NewsHour Extra Feature Stories
NewsHour Extra features stories can help students identify and interpret key issues
in current events. This activity anticipates one class period, but the follow-up
essay might be assigned as homework, or in another period.
Up: Use initiating questions to introduce the topic and find out how much
your students know.
Activity: Have students read NewsHour Extra's feature story and answer the
questions on the reading comprehension handout.
Use discussion questions to encourage students to think about how the issues outlined
in the story affect their lives and express and debate different opinions.
Students can write an 500-word editorial on the topic expressing their views
and send it to NewsHour Extra [email@example.com]
for possible publication.
Students are graded on their answers to reading comprehension questions and/or
The Iraq War - One Year Later: 3/22/04
do you remember about the first couple of days of the Iraq War?
2. Are Americans
still paying attention to Iraq one year later? Why or why not?
3. Do you know
anyone who has served or is serving in Iraq right now?
Comprehension Questions: (click here
What was the case against Saddam Hussein before the war?
February 2003 Secretary of State Colin Powell made the case for war with Iraq
at a special presentation to the U.N. Security Council, the United Nations' peacekeeping
body. Powell told member nations that Iraq was in violation of U.N. Resolution
1441, which was designed to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction.
Powell's presentation was the culmination of President Bush's case against
the Iraqi leader. President Bush argued that Saddam was a cruel dictator who tortured
and killed thousands of his own people and who had launched chemical attacks on
Iranians and ethnic Kurds. Saddam's presence in the region, he argued, posed a
risk to the world.
How long did the war last and how many lives were lost?
fighting lasted six weeks. During that time more than 100 U.S. soldiers died and
many more Iraqis. The Pentagon has refused to divulge its estimates of how many
Iraqis died during the bombing, but unofficial estimates from Human Rights Watch,
an international human rights organization, stand at over 1,000.
What happened on April 9?
of the key days of the war was April 9 when U.S. soldiers, surrounded by hundreds
of Iraqis, toppled a 40-foot statue of the former dictator, an image seen around
Why did coalition troops stay in Iraq after the war ended?
Bush announced the end of major combat operations on May 1, but warned that challenges
lay ahead. Areas of Baghdad lay in ruins because of the bombings, the country
had no electricity and little running water, oil fields were destroyed and no
"We have difficult work to do in Iraq. We are
bringing order to parts of that country that remain dangerous. We are pursuing
and finding leaders of the old regime, who will be held to account for their crimes,"
the president said.
In what areas has the coalition been successful in Iraq?
coalition has restored many of the country's services including water and electricity,
according to U.S. administrator in Iraq Paul Bremer, and has reopened schools
and clinics and begun building an Iraqi police force.
have also formed the Iraqi Governing Council, a group of Iraqi leaders who will
oversee the creation of a new constitution and democratically elected government.
in December, American soldiers captured Saddam Hussein hiding near his hometown
How many U.S. soldiers have died in combat or been injured since the war ended?
to the U.S. Department of Defense, 277 U.S. soldiers have been killed in attacks
on coalition forces since the war ended, and nearly 3,000 have been wounded since
Why do the president's critics feel he misled the American public?
controversially, the failure of U.S. inspectors to find weapons of mass destruction
has caused critics to question whether President Bush misled the American public
by purposely using faulty weapons intelligence to justify going to war. A congressional
committee has been formed to investigate the charge.
Questions (more research might be needed):
1. Do you think the Iraq
war was a success, a failure or neither? Explain. Should U.S. troops stay in Iraq?
How much longer and for what purpose?
Describe the link President Bush has made between the war in Iraq and the September
11 attacks on the United States? Is the link clear? Why or why not?
In what ways has the war in Iraq directly affected your life? For example, do
you know military personnel serving in Iraq?
Will President Bush's stance on the war or Democratic presidential candidate John
Kerry's stance affect who you will support in the upcoming election?
your answers, in essay form, to firstname.lastname@example.org
for possible publication!