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The Ideology of Terror: Why We Will Never Win the 'War'

28 Journal of American Culture 368 (2005)

11 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2009 Last revised: 21 Oct 2013

Date Written: 2005

Abstract

A few days after the criminal attacks on the World Trade Center, President George W. Bush declared a metaphorical war on terror. The word “war” was once again applied to a nebulous concept in hopes of rallying support to Bush’s plans. Had Bush declared war on “terrorism,” a noun that denotes physical acts of violence, the war would have remained attached to the material world. By declaring war on “terror,” America’s enemy became ephemeral and eternal. Using Althusser's theory of ideology, this article demonstrates how the public rhetoric of terror created an “ideology of terror” that created support for Bush's invasion of Iraq and his 2004 Presidential campaign.

Winner of the Best Graduate Student Paper Award at the 2005 American Culture Association Conference.

Keywords: terror, war, ideology, rhetoric, Bush, Kerry, Gender

Suggested Citation

Pryal, Katie Rose Guest, The Ideology of Terror: Why We Will Never Win the 'War' (2005). 28 Journal of American Culture 368 (2005). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1469203

Katie Rose Guest Pryal (Contact Author)

Independent ( email )

United States

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