Protesting War in the Middle East

Posted: March 29, 2012 in Uncategorized

The section in The Rhetoric of Agitation and Control on the United States’ involvement in the Middle East since 9/11 is short, but possibly the most interesting part of the whole book. Prior to reading the section I did not know about some of the protests and how early they started. That is particularly surprising to me because I lived through 9/11 and the “War on Terror” that followed and did not live through the Civil Rights Movement which I knew more about. I was surprised to learn ANSWERS organized a protest in Washington D.C. and San Fransisco only 18 days after the events of 9/11.

I was also surprised at the effectiveness of the rhetorical tactics used in that early time. ANSWERS knew the United States and George Bush planned to go to war to retaliate and wanted to prevent the retaliation. I think they were bold and took a huge risk to protest war only a couple weeks after the attack, I would have been worried about the backlash from millions of citizens who wanted to see payback for the deaths of friends, family, and fellow American citizens. The organizers of initial protests and subsequent protests were also extremely smart about how they protested. I think the locations they chose in the hearts of big cities have shown they may have been the smartest protestors yet. They did not achieve their goals, but the U.S. was seemingly bound to go to war with nothing stopping that. The locations of protests and use of digital means also resulted in protests worldwide being larger than ever in some places. The peacefulness of the protests also showed how thought out from a rhetorical standpoint the protests were. The protestors wanted their voices heard and their views expressed, but did not just want to rebel and get attention through violence.

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