Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: "Beg the Saudi Prince."

Thursday, April 02, 2009

"Beg the Saudi Prince."

"Second Front"
by John R. MacArthur

If the citizens of a civilized nation are shown the real picture of how and what the war exactly is, most likely, they all would call to disarm all military sectors, and take allegiance to never talk about war again. However, the governments cannot allow such notions to rest in the minds of all citizens, for if all citizens believe in "peace" and "no war," how will the government mobilise its citizens to rage a war against the enemy?

As Mr.MacArthur mentions in his book, that the Vietnam war was a war of its time. Fought far away from home, but allowed the press and journalist to bring back explicit war pictures, that showed dead American soldiers and laid out almost every dirty feature of the war. These War paparazzi did not hesitate to expose the truths of how the war is fought. Many claim that such news reports contributed to the failed military operation in Vietnam. So basically, the government learned from the Vietnam war, that journalists cannot be left alone to roam around the battlegrounds free of any protocols.

When the first Gulf War was authorized, the war specialists replayed the Vietnam war video, and captured the flaws, in which journalists were not controlled. This called for a system in which the government would "mobilise" the journalists. The government organized a system, in which "selected" journalists would be allowed at "selected" location to interview the "selected" troops. Besides this "pool system," getting into the Gulf area required the American journalist a visa, which the American government claimed that "they cannot do anything about." Especially at that time Defense Secretary Dick Cheney said that "Saudi Arabia is a sovereign nation, with its own rules," and that we cannot interfere in their visa system. (It is quiet fascinating how the government officials can at times call a nation "sovereign," and after a while, call for a social and political reform within that "sovereign" nation.) The journalists were now left at the grace of the Saudi prince, Bandar. They would visit his mansion in Virginia, only to beg for a visa to visit the gulf in order to inform the American citizens about what exactly was happening there.

The great informers (journalists) to the most democratic society decided to set their foot on the door step of a figure, who did not believe in a well-informed citizens theory. The irony was that a piece of democracy was being begged from a dictator or a royal figure who did not fully understand the concept of democracy. The directors and the orchestrator behind these scenes were the government officials of senior Bush. They purposely wanted the journalists to struggle with the visa system, for two reasons, one being that it would make it hard for them to reach the Gulf area, and second reason that MacArthur mentions is,

"it initiated a program of playing off the various media companies against
one another - newspaper against newspaper, network against network, and
television against print - all of whom were competing for the meager
carefully doled out table scarps to be known thereafter as access."

We have read several World War I and World War II readings, including the Spanish-American war, in which the government would use the journalist to mobilise the American citizens, and portray "journalism" as a way of informing citizens with the information they need. However, during the Gulf War era, the government used leaders of opposite ideals and principals to blockade an access to "information" for the same American journalists and news reporters.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

A very good post. You have chosen a key quotation which clearly lays out the dynamic of the relationship between the media and the U.S. government.

4/20/2009 11:05 PM  

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