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TheUnited State has one of thehighestmilitaryexpenditurein theworld,allgearedtoprotectingits citizenry. Itis the work of the USGovernment to protectfreedomof thecitizenry, who are expected to fund freedom protection strategiesmilitaryexpendituresthrough taxation1.However, thegovernmentusesdeceptivemethodsto marshalsufficientfundsfrom thepopulaceto supportmilitaryexpenditure.Perhaps,thefilm,TheAtomic Café,is one of thefilmsthat bestpresentthegovernmenttrickeryto thecitizens,soto increasemilitaryexpenditure2.Thispaper exemplifies the deceptive methods used by the US governmentduring the cold war period to force and justify increased governmentexpenditure.

TheAtomic Café is an American documentary filmproducedin 1982, directedby Pierce Rafferty, Kevin Rafferty, andJayne Loader. Thefilmwasreleasedat a periodof heightenednostalgiaandcynicism,which hadreducedfaithin thegovernmentfollowingtheWatergate scandalandtheVietnamese war3.Thedocumentary coversthecoldwarperiod,showingtheeraincreased buildup of nuclearbombs.Mostimportantly, the film evidences howtheUS Government exaggerated events of the cold war period and how thegovernment downplayed thedangersof theatomicbomb,calling it a gift from God.

Asillustratedby thedocumentary, nuclearweaponry createdin thechaosof theSecondWorld Warshapedtheafter wardecades. Theincreasedinventionsandtestingof theatomicbombs,combinedwith successivefearledto increasedmilitaryexpenditurein theUS.However, it was the governmentthat exaggeratedtherealsituationto increasethecitizenry fearto justifythe increasedmilitaryexpenditure.The US, through the NSC-68 document claimed that the Soviet hadsuccessfully built and tested atomic bombs. The report acclaimed thatthe soviet had also increased its army, in readiness for war with theUS and other western powers4.The report further exaggerated that the Soviet was devising methodsto weaken the US and her allies through violent means such asinstigating war amongst allies5.These increased propagandas prompted the regime adopt protectionistpolicies and increase its military expenditure.

Accordingto The Atomic Café, theReagan regimeincreasedpropagandaof possibleattacksfrom theSoviet, increasingfearamong thecitizenry. The increased fear prompted the citizens to supportmilitaryexpenditure,hoping to be protected in case of war outbreak6.The Reagan regime was well aware that the citizens valued theirfreedom, and would do anything to assist the government deteraggression against the nation. Through intensified propaganda, theregime was able to marshal increased funding for militaryexpenditure, hence the shift from protective to offensive policies7.

TheAtomic Café Aimed at revivingthecountryfrom theReagan forcedcivildefenseby elucidatingthepublicon themanydeceptionsthatthegovernmentwasusingto supportmilitaryexpenditure.Thefilmwasa counteractiveforceagainst theforcedcivildefensethatwasimpoverishingthecitizensthrough increasedtaxation.Throughironicaldepiction of the real situation, the film revealed the truth aboutthe war that thegovernmentwascovering. Additionally, thefilmmanagedto conveythedeceptivepropagandathatthegovernmentwasusingto justifythe expenditureonatomicbombs8.

Fromthe aforementioned, the US citizens value their national sovereignty,since it translates to freedom. The regimes of the cold war periodwere well aware of importance of freedom among the populace, and useddeceptive propagandas of possible attacks to create fear. Using theSoviet as the monster, the US convinced the citizens and increasedmilitary expenditure, giving the illusion that a robust militarywould protect freedom of the citizens.


Bruzzi,Stella. NewDocumentary.London: Routledge, 2006. Print

Erickson,Glenn, Rebeca Erickson, and Juha Lindroos. DvdSavant.Rockville: PointBlank, 2005. Print.

May,Ernest R. AmericanCold War Strategy: Interpreting NSC 68.Boston u.a: Bedford Books of St. Martin`s Press, 1993. Print

Sherry,Michael S. Inthe Shadow of War: The United States Since the 1930s.New Haven [u.a.: Yale Univ. Press, 1995. Print

TheAtomic Café. Accessed on Feb 4 2015. Retrieved from

1 Erickson, Glenn, Rebeca Erickson, and Juha Lindroos. Dvd Savant. Rockville: PointBlank, 2005. P. 13

2 Bruzzi, Stella. New Documentary. London: Routledge, 2006. P. 23

3 Ibid, p. 26

4 May, Ernest R. American Cold War Strategy: Interpreting NSC 68. Boston u.a: Bedford Books of St. Martin`s Press, 1993. Pp.8-9

5 Sherry, Michael S. In the Shadow of War: The United States Since the 1930s. New Haven [u.a.: Yale Univ. Press, 1995. p.18

6 Bruzzi, Stella. New Documentary. London: Routledge, 2006. P. 33

7 Ibid 34

8 Bruzzi, Stella. New Documentary. London: Routledge, 2006. P. 34

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