George W. Bush 's The War On Terror

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On the 9th November 2001, George W. Bush declared the War on Terror a response to the terrorist act on 11 September 2001. However, the response was not only based on the breach of national security that endangered the lives of Americans. If it had been, his response would have been purely targeted at ‘terrorists’ and not the abstract concept of ‘terror’ that engages with a wider pool of people (that we will later see to be affiliated with the Orient/Other). Orientalism, according to Said, is ‘the corporate institution for dealing with the Orient – dealing with it by making statements about it, authorizing views of it, describing it, by teaching it, settling it, ruling over it: in short, orientalism as a Western style for dominating,…show more content…
Therefore, this essay will argue that fundamentally the justifications for the policy in the War On Terror is to a large extent a reflection of Orientalism and US domination, intertwined with aspects reflecting national security and economic interest. To a large extent Bush’s declaration of the War on Terror followed by the establishment of Guantanamo Bay is by far the largest reflection of Orientalism since it defines the ‘terrorist’. Bush’s speech on the War on Terror, not only defined the ‘terrorist’ but directly associated it with the East, creating the ‘other’ as the enemy. Orientalism can be seen by the Bush’s administration to define, and arguably create the ‘terrorist’ since he characterizes them through an orientalist perspective. It can be argued that the War on Terror was an orientalist instrument used to create the image for ‘knowing’ the Terrorist. This is crucial as knowing the terrorist, legitimizes any policy of action to eradicate the perceived terrorist. This can be seen most prominently in Bush’s speech on the War of Terror where he tactically separates the West from the East. Said’s book would support this argument as it can be perceived that the created an ‘imaginative geography in which the Occident and Orient are separated’. Therefore, Bush divides the US and the ‘others’ by labelling them as ‘evil’ and uncivilized beings that hate western values of freedom
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