. The Sovereign and the Terrorist

Marc Redfield

in The Rhetoric of Terror

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780823231232
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241118 | DOI:
. The Sovereign and the Terrorist

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The United States has not issued a formal declaration of war since the Second World War. According to Bob Woodward's account of the Bush administration's response to the September 11 attacks, in a meeting with congressional leaders on September 12, 2001, that “he did not want a declaration of war from the Congress but would be interested in a resolution endorsing the use of force.” Yet in Woodward's book, as in the Western media at large, a certain “declaration” nonetheless declares itself. The declaration of war on terror is undecidably and incalculably performative and constative, real and fictional, literal and rhetorical, consequent and nugatory, radically singular and endlessly iterable and generalizable. It can seem “in a peculiar way hollow or void.”

Keywords: Second World War; United States; Bob Woodward; Bush administration; declaration of war; war on terror

Chapter.  3616 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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