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Metaphors that Justify War
Do you think we had all the information that was at the Presidentís disposal when he made the decision to deploy our troops in the Gulf? Do you think having that information might have made you feel more comfortable about our involvement? Should our government decide what we get to know and what we donít? By in large, we hear exactly what our government wants us to hear. Knowing this, at no other time paralleled in history, we want the truth; we thirst for it like those traveling through the desert without water and we are tired of being manipulated and deceived by those we elect to serve our interests. However, more often than not, we settle for what is given to us. Our truth is wrapped by the media and promoted as gospel without hesitation or moral reservation. Our acceptance of and reliance upon the media for sensitive, truthful, information brings a sense of security and knowledge of world affairs that satisfies our internal push for social involvement (even if it is at the point of acknowledgment only). We are happy with the knowledge because there is no discernible contradictions and seldom question its relevancy, focus or content. Then later, a contradictory report erupts in the media and we begin to question even what we see. The short footage shown by the media concerning the beating of Rodney King was out of context. Who is responsible for the disparity? The media. They decide what we hear and see. They manipulate to dramatize for the dollar. Gossip, murder, rape, political espionage, treason, drug deals, incest, wife battering, muggings, immoral behavior of all sizes shapes and volumes seem to appeal to human interest and the Networks use it to build their ratings while claiming they proclaim truth for all (double effect). These people and their focus gave us the Gulf War everyday, around the clock. Would it be surprising to know that the media not only reports the news they help facilitate public approval that could justify a war through the use of metaphors alone? The use of metaphors in war and everyday life is common and an important method employed to eventually arrive at a position of approval for military action. Before the use of metaphors is discussed it is necessary to understand specific conditions in which any war is justified.
Conditions Necessary to Justify a War
Two specific conditions are necessary to justify war. First, direct aggression against the United States, our allies, or those who are unable to protect themselves against direct aggression. Second, indirect aggression against the U.S.. During both conditions the moral correctness, realistic threat and potential harm would be assessed to determine an appropriate response. After a decision has been made from those premises, war could morally be justified and action should be taken. However, indirect aggression is the most difficult premise to evaluate. Its relevancy to our nation and allies is difficult to determine succinctly. In order to understand how we would deal with such a condition to engage in a war built on this premise one must understand U.S. ideology.
Current U. S. ideology insists that direct aggression be met with self defense. Under this condition, the main concerns are the safety of its citizens, the freedom to exercise their rights and proportional intervention against the aggressor to ensure such safety and freedom. An example of U. S. policy for this situation occurred on December 7, 1941. The United States declared war on Japan in self defense. U.S. response was considered necessary and imminent. Indirect aggression on the other hand, it is not so easy to establish a just war.
Every war fought after W.W. II rested on the U.S. response to indirect aggression. Capitalism and democracy is directly opposed to dictatorship and communism. The fear of such tyrannical rule made most Americans shudder. Any possibility of communistic rule or influence was perceived as a direct threat and destroyed, if by no other reason, by fear.. The thought established in the 1950í sheds a great amount of light
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Dispute resolution, Laws of war, Abnormal psychology, Aggression, War of aggression, Just war theory, United States presidential doctrines, Vietnam Syndrome
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