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War, Media, & Representations

War, Media, & Representations

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War, Media, & Representations

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  1. War, Media, & Representations C. Michael Elavsky Week 6

  2. History and representations “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it” George Santayana The Life of Reason (1905)

  3. Bringing It All Back Home (1) • ASKING QUESTIONS and CONNECTING THE DOTS • “We tell ourselves what we need to. Stories that hide what we can’t bear to know. To make sense of what we’ve done. A truth to believe in. To hide in. A black and white world. Right and wrong. No questions. No gray. ….. It was kill or be killed. They weren’t human. • • Weingartner, James J., Trophies of War: U.S. Troops and the Mutilation of Japanese War Dead, 1941-1945 , Pacific Historical Review, 61:1 (1992:Feb.) p.53

  4. The Military and the MediaProchnau, W. (2005). In Overholser, G. and Hall J. K. (Eds.) The Press. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp.310-331. • The difficult relationship between the US media and the US military across history • Struggle of the press for access vs. the struggle for the government to maintain security/control • How changes in technology have increased the impact of reporting on war and the military’s strategies to counteract these developments • Packaging wars is a natural function of governments; the unpackaging of them a natural function of the media • A paradox: the press and military joust to maintain democracy and its practices; war brings this paradox and its contradictions into stark relief • Since history underscores the war-like nature of the US, and the changing nature of war itself, it is all the more necessary that the media remain vigilant in its role as a check to governmental power and its interests in fomenting new conflicts • • •

  5. Pearl Harbor The naval strike was intended to neutralize the U.S. Pacific Fleet, and hence protect Japan's advance into Malaya and the Dutch East Indies, where Japan sought access to natural resources such as oil and rubber. In 1940, following Japan's invasion of French Indochina and under the authority granted by the Export Control Act, the United States halted shipments of airplanes, parts, machine tools, and aviation gasoline, which was perceived by Japan as an unfriendly act.[10] Following Japanese expansion into French Indochina, the U.S. ceased oil exports to Japan in July 1941, in part because of new American restrictions on domestic oil consumption. Preliminary planning for an attack on Pearl Harbor to protect the move into the "Southern Resource Area" (the Japanese term for the Dutch East Indies and Southeast Asia generally) had begun in very early 1941. The McCollum memo, (Eight Action Memo) was a memorandum, dated October 7, 1940 (more than a year before the Pearl Harbor attack, sent by Lieutenant Commander Arthur H. McCollum, who "provided the president with intelligence reports on [Japan]... [and oversaw] every intercepted and decoded Japanese military and diplomatic report destined for the White House" [1]) in his capacity as director of the Office of Naval Intelligence's Far East Asia section. The memo recommended an eight-part course of action for the United States to take in regards to the Japanese Empire in the South Pacific, suggesting that the United States provoke Japan into committing an "overt act of war". The memo illustrates that several people in the Office of Naval Intelligence promoted the idea of goading Japan into war: "It is not believed that in the present state of political opinion the United States government is capable of declaring war against Japan without more ado [...] If by [the elucidated eight-point plan] Japan could be led to commit an overt act of war, so much the better."

  6. 5:32 am, March 4th 2006

  7. Bringing It All Back Home (2) “When we get our orders, we don’t sort of sit around and debate them, y’know. We go. We get our orders from the President and Congress and there’s no discussion. We go. They have an agenda and we answer to it. They only answer to the American people. And, I’m sorry but they are too stupid for me to trust them with my life. Mark my words: we’re going back in cause they aren’t done. I know that agenda. I’ve implemented it. And I’m not going to be onboard for that.”

  8. Buying the War • Dynamics of American Society • The Military Industrial Complex • Bamford, J. (2005, November). The Man Who Sold the War. Rolling Stone. Retrieved August 21, 2007 from URL: • American “Rationale” • Myths, “Memories” and Messages

  9. Why We Fight • The Spoils of War: future markets & ulterior motives • • • Costs and Benefits • Principles and Practices • Why We Fight • • The Role of the Media

  10. “The Public Sphere”(An Alternative Perspective) • US Military Troops and Bases around the world • • 737 Military Bases = global empire • • 14 `enduring bases' set in Iraq; Long-term military presence planned • • Http:// • A different take on US history • • “Why are we fighting and opposing you? The answer is very simple …. Your forces occupy our countries; you spread your military bases throughout them; you corrupt our lands, and you besiege our sanctities, to protect the security of the Jews and to ensure the continuity of your pillage of our treasures ….” Excerpt from A Letter to America, written by Osama Bin Laden. Published in The Guardian in the UK (among numerous sources around the globe in several languages). Full text can be found here: • • Why you may not have heard about it and its implications for America? “They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security” Ben Franklin

  11. “Support the Troops” • The Dynamics of our Society • Our “News” ? • • Our “Democracy” ? •,8599,1565364,00.html • Our “democratically-informed populace” ? • • • The Media Pundits •

  12. The Right to Question? • Costs and Benefits • Ways and Means • Cabal vs.The Way It Is • Military industrial Complex/IBM • Pat Tillman/Jessica Lynch • Veteran’s Affairs • • • • • • • • • Citizenship and Service • Empathy/Meaning/Responsibility