Tuesday, February 3, 2009

An Assessment of Voice

This week I am particularly interested in examining other blog rolls about the subject of the recent war in Afghanistan and Iraq. In Kings of War, Pat Porter focuses on reviewing some aspects of the so-called War on Terror, including the language behind the terminology and the definition of warfare. I am particularly interested in Porter's use of rhetorical quotations such as
"Was this a war?"
"Even if it was a war, on what?"
This is valuable to the reader because it evokes contemplation into a subject that otherwise would have not been noticed. Porter elucidates that the "War on Terror" has historical underpinnings by quoting the Secretary of Defense, then Donald Rumsfeld, as
“global struggle against violent extremism."
The use of persistent quotations assists Porter in building authority with his voice. More concrete evidence of this voice of authority is Porter's use of parallel structure and the nature of the organization of the article. It begins not by wielding some vague terms or opinionated conjecture, simply by exploring the history of the language behind the terminology of "The War on Terror" and in a effort to define it, offers thoughtful questions to probe the reader.

The quotation of United States military personalities such as Admiral William Fallon, Commander of US operations in the Middle East with the statement "Long War" makes Pat's voice even more academic and substantive. There is a particular passage I would like to look at for a more in depth discussion:
"So where are we now? The ‘Global Counterinsurgency’ template, as far as I can tell, has not yet been retired. But as a description, one label might usefully summarise the approach of Obama: the Right War. This is not a partisan claim that Obama has it right and others had it wrong."
The initial probing question at the beginning to the paragraph asks the reader to access the situation of the United States in terms of military and political policy and decision making. This initial request of the reader is very important in establishing academic, or as I have noted early, "authoritative" voice. The reason for this is that it creates an aura of thought provoking discussion, whereby the reader is engaged in the simultaneous act of accepting information, but then can access and decipher the author's argument.

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