Tracing images in American and Russian oratory : an analysis of Russian and American rhetoric within the context of the Syrian conflict

University essay from Lunds universitet/Mänskliga rättigheter

Abstract: This essay is an analysis of American and Russian oratory within the context of the conflict in Syria. The purpose of the analysis is to delineate Russian and American understandings of an eventual military intervention in Syria, as well as depicting which images of the self and the enemy that are mediated through both countries' rhetoric. This search for images is based on the idea that powerful countries deliberately or subconsciously mediate certain pictures of themselves and their adversaries using certain terms and phrases. Further theoretical foundations for this research will be ideas concerning the construction of enemy images, mirror images and binary oppositions. Following the analytical discussion in the essay, we can in the end see how Russian and American oratory contain traces of both enemy images and mirror images as well as binary oppositions. The pictures are in many ways similar to each other, even if they also differ from one another in significant ways. Some of their similarities, such as mirroring characteristics, will be briefly debated in the last section of this writing.

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