ISSA Proceedings 2002 – Technologies Of Truth And National Trauma: Revisiting The Enola Gay Controversy

logo  2002-1It is often said that the close of the forty-four day Gulf War marked the end of one era and the beginning of another. According to then President George Bush, Operation Desert Storm effected the radical transformation of the national political imaginary by finally putting to rest the ghost of Vietnam. According to General Schwarzkopf, leader of the UN alliance, it signified a dramatic revolution in the telos of military engagement along the lines laid down in the Weinberger Doctrine: “we are [no longer] in the business of killing”  (Gusterson: 51). And according to Jeffrey Records, a military analysist, it set a wholly new and impossible standard by which all subsequent U.S. military interventions will be measured: “If pre-Desert Storm U.S. military force planning was haunted by the disastrous legacy of Vietnam, post-Desert Storm planning will be plagued by the specter of falling short of the splendid and relatively painless performance of U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf in 1991”  (Dauber: 158).

Like their fierce ideological opponents, a host of cultural theorists and critics agree that the Gulf War is to be understood as having ushered in new era. However, considerably less than convinced that the operation was as bloodless as the government and media would have the public believe, they claim that Operation Desert Storm delivered not a new kind of warfare but, instead, a new rhetoric of war whose strategically selected images and carefully crafted discourse worked together to literally ‘de-humanize’ the cost of war. In a military conflict between the U.S., its allies, and Iraq that Anthony Giddens has described as “the most heavily mediated, reflexively organized war in human history” (Shaw and Carr-Hill: 2), human suffering and the loss of life that is the inevitable price of war was almost altogether absent. For the general public, these scholars rightly insist, the Gulf War was a war without bodies – a technological exercise executed not by men but by machines whose “surgical” “smart bombs” took out “units” not enemy soldiers, a war during which, as Paul Virilio terms it, “the aesthetics of disappearance” (11) entailed the violent erasure of both allied forces and enemy casualties alike. In short, with the Gulf War we entered what cultural critic John Taylor has deftly called the era of “’derealization’, the era when the objects of violence in warfare are grouped together in fields that are rendered abstract” (158) so as to make war appear more humane to the viewing and voting public. Read more

ISSA Proceedings 2002 – Table of Contents

Table of Contents ISSA Proceedings 2002 – work in progress

Frans H. van Eemeren, J. Anthony Blair, Charles A. Willard (eds.) – Preface
Alan W. Aldrich – Considering Culture In The Analysis Of Arguments
R. P. Alford – Leff’s Account Of The Aristotelian Roots Of The Boethian Theory Of Dialectical Reasoning: A Contemporary Reconsideration
Ruth Amossy – The Argumentative Dimension Of Discourse
Richard Andrews – Argumentation In Education: Issues Arising From Undergraduate Students’ Work
Constantin Antonopoulos – On The Use And Misuse Of Analyticity In Arguments
Satoru Aonuma – The Constitution, Critical Rhetoric, And Public Argument: The Case Of Democratic Japan
Peter D. Asquith – Cases – Their Role In Informal Logic
Albert Atkin & John E. Richardson – Constructing The (Imagined) Antagonist In Advertising Argumentation
Txetxu Ausín & Lorenzo Peña – Arguing From Facts To Duties (And Conversely)
Kevin T. Baaske & Patricia Riley – In Defense Of The Realm: Administrative Responses To Anti-Globalization Argumentation
Michael Baker, Matthieu Quignard, Kristine Lund – UMR 5612 GRIC, Groupe de Recherches sur les Interactions Communicatives, Équipe Interaction & Cognition, C.N.R.S. & Université Lumière Lyon 2 & Marije van Amelsvoort – Department of Educational Sciences, Utrecht University – Designing – A Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning Situation For Broadening And Deepening Understanding Of The Space Of Debate
Susan Balter-Reitz – She Blinded Me With Science: Material Argument In The Indianapolis Children’s Museum
Gregory Bassham  – Linked And Independent Premises: A New Analysis
Shawn Batt – The National Education Reform Debate And The Rhetoric Of The Contrarians
Sandra Bégoin-Augereau & Josiane Caron-Pargue  – Linguistic Criteria For Demarcation And Hierarchical Organization Of Episodes In A Problem Solving Task
Hilde van Belle – Two Ways Of Analysing A ‘Light Mix’ Newspaper Article
Keith Berry –  Cut-Ups, Slams And Jabs: Verbal Aggressiveness Or Politeness?
Stefano Bertea – Legal Argumentation Theory And The Concept Of Law
Barbara A. Biesecker – Technologies Of Truth And National Trauma:  Revisiting The Enola Gay Controversy
Frans A.J. Birrer – Expert Advice And Discourse Coupling: Context-Dependent Valdation Of Model-Based Reasoning
V. William Balthrop & Carole Blair – – Discursive Collisions: A Reading Of  “Ellen’s Energy Adventure”
J. Anthony Blair – The Relationships Among Logic, Dialectic And Rhetoric
George Boger – Formal Logic’s Contribution To The Study Of Fallacies
Lilit Brutian – On The Pragmatics Of Argumentative Discourse
Andrew J. Burgess – Religious Argument As Enthymeme: Aristotle, Paul, And Anselm
Ann E. Burnette & Wayne L. Kraemer – Making The Case For War: Bush’s Rhetorical Validation Of America’s Action

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