Fear, Power, and Politics

Fear, Power, and Politics : The Recipe for War in Iraq after 9/11

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The Iraq War of March 19, 2003 was an implausible war at the outset. We now understand that it could have been averted and never should have been waged. How and why did it begin? Who was responsible? This book offers a new perspective on the Iraq War and explains the dynamic relationships between the George W. Bush administration, the United States Congress, and the national news media. It is based on the "multiple streams model of political change" by John Kingdon, which says that if a unique combination of political, policy, and problem streams collide, under the right circumstances, they can create a window of opportunity for a shift in policy. It was the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, which set the stage for the emergence of three dynamic streams in the country. Fear, power, and a contentious political climate converged to produce not only a dramatic new foreign policy, but also a war with Iraq, a country which had not provoked or threatened the United States. Fear, power, and a tense political climate also influenced institutional behavior and exposed the failures of 1) The executive branch in the administration of George W.
Bush, 2) The United States Congress and, 3) the national news media. All are designed and are differently responsible to protect the interests of the American people. Errors in judgment have happened throughout history with other administrations, with other Congresses, and with the news media. However, with regard to the Iraq War, it was a matter of degree and extent, especially for the President of the United States. Both the Congress and the news media were also experiencing colossal institutional changes, which influenced and hindered their performances. However, all were culpable in helping to create the Iraq war, which today stands as one of the longest military conflicts in United States history.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 270 pages
  • 152.4 x 231.14 x 27.94mm | 544.31g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739179942
  • 9780739179949

Review quote

By focusing on the failures of journalism and the official fakery surrounding the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Mary Cardaras reminds us of an important truth: democracy cannot thrive without an informed electorate and an independent press. -- Peter Eisner, former editor at Washington Post and The Associated Press
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About Mary Cardaras

Dr. Mary Cardaras is an Assistant Professor at California State University, East Bay in the Department of Communication. She has been teaching journalism since 1991 including at (the former) Massachusetts Communications College and Northeastern University in Boston, LaSalle University in Philadelphia, Syracuse University's London campus, and at the American International University, in Richmond, UK. Dr. Cardaras free-lanced for CNN, Boston, and has worked for CNN, Atlanta, CNN and World Television News in London, and for numerous other news departments across the country in five other major markets spanning more than 25 years in journalism. She also has conducted media training workshops for students and professionals in the Arab world and in Vietnam. Dr. Cardaras is the recipient of two regional EMMY awards for excellence in spot news producing and feature producing and has been nominated numerous times during her career in journalism. She serves on the board of the Global Press Institute in San Francisco and is a member of the Radio and Television News Directors Association (RTNDA), the Association for Education in Journalism and Communication (AEJMC), the Arab-U.S. Association for Communication Educators (AUCACE), and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalist Association (NLGJA). Dr. Cardaras continues to collaborate with the Center for International Media Education (CIME) at Georgia State University and is producing the first annual Global Press Institute World Summit scheduled for 2014. Dr. Cardaras lives in Sonoma, California.
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Table of contents

Prologue Introduction Chapter 1: The Fear Factor: How It Shaped Political Decisions and Policy Chapter 2: The George W. Bush Administration: The Case for War with Iraq Chapter 3: The United States Congress and Iraq: Checks, Balance and Oversight Chapter 4: The News Media: Reporting and the Run-Up to War Chapter 5: The Iraq War: Reflections, Repercussions & Resolution Bibliography
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