1887
Volume 30, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0155-0640
  • E-ISSN: 1833-7139

Abstract

Studies from a range of disciplinary perspectives have highlighted how the public rhetoric of the Bush administration has shaped the representation of the conflict which has followed 9/11. However, the literature in this area raises but does not itself address the question of how the administration’s use of ‘terror’, ‘terrorism’ and ‘terrorist(s)’ contributes to this representation. This paper addresses the question by providing a preliminary analysis of how these terms participate in the grammar of twelve of George W. Bush’s speeches since 9/11. Drawing on Systemic Functional Grammar, the analysis suggests that ‘terror’ has become interchangeable with ‘terrorism’ and ‘terrorist(s)’, resulting in the personification of ‘terror’ as an abstract agent. The implications of this construction are explored in relation to the literature on the rhetoric associated with the ‘war on terror’.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.2104/aral0719
2007-01-01
2019-09-17
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Abuaisha, H.
    2003 ‘The rhetoric of the “War on terror”’. Situation Analysis2: 62–72.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Bourdieu, P.
    1991Language and symbolic power. Cambridge: Polity Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. 1998Practical reason. Cambridge: Polity Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Bush, G. W.
    2001a ‘Remarks by the President Upon Arrival’. Washington D.C.: The White HouseAccessed26 March 2006. Available from:www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010916-2.html.
  5. 2001b ‘Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People’. Washington D.C.: The White House. Accessed26 March 2006. Available from: www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010920-8.html.
  6. 2002 ‘President Thanks World Coalition for Anti-Terrorism Efforts’. Washington D.C.: The White House. Accessed30 March 2006. Available from: www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/03/20020311-1.html.
  7. 2003a ‘President George Bush Discusses Iraq in National Press Conference’. Washington D.C.: The White House. Accessed3 April 2006. Available from: www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030306-8.html.
  8. 2003b ‘President Bush Addresses the Nation’. Washington D.C.: The White House. Accessed25 March 2006. Available from: www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030319-17.html.
  9. 2003c ‘President Bush Announces Major Combat Operations in Iraq Have Ended’. Washington D.C.: The White House. Accessed2 April 2006. Available from: www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/05/20030501-15.html.
  10. 2003d ‘President Addresses the Nation’. Washington D.C.: The White House. Accessed2 April 2006. Available from: www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/09/20030907-1.html
  11. 2003e ‘President Bush Addresses United Nations General Assembly’. Washington D.C.: The White House. Accessed2 April 2006. Available from: www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/09/20030923-4.html.
  12. 2003f ‘President Bush Addresses Nation on the Capture of Saddam Hussein’. Washington D.C.: The White House. Accessed2 April 2006. Available from: www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/12/20031214-3.html.
  13. 2004a ‘State of the Union Address’. Washington D.C.: The White House. Accessed2 April 2006. Available from:www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/01/20040120-7.html.
  14. 2004b ‘President Bush Reaffirms Resolve to War on Terror, Iraq and Afghanistan’. Washington D.C.: The White House. Accessed2 April 2006. Available from: www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/03/20040319-3.html.
  15. 2004c ‘President Outlines Steps to Help Iraq Achieve Democracy and Freedom’. Washington D.C.: The White House. Accessed2 April 2006. Available from: www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2004/05/20040524-10.html.
  16. Butt, G ; Lukin, A ; Matthiessen, C.
    2004 ‘Grammar – the first covert operation of war’. Discourse & Society15 (2-3): 267–290. doi: 10.1177/0957926504041020
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926504041020 [Google Scholar]
  17. Candlin, C.
    1997 ‘General editor’s preface’. InThe construction of professional discourse, edited by Gunnarsson, B-L. ; Linell, P. ; Nordberg, B. . London: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Ching, M.
    2003 ‘Initial Presidential speeches on the Dec. 7, 1941, and Sept. 11, 2001, attacks: A linguistic/rhetorical analysis’. Southern Journal of Linguistics25 (1-2): 1–15.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Cronick, K.
    2002 ‘The discourse of President George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden: A rhetorical analysis and hermeneutic interpretation’. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research(July)3 (3). Accessed23 April 2005. Available from: www.qualitative-research.net/fqs-texte/3-02/3-02cronick-e.htm.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Eckert, J.
    2005 ‘The politics of security’. Working paper number 76. Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology Working Papers, Max Planck Gesellschaft.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. Edwards, J.
    2004 ‘After the fall’. Discourse & Society15 (2-3): 155–184. doi: 10.1177/0957926504041015
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926504041015 [Google Scholar]
  22. Fairclough, N.
    1992Discourse and social change. Cambridge: Polity Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Foucault, M.
    1979Discipline and punish: The birth of the prison. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. 1980Power/knowledge: Selected interviews and other writings 1972-1977. New York: Pantheon Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Gearty, C.
    2003 ‘Terrorism and morality’. European Human Rights Law Review4: 377–383.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Getler, M.
    2003The language of terrorism. Washington Post Ombudsman. September21, p.6.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Giddens, A.
    1991Modernity and self identity. Cambridge: Polity Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. 1994 ‘Institutional reflexivity and modernity’. InThe polity reader in social theory, edited by Giddens, A. ; Held, D. ; Hubert, D. ; Seymour, D. ; Thompson, J. . Cambridge: Polity Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Giddens A. ; Held, D. ; Hubert, D. ; Seymour, D. ; Thompson, J.
    1994 ‘Introduction’. InThe polity reader in social theory, edited by Giddens, A. ; Held, D. ; Hubert, D. ; Seymour, D. ; Thompson, J. . Cambridge: Polity Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Graham, P ; Keenan, T ; Dowd, A-M.
    2004 ‘A call to arms at the end of history: A discourse–historical analysis of George W. Bush’s declaration of war on terror’. Discourse & Society15 (2-3): 199–221. doi: 10.1177/0957926504041017
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926504041017 [Google Scholar]
  31. Habermas, J.
    1984The theory of communicative action, volume one: Reason and the rationalization of society, translated by McCarthy, T. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. (Original work published 1981).
    [Google Scholar]
  32. 1987The theory of communicative action, volume two: Lifeworld and system: A critique of functionalist reason, translated by McCarthy, T. Boston, MA: Beacon Press. (Original work published 1985).
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Halliday, M.
    1978Language as social semiotic: The social interpretation of language and meaning. London: Edward Arnold.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. 1985An introduction to functional grammar. London: Edward Arnold.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. 1998 ‘On the grammar of pain’. Functions of Language5 (1): 1–32. doi: 10.1075/fol.5.1.02hal
    https://doi.org/10.1075/fol.5.1.02hal [Google Scholar]
  36. Halliday, M. ; Hasan, R.
    1985Language, context and text. Geelong: Deakin.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Hammersley, M.
    2001 ‘Conversation analysis and discourse analysis: Methods or paradigms?’ Discourse & Society14 (6): 751–781. doi: 10.1177/09579265030146004
    https://doi.org/10.1177/09579265030146004 [Google Scholar]
  38. Lakoff, G.
    2005 ‘War on terror, rest in peace’. Alternet. Accessed16 February 2007. Available from: www.alternet.org/story/23810/.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Lazar, A ; Lazar, M.
    2004 ‘The discourse of the new world order: “Out-casting” the double face of threat’. Discourse & Society15 (2-3): 223–242. doi: 10.1177/0957926504041018
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926504041018 [Google Scholar]
  40. Leudar, I ; Marsland, V ; Nekvapil, J.
    2004 ‘On membership categorization: ‘us’, ‘them’ and ‘doing violence’ in political discourse’. Discourse & society15 (2-3): 243–266. doi: 10.1177/0957926504041019
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926504041019 [Google Scholar]
  41. Makdisi, S.
    2002 ‘Spectres of “terrorism”’. Interventions4 (2): 265–278. doi: 10.1080/13698010220144324
    https://doi.org/10.1080/13698010220144324 [Google Scholar]
  42. McArthur, T.
    2002 ‘English and “the war on terror”’. English Today69 (18:1): 3–7.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. Norton, C.
    2003 ‘Marines versus Fedayeen: Interpretive naming and constructing the “other”’. Bad subjects 63. Accessed13 May 2005. Available from: eserver.org/bs/63/norton.html.
  44. Record, J.
    2003Bounding the global war on terrorism. Carlisle, PA: Strategic Studies Institute.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Rudd, P.
    2004 ‘Weapons of mass destruction: The unshared referents of Bush’s rhetoric’. Pragmatics14 (4): 499–525. doi: 10.1075/prag.14.4.05rud
    https://doi.org/10.1075/prag.14.4.05rud [Google Scholar]
  46. Saraceni, M.
    2003 ‘The strange case of Dr Blair and Mr Bush: Counting their words to solve a mystery’. English Today19 (3): 3–13. doi: 10.1017/S026607840300302X
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S026607840300302X [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.2104/aral0719
Loading
  • Article Type: Research Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error