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Argumentation and Fallacy in newspaper op/ed coverage of the prelude to the invasion of Iraq

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Wilson, John, Sahlane, Ahmed and Somerville, Ian (2012) Argumentation and Fallacy in newspaper op/ed coverage of the prelude to the invasion of Iraq. Journal of Language and Politics, 11 (1). pp. 1-31. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1075/jlp.11.1.01wil


This study examines how the pre-war debate of the U.S. decision to invade Iraq was discursively constructed in pro- and anti-war newspaper op/ed argumenta- tion. Drawing on insights from argumentation theory, and using these within a framework of Critical Discourse Analysis, we explore fallacious arguments within the ‘justification discourse’ used in the pro-war opinion/editorials (op/ eds). We argue that the type of arguments marshalled by the pro-war op/ed com- mentators uncritically bolstered the set of U.S. official ‘truth claims’ and ‘presup- positions’. Conversely, anti-war op/ed debaters dismissed the Bush administra- tion’s ‘neo-imperialistic’ reasoning and called into question the logic of militarist ‘humanitarianism’ by arguing that brute force and daylight ‘plunder,’ found in the language of a ‘noble ideal,’ were part of a long Western colonialist tradition that glorified the West as the ‘civiliser’ of distant cultural others. Keywords: Argumentation, fallacy, CDA, media discourse, Iraq, op/eds

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Communication
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute for Research in Social Sciences
Institute for Research in Social Sciences > Communication
ID Code:21968
Deposited By:Professor John Wilson
Deposited On:01 May 2012 08:48
Last Modified:06 Nov 2012 12:08

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