The Forever War is a grounds-eye view of the American presence in Afghanistan and Iraq. The author is a journalist and he writes about his own experiences and those of various people he meets, so not a traditional point of view that’s focused on leaders and polices.
For this assignment you’ll read selected chapters from part 2, Baghdad, Iraq, March 2003–. You can read more if you like, but you only need to answer questions based on the selected readings.
As with the video assignments, use specific information from the book in this assignment. Do not use quotes of more than a few words. When you are discussing an idea or event from the book add the page number or numbers in parenthesis at the end of your sentence or paragraph. For example: At the Kabul International Airport a group of women were talking about how the war changed their lives; where previously they had enjoyed traveling and shopping outside of the country, they were now forced by their husbands’ political views to remain in the Afghanistan (p. 42-43). If you’re listening to the audio version, use the time stamp for that section.
Chapters you need to read:
4 Land of Hope and Sorrow
6 Gone Forever
7 A Hand in the Air
9 The Man Within
12 The Vanishing World
13 Just Talking
20 The Turning
How do the Iraqis in the book feel about Saddam Hussein?
Discuss the relationship between the Sunni and Shiite factions in Iraq–here’s a 2 minute video explaining the basic differences between the two groups:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WijGh9GLid0 Links to an external site.
How do the people of Iraq feel about the presence of the American troops?
How does the occupation impact American troops? What sort of relationships do they have with local Iraqis?
Does the author seem to support the war in Iraq?
Finally, discuss how Filkins felt about the American withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. Looking at the information in the articles about women (Today in Afghanistan page), do you think he was right?
Use specific information from the book, articles (Today in Afghanistan page) and interview in your answer.
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