Richard Jackson
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Writing September 11, 2001
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One of the most noticeable aspects of the language surrounding the attacks of September 11, 2001 is its constant reference to tragedy, grievance and the exceptional suffering of the American people. A significant aspect of the discourse surrounding September 11, 2001 is the way in which the events were discursively linked to a number of popular meta-narratives. It is quite common for politicians to make use of historical analogies to try to explain current events. This chapter demonstrates that there is a deliberate and sustained effort to discursively link September 11, 2001 to the attack on Pearl Harbor itself. The September 11, 2001 attacks provided officials with a readymade and exceptional grievance. The focus on American victim-hood and grievance sets the basis for military retaliation and a global 'war on terrorism' that resulted in tens of thousands of civilian deaths and the systematic abuse of thousands of terrorist suspects.

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Writing the war on terrorism

Language, politics and counter-terrorism


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