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The Rhetoric of TerrorReflections on 9/11 and the War on Terror$
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Marc Redfield

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780823231232

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823231232.001.0001

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. The Sovereign and the Terrorist

. The Sovereign and the Terrorist

Chapter:
1. The Sovereign and the Terrorist
Source:
The Rhetoric of Terror
Author(s):

Marc Redfield

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823231232.003.0008

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

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