Mythologizing War: The Hidden Abuse and Exploitation of Members of the Military, Veterans, and Gold Star Families

The neoconservatives have made distortion and misrepresentation into an art form. Their mythologization strategy is both complex and sophisticated. First, it contrives the illusion that war with Iraq – and eventually with Iran, Syria, North Korea, etc. – is necessary to defend America and the values we hold sacred. Second, it portrays war as antiseptic discouraging, even prohibiting, any media reporting that would reveal its inevitable horrors. Third, it appropriates religious rhetoric to depict war as a holy crusade against some absolute evil encouraging participation as righteous, glorious, honorable, and heroic. Fourth, it blurs the distinction between the enterprise of war and those human beings who do the fighting, killing, and dying. Fifth, it seeks support for the war or at least discourages opposition by preying upon the gratitude, empathy, and guilt of an ill-informed public now convinced that these sacrifices are made in their behalf. read more

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