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Representation in Transition: Media Portrayal of the UN in the Context of the War with Iraq
Unformatted Document Text:  Representation in Transition 1 On September 12, 2002, President George W. Bush spoke in front of the United Nations General Assembly and urged the body to live up to its obligations and take action against Saddam Hussein. When the Security Council refused to go along with the US initiative, the US acted regardless. Though this effort has been primarily a unilateral one, the US has repeatedly stressed the important involvement of the “Coalition of the Willing,” those nations around the world willing to support the US in its effort. The most visible member of this group has been the United Kingdom, the country with the second largest military presence in Iraq. But these were not the only two nations to supply troops – Australia and Spain also joined in and contributed. So, when the US officially attacked Iraq on March 19, 2003, they were not alone. Though, they were there without the United Nations. When the United Nations did not fall in line with the United States, the United States, and its allies, were not kind. The United Nations was continually negatively characterized and challenged in government halls and in the media. Though, with the official end of the war on May 1, 2003, and the continued and increasing violence, cost, and casualties, the US and its allies have again turned to the United Nations. Thus, on September 23, 2003, President Bush again addressed the UN General Assembly, except this time, the goal was not to challenge the UN to action, but harness the power of multilateral cooperation to share the burden of the US-led effort in Iraq. The tone changed significantly as the US and its allies realized this effort would be very difficult with the UN on board. Seeing how the US and its allies made such a swift policy shift regarding the UN, we investigated if this policy shift affected how the UN was represented in the media in

Authors: Bain, Eric., Breivik, Hilde., Chiu, Vivian Yuen Ming., lam, tao., Roffino, Sara., Young, Bethany., St. Clair, Denise. and Tajima, Atsushi.
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Representation in Transition 1
On September 12, 2002, President George W. Bush spoke in front of the United
Nations General Assembly and urged the body to live up to its obligations and take action
against Saddam Hussein. When the Security Council refused to go along with the US
initiative, the US acted regardless. Though this effort has been primarily a unilateral one,
the US has repeatedly stressed the important involvement of the “Coalition of the
Willing,” those nations around the world willing to support the US in its effort. The most
visible member of this group has been the United Kingdom, the country with the second
largest military presence in Iraq. But these were not the only two nations to supply troops
– Australia and Spain also joined in and contributed. So, when the US officially attacked
Iraq on March 19, 2003, they were not alone. Though, they were there without the
United Nations.
When the United Nations did not fall in line with the United States, the United
States, and its allies, were not kind. The United Nations was continually negatively
characterized and challenged in government halls and in the media. Though, with the
official end of the war on May 1, 2003, and the continued and increasing violence, cost,
and casualties, the US and its allies have again turned to the United Nations. Thus, on
September 23, 2003, President Bush again addressed the UN General Assembly, except
this time, the goal was not to challenge the UN to action, but harness the power of
multilateral cooperation to share the burden of the US-led effort in Iraq. The tone
changed significantly as the US and its allies realized this effort would be very difficult
with the UN on board.
Seeing how the US and its allies made such a swift policy shift regarding the UN,
we investigated if this policy shift affected how the UN was represented in the media in


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