The Power of the Pen: How Journalism Manipulates Language to Mold Public Perception of Victims of War
The Power of the Pen: How Journalism Manipulates Language to Mold Public Perception of Victims of War Jennifer Wiley ANT 672 Final Paper 5/12/11
The Power of the Pen: How Journalism Manipulates Language to Mold Public Perception of Victims of War War is rarely a subject of accord, but in America‟s recent history two wars have sparkedexceptionally notable controversy among the general public. The comparison between theVietnam War and the war in Iraq is not a new one and much has been written on the similaritiesbetween the two. Both were heavily criticized by the public, though one more so than the other,and both were seen as reasons to distrust the American government. However, there are alsostark differences. One such difference can be found in the depiction of victims of war in eachcase. Coming out of Vietnam, veterans found themselves the target of much ridicule from thegeneral public. Much speculation has blamed this fact on the way the media portrayed theVietnamese and the refugees in the role of victim of the United States and the military. Incontrast, today the public sees the veterans of Iraq and their families as the unfortunate victims ofa senseless war while little discussion, if any, is held on refugees. By studying literature on theuse of media in war and analyzing the language of articles from various news sources, it can beunderstand how journalists can manipulate language to mold the public‟s perception of war. As much as the Vietnam War has been contested in history, the role of the press duringthat war has been the source of equal controversy. Many, especially those in the military,actually blame the media for the loss of the war due to reports “poisoning public opinion anderoding public support.”1 Some believe that the choice of reporters to focus on violent imagesand stories of American misconduct in Vietnam created a perception at home of the Vietnameseas victims of the military. Additionally, the media‟s tendency to contradict official statementswith information they gathered themselves in the field has been credited with the American__________________1 Rid, Thomas. 2007. War and Media Operations: The US Military and the Press from Vietnam to Iraq. New York, NY: Routledge. p 61
public‟s growing distrust of the government and the military at the time.2 The result was largescale anti-war activism at home and deep hatred for returning veterans, many protestors going sofar as to even spit on them in the airport.3 “For those military people, the print and broadcastjournalists were as much the „enemy‟ as the Communist forces.”4 The Vietnam War was the beginning of a completely new approach to war coverage.One major reason for this is the fact that it was the first war that used television as a primarymethod of delivering information to the American public. In an attempt to make more excitingtelevision, these reports have been criticized for focusing more on sensationalism than onaccuracy. By using short segments, often only two or three minutes long, critics claim thetelevision media attempted to hit “viewers‟ emotions rather than their intellect,”5 resulting indistorted views of the actual events of the war and thus breading a negative perception. Whetheror not this is true, the United States did not at the time have any censorship on the media, thusallowing the content of these short segments to be left to the judgment of the reporters andproducers. Whatever consequences that allowed for, it created a news source that made thesuccesses and mistakes of both the United States military and the Army of the Republic ofVietnam equally available to the public.6 Although the equal availability of information for bothsides of the war has an upside, it also allowed for greater potential to manipulate the emotions ofthe American people.___________________2 Rid, p. 53-583 Kennedy, William V. 1993. The Military and the Media: Why the Press Cannot Be Trusted to Cover a War. Westport, CT: Praeger. p 1014 1998. “Media and the War,” Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social, and Military History. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. CredoReference. Accessed April 10, 2011.5 1998 “Television and the Vietnam Experience," Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social, and Military History. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. CredoReference. Accessed April 10, 2011.6 Ibid
However, the changes in the press during Vietnam were not restricted to physicalmedium. There has also been an implication that the media no longer saw itself as accountableto the American government. The responsibility was now instead to the parent company and wasseen as another reason for the military to be wary of journalists. There was a growing sense ofcompetition between different news sources and many reporters made it their priority to get whatcould be the most interesting story as quickly as possible. This, in conjunction with the newbroadcast media, created an atmosphere of instant reporting that left behind the “thoughtful,deliberate process of review and editing that used to take place in newspaper offices prior topublication”7 in order to preserve a story‟s urgency and novelty. Furthermore it has beensuggested that editors, feeling the lack of accountability to the government as much as, if notmore than, the reporters in the field, developed their own social agendas in accord with theanti-war sentiment and manipulated even the more factual stories in order to romanticize theVietnamese fighters.8 Competition and social or political agendas were not the only cause of reports withmisinformation. From the very beginning of a US media presence in Vietnam, reports sufferedfrom a lack of cross-cultural understanding. Many reporters “knew little or nothing of Asianhistory and culture, let alone of the highly specialized history and culture of Vietnam”9 leavingthem ignorant of the basic elements of the struggle between the Vietnamese. It has been arguedthat one of the greatest examples of this ignorance was apparent in the media coverage ofBuddhist priests who set themselves on fire in protest of the Vietnamese president, Diem, aRoman Catholic. Though the protests were largely political, journalists always stressed thereligious side of the matter by “never failing” to name the president in their articles as “Roman______________________7 “Media and War”8 Ibid9 Kennedy, p. 94
Catholic Diem” opposite the Buddhist monks. The result of this was a heavy Americanperception of religious persecution in Vietnam, though it has also been argued that the protestswere the doing of only a small group and had very little impact on the majority of theVietnamese population.10 These small choices in language can leave a large impression and aquestion arises: “Does the work of the journalist, ipso facto, make the journalist a participant inand a shaper of the events he or she is writing about?”11 The Vietnam War was in many ways a turning point for reporting war coverage andtoday, the coverage of the war in Iraq is evidence the continuation of many of those trends.Journalists‟ awareness that their reports are more along the lines of narratives, which startedduring Vietnam, is more widespread than ever. According to Thomas Gardner‟s War asMediated Narrative: The Sextet of War Rhetoric, there are six categories of persuasion withinthese narratives: national identity, gender, culture, ego, economics, and religion. Combinationsof these categories were used during the buildup of the war to bolster support and encourage menand women to enlist. In the immediate wake of 9/11, American nationalism was high and themedia tapped into that feeling, using similar language to frame the opposition and encouragepatriotic action. Additionally, the stress on the idea that it was the Islamic world that attackedinnocent Americans brought religion into play to solidify the framework around the definition ofthe enemy. However, as the war in Iraq quickly came under scrutiny when no weapons of massdestruction were found, even these methods of narrative propaganda faltered.12 But this didn‟t end the use of the narrative rhetoric in the media, it only added a newdimension to it. While some continued to support the same discussions that began the war,______________________10 Kennedy, p. 97-10111 Kennedy, p. 9512 Gardner, Thomas N. 2008. War as Mediated Narrative: The Sextet of War Rhetoric. In Constructing America‟s War Culture: Iraq, Media, and Images at Home. Thomas Conroy and Jarice Hanson, eds. Pp. 107-126. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. p. 117-123
others began narratives of opposition. These narratives voiced the feelings of those who don‟tfollow the existing norms and those who wished to guide the conversation toward critiques ofwhat has been accepted as those norms.13 Especially in a world like today‟s with 24-hour newscycles, these conflicting narratives can lead to a great deal of debate, for better or for worse. 24-hour news cycles are not the only change in today‟s world from that during theVietnam War. New technology has changed the way journalists report even more than televisionbroadcasts did in Vietnam. Today “reporters [have] unprecedented capabilities to file theirstories, fast and almost without the military‟s logistical support.”14 The combination of digitalcameras, cell phones, smart phones, laptop computers, and so much more have all created anenvironment where informational language is passed on almost as soon as it is acquired. For themilitary in Iraq, this is both a blessing and a curse and it tends to lean in the favor of thejournalists regardless. No matter where the reporter is, they can report back to their audiencequickly and share information with their fellow reporters instantly. Though that might havesome major positives, it also leaves officials in tough positions, such as being required torespond to questions about situations that happened only minutes prior. In these cases, theofficial most likely has not had time to be given as much information as the reporter has or maynot have even heard of the situation at all. Media sources, both domestic and foreign, are highlyconnected through their array of technologies and often use each other‟s materials in real-time assources. But the military is not entirely a victim of this spike in technology. They are also ableto use it to their own advantage by passing their own informational language through the scopeof the reporters just as quickly.15____________________13 Gardner, p. 12314 Rid, p. 14715 Rid, p. 148-156
But there is still much that is similar today to the days of Vietnam. Most importantly,reports are still extremely competitive, maybe even more so than before. While some maintainintegrity but making sure their language is correct, others still are more concerned withsensationalism and do not make truth and objectivity a priority. “Celebrity was the thrust andmomentum of information operations.”16 Just like in Vietnam, there are many situations wherethe language of the reports reflects more of the desire to get the best story out first and the socialor political agenda of the person responsible. Additionally, those new technologies have furthercreated a demand for fast, if any, editing and the trend begun during Vietnam to sacrifice this inorder to push the story out faster remains.17 Interestingly though, it appears that the government did learn at least a small lesson fromthe environment of distrust between the military and the media of Vietnam. When troops werefirst deployed in Iraq, the Pentagon also “embedded” reporters with the troops and units. Thisresulted in the reporters finding themselves identifying with the men and women fighting the warmuch more so than before, a fact that was reflected in the regular use of “we” instead of the“they” in reports. Furthermore, instead of reports of acts of misconduct by Americans as existedduring Vietnam, there was a focus in the reports on “heroic tales of our troops in peril.”18 Thesereports were especially useful in boosting confidence during the earliest stages of the war.19 While the two wars have their obvious differences, the use of the media to manipulate theway the American public perceived the war and those involved was, and continues to be, presentin both. By analyzing the language of these reports, the methods of depicting victims of war in_____________________16 Rid, p. 15717 Rid, p. 150-15718 Gardner, p. 11319 Ibid
both cases begin to show. Looking at articles concerning the dead, the survivors, and public helpfor those who have come out the other side, agency plays a critical role in how reporters definedthe victims of each war. Additionally, what the reports chose not to say and the similar languageacross both wars further frames the victimization. “[L]inguistic anthropologists have looked to language for concrete examples of effective(and ineffective) social action”20 and the use of agency has been viewed as one such effectiveexample.21 Agency is all about attributing responsibility, and where that responsibility falls anddoes not fall is where journalists are able to frame their victims. For the journalists of Vietnam,this was not the soldiers, a fact made clear from articles about soldiers who have died while atwar, especially when compared to similar articles from the war in Iraq. In the Washington Postarticle on the Iraq war, Blast in Kabul Kills 14 Afghans, 2 US Soldiers, agency is used to makethe US soldiers appear on the defensive. In the sentence “…Taliban militiamen are battlingNATO troops…with unexpected aggressiveness”22 (see Appendix, section 1.A.i) the reporterspoint the finger at the Taliban for being the aggressors that caused these fatalities, even thoughtheir numbers are far more than those of the fallen US soldiers in this case. Within this samearticle, agency is used again by the reporters to frame the US soldiers as those on the defensive,victims of the aggression from the Middle East, by reminding the American public that it was theterrorists who attacked first in saying “…the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the UnitedStates which triggered the US military campaign that drove the Taliban from power thefollowing November…”23 (see Appendix, section 1.A.ii). Though in this statement, the Talibanare on the receiving end, it is not the US soldiers who have the agency that led to their downfall,_______________20 Ahearn, Laura M. 2001. Language and Agency. Annual Review of Anthropology 30: 109-137. p. 12521 Ibid22 Constable, Pamela and Javed Hamdard. 2006. Blast in Kabul Kills 14 Afghans, 2 US Soldiers. The Washington Post, September 9: A1, A14. p. A123 Ibid
but the campaign. However, it is still emphasized that it was the terrorist attacks that caused thecampaign to begin with. Agency continues to take responsibility away from fallen soldiers in Iraq in theWashington Post article Army Faces Rising Number of Roadside Bombs in Iraq. Here, thediscussion about the lethality of bombs puts the agency on inanimate objects in statements suchas “About 1,200 improvised explosive devices (IEDS) – the leading killer of US troops in Iraq –were detonated in August…”24 and “Bombs that are particularly devastating for US troops todayinclude „explosively formed penetrators‟ – metal slugs placed in cones that can punch through aninch of steel…”25 (see Appendix, sections 1.B.i-ii). In doing so, this reporter not only victimizesUS soldiers at the hands of these bombs, but also takes power away from the insurgentsresponsible for creating them by not giving them the agency. Language and power areintertwined26 and agency and silence are two methods of using language to give and take power. The only time this article does give agency to the Iraqi people is while putting the blameon them for the increase in US deaths: “But finding the bombs has grown more difficult as fewerIraqis have come forward to alert the military about bombs, snipers, and other enemyactivity…”27 (see Appendix, section 1.B.iii). However, this is still not attributing agency to theinsurgents responsible for the bombs. Instead, the reporter again takes power away from themby claiming that the civilian people have the power to help stop them. In comparison, the articles on Vietnam‟s fallen soldiers take the victimization away fromthe troops by using patiency to keep the blame from going to anyone else. In the article GIDeaths Top 10,000, the reporter uses such blunt statements as “A record high of 337 US troops________________24Tyson, Ann Scott. 2006. Army Faces Rising Number of Roadside Bombs in Iraq. The Washington Post, September 8: A12. p. A1225Ibid26Ahearn, p. 11127Tyson, p. A12
were killed in Vietnam last week, pushing the total for the war over the 10,000 mark,”28 “Theexact figure of the total of US servicemen killed from the beginning of the Vietnam War throughMay 20 is 10,253,”29 and “…another 2058 men died in Vietnam from accidents and other non-combat causes”30 (see Appendix, sections 2.A.i-ii, iv). In each of these statements, the use ofmaking the soldiers the patient of their deaths deflects blame from the enemy or other soldiers byimplying the death was coming on its own without any one to cause it. The use of direct agencyis reserved for statements of politics, such as “The growing causality lists are more likely tostrengthen the hand of those in the Government trying to hold the line against furtherescalation”31 (see Appendix, section 2.A.iii). Reserving agency for these subjects gives themgreater power, emphasizing the importance of the political implications of these deaths over thepersonal ones. However, as the article continues, the reporter does appear to depict the Vietnamese asvictims. In the statement “The US military command in Saigon said last week‟s fighting alsoexacted a heavy toll on the enemy…”32 (see Appendix, section 2.A.v), the use of agency makesthe fighting (and therefore, it can be implied, the US troops) responsible for the deaths of theenemy. In contrast to those statements earlier keeping all blame for US deaths away from theVietnamese, this creates an image of the Vietnamese as victims of a war that the US troops haveinflicted upon them. By moving onto articles about survivors, the Vietnam media‟s general trend ofvictimizing the Vietnamese instead of the soldiers becomes even more apparent. While today___________________28 Wilson, George C. 1967. GI Deaths Top 10,000. The Washington Post, May 26: A1, A14. p. A129 Ibid30 Wilson, p. A1431 Ibid32 Ibid
the news is full of reports of veterans returning home and struggling to adjust back to civilianlife, the survivors that the Vietnam media chose to focus on were the thousands of Vietnameserefugees. In direct contrast, while the Iraq media focused on the returning veterans, there arelittle, if any, reports today on Middle Eastern refugees. In this case, instead of the differences inlanguage expressing the framing of victims in these wars, it is the similarities in what is said andwhat is not said that show how both defined their victims. By not acknowledging certain parties when addressing the struggles of those who survivewar, not only does the media diminish the seriousness of their hardships, but it takes power fromthem as a people. By focusing on only one group of struggling survivors, the media presentsthem as the only surviving victims of war to the public and silences all others. “Those who aredenied speech cannot make their experience known and thus cannot influence the course of theirlives or of history.”33 In turn, this makes the stories about the chosen group more important andtherefore the group is more important as a whole. The reporters telling their stories then alsogain power by being the bridge between the group and general public. But in discussing the victims of war who survived, silence against others is not the onlymethod of molding public perception. Similar uses of agency by both the Vietnam and Iraqmedia sources are used to depict their respective groups of survivors as people in need.Additionally, the fact that both stress similar needs for the survivors and call for similar methodsof aid shows how these different reporters from different eras viewed their role in the media insimilar ways. In the Washington Post article Viet Refugee Estimate Increases to 70,000, theVietnamese refugees are almost always the recipients of an agent in the form of some American____________________33 Gal, Susan. 1991. Between Speech and Silence: The Problematics of Research on Language and Gender. In Gender at the Crossroads of Knowledge: Feminist Anthropology in the Postmodern Era. Micaela di Leonardo, ed. pp 175-203. Berkley: University of California Press. p. 175
official: “…the military had ordered 40,000 pounds of rice…and 50,000 pounds of frozen fishand poultry to feed the refugees…”34 (see Appendix, section 2.B.ii). These kinds of statementsare successful in depicting an image of a defeated people just trying to survive. By pairing thesewith quotes from American officials pledging not to turn their backs on the refugees such as“‟We‟re not going to abandon anybody,‟”35 (see Appendix, section 2.B.i) by the AssistantSecretary of State, the image of the refugees in need is further solidified and the public is leftfeeling motivated to further encourage their politicians to take action. The Iraq era article, 2010Jobless Rate for Young War Veterans at 20.9%, uses agency in very like ways to portrayveterans as similarly in need. Such statements as “The problem has persisted despitegovernment and private initiatives designed to help them.”36 (see Appendix, section 1.C.ii) showa similar depiction of helplessness and the quote “‟They take four or eight years of experienceand throw it out the door and pretend it doesn‟t even exist,‟ said Murray (D-Wash). „That to meis a huge consequence to them, professionally.‟”37 (see Appendix, section 1.C.iii) again showsthe interest of at least a few high government officials. The tone of both articles is one of a call to arms, indicating that reporters both then andnow view their role as one of responsibility for such things. Both articles directly express theneed for the federal government to take on more responsibility, using those quotes from officialsas examples to lead by. The largest need from the government is funding so that privateorganizations can have the means to pick up the slack. In Viet Refugee Estimate Increase to70,000, the reporter states “Without funds from the government, Klein said, local voluntary___________________34 Meyer, Lawrence. 1975. Viet Refugee Estimate Increases to 70,000. The Washington Post, May 1: A1035 Ibid36 Hefling, Kimberly. 2011. 2010 Jobless Rate for Young War Veterans at 20.9%. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/washingtonpost/access/2295289111.html?FMT=FT&FMTS=ABS:FT&date= Mar+18%2C+2011&author=Kimberly+Hefling&pub=The+Washington+Post&startpage=B.4&desc=2010 +jobless+rate+foryoung+war+veterans+at+20.9%25&free=1. Accessed April 15, 2011.37 Ibid
agencies will be unable to begin the job of helping the refugees…”38 (see Appendix, section2.B.v) and in 2010 Jobless Rate for Young War Veterans at 20.9%, the author reports“Advocates say more of a concentrated effort to have licensing and skills obtained in the militarytranslate into the civilian workplace and more public awareness about what veterans offeremployers are needed to tackle the problem.”39 (see Appendix, section 1.C.ii). Furthermore,both articles stress a need for similar necessities in order for some one to begin a new life. Bothfocus on the need for each group of survivors to have the chance to find a job and housing as thefoundation for their new beginnings (see Appendix, sections 1.C.iv. and 2.B.v.). The implicationthat these groups are owed these types of necessities also emphasizes the seriousness of thestruggle they‟ve been through and the idea that America owes it to them adds even more to theimage of them as a victimized people. The American people, too, have been inspired in both the past and the present to do whatthey can, with or without support from the government, to help those they perceive to beinnocent victims of these wars. This trend sparked another wave of news articles, this timefocused on continuing to depict the survivors as victims but also rewarding the everyday peoplewho stepped up to lend a hand. This, however, in the case of the Vietnam media, also seemed toinspire an even heavier level of victimization of the refugees, possibly as a way of in turnportraying the helpful public as even more necessary. In Showing a Little Class, the reporterfocused entirely on civilian aid without government backing, listing several average familieswho went above and beyond the call of duty to help the Vietnamese refugees. In statements suchas “He and his wife have adopted two Vietnamese families…”40 and “He offered two___________________38 Meyer, p. A1039 Hefling40 1975. "Showing a Little Class." National Review 27, no. 19: 540. Military & Government Collection, EBSCOhost. Accessed May 5, 2011.
Vietnamese families the plane fare to Hamilton from California and jobs for the men in his smallfoundry”41 (see Appendix, sections 2.C.ii, iv) the refugees again are framed as the recipients ofthe responsible Americans. By once again using agency to give credit to the American families,this seems to have a similar tone to that of the articles calling for the government to step in.However, additional statements such as “…the fishing boats heavy with human cargoes leftdrifting when the US Navy sailed off to the Philippines and Guam…”42 (see Appendix, section2.C.i) seem to go the extra mile themselves to create an even more helpless image than before.Additionally, the direct mention of the Navy leaving such a pitiful scene as the one in thatdescription would almost definitely inspire further anger from the general public toward thegovernment and military in a time where anger of that kind was already rampant. This couldhave been a tactic that would push more civilians to volunteer their time out of exasperation withhow their government had failed both them and the refugees. By describing the refugees asvictims not only of the war, but of the American military and government, the media was able tofurther focus the American public on their suffering by painting a common enemy. The mutualbetrayal by the US government could now be seen as something that brought two very differentpeoples with very different ways of life to a mutual understanding of one another. Although not everyone was as welcoming of the refugees, this article focused on thosestories of the greatest amount of acceptance. Briefly mentioning negative sentiments aboutrefugees arriving to a camp in Arkansas, the article moved quickly into the uplifting statement of(see Appendix, section 2.C.iii) “When the first group of Vietnamese arrived at the Camp, though, they found at the airport a hundred or more Americans there, standing around in the rain…with hand painted signs of welcome in Vietnamese…”43________________41 Ibid42 Ibid43 Ibid
By focusing on the positive instead of the negative, the reporter showed support of those whowanted to help the people the media had so diligently framed as victims. The Iraq media, however, did not take the same path in its description of people andprograms helping the veterans it has painted as the victims of war. Instead, many articles focuson government-funded programs specifically designed for purpose of helping veterans find jobsand support. Furthermore, though there is acknowledgement of help from others where it is due,there is not the same feeling that there is an attempt at making those already viewed as victimsseem even more victimized. Instead, there is even a feeling that the reports are attempting toportray them as less victimized. In the article Defense Contractors Make Hiring Veterans aPriority, the reporter begins by describing again the struggle of returning veterans: “Ayres, whoalso suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, worked with military recruiting firms, but theydidn‟t seem to understand how to handle his atypical resume”44 (see Appendix, section 1.D.i).Though this is an example the struggle facing many veterans, it does not add additional hints ofvictimization beyond what has become the norm in many other articles already examined. Evenwhen the reporter acknowledges that Ayres received help from a government-funded programdesigned to help veterans get back in the job market, agency is not initially given to the program:“…Ayres was brought on as a subject matter expert in the firm‟s health information technologygroup”45 (see Appendix, section 1.D.ii). This gives the image of Ayres one of less of a victim,some one who may need help but will eventually be able to stand on his own two feet. As the article progresses, there is a shift away from the individual veteran and on to theprograms. With this shift, the agency shifts, but because the subject has changed to the programs_________________________44 Censer, Marjorie. 2011. Defense Contractors Make Hiring Veterans a Priority. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/defense-contractors-make-hiring-veterans-a- priority/2011/03/28/AFMKJxWC_story.html Accessed April 20, 2011.45 Ibid
at this point, the use of agency is not used for victimizing the veterans. Instead, by saying“Northrop launched its effort in 2004 but ramped up in 2008 when it employed a full-timeplacement specialist to market the program‟s candidates across the company”46 and “Theprogram is meant to help ease the transition from military to contractor, which can be astruggle”47 (see Appendix, sections 1.D.iii, iv) the reporter stresses the good of the program andthe importance of its actions in helping the veterans. This allows for a the public to see that asmuch as the soldiers of this war have been victimized, they also have opportunities to come backfrom the war and live a normal life again. Though much still needs to be done, as is made clearin the continued presence of the articles calling for more help discussed earlier, these articlesgive a little glimpse of hope that America is moving in the right direction to support the men andwomen who fought overseas. The media has a complicated history with its coverage of war. There is a wide range ofperspectives and subjects that sometimes clash with public opinion and sometimes play a part inmolding that opinion. By studying the coverage of the Vietnam War and the war in Iraq, certaintrends become apparent that shape how the American public eventually understands the war andthe various victims associated with it. Though trends will ultimately change, one thing that willremain for sure will be the presence of the media in the warzone. Because of this, the media willalways use manipulation of language to send reports back to the public that will be slanted in oneway or another. Using this as a tool for creating a perception of who is paying the price of thewar will most likely be a trend that lasts for many more generations.______________________46 Ibid47 Ibid
References1975. "Showing a Little Class." National Review 27, no. 19: 540. Military & Government Collection, EBSCOhost. Accessed May 5, 2011.1998. "Media and the War," Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social, and Military History. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. CredoReference. Accessed April 10, 2011.1998. "Television and the Vietnam Experience," Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War: A Political, Social, and Military History. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. CredoReference. Accessed April 10, 2011.Ahearn, Laura M. 2001. Language and Agency. Annual Review of Anthropology 30: 109-137.Censer, Marjorie. 2011. Defense Contractors Make Hiring Veterans a Priority. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/defense-contractors-make- hiring-veterans-a-priority/2011/03/28/AFMKJxWC_story.html Accessed April 20, 2011.Constable, Pamela and Javed Hamdard. 2006. Blast in Kabul Kills 14 Afghans, 2 US Soldiers. The Washington Post, September 9: A1, A14Gal, Susan. 1991. Between Speech and Silence: The Problematics of Research on Language and Gender. In Gender at the Crossroads of Knowledge: Feminist Anthropology in the Postmodern Era. Micaela di Leonardo, ed. pp 175-203. Berkley: University of California Press.Gardner, Thomas N. 2008. War as Mediated Narrative: The Sextet of War Rhetoric. In Constructing America‟s War Culture: Iraq, Media, and Images at Home. Thomas Conroy and Jarice Hanson, eds. Pp. 107-126. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books.Hefling, Kimberly. 2011. 2010 Jobless Rate for Young War Veterans at 20.9%. http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/washingtonpost/access/2295289111.html?FMT=FT&FMTS =ABS:FT&date=Mar+18%2C+2011&author=Kimberly+Hefling&pub=The+Washington +Post&startpage=B.4&desc=2010+jobless+rate+for+young+war+veterans+at+20.9%25 &free=1. Accessed April 15, 2011.Kennedy, William V. 1993. The Military and the Media: Why the Press Cannot Be Trusted to Cover a War. Westport, CT: Praeger.Meyer, Lawrence. 1975. Viet Refugee Estimate Increases to 70,000. The Washington Post, May 1: A10Rid, Thomas. 2007. War and Media Operations: The US Military and the Press from Vietnam to Iraq. New York, NY: Routledge.
Tyson, Ann Scott. 2006. Army Faces Rising Number of Roadside Bombs in Iraq. The Washington Post, September 8: A12Wilson, George C. 1967. GI Deaths Top 10,000. The Washington Post, May 26: A1, A14
Appendix1. IraqA. Blast in Kabul Kills 14 Afghans, 2 US Soldiers i. Friday‟s bombing came as Taliban militiamen are battling NATO troops in southern Afghanistan with unexpected aggressiveness and occupying rural districts there. ii. The blast occurred on the eve of two tense anniversaries for the country: the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States which triggered the US military campaign that drove the Taliban from power the following November…B. Army Faces Rising Number of Roadside Bombs in Iraq i. About 1,200 improvised explosive devices (IEDS) – the leading killer of US troops in Iraq – were detonated in August as insurgents continue to invent new ways to design and hide the lethal munitions, according to retired Army Gen. Montgomery C. Meigs, director of the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, which is spearheading efforts to curb the bombs. ii. But finding bombs has grown more difficult, as fewer Iraqis have come forward to alert the military about bombs, snipers and other enemy activity since the February bombing of the gold-domed mosque in Samarra sparked a spiral of sectarian killings. iii. Bombs that are particularly devastating for US troops today include “explosively formed penetrators” – metal slugs placed in comes that can punch through an inch of steel, he said.C. Jobless Rate for Young War Veterans at 20.9% i. Concerns that Guard and Reserve troops will be gone for long stretches and that veterans might have mental-health issues or lack civilian work skills appear to be factors keeping the unemployment rate for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans at 20.9 percent, a slight drop from the year before but still well over the 17.3 percent rate for non-veterans of the same age group, 18-24. ii. The problem has persisted despite government and private initiatives designed to help them. Advocates say more of a concentrated effort to have licensing and skills obtained in the military translate into the civilian workplace and more public awareness about what veterans offer employers are needed to tackle the problem. iii. Sen. Patty Murray, chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee, said veterans have told her that they take their military experience off their resumes because they fear a potential employer will decide theyre at risk for post-traumatic stress disorder and not hire them. “They take four or eight years of experience and throw it out the door and pretend it doesn’t even exist,” said Murray (D-Wash). “That to me is a huge consequence to them, professionally.” iv. One of the largest government efforts is the Post-9/11 GI Bill administered by the Veterans Affairs Department, which by the end of last year had paid out nearly $7.2
billion in tuition, housing and stipends for more than 425,000 veterans or their eligible family members.D. Defense Contractors Make Hiring Veterans a Priority i. A former Marine, Ayres had suffered severe injuries in Fallujah: A rocket-propelled grenade inflicted nerve damage, burns, partial blindness and traumatic brain injury. Ayres, who also suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, worked with military recruiting firms, but they didn‟t seem to understand how to handle his atypical resume. ii. But Ayres impressed a Northrop Grumman executive with a speech he gave on Capitol Hill, and, through a Northrop program geared toward hiring severely wounded veterans, Ayres was brought on as a subject matter expert in the firm‟s health information technology group. iii. McLean-based Booz Allen Hamilton, for instance, announced recently it would participate in the Army Partnership for Youth Success program, meant to connect retired soldiers with major corporations. Fairfax-based SRA International launched a program in January to help injured veterans find new careers with the company. Northrop launched its effort in 2004 but ramped up in 2008 when it employed a full-time placement specialist to market the program‟s candidates across the company. iv. The program is meant to help ease the transition from military to contractor, which can be a struggle.2. VietnamA. GI Deaths Top 10,000 i. A record high of 337 US troops were killed in Vietnam last week, pushing the total for the war over the 10,000 mark. ii. The exact figure of the total US servicemen killed from the beginning of the Vietnam War through May 20 is 10,253. iii. The growing causality lists are more likely to strengthen the hand of those in the Government trying to hold the line against further escalation. iv. Besides the 10,235 battle deaths, thus far, another 2,058 men died in Vietnam from accidents and other non-combat causes. v. The US military command in Saigon said last week‟s fighting also exacted a heavy toll on the enemy, with 2,464 North Vietnamese and Vietcong claimed as killed.B. Viet Refugee Estimate Increases to 70,000 i. “We‟re not going to abandon anybody. That would be unconscionable on our part.”
ii. The spokesman said the military had ordered 40,000 pounds of rice, 40,000 pounds of powdered milk and 50,000 pounds of frozen fish and poultry to feed the refugees Vietnamese-type food. iii. Although the federal government will be relying almost entirely on voluntary agencies to help Vietnamese without family or friends in this country to resettle virtually no funds have been made available to the agencies. iv. “Money is the key now,” said Well Klein, who represents three private voluntary agencies. “We‟re all right so far, but we‟re not going to be all right for long.” v. Without funds from the government, Klein said, local voluntary agencies will be unable to begin the job of helping refugees settle into new homes and jobs. vi. The Public Health Service, apparently reacting to scattered expressions of concern that the refugees may be carrying disease issued a statement yesterday saying that the “refugees pose no more of a problem to the health of Americans than the thousands of other travelers who enter this country from the Far East every year.”C. Showing a Little Class i. Lots of things were wrong about the evacuation from Vietnam, the timing, the organization, the people who got left behind, the fishing boats heavy with the human cargoes left drifting when the US Navy sailed off to the Philippines and Guam; but there were, too, the other stories, maybe not of America‟s brightest but of America‟s best, the individual Americans who cared and acted. ii. He and his wife have adopted two Vietnamese families. Carole Karvazy says she can hardly handle the phone calls. People who want to give money, food, clothes, blankets, and toys. iii. When the first group of Vietnamese arrived at the Camp, though, they found, at the airport a hundred or more Americans there, standing around in the rain, bedraggled, uncomfortable, with hand-printed signs of welcome in Vietnamese, a local high school band playing “God Bless America” –perhaps not the most appropriate tune for the occasion, but heartfelt. iv. He offered two Vietnamese families the plane fare to Hamilton from California and jobs for the men in his small foundry.