oa African Yearbook of Rhetoric - Performing imperious legal style : Saleh v. Titan Corp et al. and private military contractor accountability

Volume 9 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2220-2188
  • E-ISSN: 2305-7785




In March 2003, the Iraq War began with an assault on Baghdad. The United States-led coalition assembled quickly on the heels of the 9/11 attacks, made possible in part by the broad military authority Congress delegated to President George W. Bush. The composite case for the invasion in the United States included claims that Iraq was actively developing weapons of mass destruction, that Iraq was cooperating with al- Qaeda, and that Iraq was a dictatorship that should be overthrown. The war produced worldwide opposition based on the speed with which the United States built the case, the seeming cavalier attitude that the coalition had toward human life (embodied in the Shock and Awe campaign and the conversion of ‘most wanted Iraqis’ into a deck of playing cards), and the suspicion of ulterior motives such as the establishment of Western power projection and easier access to oil. In short, it appeared that the United States was (charitably) taking indiscriminate vengeance or (uncharitably) exercising its imperial ambitions.

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