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lost year in iraq

Student Worksheet

Postwar Reconstruction Plans

Directions:

Review the historical background below and then go to the Web sites below to access the political cartoons you were assigned depicting the situation in postwar Iraq during Paul Bremer's tenure. Then in your small group, answer the questions.

Historical Background

The Bush administration assumed that Iraqis would greet the U.S. forces as liberators and fully cooperate in the reconstruction efforts. It also assumed that reconstruction would be conducted only with the help of countries from the "Coalition of the Willing." (This was later modified to include the United Nations.) Early on in the process, the administration insisted that all members of the Baath Party (Saddam Hussein's political party) leave their positions and be replaced with those loyal to the coalition. It also ordered the Iraqi army and police force be disbanded to help ensure that no "bad guys" would get into positions of authority. The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) was established to help make the transition to a legitimate, viable, and democratic Iraq while rebuilding the overall economy and society. As CPA director, Paul Bremer was given full authority (and ultimately veto power) over all Iraqi operations and committees, which he exercised with regularity.

The Teller Amendment

Group A: Spanish-American War Model

Background Information: Between 1895 and 1898, the Spanish colonies of Cuba and the Philippines revolted, seeking independence from Spain. Events took a major turn in February 1898, when an explosion sank the U.S.S. Maine in Havana, killing 266 U.S. sailors. Explanations for the explosion ranged from an accident to a waterborne mine. President McKinley's efforts to negotiate a peace agreement failed due to Spain's lack of response to U.S. demands for addressing the Maine sinking and the escalating hostilities in Cuba's revolution. U.S. public opinion turned hostile and called for immediate action. On April 11, under strong domestic political pressure, President McKinley asked Congress for the authority to send troops to Cuba to end the civil war. On April 19, Congress drew up a joint resolution of war which proclaimed Cuban independence, demanded Spanish withdrawal, and authorized the president to use force to help Cubans gain their freedom. Sen. Henry M. Teller of Colorado sponsored an amendment to the war resolution stating the United States would not establish permanent control of Cuba but would "leave the government and the control of the island to its people." By December 1898, the war ended and a peace treaty was signed by Spain and the United States enabling Cubans to develop a government of their own.

Factional disputes, corruption, and contested elections disrupted Cuba's progress even before its official independence in 1902. These events prompted the United States to issue the Platt Amendment in 1901, granting it the right to deploy its military to Cuba when American interests were threatened. The Platt Amendment also established a permanent American naval base at Guantanamo Bay that remains in U.S. possession. After World War II, a brutal dictatorship ruled Cuba for several years, paving the way for the Communist takeover by Fidel Castro in 1959.

Directions: Go to the Web site: http://www.historyofcuba.com/history/teller.htm and review the Teller Amendment. Then, working in your group of three, discuss the questions below.

Step 1

    Small Group Discussion Questions:

  1. Why do you think the United States felt compelled to declare this war?
  2. After reading the Teller Amendment, characterize U.S. foreign policy at the turn of the 20th century.
  3. How successful was the U.S. policy in achieving the goals of the Teller Amendment?
  4. What actions could the United States have taken to help Cuba avoid dictatorship and develop a democratic government?

Re-form into new groups of three with one member from each of the previous group attending.

Step 2

    Mixed Group Discussion Questions:

  1. Have each member of the group briefly summarize the postwar plan he/she reviewed.
  2. Compare the three plans, identifying the similarities/differences and strengths/weaknesses of each.
  3. Identify the central goal of each plan and the policy made or action taken to achieve that goal. What were the benefits/consequences of the methods employed for each plan?
  4. Evaluate Bremer's suggested plan. If implemented, could it have been successful?

The Marshall Plan
From George C. Marshall's June 5, 1947 commencement speech at Harvard University: http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/democrac/57.htm

Group B: World War II Model

Background Information: The winter of 1946 was especially hard in Europe, which had just been unshackled from six years of war and 14 years of Nazi threats and oppression. Industry was at a standstill and agriculture was barely at a subsistence level. Governments of the liberated nations seemed paralyzed by the enormity of the tasks ahead, and the United States realized all of Europe was vulnerable to the spread of communism.

In June 1947, Secretary of State George C. Marshall outlined the $20 billion plan that would later bear his name to bring relief to and begin rebuilding Europe. ($13 billion was eventually given out.) Marshall called for European nations to work together to draw up a comprehensive plan for how they would use the aid. For the first time, the nations of Europe had to act as a single economic unit and cooperate with each other. This plan also benefited the American economy, since money given to Europe was used to buy U.S. goods shipped across the Atlantic on U.S. merchant vessels.

The plan worked and by 1953, Europe was standing on its feet again. Including West Germany in the plan as an equal member helped speed its reintegration into the European community.

Directions: Go to the Web site above and review the speech describing the Marshall Plan. Then working in your group of three, discuss the questions below.

Step 1:

    Small Group Discussion Questions:

  1. Describe the conditions in Europe after World War II.
  2. What does Marshall see as the remedy for restoring the confidence of the European people in their economic future?
  3. Describe how Marshall's plan would address political and social as well as economic conditions in postwar Europe. Why does he feel this is so important?
  4. What does Marshall see as a pre-condition for the United States assisting Europe in its rebuilding efforts and what is his rationale? Do you think this is an important step to the success of the plan? Why or why not?

Re-form into new groups of three with one member from each of the previous group attending

Step 2:

    Mixed Group Discussion Questions:

  1. Have each member of the group briefly summarize the postwar plan he/she reviewed.
  2. Compare the three plans, identifying the similarities/differences and strengths/weaknesses of each.
  3. Identify the central goal of each plan and the policy made or action taken to get to that goal. What were the benefits/consequences of the methods employed for each plan?
  4. Evaluate Bremer's suggested plan. If implemented, could it have been successful?

The Bremer Plan
Op-Ed column by L. Paul Bremer first published in the Washington Post on Sept. 8, 2003: http://www.pbs.org/frontline/yeariniraq/documents/bremerplan.html

Group C: The Postwar in Iraq Model

Background Information:

Directions: Go to the Web site above and review Paul Bremer's article. Then working in your group of three, discuss the questions below.

Step 1:

    Small Group Discussion Questions:

  1. Describe Bremer's philosophy about freedom and sovereignty in occupied Iraq.
  2. Why does Bremer feel elections can't take place in the early stages of reconstruction? What steps did he feel needed to be taken to hold elections?
  3. Identify the tasks in Bremer's seven-point plan. What seems to be the major goal of all seven steps?
  4. List the problems Bremer states Iraq will face in its future. Does his plan propose to address these problems? Explain why or why not.

Re-form into new groups of three with one member from each of the previous group attending

Step 2:

    Mixed Group Discussion Questions:

  1. Have each member of the group briefly summarize the postwar plan he/she reviewed.
  2. Compare the three plans, identifying the similarities/differences and strengths/weaknesses of each.
  3. Identify the central goal of each plan and the policy made or action taken to get to that goal. What were the benefits/consequences of the methods employed for each plan?
  4. Evaluate Bremer's suggested plan. If implemented, could it have been successful?