Just War and Extraterritoriality: The Popular Geopolitics of the United States’ War on Iraq as Reflected in the Newspapers of the Arab World

Just War and Popular Geopolitics of US War on Iraq as Reflected in News of Arab World
Click the link above for access to the article.

Authors Ghazi-Walid Falah, Colin Flint and Virginie Mamadouh completed a study in 2006 that addresses the significance and importance of the media as a venue to examine Arab opinion of the US invasion of Iraq: particularly the popular geopolitics of the region.

The authors break the study down into four main sections: the relationship between just-war theory and American hegemonic power, the arguments presented by the Iraqi Media to prove the war unjust, Arab media coverage of the invasion as a whole, and a look at Arab constructions of the US war on Iraq through political cartoons. The study examines 60 newspapers across 30 Arab countries.

Interesting Points:

  • in 1917 Woodrow Wilson justified American entry into WWI on “universal” ideological (human rights) grounds. The US decided which universals were morally correct and then made it their job to defend those universals.
  • this article allows for a full view of the rhetoric spouted by the US to mobilize the rest of the Arab world for a “just-war” against Iraq as well as the Arabic reactions to this rhetoric. for example, the US tried to gain the support of countries surrounding Iraq in order to isolate and portray the war as just; however, Arabic media demonstrates that the attempts were ineffective, even in the case of the US’ most likely ally: Kuwait.
  • due to tangled and constantly evolving relationships with countries in the region, the US was able to exploit bilateral relations to its advantage. for example, the promise of financial aid and the threat of sanctions.
  • public opinion in the Arab region unanimously opposed any aggression against an Arab/Moslem country (disrespect of Iraq means disrespect of all Arab countries)
  • political cartoons allow for the “voice of the masses” to be heard more clearly than regular newspaper articles because, often, media outlets are controlled by authoritarian regimes. cartoons are more subjective than journalistic articles and in this way, the opinion gathered from the cartoons can be considered a rather accurate public opinion indicator.

One response to “Just War and Extraterritoriality: The Popular Geopolitics of the United States’ War on Iraq as Reflected in the Newspapers of the Arab World

  1. Pingback: a pause for the sake of chronology: | Iraq Revolt – New School U. student blog

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