Task 5: The Effects of War on Civilians

When a nation is at war, its citizens are often preoccupied with casualty statistics for its own troops, but most people do not consider the effects of the war on the civilians in war torn areas.

FIRST, review the chapter “Style” about the dancing girl in the bombed village.

SECOND, read and listen to the This I Believe essay on NPR, “The Long Road to Forgiveness,” by Kim Phuc, who was burned in an aerial napalm attack on her Vietnamese village when she was nine years old, and view the accompanying famous picture.

THIRD, read Michael Otterman’s opinion piece from the Christian Science Monitor entitled “America Must Not Neglect Iraq’s Refugees as US Troops Withdraw.”

FINALLY, respond to the following:

  1. What were your thoughts as you looked at the picture of and listened to the essay by Kim Phuc? Would you be able to forgive as she has?
  2. Why do you think the little girl is dancing in “Style”? Why does Dobbins tell Azar to “dance right”?
  3. Describe the toll that the war in Iraq has taken on its civilian citizens.
  4. What connecting threads do you see in these three pieces?
  5. To what extent should the militaries involved in a conflict consider the effects of war on civilians? What, if anything, should we do for those civilians?

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