The book draws on psychoanalytic and semiotic perspectives to examine popular, political, legal, and journalistic discourses mediating the War on Terror. The analysis encompasses governmental speeches, legal documents, print and broadcast journalism, and military memoirs under the Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations.
Dominant motifs include American exceptionalism and its historical affinity for war, the synergy between the technologies of war and media, the role of the "military-industrial-media-entertainment network" in promoting the American culture of militarism, the dialectic of identification and repulsion in the construction of "the enemy," and the political and mediatic normalization of fear. The author explores in particular the role of desire in the rhetorical construction and naturalization of the fantasy of a global War on Terror.
Scholars and students alike will take interest in this original contribution to the fields of cultural studies, psychoanalysis, media studies, rhetoric, critical international relations, and international humanitarian law and ethics.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: "No Moment for Deliberation" 2. War Fatigue: Ethics in Reporting on Afghanistan and Iraq 3. War, Simulation, and the Sacrificial Sublime 4. Exceptionalism, Metaphor, and Hybrid Warfare 5. Killer Drones and the Language of International Law
Vaheed Ramazani is the Kathryn B. Gore Professor of French Studies at Tulane University. His research interests include French literature and culture, critical theory, and critical international relations. He is the author of The Free Indirect Mode: Flaubert and the Poetics of Irony (Virginia) and Writing in Pain: Literature, History, and the Culture of Denial (Palgrave).