Jackson, author, writing the War on Terrorism: language, politics, and counter-terrorism, Manchester University Press 2005

Download 43.3 Kb.
Date conversion29.05.2016
Size43.3 Kb.
Terror Talk K


Before we can debate the content of the resolution, we must first look how we debate it. If our words are rooted in harmful discourse, than we must reject the resolution, a-priori. This is key because the nature of discourse is central to functioning of actions. With regard to the notion of “terrorism [sic],” the practice of terrorism [sic] is predicated upon a discourse. These beliefs determine what kinds of terrorism [sic] occur- words are turned into reality, so the language of terror describes the operations of terrorists [sic]

(Richard Jackson, author, writing the War on Terrorism: language, politics, and counter-terrorism, Manchester University Press 2005, pgs. 8-9)

The War on terrorism [sic]' therefore. is simultaneously a set of actual practices - wars. covert operations. agencies and institutions — and an accompanying series of assumptions. beliefs, iustifications and narratives - it is an entire language or discourse. At the most basic level. the practice of counter-terrorism [sic] is predicated on and determined by the language of counter-terrorism [sic]. The language of counter-terrorism [sic] incorporates a series of assumptions. beliefs and knowledge about the nature of terrorism [sic] and terrorists [sic]. These beliefs then determine what kinds of counter—terrorism [sic] practices are reasonable or unreasonable. appropriate or inappropriate: if terrorists [sic] are to be inherently evil. for example. then eradicating them appears appnsite while negotiating with them appears absurd. The actual practice of counter-terrorism[sic] gives concrete expression to the language of counter-terrorism [sic] — in effect. it turns the initial words into reality. Language and practice. in other words. are inextricably linked: they mutually reinforce each other: together they co-constitute social and political reality. For this reason.understanding the language of counter-terrorism [sic] is essential for a fully informed understanding of the ‘war on terrorism [sic]`. Unfortunately. apart from Some notable exceptions {see Collins and Glover 2002: Murphy 2f}{J3: Silberstein 2002: Zulaika and Douglass 1996). studies on the language of counter-terrorism are few and far between. This book seeks to fill this gap through a systematic and critical analysis of the main features and aspects of the language of the 'war on terrorism’.

Good v. Evil rhetoric dehumanizes and supernaturalizes terrorists [sic] to demand their extermination

Richard Jackson, Lecturer in International Politics at The University of Manchester, 05,

Language Power and Politics: Critical Discourse Analysis and the War on Terrorism,


Perhaps the most important feature of the construction of identity in this discourse is the ubiquitous use of a rhetorical trope of ‘good and evil’. Deeply embedded in American rhetorical traditions and religious life (as well as being a sub-plot of the ‘civilization-barbarism’ meta-narrative that the administration is so fond of), this language essentializes the terrorists [sic] as both satanic and morally corrupt. On September 11, Bush stated that ‘Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature’;z[24] in subsequent texts, he frequently refers to terrorists [sic] as ‘the evil ones’, and ‘evildoers’. These are theological terms, deployed largely for a Southern conservative audience, but also appealing to popular entertainment understandings of ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’. As such, it is a demonological move in which the terrorists [sic] are individually and collectively marked as ‘cruel’, ‘mad’ and driven by ‘hate’; perhaps inadvertently, it also supernaturalizes them. In this agent/act ratio, the character of the terrorists[sic] precedes their actions: the terrorists [sic] did what they did because it is in their nature to do so—they murdered because that is what evil, demonic terrorists [sic] do.aa[25] It is a powerful discourse, and an act of demagoguery, which de-contextualizes and de-historicizes the actions of the terrorists [sic], emptying them of any political content, while simultaneously de-humanizing them. After all, there can be no deeper explanation for such acts, and there can be no reasoning or compromising with evil; the only right response is exorcism and purification. At the same time, the radical evil argumentbb[26] is along used strategy of silencing liberal dissent: from Leo Strauss and Reinhold Neibuhr to Ronald Reagan, liberals have been charged with lacking both a realistic sense of human evil and the moral courage to confront it. In an extension of re-making the attackers as demons, they are also scripted as inhuman or nonhuman. Bush speaks of the ‘curse of terrorism that is upon the face of the earth’,cc[27] while Colin Powell refers to ‘the scourge of terrorism’.dd[28] This medical metaphor is restated more explicitly by Rumsfeld: ‘We share the belief that terrorism is a cancer on the human condition’.ee[29] Bush in turn, speaks of the danger to the body politic posed by ‘terrorist parasites who threaten their countries and our own’.ff[30] In this construction, the terrorist is re-made as a dangerous organism that makes its host ill; they hide interiorly, drawing on the lifeblood of their unsuspecting hosts and spreading poison. This particular language is actually a precursor to the disciplinary idea of ‘the enemy within’; they are the new ‘reds under the bed’. Of course, such ‘an evil and inhuman group of men’gg[31]—these ‘faceless enemies of human dignity’hh[32]—are undeserving of our sympathy or protection. While it would be wrong to treat an enemy soldier inhumanely, or torture a criminal suspect, the same cannot be said for a parasite, a cancer, a curse. If the enemy is removed from the moral realm of human community, then by extension, actions towards them cannot be judged on moral terms. This is extremely liberating for a government fighting a hidden enemy, as it means that those government agencies that practice the ‘black arts’ can be unleashed with impunity.

American discourse defines terrorists [sic] as to classify them as the other

Campbell, Professor of Internatioanl Politics @ U of Newcastle, 1998, (David, Writing Security’ United

States Foreign Policy and the Politics of Identity)

That the “barbarian” invoked connotations that can be aligned with cancer suggests that although each representation will have its peculiar entailments, each is energized by moral concerns similar to those invoked by the bipolarity of normal/pathological’ these moral concerns naturalize the self (as normal, healthy, civilized, or something equally positive) by estranging the other (as pathological, sick, barbaric, or something equally negative). In the position of the estranged, we could place the heretic, the pagan, the primitive, the racially designated, the culturally inferior, the mad, the wild, the (sometimes noble) savage, the indigent, the immoral, the law-less, the queer, or … the possibilities are almost endless. Each has its own emotional valence and each has its own coloring, but each makes up a network of tropes the combined valuations of which constitute a position capable of being occupied by any one of a number identities. At one time or another, European and American discourse has inscribed women, the working class, Eastern Europeans, Jews, blacks, criminals, coloreds, mulattos, Africans, drug addicts, Arabs, the insane, Asians, the Orient, the Third World, terrorists [sic], and other others through tropes that have written their identity as inferiority, often in terms of being a mob or horde (sometimes passive and sometimes threatening) that is without culture, devoid of moral, infected with disease, lacking in industry, incapable of achievement, prone to be unruly, inspired by emotion, given to passion, indebted to tradition, or … whatever “we” are not. The “we”, though is rarely if ever articulated in its own terms, devoid of negative associations, As Etienne Balibar argued with respect to the function of racism in securing national identity:


1:Turns the Case

Terrorist [sic] rhetoric generates more terrorism – 4 reasons

Kapitan and Schulte 2 (Tomis and Erich, Thomas – Prof of Philosophy @ N Illionois U, and Erich – , Journal of Political and Military Sociology Vol. 30 Iss. 1, 2002, pp. 172+, Questia) JPG

The 'terrorist' rhetoric typified in Netanyahu's book actually increases terrorism [sic] in four distinct ways. First, it magnifies the effect of terrorist [sic]actions by heightening the fear among the target population. If we demonize the terrorists, if we portray them as arbitrary irrational beings with a "disposition toward unbridled violence," then we are amplifying the fear and alarm generated by terrorist incidents. Second, those who succumb to this rhetoric contribute to the cycle of revenge and retaliation by endorsing terrorist [sic] actions of their own government, not only against those who commit terrorist actions, but also against those populations from whose ranks the terrorists [sic] emerge. The consequence has been an increase in terrorist violence under the rubric of 'retaliation' or 'counter-terrorism.'18 Third, short of genocide, a violent response is likely to stiffen the resolve of those from whose ranks terrorists [sic] have emerged, leading them to regard their foes as people who cannot be reasoned with, as people who because they avail themselves so readily of the 'terrorist' rhetoric know only the language of force. As long as they perceive themselves to be victims of intolerable injustices and view their oppressors as unwilling to arrive at an acceptable compromise, then they will reply with more violence against their oppressors. Fourth, and most insidiously, those who employ the rhetoric of 'terrorism' [sic] for their own political ends, for instance, to solidify American support for Israeli policies, are encouraging actions that they understand will generate or sustain further violence directed against civilians. Inasmuch as their verbal behavior is itself intended to secure political objectives through violence directed against a civilian populus, then it qualifies as an instance of terrorism [sic] just as much as any direct order to carry out a bombing of civilian targets. In both cases, there is purposeful verbal action aimed at bringing about a particular result through violence against civilians.19 Let us now examine evidence for these points.

2: Dehumanization paves the way for genocide and human rights violations

Maiese 3 (Michelle, Asst. Prof of Philosophy @ Emanuel college, July 2003,

http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/dehumanization/) JPG

While deindividuation and the formation of enemy images are very common, they form a dangerous process that becomes especially damaging when it reaches the level of dehumanization. Once certain groups are stigmatized as evil, morally inferior, and not fully human, the persecution of those groups becomes more psychologically acceptable. Restraints against aggression and violence begin to disappear. Not surprisingly, dehumanization increases the likelihood of violence and may cause a conflict to escalate out of control. Once a violence break over has occurred, it may seem even more acceptable for people to do things that they would have regarded as morally unthinkable before. Parties may come to believe that destruction of the other side is necessary, and pursue an overwhelming victory that will cause one's opponent to simply disappear. This sort of into-the-sea framing can cause lasting damage to relationships between the conflicting parties, making it more difficult to solve their underlying problems and leading to the loss of more innocent lives. Indeed, dehumanization often paves the way for human rights violations, war crimes, and genocide. For example, in WWII, the dehumanization of the Jews ultimately led to the destruction of millions of people.[9] Similar atrocities have occurred in Rwanda, Cambodia, and the former Yugoslavia. It is thought that the psychological process of dehumanization might be mitigated or reversed through humanization efforts, the development of empathy, the establishment of personal relationships between conflicting parties, and the pursuit of common goals.

The alternative is to reject such representations of violence. By viewing these as criminal rather than evil, we can prevent totalizing violence and evaluate a more democratic perspective.

Robert L Ivie, Indiana University Communications Professor and Department Chair, 2003, “Evil Enemy Versus Agonistic Other: Rhetorical Constructions of Terrorism”, Ebsco

If the rhetoric of fighting an evil enemy, especially when reinforced by U.S. military might, economic clout, and presidential resolve, lowers the threshold of war, trumps arguments for pursuing peaceful resolutions, and masks America’s complicity in the spiraling cycle of violence, what alternative to this tragic perspective might prove to be a more serviceable response to terrorism [sic]? How can the debate be reframed to privilege the presumption of peace consistent with democratic values, to shift the burden of proof back to the advocates of war, and to increase the force of arguments for diplomacy and against pre-emption? What kind of a perspective might motivate a higher degree of appreciation for the complexities of the human condition, more tolerance of differences, and greater resistance to the legitimization of coerced consent? What conceptualization of the Other promotes the practice of democracy instead of playing the trump card of an evil enemy to diminish and indefinitely defer democracy in the name of defending it? How can the rhetoric of antagonism be transposed into the more constructive discourse of democratic agonistics? In the simplest terms, what is being suggested here is that a basic shift of perspective, achieved by insisting on the primacy of democracy, entails a wholly different order of priorities than the prevailing accent on evil. Rather than reducing democracy to a convenient excuse for war—trading on it as a legitimizing symbol, protecting it as an imperiled and vulnerable institution, restraining it as a risky practice in times of crisis, and promising it as the prize of victory—advocates of pre-emption should be held squarely accountable to meeting the standard of democracy and all that it entails. Similarly, those troubled by the prospect of war mutating into a routine instrument of statecraft and creating a “post-911” dystopia of terror and counter-terror must rearticulate their arguments to feature democratic criteria, repositioning the most salient corollaries of a robustly democratic ethic at the forefront of political consciousness and with sufficient presence to displace an otherwise disquieting image of evil noting terrorist [sic] action as criminal rather than evil. Democracy, unlike a seamless political ideology of universal values, means, and ends,comprises a multifaceted and situation-specific cluster of simultaneously overlapping and conflicting terms such as liberty, equality, self rule, rights, pluralism, elections, debate, protest, and the rule of law. As Michael Walzer avers, big ideologies do not provide sufficiently concrete and intimate knowledge of society and the world to prompt healthy criticism and promote democratic rule in which delimited perspectives are held accountable to one another and thus kept appropriately humble and suitably open to the force of evidence and the influence of deliberation.25 At its best, democracy manages the human divide peacefully, channeling competing interests and differences among groups of engaged citizens into a continuous struggle for one another’s qualified assent. Persuasion is the paradigm of democratic communication in managing divisive relations. Within this paradigm, adversaries are addressed as rivals who, in Mouffe’s words, “share a common symbolic space but . . . want to organize [it] in a different way,” not as sheer enemies holding nothing in common.26 Sheer enemies hold nothing in common, that is, except perhaps a shared propensity for engaging in rituals of victimization through which they transform one another into convenient scapegoats, thereby alleviating social guilt at each other’s expense and ignoring their own culpability.27 Sheer enemies speak of one another as evil; democratic adversaries speak of one another as wrong, mistaken, and even stupid. Thus, democracy is lost when the agonistic Other is rendered rhetorically into a diabolical enemy, and when democracy vanishes so, too, the rule of law, liberty, respect for diversity, and accountability to the people wane. Put another way, addressing one’s adversary as mistaken rather than evil is requisite to achieving and featuring a democratic perspective.
Sic is defined as Sic, added just after a quoted word or phrase (or a longer piece of text), indicates that the quoted words appear exactly as in the original source. The usual purpose is to inform readers that any errors or apparent errors in the copied material do not arise from transcription, i.e. that they are reproduced exactly from the original writer or printer. Sic is generally placed inside square brackets, [sic], and occasionally in parentheses, (sic). A sic may also be used as a form of ridicule or as a humorous comment, by drawing attention to the original writer's mistakes. This Delinks me from the harmful impacts of the rhetoric

Targeted Killing is defined by Philip Aliston ’10 Former UN Special Rapporteur

(http://www2.ohchr.org/english/bodies/hrcouncil/docs/14session/A.HRC.14.24.Add6.pdf accessed 2/7/2012 The in 2010 UN. Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions Philip Aliston)

A targeted killing is the intentional, premeditated and deliberate use of lethal force, by States or their agents acting under colour of law, or by an organized armed group in armed conflict, against a specific individual who is not in the physical custody of the perpetrator.
Because Targeted Killing is an action against someone who is not in your custody it denotes the fact that criminal trial has not been given to the perpetrator/ their rights to habeas corpus have been suspended. The Affirmative may try to Perm the Kritik, but this is impossible due to the nature of Targeted Killing (which the Affirmative needs to affirm). Even if you change the literal discourse behind the word terrorist [sic] the Affirmative can never solve, while using Targeted killing, the fact that they are treated as evils instead of democratic criminals.

The database is protected by copyright ©essaydocs.org 2016
send message

    Main page