reportage war on terror headline in either case the

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Unformatted text preview: s employed not only to portray the enemy, but also to frame the entire war on terror. The Western leaders and the mass media made an effort to construct this international conflict as a persecution of criminals, not as a war between nation-states or between the West and the Orient. Such an approach is evident in the frequent use of the crim*(-e/s, -inal/s) morpheme (33 hits). It is also indirectly supported by the dichotomy between the representation of casualties: 186 Chapter IV (121) [Gingrich:] After the 1996 attack on Kobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, where 19 of our military personnel were murdered, we failed to apply the necessary pressure to force the Saudi Government to deal with terrorists based on their soil. (TERRORISM IS A CRIME conceptual metaphor) He [Rumsfeld ] can be brutally frank, as he has been when discussing the deaths of civilians. “There’s no question but that when one is engaged militarily, there is going to be unintended loss of life. It has always been the case. It certainly will be the case in this instance. And there’s no question but that I and anyone involved regrets the unintended loss of life,” he said. Bob Marshall-Andrews (Lab, Medway) said that to try bin Laden at an international court, even in his absence, would signal to the Islamic world that he was accused of an international crime against humanity. (TERRORISM IS A CRIME conceptual metaphor) In these examples killing American military personnel and American civilians is described as a crime, while killing Afghan civilians as an unintended loss of life, the key difference being the intentionality and declared regret on the part of the perpetrators. However, if the deaths of the civilians ha[ve] always been the case [and] will be the case in this instance, it seems a bit cynical to claim that regret significantly changes the qualification of the action. The change seems to apply at the verbal level, not the factual level. Construing the war on terror as a law-enforcing operation invites the use of the Wild West rhetoric, where the good sheriff persecutes the evil criminals. Such vague references ring in generating “most wanted” lists and setting a price on the heads of the Al Qaeda leaders. These efforts are sometimes contradicted by the policy makers themselves (see 122), which adds to the general conceptual confusion, which resulted from the war on terror: (122) We were at war, but we insisted on reacting as if these were problems for the criminal justice system. Terrorism of this kind is not a law enforcement problem. It is a diplomatic, military, and intelligence agency problem. The conceptualisation problem appeared at the very onset of the war on terror policy-building and -reporting, when President Bush used the word A qualitative analysis of war news 187 crusade. In the period analysed here he is trying to clarify the issue and with much determination denies that the war has any religious or cultural innuendoes (see Silberstein 2002, see Chapter Three, Section 7). Simultaneously, however, he uses r...
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This essay was uploaded on 02/24/2014 for the course LING 1100 taught by Professor Friedman during the Fall '09 term at Cornell University (Engineering School).

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