Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rhetoric in the 'War on Terror'


Maryam Sakeenah


“The difference between today's pseudoscholarship and expert jargon about terrorism and the literature about Third World national liberation guerrillas two decades ago is interesting. Most of the earlier material was subject to the slower and therefore more careful procedures of print; to produce a piece of scholarship you had to go through the motions of exploring history, citing books, using footnotes--actually attempting to prove a point by developing an argument. Today's discourse on terrorism is an altogether streamlined thing. Its scholarship is yesterday's newspaper or today's CNN bulletin. Its gurus are journalists with obscure, even ambiguous, backgrounds. Most writing about terrorism is brief, pithy, totally devoid of the scholarly armature of evidence, proof, argument. Its paradigm is the television interview, the spot news announcement, the instant gratification one associates with the Reagan White House's "reality time," the evening news.”
(Edward Said, ‘The Essential Terrorist’, The Nation, 1986).
“The West is deluged daily by newsmakers and the conveyors and interpreters of their words and actions. Since 11th September, the average reader of newspapers, magazines and the Internet; listener to government officials, media experts and academics; and watcher of television could judge that the West is winning the war that intensified on that day. An imagined but plausible synopsis of this news could be gisted in the following breathless, headline-like manner:
“Victory in Afghanistan, Taliban destroyed. Bin Laden and al Zawahiri cowering in Afghan caves. Al Qaeda remnants soon to be captured. Democratic regime in Kabul. Enthusiasm for Islamism and jihad waning. Israeli Prime Minister is a Man of Peace. War on Terror is not a War on Islam. Terrorists hate the US for its freedom, not policies. Islamists hate America for what it is, not what it does. Victory in Iraq. Iraq nears secular government, democracy, sovereignty.”
(Anonymous, ‘Imperial Hubris’, 2004).
‘Rhetoric’, understood as the art of using language persuasively to the achievement of specific ends, is a politically needful tool, especially in the context of contemporary politics. The strategic use of language can effectively influence thinking and formulate attitudes, and hence is an important element in moulding public opinion on mattes of significance. Kenneth Burke stated: “The most characteristic concern of rhetoric is the manipulation of men’s beliefs for political ends… the basic function of rhetoric is the use of words by human agents to form attitudes or to induce actions in other human agents.”
This paper attempts to examine how rhetoric has been used as a linguistic ploy and weapon in the War on Terrorism by the United States and its allies in order to garner public approbation for the means and methods employed. It analyzes the nature and usage of rhetoric both by the government and the media.

Language is a powerful tool. It does not merely give neutral expression to thought, but has a potency to create its own subjective reality and shape the way the recipient of the language perceives reality. Hence its effective usage is a political necessity, an indispensable tool for demagogues, politicians, leaders, warlords as they seek to tinker with public opinion and keep it as a comfortable reservoir of support for their moves_ be they based on ideology or expediency. Rhetoric does the trick.
It did the trick post Nine Eleven effectively_ simply due to the magic of the word ‘Terrorism’ which has strong emotive tones within it and draws instant condemnation and judgement. It is enough to condemn an act as ‘terrorism’ for it to generate a consensus on its inexcusable criminality and be established as illegitimate, barbaric, insane, unpardonable. Nine Eleven was not only extraordinarily theatrical terrorism but also the onset of an unconventional ‘war’ against the same, fought with a sense of moral righteousness and jingoistic fervour. The fatal day marked a paradigm shift in international politics on the one hand and domestic policy in the US on the other. To make the change be lumped by the public, it was important to kick up war hype, keep fear and insecurity on an all-time high and present the situation as a classic case of Good Versus Evil. To achieve this, rhetoric had to do the trick. And it did. Kim Walker writes in “The Rhetoric of Terrorism and Life after 9/11”, “Since 9/11, political and cultural climate has become increasingly febrile as governments and their agencies ramp up their rhetoric on terrorism with devastating social and inter-subjective consequences. Terrorism hence becomes a strategic device deployed by a range of actors and entities to manipulate and undermine the ‘Western Way of Life.’ The rhetoric of terrorism is designed to propagate the politics of fear and anxiety. Our task is not to be cowed down by terrorism’s relentless assault on our intellects and sensibilities.” Edward Said writes much the same thing in ‘The Essential Terrorist’: “as a word and concept, Terrorism has acquired an extraordinary status in public discourse. It has spawned the uses of language, rhetoric and argument that are frightening for their capacity in mobilizing public opinion, gaining legitimacy and provoking murderous action. The elevation of Terrorism to a national security threat has deflected careful scrutiny of the government’s actions and policy.”

For one, the rhetoric used by the US government and media in the wake of the 9/11 attacks made it clear that America was defining for itself a new kind of morality based on the deep divisions of ‘us and them’, somewhat like ‘We the Good and True have been attacked by Them the Bad, Ugly and Evil.” Robert Fisk, writing in The Independent in March 2002, opines that American morality has been distorted after 9/11.
President Bush stated in his 9/11 speech in Washington that “our way of life and our very freedom” has come under attack. “Today, our nation saw evil_ the worst of human nature_ and we responded with the best of America. We stand together to win the War against Terrorism. We go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.”
On September 20, 2001, the President made another address ringing with bravado: “We have been called to defend freedom. On September the eleventh, enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country… freedom itself was under attack.” He spoke of the perpetrators as “the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the twentieth century” and reiterated that Terrorism was a “threat to our way of life… we are in a fight for our principles… this is a fight of all those who believe in progress and pluralism, tolerance and freedom.” When he announced the U.S. air strikes against Afghanistan, President Bush said, "We're a peaceful nation. This is the calling of the United States of America, the most free nation in the world, a nation built on fundamental values, that rejects hate, rejects violence, rejects murderers, rejects evil. And we will not tire."
The language employed by the White House emphasized the good old United States of America believing in democracy, freedom and peace pitted against an evil ideology determined to destroy all that. It presented America’s strategic designs to fight the ‘war on terror’ as a noble mission embarked upon to save goodness and truth from vile, barbaric enemies. What is interesting to note is the constant recurrence of the refrain ‘evil’ as opposed to ‘good’ in the rhetoric emanating from the White House. The media picked up the rhetoric readily. A classic example is quoted by Arundhati Roy in ‘The Algebra of Infinite Justice, September 2001, when an American newscaster said, “Good and evil rarely manifest themselves as clearly as they did (on 9/11). People who we don’t know massacred people who we do. And they did so with contemptuous glee.” The purpose, of course, in presenting the War on Terror as a moralistic struggle of good versus evil to rescue the Western Way of Life was to seek approval from the public of the not-so-good and not-so-moral means used in the War on Terror. Winning the ‘war’ was a sacred goal, hence any means used would be legitimate. According to Edward Said, this is almost criminal as it ‘allows the U.S to do what it wishes anywhere in the world.’ The Rhetoric of Terrorism is fabricated in order to keep the public in a constant state of fear and insecurity, so as to justify the government’s international adventures. “Any threat to its interests, whether oil in the Middle East or its geostrategic interests elsewhere is labelled as ‘terrorism’… terrorism is magnified and blown up to insensate proportions… this focus obscures the enormous damage done by the U.S militarily, environmentally, economically on a world scale which far dwarfs anything terrorism might do.” (Edward Said, ‘They Call All Resistance Terrorism,’ International Socialist Review, September 2001).
With ‘all that jazz’ about values, democracy and freedom, it is, after all, the rhetorical machinery churning out buzzwords for sale. Noam Chomsky demonstrates how phrases like "free speech," the "free market," and the "free world" have little to do with freedom. “Among the myriad freedoms claimed by the U.S. government are the freedom to murder, annihilate, and dominate other people. The freedom to finance and sponsor despots and dictators across the world. The freedom to train, arm, and shelter terrorists. The freedom to topple democratically elected governments. The freedom to amass and use weapons of mass destruction-chemical, biological, and nuclear. The freedom to go to war against any country whose government it disagrees with. And, most terrible of all, the freedom to commit these crimes against humanity in the name of "justice," in the name of "righteousness," in the name of "freedom." Attorney General John Ashcroft declared that the freedom of the Americans is "not the grant of any government or document, but. . .our endowment from God.” Arundhati Roy comments: “Basically, we're confronted with a country armed with a mandate from heaven. Perhaps this explains why the U.S. government refuses to judge itself by the same moral standards by which it judges others. Its technique is to position itself as the well-intentioned giant whose good deeds are confounded in strange countries by their scheming natives, whose markets it's trying to free, whose societies it's trying to modernize, whose women it's trying to liberate, whose souls it's trying to save. Perhaps this belief in its own divinity also explains why the U.S. government has conferred upon itself the right and freedom to murder and exterminate people "for their own good."
Bush concluded his 20th September 2001 speech hence: “I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people. The course of it is not known yet the outcome is certain. Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty have always been at war, and we know God is not neutral between them. We are assured of the rightness of our cause and confident in the victories to come. May God watch over the United States of America.” Interestingly, the operation in Afghanistan was named ‘Infinite Justice’, which Muslims objected, was only a Divine attribute. The name was then replaced by another fantastical one, explosively overblown with self-righteousness and cocksure certainty of success: ‘Enduring Freedom.’ Some rhetorical mastery!

Closely allied to this dimension is the use of the rhetoric of a moral crusade on the lines of traditional Christian rhetoric of a type that may have come from Pope Urban the Second in A.D 1099. Mainstream newspapers started developing a mindset for religious war. Abidullah Jan writing in ‘The Genesis of the Final Crusade’ lists some such article headlines: “This is a Religious War: September 11 was Only the Beginning”, “Yes, this is About Islam”, “The Core of Islamic Rage”, “Jihad, 101”, “Islamic Terror”, “Holy Warriors Escalate the Old War on a New Front”, etc. On September 16, 2001, the BBC reported Bush had declared a ‘crusade’ when the president remarked, “This crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take a long time.” With the ripples of outrage it created in the Muslim world, the apology duly came. However, five months later, the President repeated the word while addressing US troops in which he termed the war as ‘an incredibly important crusade to defend freedom.’ George W Bush, who describes himself as a ‘born again Christian’, has been quoted by Bob Woodward in his book ‘Plan of Attack’ describing himself as a ‘messenger of God’ ‘doing the Lord’s will.’ Jan states, “Regurgitating the threat to the sanctity of ‘our way of life’ and ‘our values’ is part of the plan to make people feel threatened.” It is important, of course, to use rhetoric to heighten insecurity, so that the rationale to keep the War on Terror going stays pumped up.

Rhetoric has effectively generated fear in the American public mind. The Department of Homeland Security is at pains to prove that ‘the threat to U.S interests from someone, somewhere in the world, has increased.’ The Anonymous writer of ‘Imperial Hubris’ comments, “We hear experts warning audiences watching CNN that the next al Qaeda attack on our country will involve WMD. The warnings are then complemented by more otherworldly advice to buy duct tape and plastic sheets to wrap their homes and make them airtight, WMD proof fortresses. When faced with vague threats, Washington does what it always does: it scares the hell out of people.”

The use of rhetoric has helped the ‘ideologization’ of the War on Terror. This has eclipsed the true ground realities and the actual root causes of the conflict, turning attention away from them. Particularly regrettable is the inability to understand terrorism as a desperate reaction by the socially outcast, economically deprived and politically oppressed. Terrorism, in fact, is a tactic used by disaffected individuals and communities, not an ideology. Instead, terrorism is seen as an opposing, challenging, hostile and ‘barbaric’ ‘evil ideology’ opposed to all that the West stands for and believes in. This is extremely misguided and helps divide the world into opposing ideological camps, lending strength to the dangerous ‘clash of civilizations’ thesis. George W. Bush expressed the grandiosity of this ‘clash of ideologies’ in a statement: “We’ve entered a great ideological conflict we did nothing to invite.” Journalist Margie Burns comments on this: “This statement should sound alarm bells for the nation and the world. What does Bush mean by an “ideological conflict”? All previous grandiose Bush pronouncements on global conflict have focused on terrorism and the “war on terror.” Bush is trying to present terrorism as an “ideology,” in an us-or-them global conflict, with Terrorism replacing Communism. Every thinking person knows that terrorism is not an “ideology.” Terrorist acts are a tactic. We know by now exactly who uses them, too: individuals and small groups use guerrilla tactics when other tactics are not available to them, against a much stronger governmental power or foreign power.” The New York Times reported on July 25, 2005, “The Bush administration is… pushing the idea that the long-term struggle is as much an ideological battle as a military mission.”

The ring of patriotic jingoism defines America’s rhetoric. It hedges in moral judgement within its own delineations, defining values as ‘American’ or ‘un American.’ Arundhati Roy writes in her book ‘War Talk’ that the term ‘anti American’ is used in order to discredit and inaccurately define its critics. “Once someone is branded ‘anti American’ (like anti Semitic), the chances are they will be judged before they will be heard and the argument will be lost in the welter of hurt national pride. To call someone anti-American, indeed, to be anti-American, is not just racist, it's a failure of the imagination. An inability to see the world in terms other than those that the establishment has set out for you: If you're not a Bushie, you're a Taliban. If you don't love us, you hate us. If you're not Good, you're Evil. If you're not with us, you're with the terrorists.” This is the ‘imperial hubris’ the Anonymous writer mentions in his book by the same name_ the arrogance and self-centredness in interpreting events and people outside the United States. After the July 7 2005 bombings in London, G8 leaders denounced it as an attack on ‘our way of life’, and declared that they would never let the ‘Islamists change our values.’ The connection that the rhetoric of “Islamist terrorism” makes with Muslims and Arabs has led to dangerous racial profiling and has damaged the image of Islam and Muslims in the Western public mind. Discrimination and prejudice against Muslims in the West is on record high levels.

In his 9/11 address, Bush said: “The US was targeted for the attack because we are the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.” In his historic speech of 20th September 2001, President Bush explained why the United States is hated: “They hate our freedoms_ our freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other… the terrorists kill not merely to end lives, but to disrupt and end a way of life… Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of freedom depends on us.” This rhetoric of ‘they hate us for our freedom’ became a trumpeted theme in the mainstream media, insulating the American public from any recognition or realization of the elements of self-interest, opportunism and exploitation in American foreign policy that affect so many lives_ many of them Muslim. Arundhati Roy states: “People are being asked to make two leaps of faith here. First, to assume that The Enemy is who the US government says it is, even though it has no substantial evidence to support that claim. And second, to assume that The Enemy's motives are what the US government says they are, and there's nothing to support that either.” In fact, motives are quite the opposite. The U.S is not hated for what it is, but for what it has done. The smokescreen of rhetoric, however, keeps a dispassionate analysis of the real grievances of America’s ‘enemies’ at bay. Roy said in a speech commending Noam Chomsky: “If people in the United States want a real answer to the question of ‘why do they hate us?’(as opposed to the ones in the Idiot's Guide to Anti-Americanism, that is: "Because they're jealous of us," "Because they hate freedom," "Because they're losers," "Because we're good and they're evil"), I'd say, read Chomsky on U.S. military interventions in Indochina, Latin America, Iraq, Bosnia, the former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, and the Middle East. If ordinary people in the United States read Chomsky, perhaps their questions would be framed a little differently. Perhaps it would be: "Why don't they hate us more than they do?" or "Isn't it surprising that September 11 didn't happen earlier?"
The Anonymous writer of ‘Imperial Hubris’ calls the robotic repetition of ‘they hate our freedom’ “errant and potentially fatal nonsense.” He states: “There is no record of a Muslim urging to wage jihad to destroy democracy or credit unions, or universities. What the US does in formulating and implementing policies affecting the Muslim world is infinitely more inflammatory.” The US must recognize this to be able to redress the grievances of the Muslim world that are not without basis. However, such rhetoric deflects attention to the real causes and prolongs America’s Beauty Sleep. Eyes Wide Shut. In the backdrop, the corpses keep piling up.

Empathy is absolutely necessary to be able to understand the terrorism phenomenon and begin a curative strategy. It is a natural humanizing element we all are gifted with, enabling us to understand one another as simply sharers in a common essential humanity. Rhetoric checks empathy by presenting the enemy as subhuman, evil, beastly. It ensures that the ‘human connection’ is not established, dehumanizing the enemy. Rhetoric tends to talk about the other side as the abstract ‘enemy’ or as a subhuman, demonic ‘Axis of Evil.’ Rhetoric has worked hard to deflect sympathy from victims of the West’s brutal wars and misadventures since decades. It has divided the world into ‘The West and the Rest’, and presented the West to be on a divinely assigned mission of liberation against subhuman lower-order creatures who must be taught some civilization. In 1937 Winston Churchill said of the Palestinians: “I do not agree that the dog in a manger has the final right to the manger, even though he may have lain there for a very long time. I do not admit that right. I do not admit, for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America, or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher grade race, a more worldly-wise race, to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.” In 1969, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir said, "Palestinians do not exist." Prime Minister Menachem Begin called Palestinians "two-legged beasts." Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir called them "'grasshoppers' who could be crushed."
Kyle Fedler says, “When we demonize our enemies we see ourselves as totally righteous and the abstract enemy as totally evil.” (On the Rhetoric of a War on Terror, September 2001). This is what makes the methods and means of the war on terror brutal, without moral restraints, conducted in the self-assuredness of a high moral ground. Again, it is rhetoric that comes to the rescue when human rights are blatantly violated. This is what the euphemism ‘collateral damage’ was invented for_ for the 150, 000 + dead of Iraq and Afghanistan. The problem of America’s high-tech killing machines destroying so much of life other than specific targets is solved through the use of imaginative language.

The US adopted the pre-emptive strategy, as made clear in several speeches and statements by the US President, the adoption of the maniacal ‘National Missile Defence’ system or the ‘Patriot Act’ and a host of other legislation legitimizing all ways the regime deemed fit to be used in its righteous crusade against terrorism. In his speech on September 20, 2001, President Bush made it clear that the world had no choice but to ‘be with us or with the terrorists.’ The rhetoric here is in absolute terms, reeking of inflexible imperial hubris. The President, by calling the war ‘a task that does not end’, hinted at the perpetuation of America’s ‘War on Terror’ for achieving its strategic aims. Former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld reinforces the argument: "I say that victory is persuading the American people and the rest of the world that this is not a quick matter that's going to be over in a month or a year or even five years. It is something that we need to do so that we can continue to live in a world with powerful weapons and with people who are willing to use those powerful weapons. And we can do that as a country. And that would be a victory, in my view."
The government took an aggressive posture, yet all the while, the ignorance at the base of the rhetoric and war planning remained there. Perhaps this is why the counter terrorism strategy devised by the gurus at Washington fell flat. Assessing the precise nature of a terrorist threat requires understanding the motivations and grievances of the terrorist, their mode of operation and their capabilities. The American public, and even the government were pitifully ignorant of all of these on many counts. Those at the helm too were unable to answer some fundamental, crucial questions. They knew little about the socio-political dynamics, the cultural imperatives, the history and background of the peoples and the lands they set out to conquer. Philip Heymann comments: “Faced with uncertainties, the Bush administration defined the dangers we faced as ‘war’, demanding and justifying a radical shifting of our domestic and international priorities.” Rhetoric in this case acts as a masque for the underlying ignorance, and perpetuates the state of ignorance by feeding lies to the public, seductively wrapped up.
The rhetoric of President Bush in the wake of 9/11 and after had the thunderous roar of military drums. Clearly, the imperious demands were non-negotiable, and the terms were tough: “Hand over the terrorists or share in their fate.” And, “We will make no distinction between the terrorists and those who harbour them.” The President attempted a globalization of his grand campaign: “What is at stake is not just America’s freedom. This is a world’s fight. (And, lo and behold…) This is a civilization’s fight.” He also made it amply clear that the war will be long and terrible: “We will direct every resource at our command, every necessary weapon of war, to the disruption and defeat of the global terror network. Now this war will not have a decisive liberation of territory or a swift conclusion. Americans should not expect one battle but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen.”

This, clearly, is the rhetoric of war. It comes in handy and serves a number of purposes. Hence the term “War on Terror.” Warfare is often used as a pretext for the suspension of human rights. Just like the term ‘enemy combatant’ was invented to circumvent the Geneva Conventions that apply to ‘prisoners of war’, the term ‘war on terror’ circumvents the necessity to abide by canons of law. According to linguist George Lakoff, terrorists are a relatively smaller number of individuals as opposed to the sizes of countries involved. War on the other hand is about nation-states and armies. Clearly, the phrase ‘War on Terror’ is built on a disproportion. As a result of this kind of rhetoric, Bush becomes a ‘war president’ with ‘war powers’, which imply that “ordinary protections do not have to be observed. A war president has extraordinary powers.” Lakoff further states, “Terror is a general state internal to a person. The word activates fear, which activates the desire for security no matter by what means, which is what the neocons want. The War on Terror is not about stopping you from being afraid, but about making you afraid. And the War on Terror never ends. There can be no peace treaty with terror. It is a prescription for keeping neocons in power indefinitely. In three words, War On Terror, they have enacted vast political changes.” Calling this ‘war’ also gives legitimacy to retaliatory acts of terror, as in the context of war, they merely become permissible offensive strikes.

The word ‘war’ reeks of militarism. Calling the US response strategy a ‘war on terror’ meant the use of decisive military force against a dissipated, hard to identify and unconventional enemy. According to Philip Heymann, “The danger is that for several reasons, the use of the term ‘war’ leads us in the wrong direction. The very term suggests a primacy for military force; that is what war has been always about. We are captives of the dictum, ‘to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.’” Resultantly, the military has put in all its pride and strength into an asymmetrical, ill-advised struggle against a threat which needs to be tackled more insightfully and wisely, not merely by muscle-power.
The phrase "War on Terror" has been referred to as a false metaphor. Jason Burke opines: “There are multiple ways of defining terrorism, and all are subjective. Terrorism is after all, a tactic. The term 'war on terrorism' is thus effectively nonsensical." A "war" against terrorism is plainly wrong since terrorist attacks are considered criminal acts like murder and therefore should be investigated by the police with the perpetrators brought to justice and given a fair trial in a court of law. The British Director of Public Protection, with reference to the July 7 attacks in London, refused to buy the ‘war on terror’ rhetoric. “London is not a battlefield and we are not soldiers. There is no War on Terror in the streets of London. The fight against terrorism here is not a war. It is simply the prevention of crime and the enforcement of our laws.” (Ken Mc Donalds, reported by The Times, January 24, 2007.)
Ann Coulter puts in some black humour with regard to the use of the term ‘war’ in “Drop Bombs, Take Names Later”: “There is no time to be precise about locating the exact individuals involved in a particular terrorist attack. Those involved include anyone, anywhere. We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren’t punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler. We carpet-bombed German cities and killed civilians. That was war. And this is war.”

The line between ‘terrorism’ and ‘counter terrorism’ (or ‘the war on terrorism’) becomes indistinguishable here. Kyle Fedler writes: “Invoking the language of war permits the direct and intentional killing of innocent people. So how is this any different from terrorism? If terrorism is the direct and intentional killing of innocent people with the purpose for achieving a greater goal they are not directly linked with, is this not just terrorism?” The underlying logic of terrorist attacks, as well as "retaliatory" wars against governments that "support terrorism," is the same: both punish citizens for the actions of their governments.
The power of rhetoric which comes with all the authority and glamorous technology of the world’s hyperpower has indeed taken a heavy toll on public opinion. It has in fact, with its skewed up morality, perverted the integrity of the human conscience, head and heart. As a result, prejudices are established as fact, myth as reality. The masses are benumbed to the terrible atrocities in the guise of the ‘War on Terror.’ And questions cannot be asked. As Bush the Senior had said, “What We Say, Goes.”


• Anonymous, “Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror”, Brassey’s, Inc, USA, 2004.
• Jan, Abidullah, “The Genesis of the Final Crusade,” Pragmatic Publishing, Canada, 2006.
• Heymann, Philip B, “Terrorism, Freedom and Security”, MIT Press, UK, 2003.
• Walker, Kim, “Alert But Not Alarmed: The Rhetoric of Terrorism and Life After Nine Eleven,” Online Acrobat Reader edition, May 2006.
• Speech by President Bush at the Oval Office, Washington D.C on the evening of September 11, 2001.
• Speech by President Bush in the Joint Session of the Congress on September 20, 2001.
• Herman, Ed, “Why Do They Hate Us”,
• Fisk, Robert, “U.S Morality has been Distorted After 9/11”, The Independent Digital, UK, March 2002.
• Cornwall, Rupert, “War on Terror Slips Out of Bush Vocabulary”, The Independent on Sunday, Washington, July 28, 2005.
• Roy, Arundhati, “Confronting Empire” (excerpts from her book ‘War Talk’), Southend Press, 2003,
• Roy, Arundhati, “The Algebra of Infinite Justice,” The Guardian, September 29, 2001.
• Fedler, Kyle, “On the Rhetoric of A War on Terrorism”, September 17, 2001,
• Said, Edward, “The Essential Terrorist”, April 1986, reproduced by The Nation Online edition.
• Said, Edward, “They Call All Resistance Terrorism”, International Socialist Review, September 2001.
• Berkeley Linguistics Professor George Lakoff’s Interview “George Lakoff Dissects the War on Terror”, August 2004,
• Sakeenah, Maryam, “The Ideologization of Contemporary Conflict,”
•, “War on Terror”.