Supporting the Troops, Serving the Country: Rhetorical Commonplaces in the Representation of Military Service

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

When Tony Blair announced the beginning of military action in Iraq on 20th March 2003, he concluded his address by saying, ‘As so often before on the courage and determination of British men and women serving our country the fate of many nations rest’ (BBC News, 2003, my italics). It is one of the basic contentions of this chapter that, in the United Kingdom at least, the representation of military service as ‘serving the country’ – or more broadly as involving some form of ‘patriotic’ sentiment – constitutes a cultural commonplace which can be invoked to perform particular rhetorical functions in relation to military service. Blair’s statement provides a particularly dramatic example of the characterization of military service as ‘serving our country’, coming as it does in the announcement which formally signalled the beginning of British involvement in a controversial war. Yet the dramatic nature of announcing the commencement of military action perhaps belies the more routine glossing of military personnel as ‘serving our country’. Indeed, this was perhaps one of the least controversial passages in this speech.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRepresentations of Peace and Conflict
EditorsStephen Gibson, Simon Mollan
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages143-159
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781137292254
ISBN (Print)9781349334865
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

Publication series

NameRethinking Political Violence
ISSN (Print)2752-8588
ISSN (Electronic)2752-8596

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