After the peaceful Christmas atmosphere and a New Year’s Eve celebration full of joy, we’ve begun the new semester with war, propaganda and lies. I’m talking about the new course of issues and theories in PR and its content. Yesterday we watched the video “War Spin: The media and the Iraq War” and discovered the true story of Jessica Lynch. She is an American soldier who served in Iraq during the 2003 invasion by U.S. and allied forces.
She was receiving the necessary care in a hospital and everyone taught she was hostage in Iraq. Only thinking of her family and friends is enough to understand that communication during war is far from being transparent despite the situations. Humanity has no power in such conditions. People from the local area wanted to set her free, but this kind act coulddamage the reputation of Iraq’s government and its ways of ruling. How they proceeded? They said that the Iraqi army captured Lynch and invented a rescue. She was then a brave hero that survived the cruel terror of Iraq War. Pentagon had portrayed her as a “Rambo from the hills of West Virginia,” when in fact she never fired a shot after her truck was ambushed. Lynch, along with major media outlets, faults the U.S. government for creating the story as part of the Pentagon’s propaganda effort.
We can think about thousands of examples when the population of a state is not acting as the government wants, or vice versa.But how long can the government state a false fact and keep inventing “suitable” versions? I think the answer is forever. There will always exist strong voices and powerful interests.
A different story also relevant for the Iraq war is the death of Patrick Daniel Tillman also known as Pat Tillman. He joined the Army and served several tours in combat before he died in the mountains of Afghanistan. The Army initially claimed that Tillman and his unit were attacked in an apparent ambush. The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command concluded that Tillman was killed by friendly fire when one allied group fired upon another in confusion after nearby gunfire was mistakenly believed to be from enemy combatants.
“After Tillman’s death, Army commanders violated many of their own rules, not to mention elementary standards of decency, to turn the killing into a propaganda coup for the American side,” (Filkins and Krakauer, 2009)