Tag: Al Jazeera

Propaganda Analysis: Apparatus of Lies – Saddam’s Disinformation and Propaganda (1990-2003)

Almost every theoretical type of propaganda was employed by Saddam Hussein. Some of the prominent types are agitation, white, black and vertical propaganda. As the example of mass funeral of dead babies illustrates, Saddam intended to appeal to the emotions of the audience, circumventing deliberation on fact and logic. It served to agitate the minds of sympathizers and rally them behind his cause.

Vertical propaganda is identified with government missives given to international press, which were full of exaggeration and fabrication of facts and events. For example, Saddam perpetrated misinformation about how American missiles targeted hospitals and civilian areas. This was dictated to journalists in a top-down fashion. After the media carried these dubious official stories without cross-checking facts, it was disseminated horizontally among Iraqi citizens as well as abroad.

There are also instances of misattribution of sources (black) as well as intended ambiguity with . . . Read More

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Hauss and Dahl’s definition of democracy vis-à-vis ‘American exceptionalism’

Various leading political scientists of the twentieth century have understood, defined and interpreted ‘democracy’ in a variety of ways.  Robert Dahl, arguably the most influential American political scientist of the 20th century reckons that democracy is a utopian concept that is not found anywhere in contemporary geo-politics.  In its stead, leading industrial societies of the world, including the United States have a ‘Plutocracy’, where power is shared and wielded by various major public institutions. Plutocracy is less idealistic than democracy in that it is not the people’s voice but the will of the institutions that holds sway over policy.  But plutocracy is still better than a totalitarian society where power is concentrated in the hands of small ruling elite with no accountability. Dahl classifies political systems under a spectrum of five gradations. At the top of the scale are the fairest systems that employ ‘rational persuasion’ for gathering . . . Read More

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