Visual Semiotics Theory

Authored by: Sandra Moriarty

Handbook of Visual Communication

Print publication date:  November  2004
Online publication date:  December  2004

Print ISBN: 9780805841787
eBook ISBN: 9781410611581
Adobe ISBN: 9781135636531

10.4324/9781410611581.ch15

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Abstract

In the movie 13 Days, a chronicle of the Cuban missile crisis, there is a scene in which Bob McNamara tries to explain to an admiral, who is in the process of escalating the military response, why his orders are wrong-headed. McNamara says that military options are a language and the Kennedy administration is trying to teach the Russians a new language. He was referring to military actions as the communication of subtle diplomatic messages, rather than as a series of predictable military escalations. In other words, a bombing raid is a message with a number of meanings, just as the absence of a bombing raid is another type of message.

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