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Misinformation in foreign policy Essay

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Updated: Mar 25th, 2019

Propaganda has always been used by administrations from the earlier regimes to the most recent governments as a tool to assist them in attaining footholds as pertaining to their interests in foreign countries. This paper aims to support the fact that regimes use misinformation to progress their interests in foreign policy by aggravating protests from their citizens.

Diverse opinions have been broached on the issue of change of foreign policy. One such view is proffered by McCormick (2009) who states that foreign policy practices have been changed dramatically since the terror attack on 9/11. He depicts several aspects that manipulate the materialization of the alterations within and outside the government and civilians spheres

While exposing the media’s part in bringing about changes in foreign policy, he also provides more information on the way that particular aspects swayed resolutions formulated on foreign policy via alteration of communal thinking and principles of people. This information provides an unusual debate on foreign policy and its procedure.

Spanier and Hook expose the culture of the U.S leadership. Not only do they dwell on the background of the supremacy and the procedure of policy formulation, they also attempt to expose the contemporary administrations mode of management applications.

From the rule of George Bush to the present Obama’s administration, numerous topics founded on headship of America from WW II form the chapters of their book. The readers acquire an unambiguous depiction of the alterations occurring within foreign policy from the 1940’s since the writers have endeavored to associate the diverse leadership’s application of foreign policy.

The book touches on several issues, majorly on co-relations of developing nations and the East, with the U.S. Other relevant aspects include the partaking of the U.S in the battles in Iraq and Afghanistan. Reports from the media and journalists generally, are also conferred by the writers on a few of the consequences of the battles.

Spanier and Hook (2009) further elucidate that the latest financial catastrophe is a particular area whose consequences impacted worldwide, as well as it continually manipulates the type of foreign policy (Spanier & Hook, 2009).

According to Ungar (2005), political pressure forced employees of Voice of America (VOA), an independent international radio broadcasting operation, to discuss constructive aspects about the Iraq war and President Bush’s decision to go to war.

Particulars about the way the State Department took up the VOA and commanded certain sequences of events broadcasted to give a good picture of the Iraq battle and the president were revealed in the editorial.

The article basically delineates how misinformation through the media may be used as a tool of trade for governments by agitating international and communal views. The media also abetted in animating communal support for the presidential foreign policy after 9/11. Ungar states that this brought about a “hawkish foreign policy”

According to Raiz (2010), the role of news media in a democratic society relates to how mass media is flourishing all over the world and has become a vital part of how our minds are shaped concerning our society. In relation to the media, egalitarianism has progressed worldwide.

Some countries are more technologically challenged than others. This is a global world we live in today and in some far off areas the information revolution, the mass media has become a vital part of the social system (Raiz, 2010). Due to the interconnection between egalitarianism and media it is vital to understand the issues on politics that we encounter.

The relevance is because we live in a democratic society, in order for an individual to make a critical decision regarding the government and politics one must be well informed on how things are operated politically in the world. (Raiz, 2010)

In yet another aspect, Greenwald (2010) was concerned that “the difficulty each person faces in believing that the media hinders our idea of politics is that we have built up our own resistance to understanding the political world as artificially limited” (p. 827-838).

He further stated that we are able to talk about the political propaganda which causes manipulation concerning the political opinions as long as it affects others and not us personally (Greenwald 2010, p. 827). Manipulation into trusting falsehoods of the opinionated world about us is a reality, yet a difficult aspect to face.

From the onset of 9/11, the relationship between the media and the state has rapidly declined especially between news groups, the U.S and its war associates in the battle against terrorism and has called for the re-evaluation of on-hand hypothetical structure that elucidates the relations between the media and the state.

After summarizing the hypothetical structure historically, Öztürk (2009) analyzes the impact of the post-September 11 events on the freedom of expression and press freedom to introduce the changing and deteriorating environment for the press-state relations since then.

The power politics applied widely by states domestically and internationally in the post-9/11 world have caused serious violations of the freedom of expression in general, these therefore resulted setbacks and deteriorations in press freedom in particular (Öztürk 2009 p. 42).

It may be concluded that modern approaches and hypothesis that may elucidate the relations between the media and state are called for by this modern situation.

For a very long time, the tradition of hegemony which states that the president is allowed unequalled power to run views and information in times of battle has been predominant in political communiqué writing.

Patrick and Thrall (2007), observed that, we believe that classical propaganda theory provides a useful corrective to the hegemonic perspective and offers a better way to understand the Bush administration’s propaganda strategy and its impact on public opinion (Patrick & Thrall 2007). They summed up by stating that the president did not conform to the hegemonic rules as envisaged.

According to Judis (2011), certain media institutions, at the behest of stakeholders, moved away from disinterestedness in reporting, to using propaganda to promote conservative and liberal change.

Philosophies of the Republicans are majorly underscored here. The author shows how present regimes utilize the propaganda generated by the media to stir the public. Judis also highlights a plan to attain matched access to the media and the outcome.


Greenwald, G. (2010). Limiting Democracy. The American Media’s World View, and Ours, 77(3), 827-838.

Judis, J. B. (2011). Neutralized. New Republic, 242(6), 16-18.

McCormick, J. (2009). American foreign policy and process. Belmont: Wadsworth Publishing

Öztürk, A. (2009). International Politics and the Media: The Case of the Press/Media in the War on Terror. Alternatives: Turkish Journal of International Relations, 8(3), 42-72.

Patrick, B. A., & Thrall, A. (2007). Beyond Hegemony: Classical Propaganda Theory and Presidential Communication Strategy after the Invasion of Iraq. Mass Communication & Society, 10(1), 95-118. doi: 10.1080/15205430701229808

Raiz, S. (2010). FWU Journal of Social Sciences, 4(2), 89-98.

Spanier, J. and Hook, S. (2009). American foreign policy since World War II. Washington: CQ Press

Ungar, S. J. (2005). Pitch Imperfect. Foreign Affairs, 84(3), 7.

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