A Generation of Sheep: Implications of propaganda on a generation of terror

Andy Slaven

Nationalism is necessary for any country to prosper successfully. However, there is also a need for questioning in order for a nation not to become a misinformed society who follows the status quo without regard for reason. Unfortunately, our generation has become stagnant sheep in an age of information.

Typically, this need for questioning comes from youth who recognize an issue that is detrimental to their generation. For example, during the war in Vietnam, American youth were used as soldiers to fight a war that many saw as pointless.

Politicians pushed the idea of the “Domino Theory” to promote the idea that if South Vietnam fell to communism, Southeast Asia and possibly Japan would also turn to communism.

This disseminated theory fit perfectly for the time of high tension surrounding the Cold War and caused the war in Vietnam. But as the war dragged on more and more young Americans turned to their voices to spread their skepticism. The question then became whether communism was actually a threat or a propaganda tool used to promote our global presence as a nation.

The change in public opinion during this war was greatly caused by the media. For the first time, the public was opened up to many of the atrocities caused by our intervention. American youth responded with objection, eventually leading to change. But our generation has fallen behind in this aspect because we are not directly affected.

Our greatest concern ends at who won last week’s football game. Simply because we are not affected directly, our generation has not raised its voice or attempted to become informed.What we don’t realize is that we are affected greatly for a number of reasons including the retaliation in the form of terrorism, our country’s growing deficit and the massive amounts of military spending that could be allocated elsewhere.

Much of the reason for our country’s recent military action has come from the fear of terrorism in a world after 9/11. While the terrorist attack was an atrocity and a terrible human action indeed, it is still important for American youth to question whether more military action would limit terrorism against the United States or actually increase it.

Much of this intervention is in the form of drone strikes that target those who push terrorism against the United States, but what we rarely see in the media are the implications of our drone strikes or if they even work as an effective way to dissolve terrorism.

Moreover, our generation is in a unique situation due to the amount of free-flowing information readily available at any time. This allows us to look for answers without having to turn to Fox News or CNN, who rarely question anything of actual importance without turning to party lines.

An example of misleading news is the attention that was drawn to Iran’s nuclear programs. U.S. politicians label Iran the most grave threat to world peace and a harbor for terrorism. The most recent nuclear deal with Iran was labeled as not doing enough by many Republican politicians.

What most people don’t know is that Iran has been promoting a nuclear-free zone of the Middle East under the Nonproliferation Treaty.

One of the countries that refuses to acknowledge this deal is Israel, who says the most recent nuclear deal is a dangerous compromise. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated the deal allows Iran to produce “an entire arsenal with the means to deliver it.”

Our generation has the means to gain more information than ever before. It is an opportunity  to find true verified information outside of major media sources and base our judgements from it. From this factually-based standpoint, the American youth can properly voice our opinions and drive the nation toward the right direction.

However, in order to seek the proper information, our generation must first begin to question the actions of our country in the Middle East. So let us take example from the Vietnam era and begin to worry less about fantasy sports and more about the consequences of our country’s detrimental foreign policy.