lost year in iraq

Student Worksheet

The Lost Year in Iraq in Cartoons


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.


Questions for Discussion:

Directions: Look carefully at all the cartoons, examining the characters, the setting, and any objects you see. Answer the questions below in your small group.

  1. What is the event(s) or issue(s) that inspired the cartoon?
  2. Who are the people in the cartoons and whom do they represent?
  3. Look at the objects in the cartoons. What are they and what do they represent?
  4. What is the cartoonist's message or opinion?
  5. Do you agree or disagree with the cartoonist's opinion? Why?