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  • Thinking the Unthinkable about the Unthinkable – The Use of Nuclear Weapons and the Propaganda Model

    Milan Rai

    Chapter from the book: Pedro-Carañana, J et al. 2018. The Propaganda Model Today: Filtering Perception and Awareness.


    The debate around nuclear weapons in Britain and the US has been long-standing, at times fiercely contested, and almost entirely beside the point. The Chomsky-Herman Propaganda Model of media and scholarly performance predicts that mainstream discussion of foreign and security policy will rigorously observe certain unspoken limits. Key historical events and fundamental principles will be excluded from awareness or discussion. The long debate around ‘nuclear deterrence’ and, as part of that debate, the more recent controversy over the replacement of Britain’s Trident nuclear weapon system has observed these restrictions. There has been no acknowledgement of the history of British nuclear intimidation of non-nuclear weapon states, including Iraq in 1961, 1991 and 2003. There has been no awareness within the mainstream of the implications of this record for the debate around nuclear weapons, or for the definition of ‘nuclear deterrence’.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Rai, M. 2018. Thinking the Unthinkable about the Unthinkable – The Use of Nuclear Weapons and the Propaganda Model. In: Pedro-Carañana, J et al (eds.), The Propaganda Model Today. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book27.q

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    Published on Oct. 25, 2018