UK Media Coverage of Iraq War: A Content Analysis of Tony Blair Position in the Guardian Newspaper 2003-2007

By Abbasian, Parisa | Global Media Journal, December 2017 | Go to article overview

UK Media Coverage of Iraq War: A Content Analysis of Tony Blair Position in the Guardian Newspaper 2003-2007


Abbasian, Parisa, Global Media Journal


Introduction

After the 11 September terrorist attacks to the twin towers of the world trade center in the United States which was led by al-Qaida terrorist group "war against the terrorism" became the main goal of the this country in the Middle East and the Iraq invasion was based on this ideology. The Iraq war was led by the United States with the support of the United Kingdom against Iraqi government and toppled Saddam Hussein government in 2003. The rational of the start of this war was the belief that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and it was a serious threat to global peace and security.

The United Kingdom intervention to Iraq was during Tony Blair premiership. He entered his country to international wars more than any prime minister in the history. He sent British troops into battles like Kosovo (1999), sierra Leon (2000) and Afghanistan (2001) that was led by United States From the start of American new ideology in foreign policy (war on terror) Blair strongly supported it and participate in wars on terror beside US. But the intervention in Iraq was particularly controversial as it attract the widespread public demonstration and 139 MP oppositions as the result he faced lots of criticism over his policy and at last losing his position as the prime minster and the leader of labor party.

In this study we are trying to show how the Guardian newspaper portrayed Blair policies in the period from 2003 until 2007, which marks the start of Iraq war to the end of his primer ship. The reason for the selection of this topic is that although there are lots of studies about Iraq war but we cannot find many studies conducted about media coverage of war specially the UK media coverage of Iraq war. Meanwhile the Iraq invasion was the most important conflict after Second World War and Tony Blair had a key role in the war process, he was criticized and lost his power because of involving Britain in this war. So, study on this topic is vital and important in both fields of media and politics.

Literature Review

The 2003 Iraqi invasion started in 19 March 2003. The invasion was named "the operation Iraqi freedom" by the United States. Before the 19 march 2003 it was called "Operation Enduring Freedom, a carryover from the War in Afghanistan". Four countries participated with troops to this war: the United States (148,000), the united kingdom (45,000), Australia (2000) and Poland (194) to depose the Baathist government of Saddam Hussein.

The British prime minister tony Blair was one of the closest allies to the George Bush in Iraq war. The Blair's government decision for going to war caused the biggest foreign policy and moral crisis since Suez. Blair government used intelligence sources and evidences that the Iraqi government had chemical and biological weapons in order to persuade public opinion about the war involvement. It seems that the prime minister pursued two wishes about Iraq: first, he wished to have share in global management beside the United States. In another level he wished that Blair wanted to the United Kingdom being in the heart of Europe [1].

Rodney P. Carlisled and John Stewart Bowman studied on Blair's justification of war [2]. They explained his efforts to maintain public support of Iraq intervention in this way: Since the Iraqi government had evaded the UN inspections and put some obstacles to the inspectors, the intelligence information suggested that Iraq still had the weapons of mass destructions and way of their production. When Tony Blair presented his report that called "the Blair's Dossier" to the British parliament in 2002 He stressed all the evidences that his intelligence agencies maintained that suggested Iraqi government still had WMD. He also detailed the Saddam regime operations against the Iraqi people including the tortures and executions without trial. The British prime minister reminded his people and the parliament the Europe situation of 1930 when Adolf Hitler defined the League of Nations and imposed a ruthless regime to the German people. …

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