In recent times a lot of media attention has been drawn to the middle east (more precisely, Iraq). With a refusal from Sudan Hussein to let the United Nations undergo its weapons inspections, the smell of war is lingering in the air, and with the mighty Americans ready to lead the fight, we must ponder the Australian involvement in this fiasco. Do we follow our "Big Brother" America into a matter that does not concern us or do we sit back and watch? The articles selected provided different views and interpretations of the issue.
The article presented in the Herald Sun on February 18 1998, "Sense of dread in PM's farewell"ÃÂ gives a strong argument against the sending of our troops to the Gulf, with it's constant reference to the Prime Ministers fears for their safety. The use of the word "ÃÂDread' in the opening paragraph sets a strong tone for the entire article, with the writer using it to make the situation sound far worse than it is, almost like our troops are being sent on a suicide mission.
This message is strengthened as it is coming from the Prime Minister, who should be hopeful for our troops as he is the one who decided on sending them in the first place. The writer seems to be trying to show the PM as being confused and maybe even reconsidering whether his decision to support America was the correct choice.
The picture inserted adds to the sense of gloom that lingers over the whole article. In showing the three woman with a sense of dread on their faces saying goodbye to their family and friends, it works to show the humanity of the issue by saying to the reader that the troops being sent are not just solders, they are people with families and lives.
The pictorial graph showing statistics of Australian involvement in past wars and the casualties that resulted from them, give the reader a strong reminder of what occurred in Australia's past involvement's in wars and makes the reader think about the type of casualties that could result from another war.
"Bungle claim over SAS cover"ÃÂ appeared in the Herald Sun on the 12th of February 1998, is another point of view about the issue in contention. The writers purpose is to show his audience that although our troops have not yet departed for the war zone, their safety has already been jeopardized by those in power. The use of a quote from SAS spokesmen Mick Malone, in which he describes the situation as "a serious security breach"ÃÂ, was intended to receive an emotive response from its reader as it's suggests that the safety of Australia's most elite solders dose not seem to matter too much to our government. This angle is followed throughout the article with the use of quotes from Mr. Malone, whose anger and confusion over the issue seems to have been purposely exposed to show the importance of it. Such quotes as "McLachlan's advisers need a good kick"ÃÂ and "It is too late to now but the regiment is very angry and headquarters have some explaining to do"ÃÂ give the audience a taste of Mr. Malone's anger and in doing so the writer is trying to side the reader with Mr. Malone.
The final article "PM's hardest decision"ÃÂ, found in the Age on 14th of February 1998, is not just questioning the Australian involvement in an issue that does not concern us, but is pondering the entire idea of a military strike, and what it would achieve. The writer is try to show its audience that this military standoff is not necessary and is only fueled by politicians who wish to use such a situation to regain political popularity in times of hardship for both Bill Clinton and our own John Howard. The writer continues to persuade her readers by presenting logical points against the Australian involvement in the affair. In the forth paragraph, The sentence "But the (slim) possibility that military action may still be averted through diplomacy"ÃÂ appears. The sarcastic nature of the sentience strongly suggests that a war is eminent. This is strongly shown by the use of the brackets around the word slim, as if to say that the likelihood of military action not to be taken is so small that it is not worth considering. This sarcastic attitude seems to have carried through the entire piece which may take away the strength of the arguments being presented as the strong bias may turn away some of the writers audience.
From the articles analyzed we can see that the Australian involvement in a military confrontation with Iraq is an issue that was strongly debated, but troops were sent in the end. Although the matter did seem to resolve itself without physical confrontation, I am sure similar issues will be raised in the future next time that a possible war arises.