9/11 and the War on Terror: Iraq War narratives and the sacrifice model

Janette Galvan, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

What are Americans willing to sacrifice for war and during war? In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, American citizens weighed a trade-off between their security and their civil freedoms because of fear of another terrorist attack. The reasoning was that United States citizens were patriotic and in being so they were willing to sacrifice some civil liberties to win the war on terror to prevent future terrorist attacks, thereby ensuring their future safety and then, perhaps, recover the sacrificed civil freedoms. This thesis project focuses on the sacrifices Americans willingly made for and during the war on terror, sold to them as necessary to ensure that no future terrorist attacks occurred again. ^ The American public was willing to make sacrifices for the Iraq War and these sacrifices are under three categories of blood, freedom and treasure. I plan to explore these three types of sacrifices more in depth by measuring the American public's willingness to give them up to win the war against terrorism and prevent another terrorist attack. Blood as a sacrifice measures the number of Americans willing to volunteer and enlist in the United States Armed Forces. I also will measure as an addition to this category the American public's acceptable tolerance level for American casualties. Blood as a sacrifice will focus on these distinct categories, which is their willingness to be a soldier, go to war and how many casualties were worth fighting for the war. Freedom as a sacrifice will measure how much liberty the American public was willing to give the government and allow its usage of the Patriot Act, stricter airport security, use of wiretaps, and torture of suspected terrorists. Treasure as a sacrifice will measure how much money in taxes Americans were willing to pay for the war and fund the military. Freedom as a sacrifice will measure how much liberty the American public was willing to give the government and allow its usage of the Patriot Act, stricter airport security, use of wiretaps, and torture of suspected terrorists. ^ The time period of this study encompasses the first three years of the Iraq War and the types of sacrifices Americans were willing to make during those years of the Iraq War. This study will also explore how the war narratives interacted with the kinds of sacrifices Americans were willing to make during those three years, offering a sacrifice model to explain these types of sacrifices. The relationship between the war narratives and public sacrifice is therefore central to this study. The hypotheses in this study are formulated for each war narrative found in the literature and the sacrifices that the American public was willing to make to win the war. This paper is a theory-testing thesis of an in-depth case study of the Iraq War from 2003 to 2005 where I presume the war narrative employed by the government led to a specific sacrifice model and showcases a tradeoff between national security and civil freedoms. ^

Subject Area

Political Science, General

Recommended Citation

Galvan, Janette, "9/11 and the War on Terror: Iraq War narratives and the sacrifice model" (2013). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1545161.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI1545161

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