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Date: Jun 24, 2005

Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)

Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening

Audio: (2:16 - 267.7 KB - 16kbps)

THE ARTICLE

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has answered tough questions in the American Congress over his strategy in Iraq. Many American lawmakers believe his Iraqi plans are not working. He assured the world that America was on target to win the war in Iraq. He said: “Any who say that we’ve lost this war, or that we’re losing this war, are wrong. We are not.” However, May was the bloodiest month in Iraq since the war started over two years ago. Eighteen more people died today in the latest daily car bombings. Mr. Rumsfeld did not say that the coalition was winning the war.

Mr. Rumsfeld also rejected calls for his resignation. He said President Bush had twice refused his offers to resign. U.S. senators reminded him that more than 1,700 U.S. soldiers have now lost their lives in Iraq. The public mood in America is also swinging against his war. Over 60 per cent of Americans are now against America being in Iraq. Mr. Rumsfeld said to change policy now would only strengthen the rebels. He warned: “It would throw a lifeline to terrorists, who in recent months have suffered significant losses and casualties…and have suffered weakened popular support.”

WARM-UPS

1. WINNING THE WAR: Do you think America is winning the war in Iraq? Did you think the war in Iraq was won two years ago when President George W. Bush said it had ended? Is Iraq another Vietnam for America? When will the war end?

Imagine you are the people below and answer these questions:

  • President George W. Bush
  • A high school student in Baghdad
  • An Iraqi insurgent fighting U.S. troops
  • Your country’s leader
  • Saddam Hussein
  • An American soldier in Baghdad

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words are most interesting and which are most boring.

Donald Rumsfeld / U.S. Congress / the war in Iraq / the Vietnam War / Baghdad / Mr. Rumsfeld to resign / 1,700 US troops dead / terrorists in Iraq

3. IRAQ: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with Iraq. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

4. IRAQ OPINIONS: Talk with your partner(s). Do you agree or disagree with these opinions? Change the statements so they match your own opinion. Tell your partner why you changed them.

  1. American troops should leave Iraq this year.
  2. The United Nations should take over peacekeeping duties in Iraq.
  3. War money should be given to Iraqi people to rebuild their country.
  4. America should stay in Iraq until there is peace and democracy.
  5. Donald Rumsfeld should resign.
  6. Iraq is becoming another Vietnam.
  7. The war in Iraq is a small part of the war on terror. The fight must continue.
  8. Donald Rumsfeld will bring peace to Iraq.
  9. The war in Iraq is one of America’s (and Britain’s) biggest ever mistakes.
  10. Rebels in Iraq can never be beaten.

5. DAILY LIFE: Choose one of the people below. Imagine you are that person. You live in Baghdad. Walk around the classroom and introduce yourselves to other students (also Baghdad residents). Talk about your daily life.

  • A baker
  • A UNICEF aid worker
  • A ten-year-old child
  • Other?
  • A policeman
  • A nurse
  • A security guard outside coalition HQ

 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):
 

a.

Donald Rumsfeld answered questions about Iraq on a TV show.

T / F

b.

Many American politicians think his Iraqi plans are not working.

T / F

c.

May was the bloodiest month in Iraq since the war began.

T / F

d.

Mr. Rumsfeld said America was winning the war in Iraq.

T / F

e.

Mr. Rumsfeld has always refused to resign.

T / F

f.

Most Americans fully support the war in Iraq.

T / F

g.

Mr. Rumsfeld wants to reverse his policy.

T / F

h.

Mr. Rumsfeld said rebel groups have been greatly weakened.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

a.

tough

deadliest

b.

strategy

heavy

c.

lawmakers

difficult

d.

bloodiest

guerillas

e.

latest

requests

f.

calls

experienced

g.

resign

senators

h.

rebels

most recent

i.

significant

tactics

j.

suffered

quit

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

a.

answered

to win the war

b.

his Iraqi plans

mood

c.

America was on target

tough questions

d.

car

for his resignation

e.

the coalition was winning

support

f.

rejected calls

bombings

g.

lost

lifeline

h.

public

their lives

i.

throw a

are not working

j.

weakened popular

the war

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words in the column on the right into the correct spaces.

U.S. is not losing Iraq war: Rumsfeld

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has answered _______ questions in the American Congress over his _______ in Iraq. Many American lawmakers believe his Iraqi _______ are not working. He assured the world that America was on _______ to win the war in Iraq. He said: “Any who say that we’ve lost this war, or that we’re losing this war, are _______. We are not.” However, May was the _______ month in Iraq since the war started over two years ago. Eighteen more people died today in the _______ daily car bombings. Mr. Rumsfeld did not say that the _______ was winning the war.

 

 

strategy
latest
coalition
plans
tough
wrong
bloodiest
target

Mr. Rumsfeld also _______ calls for his resignation. He said President Bush had twice _______ his offers to resign. U.S. senators _______ him that more than 1,700 U.S. soldiers have now lost their lives in Iraq. The public mood in America is also _______ against his war. Over 60 per cent of Americans are now _______ America being in Iraq. Mr. Rumsfeld said to change policy now would only _______ the rebels. He warned: “It would _______ a lifeline to terrorists, who in recent months have suffered significant losses and casualties…and have _______ weakened popular support.”
 

 

reminded
throw
refused
against
suffered
swinging
strengthen
rejected


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘defense (USA) /defence (UK) ’ and ‘secretary’.

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the gap fill. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. STUDENT IRAQ SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about Iraq and the future.

  • Ask other classmates your questions and note down their answers.
  • Go back to your original partner / group and compare your findings.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

6. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall exactly how these were used in the text:

  • tough
  • lawmakers
  • on target
  • wrong
  • car bombings
  • coalition
  • rejected
  • reminded
  • mood
  • against
  • strengthen
  • casualties

 DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

  1. What did you think when you first saw this headline?
  2. Did the headline make you want to read the story?
  3. Are you interested in the Iraq war?
  4. How often do you read the news about Iraq?
  5. Do you always read news about Donald Rumsfeld?
  6. Do you think Donald Rumsfeld is a good man?
  7. Do you think Donald Rumsfeld sees a different picture of the war in Iraq?
  8. What do you think about May being the deadliest month in Iraq since the war began?
  9. How many more U.S. soldiers need to lose their lives?
  10. Do you think Iraqi people want the U.S. army in their country?

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. What did you think about what you read?
  3. What are your opinions on the war in Iraq?
  4. Are your opinions the same now as when the war started?
  5. Do you think Iraq is becoming another Vietnam?
  6. What do you think will happen in Iraq over the next year?
  7. Do you think Donald Rumsfeld should be fired?
  8. Do you think U.S. and coalition forces will defeat the rebels?
  9. Will the Iraq war make George W. Bush the most unpopular U.S. President in history?
  10. Did you like this discussion?

AFTER DISCUSSION: Join another partner / group and tell them what you talked about.

  1. What question would you like to ask about this topic?
  2. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  3. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  4. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  5. What did you like talking about?
  6. Do you want to know how anyone else answered the questions?
  7. Which was the most difficult question?

SPEAKING

THEN AND NOW: In pairs / groups, talk about the following statements made about Iraq. Many people now believe these to be totally untrue. What were your thoughts at the time the statements were made? What are your thoughts now?

STATEMENT

  THEN

  NOW

X
 

“Saddam Hussein is a danger to the world.”

(George W, Bush – January, 2003)
 

 

 

 

“The major hostilities are over.”

(George W, Bush – May, 2003)
 

 

 

 

“Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of Al Qaeda.”

(George W, Bush – January, 2003)
 

 

 

 

“The Iraqi people will be happy to see US soldiers liberate them.”

(Donald Rumsfeld – January, 2003)
 

 

 

 

“Iraq has weapons of mass destruction (WMD).”

(Colin Powell – December, 2002)
 

 

 

 

“Saddam Hussein has the ability to launch a missile attack on Europe within 40 minutes.”

(Tony Blair – January, 2003)
 

 

 

 

“Any who say that we’ve lost this war, or that we’re losing this war, are wrong. We are not.”

(Donald Rumsfeld – June 23, 2005)
 

 

 

 

Other?
 

 

 

 

  • Change partners and compare the views you heard from your previous partners.
  • With your new partner(s), agree on a “truth” score to put in column “X” about each of the statements (1 = total, 100% lie; 10 = the absolute truth).
  • Return to your original partner(s) and compare and discuss your “truth” scores.

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

U.S. is not losing Iraq war: Rumsfeld

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has ________ _____ ________ in the American Congress ____ __ ________ in Iraq. Many American lawmakers believe his Iraqi plans are not working. He _______ ___ ____ that America was on target to win the war in Iraq. He said: “Any who say that we’ve lost this war, or that we’re ______ ____ _____, are wrong. We are not.” However, May was ___ _________ _____ in Iraq since the war started over two years ago. Eighteen more people died today in the latest _____ ___ ________. Mr. Rumsfeld did not say ____ ___ _________ was winning the war.

Mr. Rumsfeld also _______ ____ ___ his resignation. He said President Bush had twice refused his offers to resign. U.S. senators ________ ___ ____ more than 1,700 U.S. soldiers have now ____ ____ _____ in Iraq. The public mood in America is also _________ ______ his war. Over 60 per cent of Americans are now against America being in Iraq. Mr. Rumsfeld said to change policy now _____ ____ _________ the rebels. He warned: “It would throw a lifeline to terrorists, who in recent months have ________ ___________ ______ and casualties…and have suffered weakened popular support.”

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information on Donald Rumsfeld’s recent comments on Iraq. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. DONALD RUMSFELD: Create a biography on Donald Rumsfeld. Focus on what he has said about Iraq and whether those things are true. Show your biographies to your classmates in your next lesson. Did everyone have similar opinions of Mr. Rumsfeld?

4. LETTER: Write a letter to U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Tell him what you think of his recent comment that America is not losing the war in Iraq. Give him advice on what America should do in Iraq from now. Read your letters to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all write about similar things or give similar advice to Mr. Rumsfeld?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. T

d. F

e. F

f. F

g. F

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

tough

difficult

b.

strategy

tactics

c.

lawmakers

senators

d.

bloodiest

deadliest

e.

latest

most recent

f.

calls

requests

g.

resign

quit

h.

rebels

guerillas

i.

significant

heavy

j.

suffered experienced

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

answered

tough questions

b.

his Iraqi plans

are not working

c.

America was on target

to win the war

d.

car

bombings

e.

the coalition was winning

the war

f.

rejected calls

for his resignation

g.

lost

their lives

h.

public

mood

i.

throw a

lifeline

j.

weakened popular

support

GAP FILL:

U.S. is not losing Iraq war: Rumsfeld

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has answered tough questions in the American Congress over his strategy in Iraq. Many American lawmakers believe his Iraqi plans are not working. He assured the world that America was on target to win the war in Iraq. He said: “Any who say that we’ve lost this war, or that we’re losing this war, are wrong. We are not.” However, May was the bloodiest month in Iraq since the war started over two years ago. Eighteen more people died today in the latest daily car bombings. Mr. Rumsfeld did not say that the coalition was winning the war.

Mr. Rumsfeld also rejected calls for his resignation. He said President Bush had twice refused his offers to resign. U.S. senators reminded him that more than 1,700 U.S. soldiers have now lost their lives in Iraq. The public mood in America is also swinging against his war. Over 60 per cent of Americans are now against America being in Iraq. Mr. Rumsfeld said to change policy now would only strengthen the rebels. He warned: “It would throw a lifeline to terrorists, who in recent months have suffered significant losses and casualties…and have suffered weakened popular support.”

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