This activity is especially recommended for use with "Saudi Time Bomb?" It can also be used with "Looking for Answers."
This activity will provide students with an opportunity to:
- Examine the factors influencing U.S. foreign policy and whether or not the United States holds all countries to the same standards.
- Consider what it means for countries to be "allies."
- Consider what the United States gets from other countries and vice versa.
- Consider the difference between calls for basic justice and the imposition of Western culture and ideas on other countries.
- Review the geography of the Middle East.
- Practice persuasive speaking, forming and defending opinions, and engaging in respectful discussion.
In his speech to the nation following the Sept. 11 attacks, President George W. Bush declared that countries are either "with us or against us." Ask students to define "with" and "against."
Follow up with any or all of these questions:
- Look at the map of the region. Which countries does the U.S. support and why? Within each country, who does the U.S. support and why?
- What does the U.S. expect from an ally? What should the U.S. expect? What is the U.S. getting?
- Can one be critical of an ally? If so, how? And how do we criticize actions while respecting cultures different from our own?
- Assess the following as allies:
President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt
(or former presidents Anwar el-Sadat and Gamal Abdel Nasser)
King Fahd in Saudi Arabia
The Taliban or Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan
- Looking at the region as a whole, who would you select as an ally and why? What does the U.S. need in the region (consider U.S. energy policy, military sales, and foreign policy in your answer)? What might change our needs? How would those changes influence the allies we choose?
FRONTLINE: The Roots of Terrorism
Includes extended interviews, corollary readings, recommended links and resources, and other background materials.
U.S. State Department
Includes a large archive of briefings and policy texts related to foreign affairs, as well as transcripts of media interviews with administration officials. It also includes the text of President Bush's address to the nation on Sept. 20.
14. Understands issues concerning the disparities between ideals and reality in American political and social life
What is the relationship of the United States to other nations and to world affairs?
22. Understands how the world is organized politically into nation-states, how nation-states interact with one another, and issues surrounding U.S. foreign policy
23. Understands the impact of significant political and nonpolitical developments on the United States and other nations
1. Understands the characteristics and uses of maps, globes, and other geographic tools and technologies
2. Knows the location of places, geographic features, and patterns of the environment
5. Understands the concept of regions
6. Understands that culture and experience influence people's perceptions of places and regions
Thinking and reasoning
1. Understands and applies the basic principles of presenting an argument
2. Understands and applies basic principles of logic and reasoning
3. Effectively uses mental processes that are based on identifying similarities and differences
United States history
28. Understands domestic policies in the post-World War II period
30. Understands developments in foreign policy and domestic politics between the Nixon and Clinton presidencies
43. Understands how post-World War II reconstruction occurred, new international power relations took shape, and colonial empires broke up
44. Understands the search for community, stability, and peace in an interdependent world
45. Understands major global trends since World War II