The Construction of Al Qaeda and Iraq as Linked Antagonists

Adam Hodges

in The “War on Terror” Narrative

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199759590
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895335 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Sociolinguistics

The Construction of Al Qaeda and Iraq as Linked Antagonists

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Central to any narrative are the principal characters, and this chapter uses data from presidential speeches to illustrate the way two disparate enemies of the United States—Iraq and Al Qaeda—are discursively positioned as interchangeable adversaries in the ‘war on terror.’ The positioning of these otherwise disparate entities into the same moral and political category is a discursive achievement that allows the war in Iraq to be but a ‘battle’ in the broader ‘war on terror.’ It also establishes a powerful understanding about the nation’s enemy and the role of the United States in Iraq. These aspects find their way into subsequent recontextualizations explored in the remaining chapters.

Keywords: Al Qaeda; battle of Iraq; enemy; war on terror

Chapter.  7183 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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