The ‘spectre of anti-Americanism’ in the British public debate over the 2003 invasion of Iraq
This paper draws upon insights from rhetorical and discursive psychology in order to attend to a particular dimension of the public debate in Britain surrounding the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. It is concerned with discourse regarding the relevance of ‘anti-Americanism’, and the difficulty that circulation of such an accusation fostered for critics of the war.It uses examples drawn from British national press coverage, and the content of parliamentary debates, to describe some of the main responses made by critics of the war to the possibility that their arguments could be undermined if described as anti-American. The three techniques identified are the display of ‘pro-American credentials’, the discursive separation of the American government and its people, and the differentiation of the self from more extreme elements who are nevertheless on the same side.By focusing upon such responses, the paper attends to a gap in existing literature concerned with the alleged inhibiting effect that accusations of ‘anti-Americanism’ can have upon dissent, and argues that things are more complex than is often understood by accounts which stress how dissent is decided or regulated.
Keywords: discourse, rhetoric, categorisation, disclaiming, Iraq
Published online: 13 December 2007
Cited by 4 other publications
Beyer, Heiko & Ulf Liebe
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 19 september 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.
2003 Prime Ministerial Press Conference, www.number—10.gov.uk/output/page3007.asp, retrieved 19/2/03.
Buruma, I. and Margalit, A.
2001 Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People, www.white-house.gov/news/releases/2001/09/20010920—8.html, retrieved 14/12/01.
Garton Ash, T.
Mosbacher, M. and Anderson, D.