Susan Sontag's 9 / 11

1303 Words6 Pages
The tragic events that occurred on September 11th, 2001 will live on forever in the history of the United States as citizens shed fresh tears for those lost every year. Hundreds upon thousands of articles have been written since the life-shattering catastrophic event, most of which – unsurprisingly – focus on the politics of the entire situation. In one article, “9/11,” Susan Sontag ruthlessly criticizes the government response following the attacks, making bold claims that they were withholding information from the public and leaving citizens blind and ignorant. Though Sontag is effective in describing a valid argument against the government’s response after the events of 9/11, her success is lost in her failed establishment of ethos in her lacking appearance of knowledge, little fairness toward the government’s side, and lost credibility due to inadequate facts and strong emotions. Sontag’s failed establishment of ethos stems from her lacking knowledge regarding the subject matter, as seen through her vague assertions and incomplete examples. Primarily, Sontag raises the question “how many citizens are aware of the ongoing American bombing of Iraq…” yet fails to give any sort of description or explanation of events (Sontag). While she establishes the idea that she clearly has more knowledge regarding the situation than the average citizen by questioning an occurrence most do not know about, Sontag fails to follow-up on her question, giving her dubious credibility.

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