Use of Propaganda the U.S. War in Iraq Essay example

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Use of Propaganda the U.S. War in Iraq

The word “propaganda” comes from the Vatican. The phrase “congregatio de propaganda fide” (The congregation for the propagation of the faith) was used to support the catholic faith in response to the Protestant Reformation (Labash, 20 Dec, 2001). Propaganda is everywhere and has been around for a long time. Every newspaper, magazine, news channel, radio station, advertisement, or any other types of mass media contain elements of propaganda. Propaganda is often given a negative connotation due to its history of power and control; as in the Hitler’s regime, but in reality the definition is very simple. According to Webster’s College Dictionary, propaganda is “information or ideas methodically
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It is really no more than the organization of methods designed to persuade people to think and behave in a certain way, and in wartime that usually means getting them to fight or to support the fight” (Labash, 20 Dec, 2001). Wartime propaganda is so important that it can often be used as a weapon because of the power that comes with public support. The ability to win public support can be just as important as the ability to fight the war.


Wartime propaganda has been a major influence in many, if not all, of the major wars. One of the first known uses of war propaganda was by Alexander the Great. After being forced to retreat in a battle Alexander the Great realized that it would be a disadvantage to show he was weak and had to retreat. He overcame this problem by using propaganda to intimidate the opposing army. Alexander’s army made oversized armor and helmets and left them behind as they retreated. His intent was that the opposing army would be intimidated and not pursue his army because the oversized armor made Alexander’s army look like giants (Labash, 20 Dec, 2001).

Another occurrence of wartime propaganda occurred in Vietnam where Americans would kidnap and blindfold Vietnamese fisherman. Then the Americans would take them to an island and tell them that it was part of a resistance group called “The Sacred Sword of the Patriot League.” The fishermen were then returned back to the
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