Ch. 10: Media Coverage Brings Warinto Our Living Rooms.
Edward JayEpstein, in
Between Fact and Fiction
(1975), and Daniel C. Hallin, in
The"Uncensored War": The Media and Vietnam
(1989), have debunked themyth that TV coverage caused discontentwith the Vietnam War (133-42). Mediapresent a fantasy version of war (142-44). The effect of graphic images isoverestimated (144-46). The militaryalso manipulates information (146-50). The embedding of reporters was asuccessful means of "dominat[ing] theinformation environment" (153; 150-54).
Ch. 11: Opposing the War MeansSiding with the Enemy.
Manyrhetorical dismissals of critics areavailable: lack of patriotism and anti-Americanism, naïveté, ignorance, etc.,etc., but substance is often neglectedaltogether in reporting on opponents of war (155-65). Barbara Ehrenreich, in
Blood Rites: Origins and History of thePassions of War
(1997), argues thatdeeply ingrained militarism of U.S.society has enfeebled present-dayantiwar movements (165-66)
Ch. 12: This Is a Necessary Battle inthe War on Terrorism.
The notion of a"war on terrorism" is propagandistic in itsessence, forcing a choice of sides (168-76).
Ch. 13: What the U.S. GovernmentNeeds Most Is Better PR.
Government and military deliberately usea public relations approach (177-83).
Ch. 14: The Pentagon Fights Wars asHumanely as Possible.
Horrors arepresented abstractly (with an emphasison technology), and war is presented ashumanitarian in as many ways aspossible (185-202). E.g. Fallujah (194-97).
Ch. 15: Our Soldiers Are Heroes,Theirs Are Inhuman.
"Boilerplatepsychological mechanisms seem frozenin time," opposing the heroic to theheinous (203-09).
Ch. 16: America Needs to Resolve toKick the “Vietnam Syndrome.”
Theway the discussion of the "VietnamSyndrome" is framed reveals an effort tolegitimate war (211-19).
Ch. 17: Withdrawal Would CrippleU.S. Credibility.
The credibilityargument enables the government topresent war as the least bad option, andto promote war even to those whooriginally opposed it (221-31).
Epigraphs from JoeMcDonald,
, Hermann Goering,and Daniel Ellsberg (233-34). "For theWhite House and its domestic allies inthe realms of government, media, thinktanks, and the like, the political problemof war undergoes a shift after thePentagon goes into action in earnest.Beforehand, it's about making the warseem necessary and practical; if the wardoes not come to a quick, satisfactoryresolution, the challenge becomes moremanagerial so that continuation of thewar will seem easier" (235-36). Ourmedia system "mostly keeps us in thedark" (236). "There remains a kind of spectator relationship to military actionsbeing implemented in our names" (236).But the public retains the power to"define the limits and possibilities of conscience" (237).
53 pp., chapter by chapter,often detailed and with quotations.
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[About the Author.
,born in 1951, recently described his early