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
In the brilliantly articulate essay titled ‘Muslim Politics’ by Dale Eickelman and James Piscatori, we understand that the term ‘Muslim Politics’ is a broad and sweeping conceptualization. By virtue of it being so broad in its scope, it has ended up losing a compact and technical usage. To this extent it is not to be treated as a term in sociological or political science discourse. Nevertheless, by stating its various manifestations in diverse contexts, the authors do make clear the centrality of ‘Muslim politics’ to the followers of the religion. One of the prominent expressions of Muslim politics in recent decades is the permissibility of ‘hijab’ and ‘niqab’ (a set of conservative dress codes for Muslim women) in public spaces. While this dress code is mandated in some of the orthodox Islamic nations in the Middle East and elsewhere, it is a point of debate in the context of secular and democratic settings. The recent flare up of the issue in France . . . Read More
American military intervention in world affairs has risen drastically since the end of the Second World War. The period following the Second World War saw America assume the role of a superpower that headed the western coalition in what was then a bipolar world. Since the collapse of Soviet Union in the late 80’s, America has had at its disposal the most potent military force. Its economic structure complements military spending, leading to a military industrial complex. Energy resources are a key motivator for the actions of this military industrial complex. The 2003 invasion of Iraq will have to be studied in this context. Understandably, there were questions raised about its legitimacy. There are those who claim it to be a venture to garner strategic oil resources of the country, while others advocated the threat of terrorism posed by dictators like Saddam Hussein. Supporters of the Bush Administration further argued that toppling Saddam Hussein was a just act . . . Read More
There were numerous stated motivations for the ongoing War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan. But ever since intentions of war were mooted in the wake of September 11, 2001, many official statements of motivation have been discredited and disproved. The inefficient manner in which search operations for Osama-bin-laden was carried out showed that the American government’s interest lay elsewhere – namely the oil rich Iraq. The supposed presence of Weapons of Mass Destruction in the hands of the authoritarian Iraqi leaders Saddam Hussein is also proven to be a fabrication. Hence, the real motivation for the ongoing War on Terror operations seem to be to secure strategic material interests of the United States. In this process, the consequences for Iraq/Afghanistan civil society and its local economy is given scant regard.
We could analyze the War on Terror operations within the framework of ‘Just War’ theory presented in the book “The Origins of War: . . . Read More