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truth, war and consequences


Pre-Viewing Lesson Plan
Iraq: How did we get here?

Viewing Lesson Plan
Student Viewing Guide

Post-Viewing Lesson Plan
Is Democracy Possible in Iraq?

Printable .pdf of Entire Guide
(Adobe Acrobat required)

» About the film:

FRONTLINE traces the roots of the Iraqi war back to the days immediately following Sept. 11, when Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld ordered the creation of a special intelligence operation to quietly begin looking for evidence that would justify the war. The intelligence reports soon became a part of a continuing struggle between civilians in the Pentagon on one side and the CIA, State Department, and uniformed military on the other -- a struggle that would lead to inadequate planning for the aftermath of the war, continuing violence, and mounting political problems for the president.

Visit the "Truth, War and Consequences" Web site for more on this story.

» A Note to Teachers:

  • For classes in Social Studies, Language Arts and Current Events; Grade level 9th-12th

These teaching activities are designed to help students understand the roots of the current crisis in Iraq, the decision to go to war without United Nations support and the challenges facing post-war Iraq.

On May 1, 2003 President George W. Bush announced, "major combat operations in Iraq have ended." He credited the war in Iraq as a "victory in a war on terror that began on Sept. 11, 2001." However, months after the fall of Baghdad, in the words of CNN Student News, "America still faces what one of its own top generals has called war, however you describe it." As a result of the escalating violence in Iraq, President Bush has called upon Congress to appropriate an additional $87 billion in aid. He has also asked the United Nations to assist in peacekeeping. The documentary "Truth, War and Consequences" examines the events of Sept. 11 as a rationale for the war in Iraq and the difficult task of rebuilding that country. The program provides an excellent method for students to:

  • Study current international issues.
  • Examine the individuals and political entities involved in the decision to go to war.
  • Explore the possibilities of democracy in Iraq.

» Lesson Plans

Pre-viewing Lesson Plan: Iraq: How did we get here?
Students will do individual and group research to learn how the U.S. government decides to go to war, who are the key decision makers, and what is the role of United Nations as peacekeeper.

Viewing Lesson Plan: Student Viewing Guide
Students will answer a few general questions that will require them to take notes throughout the documentary.

Post-viewing Lesson Plan: Is Democracy Possible in Iraq?
Students will explore what is necessary for a nation to have a democratic government. Student drawings, individual and group brainstorming and group research will be incorporated.

» Purchasing the Video

"Truth War and Consequences" can be purchased from ShopPBS for Teachers. [Also please note: FRONTLINE is streaming the entire film online on the "Truth, War and Consequences" Web site.]

» Credits

This teacher's guide was developed by Simone Bloom Nathan of Media Education Consultants. It was written by Pat Grimmer, chair of the Social Studies Department at Carbondale Community High School in Carbondale Illinois. Ellen Greenblatt of University High School San Francisco was an adviser.

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