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This is something of a response to the Veil of Spooks blog that appeared about a week ago. It presented an interesting argument regarding the UNSC's propaganda tactics.
Consider the message board on board the Pillar of Autumn, especially the poster carrying the image of Earth and the inspiring words: "Fight For Her".
Like all military propaganda posters, this should invoke feelings of patriotism and duty in the reader, and so inspire him to continue the fight.
Fight For Her.
We all know that the Office of Naval Intelligence were brutally efficient in suppressing the true facts about the Human-Covenant War. As far as your average civilian is concerned, the brave men of the UNSCDF are holding their own against Covenant forces, and the war will soon be over. By letting out information only regarding human victories, ONI was able to create an atmosphere of security, as well as creating a surge in recruitment in the UNSCDF (ie: Ensign Lovell).
However, my question is, if you knew the truth about humanity's dire straits, and how horrific the war actually was - because regardless to what we see in the games, war is nothing like that, nothing at all - and not being conscripted into the Defense Force (I have little doubt that there was a UNSC-wide draft. All countries will resort to such measures once the situation gets desperate enough), would you join up? Would you serve, and help slow down the Covenant's advance, or would you simply run and hide. As for myself, I'd like to think I'd join up and do my bit, but when the time came to choose, I don't know if I would.