Presidents Obama, Bush, and other politicians routinely call them and their leaders evil. Others say they’re hapless dimwits lured into sacrificing themselves on the altar of jihad for the sake of remuneration or virgins in paradise. There are also theories that they’re trying to rid their countries of what they perceive as military occupations by foreign governments. Who are the suicide bombers and why do they want to kill us so bad they’re willing to blow themselves up? Why are there so many people volunteering to end their lives in such a gruesome way? Continue reading “The Monster Dialectic”
Implications can be very powerful tools. When the media hypes language using phrases, such as “hunting terrorists”, listeners should be concerned with the consequences. Not does this kind of phraseology raise ethical and moral questions but lays the groundwork for heavy-handed legislation down the road.
Connotations of Hunting Terrorists
In the Who or What are Contemporary Monsters? chapter, we provided a summary of the official U.S. rhetoric that was used to communicate why it was necessary to pursue the War on Terror. Before we turn to the question of who the terrorists are that threaten the U.S. and other—especially developed countries—it will be instructive to look at some of the specific government actions that have evolved out of this war. This will add an important dimension to our understanding of the terrorist monster, as he is symbolized in the Western mass media. By and large these actions are a logical extension of the heated rhetoric that was so well communicated in the years after the 9/11 attacks. Continue reading “Hunting the Terrorists — The Impact of Words on Actions”
Where have all the terrorists gone? Seems like the longer the Global War on Terror continues, the less the western media refer to the other side as terrorists, preferring substitutes such as militants, insurgents, and bombers. This chapter delves into the metamorphosis.
Summary (The Terrorist as a Modern Monster)
This chapter will focus on the controversial debate over what the words “terrorist” and “terrorism” actually mean. What is meant, for instance, when the media or officials tell us we’re threatened by terrorists? Adding to the confusion, other words seem to be used almost interchangeably with terrorist or terror root words. As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan drag on, words, such as “insurgent” and “extremist”, are increasingly replacing “terrorists” in the lexicon of Western officials and news media. Continue reading “Terrorist or Insurgent?”