Example research essay topic: Analysis Of Semiotics: Propoganda And Psychological Warfare – 1,671 words

… 90, the Gulf War started. The coalition
started a war which included US government
propaganda. During the Gulf war period. President
Bush made sure that his government propaganda
influenced people so that they didnt remember the
embarrassment of Vietnam but the victory in the
WWII. US government was trying, with the Gulf war
propaganda to create new war history.

The
President himself called it: The new world order,
placing themselves in the top of this world order.
They used the Gulf War to highlight their power
over most of the world. The propaganda was
basically to put the whole world against Saddam
Hussein. The coalition was one of US government
successes in the war. It consisted of Afghanistan,
Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh,
Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Egypt,
France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Honduras, Italy,
Kuwait, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Zealand,
Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal,
Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Korea, Spain,
Syria Turkey, The United Arab Emirates, The United
Kingdom, and the United States. The US job
consisted in convincing people that their common
enemy was Saddam Hussein. They did this by
manipulating the media and showing images of
Hussein and his regime highlighting the negative
and cruel aspects of it.

This basic idea of us =
good , them =evil noted by Foss and Littlejohn,
can be taken to a step further. It can translate
into things such as: we are responsible, our
leaders are good, our soldiers are well prepared
and brave, the damage we cause is well justify;
their side is irresponsible, their leaders evil,
their soldiers badly prepared, and the damage they
do is random and includes civilians. These are
some basic ideas of the US propaganda and
psychological warfare during the war. With the
immense power that US media had and still has in
and out of the US, it was very easy for their
government to spread their propaganda and
psychological warfare. What the US and pro-
American public remember from the Persian Gulf War
is a fair and successful military operation with
few casualties, technological war in which
laser-guided missiles destroyed buildings not
human bodies. These images we have of the Gulf War
are due to the media coverage of the war.

Some
critics believe that the public was left with an
image of pinpoint bombing from the pictures of the
computer guided “smart” bombs. It seems as if the
media coverage of the war was more like a sports
event rather than a war were actual human beings
are being killed. The idea of the media missing
coverage of the human loss in the war is nowadays
evident for us. They presented the conflict to us
as a bloodless conflict. Studies done by a UCLA
student, made to compare the censorship of this
war to other wars have come to a conclusion that
the media failed in its job of giving impartial
information to the public, and that in the other
hand it seems as if it worked like a puppet for
the Pentagon and US government. Images of death
and destruction showed in the media were of 18.8%
for Vietnam war and 3.0% for Korea, and for people
in life threatening situations 17.4% for Vietnam
and 3.6% for Korea.

This kind of images for the
Gulf War have a lower percentage than the ones
shown by the media in the Korean conflict. The
pictures of the Gulf war presented by Newsweek,
Time, and U.S. News and World Report in the total
of 21 issues printed during the Gulf war, were
583. Out of this 583 pictures only 6 showed death,
blood or destruction. 35% of the pictures were of
the equipment and technology of the US army in the
conflict. These facts shows us that the US
government was censuring media to make it almost
look as video game for the viewers, and they were
showing their new powerful and intelligent weapons
which were supposed to have only killed enemy
soldiers and not innocent civilians.

The images of
the US planes bombing Iraqi buildings with either
civilians or soldiers, were shown as video games
in the media. This gave the general public an idea
of an antiseptic bloodless war. In government
propaganda president Bush, General Powell, and
General Schwartzkopf were always pictured in
positive ways. For example news reports,
newspapers and magazines pictures of President
Bush were shown with his wife at church in prayer.
The President was also shown walking thoughtfully
with other governmental leaders in the White House
Garden. Powell was usually making a press
briefing, showing him in charge and clearly
competent. Shwartzkopf was shown surrounded by
cheering soldiers.

This images and pictures shows
us that the leaders were always good, patriotic
and caring people. Saddam Hussein was always
represented as a military leader of a middle east
world regime. Husseins photographs that were
showed in magazines during the Gulf War were
almost always dark and in black and white. He was
portrait as the villain and the US leaders as the
heroes. The idea of them = bad and us =good is
corroborated by these photographs . The US
political leaders are not only being portrait as
the right and necessary leaders, but they are also
being contrast with the eastern world dictator,
Saddam Hussein.

This way the US government was
showing the US citizens and Western World
countries, that their enemy was Saddam Hussein and
that they were able to beat him and his regime
therefore they should support them. In the
pictures above both president Bush (with Barbara
Bush) and general Powell, seem calm and in control
of the situation. Magazines, news reports and
newspapers portrait this good image of the US
government during war. Saddam Hussein was always
showed in dark pictures or in a way all the
picture was centered in him and in the evil he has
doing. These images of US leaders and the Iraqi
leader shows us two opposite sides. One is showing
US government members as heroes and in the other
hand Saddam Hussein as the villain.

US efforts to
manipulate the media and spread their propaganda
were successful. The media patriotic coverage of
the conflict and the censorship showing it as a
bloodless war, influenced people, making them
believe that the war actions taken by the US and
its allies were well justified. The media portrait
US as a powerful country before, during and after
the war. With the help of the media and its
psychological warfare we can say that US and the
allies had already won the war even before one
shot was fired against the enemy. The media and
the US government also manage to portrait the
conflict as a bloodless war although there were
about 200,000 causalities and 10,000 of these were
innocent civilians. We can conclude therefore that
the Gulf war is one example of how military
propaganda has an influence in our society.
Governments justify their military actions against
another country, race and/or culture by spreading
propaganda to have in control all the American and
pro American audience.

The military propaganda and
psychological influences people in order to
support their country or a specific country during
a war. The main purpose of the military propaganda
and psychological warfare is to spread the idea of
us = good they =bad in order to justify and find
support of the mass audience. The media is the
medium through propaganda accomplish these
purpose. Private media is manipulate by the
government in order to manipulate people. This
manipulation happens because of different
pressures applied by the government. The nation
which controls the global media has a bigger
chance of wining a war, although it also needs
economic and military resources to win it.

As the
Gulf War shows, the countries which have the
largest economic and military power are the ones
that have bigger global media power. We can say
that the Gulf War conflict was won by the US even
before a bullet was fired. This is due to its
immense power over the media that is connected
with its economical, political and military power.
ANALYSIS The propaganda and psychological warfare
analysis in this report was directed to the
general public using simple language and simple
sentences when necessary so that the text is
easily understood by the common English reader. It
is meant to succeed in its task to present Gulf
War as an example of propaganda and psychological
warfare and the role of media during war time. My
report is a criticism against the media and the US
government during the Gulf War. In these analysis
I have made a list of nouns, verbs and adjectives
present in the first pages of the report that
suggest this tone or mood.

Nouns: Media,
confrontation, devastation, hate, raze, culture,
propaganda, warfare, enemy, power. Verbs: Belief,
act, help, respond, associate, experience,
support, follow, censure, influence, manipulate.
Adjectives: Immense, impartial, good, evil, brave,
irresponsible, unfair, successful, bloodless,
enormous. The lists of words above suggest that
the report is about: War propaganda and its
enormous power over our society by using the media
to influence us. There is a feeling that the mood
based on these few word is going to be a strong
critical mood and tone. This report was meant to
create some conscience in the reader about the
reality media shows us and the real worlds
reality. The propaganda and psychological warfare
are direct examples of how the government of a
country manipulates the media to control the
people of their country.

This manipulation using
propaganda, is only another of the realities that
we are meant to believe from the media. I was
trying to show, that the immense power of media
lays in the power of communication, and that this
power induces countries governments to manipulate
and control the media. I think that this task was
fulfill in my report. Bibliography – Yahoo search
for Gulf War propaganda. – Google search for Gulf
War propaganda. – History Channel: The Gulf War –
http://www.terrace.qld.edu.au/academic/filmtv/semi
oticsandpropaganda.htm – Altavista pictures of the
Gulf War..

Research essay sample on Analysis Of Semiotics Propoganda And Psychological Warfare