Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Desert Shield

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Desert Shield

In chapter one of Macarthur’s “Second Front” we learn that the United States finally learned from its mistakes in previous wars. This is not to say the new learning’s would prevent causalities or make use of new fighting techniques, rather, it would restrict media coverage in an attempt to prevent unpopular opinion of the war from the public. These new policies were put forth to “manage the information flow in a way that supported the operation’s political goals and avoided the perceived mistakes of Vietnam” (Macarthur 7).

Annex Foxtrot and Operation Desert Shield would become some of these policies which made restrictions such as “news media representatives will be escorted at all times, repeat all times”. The government also went as far as to limit the amount of reporters allowed access to Saudi Arabia and did so in a way that convinced the news corporations that the government was on their side, willing to help in any way it could. The games being played by the pentagon entailed putting the blame on the Saudis saying they would only allow one visa per news organization while the Saudis proclaimed that they did not have a problem with it and it was the pentagon making the restrictions.

The restrictions of news coverage by the military would prove to be “a devastating and immoral victory for military censorship and a crushing defeat for the press and the First Amendment”. It seems to me that if the government is afraid of what the media might report then it must be hiding something.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

A good post. Mandatory escorts and pooling were quite effective. Governments at war always have something to hide. The question is how much of that secrecy is justified and how much is just censorship?

4/20/2009 11:08 PM  

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