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George W.M. Harrison
Jason T. McEntee
From the Vietnam War to Operation Desert Storm to Operation Iraqi Freedom, Americans have seen a dramatic shift in the ways they see combat - countless, and often dubious, images certainly impact how they interpret their warriors’ actions. Iraqi Freedom presents an interesting shift in the immediate availability of numerous fiction and non-fiction narratives often stemming from the accounts of the soldiers themselves. I refer to this shift as the immediacy of narrated combat. Iraqi Freedom, unlike Vietnam and Desert Storm, has seen an almost immediate response in terms of the narratives we see and read, including movies, television programs, CD-ROM compilations, video games, numerous videos brought back with, and blogs posted by, our men and women serving in, and subsequently returning from, Iraq, and literary non-fiction accounts of combat. Much as the Bush I Administration used a mass-mediated, pro-war narrative to spin a decisive Gulf War victory into a restoration of national zest for armed combat, the Bush II Administration, despite its efforts to create, deliver, and maintain a mass-mediated, pro-war narrative, has seen this narrative beset by counter-narratives that have eroded its credibility and ultimately revealed more rational and sober accounts of Iraqi Freedom.