Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Wartime: Precision Bombing/ Type Casting

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Wartime: Precision Bombing/ Type Casting

Precision Bombing

Imagine yourself as a young male American during World War II. Many of your friends or relatives are going off to fight in the war for their country. You are apprehensive of enlisting due to the chance of you losing your life. You see an advertisement saying to join the US Army Air Corps as a bomber with the reassurance that you would be the safiest in a bomber. You join the army and soon realize that this is not as safe as you thought it would be. This is what a lot of young males experienced because they were convinced by propaganda that they would be serving their country at the same time as being safe. During this article I was very surprised to read about this. Technology was improving but it wasn't as great as everyone thought it was. These precision bombing teams were lucky even to hit close to their targets. This article attributes this inaccurate bombing technique to the strategy of area bombing. Then I started thinking about the current war that our country is involved in at the present time. Our technology is extremely advanced since the 1940's yet we still read in our media that sometimes our operations weren't always carried out to perfection. I believe that especially in the 1940's that the public was being misled by our government and that even today we are mislead, albeit a smaller extent, about what happens in wars that are half way around the world.

Type Casting

Many evils come out from being in a war. Devastation, ruined political relationships, casualties, and great debt. Yet what a lot of people don't realize is the racism and discrimination that comes from wars as well. In World War II words such as Japs, Japes, gook, chink, wop and kraut became acceptable descriptions of the enemies. To rally the troops and encourage them to fight, the soldiers, as well as the public, used these words to describe their enemies and make them feel inferior to justify their side of the war. I believe this is very wrong because the enemy soldiers are not the only ones affected by these racist comments. American is a country of many different cultures and these racist words affected those groups that were living in the United States during and after the war. Throughout history groups are discriminated against and it leads to conflicts, revolts and wars. People get out of control with rage and passion that could be hurting people that might not sympathize with the enemy and are actually trying to help the war effort. Racism and discrimination are a very ugly part of human nature and I don't believe there ever will be a day on this earth where there isn't any racism or discrimination.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

The image of a precise, clean war in which the military kills the enemy with surgical strikes and leaves the civilian population untouched is still a myth that the Defense Department seeks to propgate to a world audience. Fussell clearly demonstrates that this was not the case during WWII.

Today our military is equipped with far more precise and accurate munitions. And war is closer than it ever has been before to the ideal of a clean war that only strikes enemy combatants. That said, the reality is still a long way from complete precision. Civilians are still dying from bombings that accurately hit the wrong target. Precision guidance systems cannot compensate for faulty intelligence. The military must still manage the bad news of the inevitable civilian casualties that will always be a part of war.
The increasing precision of high-tech warfare does make it easier to claim that war is clean, but screw ups and friendly fire, and human error will always make war a tragic, ugly and brutal affair.

Typecasting the enemy and ourselves as well is important. We need to dehumanize, de-individualizet the enemy in order to justify their death in large numbers. Racial stereotypes are an important tool for dehumanizing the enemy.

2/23/2006 11:51 AM  
Blogger Shawn Hewitt said...

Can not agree more.
During WWII we had A-bomb, Computer and Economics.
Is it possible we find out something during the war with Iraq?
Just Joking:)

2/27/2006 2:33 AM  

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