebanon: Party of God"
At about 9:33 into the story
In: "They operate a satellite TV ..."
Out: Pictures of George W. Bush juxtaposed with Adolf Hitler
Length of clip: 27 seconds
Description: A Hezbollah television broadcast shows images of President Bush side-by-side with Adolf Hitler

Pause the video on each image of President Bush and ask students to identify any propaganda techniques used. Who is the president compared with in each image? Who is the intended audience of the images? How might the use of these images affect public opinion of the United States?

Ask students also to speculate on what would be the economic, political and social consequences of anti-U.S. sentiment in Lebanon and India. And finally, have students apply their knowledge of propaganda techniques to create posters with messages designed to improve the United States' image in the Middle East and India.

Resources

The full stories referenced above are available on the Web on the streaming video page.
pbs.org/frontlineworld/watch/

Transcripts of each story are also available:

"India: Starring Osama bin Laden"
pbs.org/frontlineworld/about/episodes/205_transcript.html#india205
"Lebanon: Party of God"
pbs.org/frontlineworld/about/episodes/202_transcript.html#lebanon

Visit the Web resources for each story for related links, facts, and features:

"India: Starring Osama bin Laden"
pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/india205/
"Lebanon: Party of God"
pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/lebanon

Relevant National Standards

Language Arts, Standard 6: Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of literary texts

Visual Arts, Standard 1: Understands and applies media, techniques and processes related to the visual arts

World History, Standard 44: Understands the search for community, stability and peace in an interdependent world

Level III, Benchmark 6 Understands the emergence of a global culture (e.g., connections between electronic communications, international marketing and the rise of a popular "global culture" in the late 20th century; how modern arts have expressed and reflected social transformations and political changes and how they have been internationalized)

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