Hoang Phi Trinh Essay

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Hoang Phi Trinh
Student number: 040786519
Portfolio Element Five
Respond to a documentary on global issue:
Inside the Propaganda War waged over the Iraqi invasion (in short: Operation Persuasion): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3GINVv9-9s

As the great military theorist Carl von Clausewitz stated in his timeless masterpiece On War, in war the moral factors are as important as physical factors, and it is vital not to underestimate or ignore them. His vision has been adapted by many military and political leaders, who in turn have created a new frontline of warfare: the propaganda front. The documentary that I watched sought to examine the interaction between public opinion, public support, state policies, and the influence of mass media on these elements. At first, Operation Persuasion introduces a brief glance at the way the beginning of American’s Iraqi invasion is reported by journalists. It continues by comparing the effect of media on state policies in the previous American wars, emphasizing on The Tet Offensive and Operation Desert Storm. For the rest of the documentary, the directors focus on analyzing the proliferation of public opinion as the war in Iraq went on, especially to the reason for the US to go onto war. From what I have observed, the information introduced in this documentary is very credible, since it is gathered from many sources considered “official”, such as BBC, ABC, government-held presses, and real footages of the actual war recorded by field journalist. The producer and distributor, Journeyman Pictures, for over twenty years has been well-known for their original documentaries, their credibility and their neutral stance. For this documentary, they have done an excellent job on presenting both sides of this propaganda war, Saddam Hussein’s media and the American one, as well as the factors related to this subject, such as their strategy, their policies, and their achievement. People who have been interviewed were all experts on the subject of propaganda or high-ranking state officials, or witnesses of the real events. Operation Persuasion was made in 2014 – eleven years after the Iraqi war broke out – a time big enough to have an overview of