Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: JARHEAD

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Jarhead is a written account of one solder's experience in the Gulf War. He talks about his fears, his fear of going to war, his fears once he is there. He tells us his experience of the war.

"They shake our hands and urge us to speak freely, but they know we have been scripted; they know our answers to their questions have already been written on our faces, though maybe not in our hearts. The Boston Globe women looks bored, or at least not very interested in what we might tell her. She just heard the same stories a few miles away.
"Yes, ma'am, I believe in our mission. I believe we will quickly win this war and send the enemy crawling home."
"Yes ma'am, I'm proud to be here serving my country. I'm proud of our president standing up to evil..."
"This is about freedom, not about oil. This is about standing up to aggression, like the president says. Nobody want to go to war..."

When the solders were told what to say, how to answer the questions put to them by reporters, some solders argued that they have freedom of speech. But they were told they have no free speech, that was over when they signed the contract to be in the Marines. Many don't even try to argue for their right of speech, they know there is no use. The solders know that they have to give the answers that have been prepared for them. They cannot tell the public the truth about the war. The truth that many did not believe in the war, did not believe in there mission. The truth that most were scared and wanted to go home, not stay and honor their country. The truth that they were protecting the oil businesses as much a the right to be free. The truth that they didn't care if the war was won or lost, they cared about staying alive and getting home, forgetting the war. As the solder said, they might have been able to change there faces but not there hearts.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

A very good post. What was the war about from the marine's perspective? Jarhead shows one marine's point of view about the war and the media. His description of the staged interviews let's us see just how the military tried to manage and shape what reporters heard from the rank and file.

4/14/2008 1:23 PM  

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