Susan Brewer, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, published a book, “Why America Fights: Patriotism and War Propaganda from the Philippines to Iraq,” that scrutinizes American war propaganda in six wars, beginning with the Philippines War to today’s Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“When Americans are called upon to fight, they want and deserve to know what they are fighting for,” said Brewer. “While Americans deserve truthful reasons for armed conflict, which is not necessarily how official government propaganda has historically appealed to Americans, the ongoing debate over our nation’s invasion of Iraq is a case study unto itself on how propaganda is used at the highest corridors of power.”
Its also fascinating, in the way that horrific train wrecks are fascinating, how easy it is to manipulate the public. At least in the short term. Once the propaganda is embraced by the public, the propagandist can for the most part relax. The only thing required is the odd boiler plate speech invoking patriotism, god, threats to national security and puppies. The mob and its pundits then takes over, propelling the steaming BS forward. From a review of “Why America Fights: Patriotism and War Propaganda from the Philippines to Iraq” at Amazon,
“Marshalling compelling evidence, Susan Brewer documents the rhetorical strategies by which the U.S. government, often with the complicity of the media and key opinion-molding groups, has mobilized popular support for every major U.S. conflict from the Spanish-American war to the invasion of Iraq. Well written and deeply researched, this timely work should be read by all those concerned with issues of war and peace and with how propaganda can coarsen and debase civic discourse on vital public issues.”–Paul Boyer, editor of The Oxford Companion to United States History.
And a few short takes, Like Your Private Health Care? Here’s Why You Can Actually Thank the Government for That
At a recent town hall meeting, a man stood up and told Representative Bob Inglis to “keep your government hands off my Medicare.” The congressman, a Republican from South Carolina, tried to explain that Medicare is already a government program — but the voter, Mr. Inglis said, “wasn’t having any of it.” It’s a funny story — but it illustrates the extent to which health reform must climb a wall of misinformation. It’s not just that many Americans don’t understand what President Obama is proposing; many people don’t understand the way American health care works right now.
I’m not sure which is worse, the guy that does not realize that Medicare is like a government run co-op which he paid into during his working life or the people that believe President Obama is advocating “euthanasia.”( from this article – Talk Radio Campaign Frightening Seniors). Medical care is important, but maybe it would help if people thought of it as simply utilitarian. Its something everyone is going to need eventually, you know since we’re not perfectly designed. We all chip in, we all get medical care and then go about our lives with one less thing to worry about. Canada has done it and not dropped into Satan’s death grip.
I’m not the first one to notice that looking back over the last fifty years and certainly the last eight that conservatives had taken a head dive into an empty pool. Even a year could anyone have guessed that yes, they could get loonier, Glenn Beck Fan, Highly Armed, Busted For Casing National Guard Base, Thinking It Was A “FEMA Camp”. Snark aside this young woman apparently has a history of emotional problems and lets all hope that she gets the help she needs. In contrast, Beck, who seems to have some cognitive issues of his own has a cable show soapbox and paid millions to behave like a gorilla that has just been tasered.
And because its the weekend and life is too serious to be….