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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Let the propaganda war begin!

    America has invaded Iraq, the planes are bombing, the tanksare rolling, and the misinformation is flying through the air faster than theapache helicopters.’ Coalition forces have easily captured severalsouthern cities- wait no- the citizens are rebelling, and fierce fighting hasbroken out.’ Coalition forces have taken the oil fields without any fires-until of course those pesky rebels decided to bomb a couple wells. SaddamHussein has been killed in an air raid- or perhaps not since he’sappearing on Iraqi television.’

    Iraqi forces are surrendering- but Hussein says theprisoners are American actors.’ The U.S. said the campaign would be quick-now we’re looking at a prolonged conflict.’

    Hussein says the Iraqi people will be victorious- yet hiscities are being bombed to dust and his troops are being captured.

    Both sides are thick with lies and politicalmisinformation.’ Why not put a useful spin on the unfolding events?’ If the truth looks bad, change it.’ Tell the journalists only what youwant them to hear.’ Take the most optimistic view of the death tolls andtroop movements.’ Do whatever it takes to convince your respectivecountries and constituents that the war is swinging rapidly in your favor.

    That more troops have been killed in airborne accidents anddue to friendly fire (including of course, the disgruntled American trooper whothrew a grenade into his cohorts’ tent) is a sign of the odd nature ofthis war and its reporting.’ The people were led to believe that thiswould be a bloodless contest, that the Iraqi people would welcome coalitionforces as liberators.’ But with nearly 6 months of warning to consolidatehis position, Hussein is entrenched in the hearts of many his people, andvictory will not be an easy prospect.’ Hussein claims that every citizenwould die for him (and he is certainly willing to sacrifice each of their livesto maintain his power), yet coalition forces have been welcomed with open armsby some Iraqis.

    As it always was, this conflict is more ideological thanethical.’ Bush (with a little Blair thrown in for good measure) v.Hussein.’ Western ideals v. Arab tradition.’ And everybody is tryingto look good in the public eye.’ Bush is posing as the moral crusaderinvading out of sheer ethical necessity (never mind the oil and previoushistory).’ Blair is playing the supportive ethical ally who won’tback down from a justified fight (ignoring the opposition of his ownpeople).’ And Hussein is desperately trying to portray a victimizedsovereign who cares for and about the people of his nation (editing any mentionof the terror and hardship he has inflicted upon his own population).’ Inessence, it’s all about media image.’ About who can convince theglobal viewing audience of their altruistic intentions.’ About who cangarner international sympathy and foment a religious crusade.’ As with anyconflict splashed on the front pages and television screens, it’s all anissue of political and economic gain.

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