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Twelve years ago, U.S. led air strikes drove Iraq’s armies out of Kuwait but left Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in power. Now we face another showdown with Hussein. The following sites, (some written expressly for students) explore the why’s and how’s of this conflict.
BBC News: Conflict with Iraq
In addition to the latest news, this special BBC report has lots of in-depth background features. Best bets are the timeline, which traces Saddam Hussein’s rise to power, the interactive Iraqi map, and the At a Glance Q&A. Voices and In Pictures will take you inside Iraq with stories and photos of the people who have “lived through twelve years of sanctions.” For a military view, peruse the Military Factfiles (guide to the US and British arsenals) and Quick Guides (interactive features on strategies and threats.)
“Will there be a war with Iraq?” “Why might the war happen?” These are just two of the questions addressed at CBBC Newsround, published by the kids division of British Broadcasting Company. Appropriate for grade school kids, the answers and related articles are short and reassuring. Be sure to read the story of ten-year old Leyla, who’s family fled Iraq to avoid persecution by Hussein.
CNN.com: Showdown Iraq
“More than 10 years after the Persian Gulf War, the world is locked in another showdown with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.” This CNN.com special archive is organized into three sections: Top Stories (breaking news), Iraq (see History of Iraq and Key Questions) and Military (including maps and interactive features.) You’ll also find links to a special section on the U.N. weapon inspections, TIME’s in-depth Iraqi coverage (some of which is only available to magazine subscribers or for a per-article fee), and Unfinished Business (an analysis of Desert Storm.)
PBS NewsHour Extra: Intervention in Iraq
Created specifically for students and teachers, NewsHour Extra includes news, student editorials, lesson plans, and links to the main “Intervention in Iraq” feature. Best click is Debating the News which presents two sides to the Iraqi dilemma. “Does the U.S. have the right to go into a country and remove its government? Should the U.S. go to war with Iraq now or wait until Hussein does something against the U.S. directly?” Each argument includes quotes from experts and dignitaries that have appeared on Jim Lehrer’s NewsHour television show.
Scholastic News: Reporting from Iraq
For elementary and middle-school grades, Scholastic News covers the Iraqi conflict with feature stories, but no breaking news. Important sections include an introduction to Hussein (see Iraq vs. the U.S.), and the Iraq articles (created with the help of the encyclopedia folks at Grolier Online). For classroom use, there is a ten-question self-scoring quiz, and a printable scavenger hunt based on the Iraq entry at the online CIA fact book.