How the war was sold: Shaping public opinion through fear, power and influence
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This thesis explores how the current Bush administration gained wide scale public support for the invasion of, and war against, Iraq in 2003 by successfully shaping, or at least significantly influencing, public opinion on Saddam Hussein, his arsenal of WMD, the threat he posed, and the need for war. My first chapter explores how the Bush administration gained wide scale public support from the perspective of discourse. My second chapter explores how the Bush administration gained wide scale public support from a psychological perspective--in relation to assumptions and schemas. My third and final chapter explores how the Bush administration gained wide scale public support by analyzing the Bush administration's official argument towards the invasion of Iraq in relation to the discourses, assumptions, and schemas explored in the preceding chapters. The goal of this thesis is to clearly illustrate how the Bush administration, primarily through Bush, used their power and influence to define the truth about Saddam Hussein, promoted fear, justified the invasion of Iraq in a way that could be easily accepted and supported, promoted patriotism and national unity, and reinforced the importance and necessity of the government and the armed forces to shape, or at least significantly influence, public opinion.