This paper presents an analysis of the use of metaphor in news coverage of the Persian Gulf War (16 Jan.Feb. 28 1991). What started out as an extension of the studies by Lakoff (1992) and Pancake (1993), soon developed a life of its own as my own research revealed that neither Lakoff nor Pancake had linked Gulf War metaphors to Orientalism2
, which can initially be defined as the traditional "idealized cognitive model" the West has internalized about the Orient and the Oriental. In this paper I will argue that the metaphor systems and metaphor categories analyzed by both Lakoff and Pancake merely prove to be part of a much broader conceptual framework, encompassing the West's view of itself as opposed to its view of the East. The use of the two concepts frames of Self-presentation and frames of Other-representation throughout the study has been primarily inspired by Morgan's "frames of self-presentation" and her application of ICMs to the political reality of the U.S.
At a more fundamental level, what is meant by Orientalism is what Said (1979: 203) describes as "a school of interpretation whose material happens to be the Orient, its civilizations, peoples, and localities." The argument is that this culture-specific cognitive model helped frame the debate about the Gulf crisis by conceptualizing Iraq as the incarnation of the Orient and thereby justify a specific political and military approach to the conflict which has been symptomatic of the age-old relationship between the Orient and the West. In the context of "language and ideology" it is most interesting to illustrate how the limited and limiting concepts the West uses in cognitive and linguistic categorizations of "the Orient" and "Islam" have had an impact on the lives of the people defined as "Oriental". It is therefore that Orientalism as the "ideology" behind the metaphorical Gulf War will be used in the sense that Gal in her commentary on contributions to the special issue of Pragmatics on "Language and Ideology" attributes it:
Ideology is conceptualizedimplicitly or explicitlynot only as systematic ideas, cultural constructions, commonsense notions, and representations, but also as the everyday practices in which such notions are enacted; the structured and experienced social relations through which humans act upon the world. (Gal 1992: 445)
Ideologies of language are important for social analysis because they are not only about language. They envision and enact connections between linguistic and social phenomena. (ibid.: 448)
As the examples in Frames 1-7 will show, in spite of various efforts taken to defuse conspiracy theories3
which claimed that this clash was just another case of Islam vs. the Judeo-Christian West, the imagery used by the leaders of the international alliance to depict the enemy as the devil on the one hand, and themselves as the saviors on the other, strengthens these charges. The debate over the options available to the international community to make Iraq withdraw from Kuwait was characterized by a two-track strategy,4
an attempt to unite two lines of diplomacy which were at odds with each other, if not mutually exclusive. The first track, the peace-track, assumed that Saddam Hussein was a rational enemy, which supported the argument that the military buildup in the Gulf was a show of force designed to back up the sanctions against Iraq. According to the second track, the war-track, however, Saddam Hussein was a nonrational enemy, i.e. unsusceptible to logic, and therefore would not be deterred by impending force. While the first track seemed to support the peace effort by stating as the sole objective of the alliance the restoration of the status ante quo, the second track could not but lead to war as it raised related issues that revealed "secondary"5
objectives at stake. Said claims that in discussions of Islam,
"[t]he norms of rational sense are suspended" (1997:
xix). Part of my thesis is devoted to the argument that the suspension
of "the norms of rational sense" not only applies to
"discussions" of Islam, but even more importantlyas
the Gulf War and the two-track strategy showsit applies to political
interaction with Orientals.6
With regard to its internal structure, this paper consists of four main parts. In the first part I will analyze the psychological war waged by the Bush administration and the Pentagon, ably assisted by the news media, against Saddam Hussein and Iraq in order to show that the peace-track was not given a fair chance. Then, in the second part, I will outline the Orientalist framework, which provides the larger conceptual structure for Gulf War metaphors in order to reveal their link to Orientalist patterns of thinking, characteristic not only of the language but also of the actions of the West towards the Orient. In the third part, I will look into the terminological and political dilemma inherent in dichotomous views of the East vs. the West, and the Orient vs. the West, particularly in the post-cold-war era. Finally, in the fourth part, I will present examples of Orientalist metaphors in 7 frames7
to give readers the opportunity to judge for themselves. This analysis will illustrate howby offering the world culturally preconceived concepts of the U.S.-led alliance and Iraq, i.e. frames of Self-presentation vs. frames of Other-representationeach frame contributed to convince the public that eventually war was justified to defeat this particular enemy.
The focus is on data material collected from TIME and NEWSWEEK8
magazines covering the war and the weeks before and after, i.e. July 90March 91. As the U.S. led the political and military alliance against Iraq, it is the language used by the U.S. government, administration, and military that has also "led" Gulf War news coverage throughout the allied media. As this paper eventually hopes to show, the hypothesis I start from is that the West still lives by the images inherent in Orientalist metaphorical conceptualizations, polarizing the world into the Orient vs. the West, Us vs. Them.
1. The metaphorical conceptualization of the Other
The strategy behind the specific language used with regard to the crisis and the war was referred to by the U.S. media as a psy war for "psychological war". The first live television war of our century was fought, not because of metaphor but with the help of metaphor. Without the stereotypes and fears metaphors, or language the "loaded weapon" as Bolinger9
put it, helped trigger about the Other, it would have been much more difficult to convince the world (audience) of the inevitability of using virtually loaded weapons such as Tomahawks and Cruise Missiles to make Iraq comply with UN resolutionsbased on US demands. As metaphors are part of the cognitive process that routinely enables us to understand "[a]bstractions and enormously complex situations", part of which "is devoted to understanding international relations and war", it is "literally vital, to understand just what role metaphorical thought played in bringing us in this war" (Lakoff 1992: 463). What Lakoff says with regard to the use of conceptual metaphors and metaphor systems in the Gulf War, is, on closer inspection of the data, only a token of a much more general and deeper-rooted "idealized cognitive model", i.e. the Western "Orientalist" mindset which comprises the total set of stereotypes built up by the Western mind in its perception and experience of the East. For the purpose of this paper, Orientalism will be treated as an "idealized cognitive model" characterizing the relationship between the West and the Orient.
The power of Orientalist metaphors lies in the skillful utilization and application of the "canonical, orthodox coverage of Islam" to the Gulf crisis, presenting the image of Islam the media (in the U.S. in particular) have been shaping for the past two decades: it is a scary image capable of justifying war to protect the Western way of life or civilization (see also Said 1997: 4; 169). There should be little doubt whose metaphors are more powerful as powerful cultures and civilizations are more likely to have both the metaphors and the means to justify their position than less powerful ones. In retrospect, but even as the crisis slowly but resolutely turned into a war, the metaphors of the West proved to be far superiormuch like its more lethal weaponsthan those of the Iraqis. As Lakoff and Johnson (1980: 157) point out (quoting Charlotte Linde), "people in power get to impose their metaphors."
Particularly in the context of foreign policy, those who act as mediators between the individual and the rest of the world, serve as a filter in the sense that they control both what we perceiveand most importantlyhow we perceive it. In Chomsky's terms, the American intelligentsiain particular the media and the expertsplayed its traditional role in the Gulf War, that is "[b]y virtue of their analyses and interpretations, they serve as mediators between the social facts and the mass of the population: they create the ideological justification for social practice." (Chomsky 1979: 4)
The weakness of Chomsky's statement is however that he does not link his political analysis of the situation with any linguistics-based approach, which might reveal that the language used in the process is the core of the psychological war. As Lakoff and Johnson established two decades ago, metaphor is not a "matter of mere language" (1980: 145), rather they argued, "[o]ur ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature. [...] Our concepts structure what we perceive, how we get around in the world, and how we relate to other people. Our conceptual system thus plays a central role in defining our everyday realities." (LakoffJohnson 1980: 3) In order to structure our conceptual system with regard to what was going on in the Gulf, metaphors had to cover "all aspects of the Persian Gulf War", as Pancake (1993: 281) points out, though within the limits defined by the Pentagon.
As the metaphors conceptualizing Iraqis as prototypical instantiations of the Western concept of Orientals on the one hand, and Americans as Westerners, on the other are systematically related with other metaphors within the Orientalist framework, they can be considered as "metaphors we live by" and as such, they "structure our actions and thoughts" (LakoffJohnson 1980: 55). Moreover:
[n]ew metaphors, like conventional metaphors, can have the power to define reality. They do this through a coherent network of entailments that highlight some features of reality and hide others. The acceptance of the metaphor which forces us to focus only on those aspects of our experience that it highlights, leads us to view the entailments of the metaphor as being true. Such "truths" may be true, of course, only relative to the reality defined by the metaphor. (ibid.: 157158)
It is therefore necessary to present the opponent's position as wrong or morally inferior (see Frame 2 for an application of Lakoff's "metaphor system for morality"). Often, this requires reinterpreting political reality to match the respective images of Self and Other. And this is where metaphors come into the picture: each of the Orientalist frames with its specific set of metaphors offers a partial explanation for the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and the West's response to it.
As Fillmore points out, there is a variety of terms that are used by various scholars for the structure he refers to as a "frame" (1985: 223). In this paper, frames are viewed as flexible structuring devices and thus considered to best fit the various "contrastive contexts" that news coverage of the Gulf War presents the Orient and Orientals in. In the context of Gulf war metaphors, Orientalism is the "framework of knowledge" or "coherent schematization of experience" that Fillmore says "frames" are "motivated by, founded on, and co-structured with" (ibid.). According to Fillmore, "we can know the meanings of the individual words only by first understanding the factual basis for the relationship which they identity" (ibid.: 224). The relationship between the Orient and the West is one that makes it impossible to understand one without the other. In other words, the Orient and the West are determined by the "idea of a presupposed structure of relationships"10
with the "interpretive frame" providing "a conceptual framework within which unlimitedly many paths of relationships between people can be characterized and upon which a large variety of secondary relationships can be superimposed" (ibid.: 225). This is what was earlier referred to as the "flexibility" of "frames" as structuring devices. It is assumed here that Orientalism as an "interpretive frame is "introduced into the process of understanding a text" both "through being invoked by the interpreter or through being evoked by the text" (ibid.: 232). According to Fillmore, "[a] frame is invoked when the interpreter, in trying to make sense of a text segment, is able to assign it an interpretation by situating its content in a pattern that is known independently of the text" and similarly, "[a] frame is evoked by the text if some linguistic form or pattern is conventionally associated with the frame in question" (ibid.). Orientalism as a framework works both ways, i.e. on the one hand, "interpretive frames" are evoked by metaphors and other linguistic mechanisms11
triggering Orientalist associations rooted in Western minds and on the other hand they are invoked by interpreters (i.e. readers of NEWSWEEK and TIME in this case) who make sense of the text or segments of it by interpreting them against the background of Orientalism.
The analysis presented in this paper must be seen in the wider framework of a prejudiced East-West relationship, in which the West can hardly see its own views of the East as distorted or one-sided. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to see the world around us with different eyes, since we are literally products of our cultures. In the light of Western, particularly U.S. relations with Arab nations and with Islamic nations in general, it would be rather short-sighted to ignore the religious dimension involved in conceptualizing certain cultures and nations as fundamentally different, even deviant from ours, which are considered to be the standard. Moreover, it would also serve the interests of those who take pains to disconnect religion from other pressing issues, such as ethnic conflicts in many parts of the world, or the disruptive effect of violent nationalism across geographic borders. The next section will therefore, among other things, discuss the influence of religion in the framing of Orientalist conceptualizations of Iraq, the Iraqis and other Arabs involved in the crisis in the Gulf.
2. The Orientalist framework
My use of the term Orientalist framework is based predominantly on two sources, in the first place on the work of Said:
From at least the end of the eighteenth century until our own day, modern Occidental reactions to Islam have been dominated by a radically simplified type of thinking that may still be called Orientalist. The general basis of Orientalist thought is an imaginative and yet drastically polarized geography dividing the world into two unequal parts, the larger, "different" one called the Orient, the other, also known as "our" world, called the Occident or the West. [...] Insofar as Islam has always been seen as belonging to the Orient, its particular fate within the general structure of Orientalism has been to be looked at first of all as if it were one monolithic thing, and then with a very special hostility and fear. (Said 1997: 45)
The second source is Morillas' concept of the "cultural model" that allows people to:
[...] construct their own and others' sense of self by relying on public resources, as well as on private experiences for self-construction. The concept of self of a given culture is an integral part of the cultural model of person of that culture. It includes the image-schemata, metaphoric and metonymic mappings, and script-like information with which a culture schematizes cognitive-culturally its members [...] (Morillas 1997: 59).
The overall structure of the Orientalist framework looks as follows: The Orientalist framework represents the basic level of stereotypical thought in the perceptions of Self and Other. On the second level, there are a certain number of Orientalist frames, structured as interrelated frames of Self-presentation and Other-representation. Finally, these frames of Self-presentation and Other-representation are implemented by conceptual metaphors such as "The Oriental is a student" vs. "The Westerner is a teacher". It is Orientalist frames that help reinterpret experiences with Iraqis (and other Arabs and Muslims in general) from an Orientalist perspective. According to Fillmore, "it is precisely the frame, [...], which provides the material for such inference-making" (p. 237), since there are "linguistic forms and categories whose selection reflects an assumed vantage point or perspective" (ibid.: 238). This re-interpretation then affects the way experiences with and knowledge about the Orient are handled in contemporary political communication and interaction with people and countries viewed as Oriental. We apply culture-specific and thus perspective-specific categories to political reality "by knowing what contrast set, what frame, the words belong to, and we find that we cannot interpret the sentence without bringing such information into play" (ibid.: 239).
The rhetorical effect of using such culture-specific conceptualizations of Self and Other in the context of international relations is that "[t]he context, framework, setting of any discussion [...] [is] limited, indeed frozen, by these ideas" (Said 1994: 295). As Said points out, Islam still serves as a "trigger" for international conflicts, since "[t]here [...] seems to have been a strange revival of canonical, though previously discredited, Orientalist ideas about Muslim, generally non-white, peopleideas which achieved a startling prominence at a time when racial or religious misrepresentations of every other cultural group are no longer circulated with such impunity" (1997: xixii).
By providing a coherent set of Orientalist frames of Self-presentation vs. Other-representation, the Orientalist framework is basically a "cultural cognitive model" serving two main functions:
(1) to structure a complex political reality in terms of contrastive concepts of Self and Other (Us vs. Them);
(2) to activate Orientalist conceptualizations of Iraq by using linguistic markers such as metaphors.
Before we look into the framing of the Orientalist conceptualization in the following section, it will be helpful to take a closer look at the relationship between the Orient and the West. By using ideas and images associated with what is thought to be typically Oriental, the Western media conceptualize both Iraq and Muslims in general in terms of a neocolonial relationship. The modern version of the West's colonialist approach to the rest of the world can be summed up by two main characteristics, i.e. Otherness and Inequality. Table 1 presents the most prominent frames that have emerged from the analysis of data material collected from news coverage of the Persian Gulf War in NEWSWEEK and TIME:
Table 1. Orientalist frames
It is fear—the deeply rooted and politically and economically enhanced psychological fear—of the Other that freezes both Self and Other into these ideologically convenient categories, i.e. Us and Them. Krause12
views "thinking and evaluating in oppositions or dualisms" as a set of strategies--deeply rooted cultural, political, psychological and anthropological strategies (1991: p.72). These strategies continue to serve as a mechanism either to idealize the identity of Self—by contrasting it with a discriminatory and negative perception of the Other—or idealize the Other and thus create a no less inaccurate counter-image (ibid.). Moreover, these strategies continue to be reactivated—even in complex societies—to absolve the Self from handling conflicts that require "rational" treatment, especially in the face of outside threats (social, cultural, political) to one's own system in times of crises (ibid.: 73).
As Sego puts it, "[o]ne`s identity is established cognitively on the basis of contrast to others. If no others are perceived, identity is neither possible nor necessary." (1999: 3). News coverage of the Gulf crisis and war revealed that the construction of "identity" and "counter-identity" was characterized by a belief in the superiority of one's own identity and a willingness to both maintain and defend this perceived contrast against perceived enemies. In the context of the Persian Gulf War this meant that US (and allied) politicians and the military, supported by the media, were using Orientalist metaphorical conceptualizations of the Other—i.e. what Sego calls the "second stage of cognitive semantics in the concept of otherness in political leadership" (p.2f.)—in order to be able to implement the fourth and final stage, "the instrumentation, or acting on the awareness of the 'otherness' previously constructed, in such a way that the other is perceived to be the opposition, even at times the enemy" (ibid.: 3). The way the Gulf War was fought and covered left no doubt that "[a]t this level of perception the 'other' becomes little more than a 'target,' dehumanized and totally adversarial." (ibid.: 4). Moreover, contemporary political reality is almost globally characterized by unsettled disputes along ethnic and religious lines. There is no doubt that Sego's call to overcome "otherness" in favour of "Us-ness" should be considered as a "reasonable alternative" (ibib.: 5). However, as long as politicians and their auxiliaries (notably the military and the media) continue to both view and define those who are "not us" as the Other in the sense of "the enemy", those who are exposed to divisive language and prone to use it themselves (both consciously and even more so unconsciously) can hardly be expected to consider this more humane way of viewing others as an alternative.
In the post-cold-war world order, not only have East and
West ceased to designate two formerly antagonistic ideological
systems, but they were also stripped of the traditional historical
and geographical limitations long ago. Other factors now determine
individual states' membership to either category. In other words,
the West has come to be a synonym for the powerful, while the
East represents the weak. And since the Orient is definitely part
of the East and Islamic countries are part of the Orient, any
comprehensive analysis of the war in the Gulf has to take into
account the role of Islam in the wider context of East-West relations.
My argument—supported by Said's extensive work on the subject—is
that in the post-communist-era, Islam, or rather the threat of
Islam, is considered to be an integral part of the Orient. The
majority of Islamic countries are to be found in what is referred
to as the Near, Middle and Far East respectively. As Mazrui points
out, Western colonialism has significantly influenced the relationship
between religion and nationalism by reshaping the region geopolitically—"[t]he
compartmentalization of the Ottoman Empire was part of the trend
towards the nationalization of Islam. (1990: 52) Moreover, as
the examples will hopefully show, contemporary U.S. foreign policy
both on the political, economic and military level is still being
shaped by a neocolonial/neohegemonic approach to the Orient and
the rest of the world in general.13
My use of the term Orientalist framework relies, as I indicated earlier, in part on Morillas' understanding of culture as "a complex web of cultural meaning systems which provide its members with schematized versions of the world, motivational forces, belief-systems, evokment [sic] potentials, institutional orientations, etc." (Morillas 1997: 55). The Orientalist framework, no doubt, provides the Westerner with "schematized versions" of the Orient skillfully perpetuating both the perceived and the factual contrast between the Orient and the West. In short, as a "cultural cognitive model", the Orientalist framework "works as a sort of intersubjectively-shared 'simplified', 'schematic' version of experience in the world." (Morillas 1997: 60)
The question that people asked themselves (and others) in the context of the Gulf crisis and war was the same one that Goffman claims guides people and their actions:
[w]hether asked explicitly, as in times of confusion and doubt, or tacitly, during occasions of usual certitude, the question is put and the answer to it is presumed by the way the individuals then proceed to get on with the affairs at hand. Starting, then with that question, this volume attempts to limn out a framework that could be appealed to for the answer. (1974: 8).
The hypothesis here is that there is strong evidence in the data analysis that Orientalism provides that "framework of understanding" (Goffman 1974: 10f.) by organizing Western experience of the Orient on the one hand, and on the other hand by structuring traditional ideas and images of the Orient in an attempt to explain "[w]hat [...] [it is] that's going on here" (ibid.) and moreover why what is going on requires Western intervention.
This, rather than cultural differences is what constitutes the seemingly insurmountable gap between the Orient and the West. According to Said, the systematic study of the Orient by Western scholars—not to mention both fictional and semi-fictional accounts by nonprofessional Orientalists—has produced a vast pool of images about both the Orient and the Oriental throughout the peak of British and French colonialism in particular. These images were usually handed on—i.e. by way of what Hofstede refers to as "collective mental programming" (1980: 16)—either by individuals or institutions related to the colonial enterprise. Moreover, these images resulting from the colonial era, clearly reflect the power asymmetry between former colonial powers and colonized peoples. In other words, the contemporary ethnocentric perspective is probably most evident in the terminology, dividing the world into East and West from a Euro-American point of view. Among the Orientalist images14
most Westerners are familiar with either through schooling or cultural encounters (i.e. literature, theatre, cinema, television, travel, migration movements) are those depicting the Orient as a place which is characterized by lack of order (chaos even), a degree of alienness which is not to be mistaken for fascination with the exotic, a sense of being restricted by social control, a subordination and discrimination of women, a social system characterized by kinship networks rather than by meritocratic values.
This image of the Orient has been perpetuated by successive generations of novelists, travelers, film producers, advertisers, news agencies etc., laying the foundation for contemporary news media to use these unchallenged conceptualizations of the Orient to contrast the concepts of Self and Other respectively in order to win public support for the U.S.-led military action against a threat to "our way of life."
3. Framing images
I have been using the term Orientalist framework to refer to the superstructure of the metaphor system. This metaphor system consists of a set of Orientalist frames, each of which is structured by a conceptual metaphor. It is also possible to describe these individual metaphorical conceptualizations (or frames) of the Orient as "schemata which are recognisable" to news recipients as they are "inherently structured" (Wallhead Salway 1997: 66). Due to this inherent structuring, "some element in the structuring of one schema will tie in somehow with one or more elements in the other schema or schemata evoked in the reader's mind" (ibid.). According to Cook, the function of such schemata is to influence the mind in such a way that it is "stimulated either by key linguistic items in the text (often referred to as 'triggers' (see Pitrat 1985/1988), or by the context, [which] activates a schema, and uses it to make sense of the discourse". (Cook 1994: 11 in: Wallhead Salway: 68) Moreover, as Wallhead Salway suggests, the schemata are flexible in that they prompt the reader "by a point of reference [...] to use his knowledge or imagination to fill in the possible gaps", though "[t]his filling in is not totally arbitrary, but governed by the limits of the schema." (ibid.). In this context, consider Goffman's definition of "frame space" as a combination of "participation statuses" a speaker enjoys and the various "production formats" that provide him with "different relationships to the words he utters, providing, thus, a set of interpretive frameworks in terms of which his words can be understood." (1981: 230). According to Goffman, a speaker can make choices while "operating within a frame space" (ibid.). Since "frame space will be normatively allocated", a speaker may either speak acceptably, i.e. "stay within the frame space allowed", or unacceptably, i.e. "take up an alignment that falls outside this space" (ibid.). The examples in Frames 1-7 owe their coherence to a shared "interpretive framework", i.e. Orientalism. By opting for an Orientalist discourse in covering the conflict and war in the Persian Gulf, the authors of the news items analyzed for this study have (concsiously or unconsciously) stayed within the normatively allocated frame space. The normatively allocated "frame space" corresponds with the dominant, Orientalist, conceptualization of Iraq and Iraqis (as well as other Arabs and Muslims) as propagated by the US government, military, and media. The particular "frame space" the media created (i.e. the various Orientalist frames) would cast Iraq and Iraqis, Arabs and Muslims in general, as Orientals by triggering preconceived ideas and images of the Orient in the public's conscious and unconscious mind.
Although metaphors were probably the most powerful means of conceptualizing the enemy in terms of Orientalism they were not the only "linguistic mechanisms" used throughout news coverage of the Gulf War. Thus, there was ample use of formulas as in "the Joker of Baghdad had more tricks up his sleeve" (N, 4 Feb. 91) to refer to Saddam Hussein's futile attempts to work out some kind of compromise. Also, frequent reference was made to historic figures famous both in the Orient and the West, e.g. Saddam Hussein was compared to King Nebuchadnezzar, Saladin, Hitler and Mussolini, whereas the cadet Schwarzkopf was said to have been a fervent admirer of "Alexander the Great, [...] Caesar, Hannibal and Napoleon" (N, 11 March 91) and Gen. Powell was seen as a "black Eisenhower" (N, 3 Sept. 90). Among the major metonymies used was "the Ruler-for-State" metonymy" as in "to get Saddam out of Kuwait" (Lakoff 1992: 467–468). Another instance of "linguistic mechanism" at work was the use of informal register to enhance the overal effect of the frames of Self-presentation and frames of Other-representation respectively. That the war of words was not over when the "smart weapons" had done their job, becomes evident when we look at a nationally televised speech at the end of the war, where President Bush could be heard thanking U.S. troops saying "Thank you guys. Thank you very, very much." (N, 18 March 91) Words like these make George Bush come across as a leader who knows that this is not his victory alone, a leader who respects his troops and who is convinced of having made the right decision. Saddam Hussein, on the other hand, is portrayed as a ruthless dictator who is willing to sacrifice his soldiers, using them to increase the "cost" of war for the Americans, "Those guys up front are really dog meat," says Ralph Ostrich, an analyst at an American defense-consulting firm (N, 11 Feb. 91). The choice of lexical items is equally telling, especially nouns, as in "Baghdad's Butcher" (N, 24 Sept. 90) or "a monster, [...] a madman, [...] a moron" (N, 11 March 91). The choice of verbs is also not accidental as the following examples illustrate, describing Saddam Hussein as trying "to worm his way around the sanctions" (N, 24 Sept. 90) nor is the selection of adjectives that ridicule Saddam Hussein as in "paranoid thug" (T, 19 Nov. 90) or "loose cannon" (T, 5 Nov. 90). By contrast, President Bush was seen as "strong and steady" when he announced the beginning of the ground war (N, 4 March 91).
Having outlined the more general dimension of Orientalism, which is effective without using metaphor, it is now necessary to distinguish between two different kinds of Orientalist frames, as the propaganda value of Orientalist metaphors depends on how convincingly the contrast between Us and Them, i.e. between the positive self-image and the negative image of the enemy is conveyed. Thus, while the frames of Self-presentation serve to convey a positive image of the U.S. and its allies, the frames of Other-representation serve to provide a negative image of the enemy, i.e. Iraq. Most, if not all of the frames and conceptual metaphors collected can be seen as dominated by this dualism. The success of the individual frames depends, on the one hand, on their ability to evoke a strong sense of identification in the reader or audience with what is epitomized in Us, while triggering feelings of contempt, bewilderment or even fear with regard to Them. Each frame covers a different aspect of the conflict, of the Oriental psyche, of the Western practices of dealing with the Orient etc. thus partially structuring the conflict. Which aspect is covered depends on the metaphors that are held together by the same concept, e.g. "the Westerner is rational"/"the Oriental is emotional". As the examples will reveal, there are occasional clashes even within individual frames, which is an indication for instances where, as Lakoff would probably put it, President Bush (assisted by his huge administrative staff) "couldn't get his story straight." (Lakoff 1992: 467).
4. Frames of self-presentation vs. frames of Other-representation
The Orientalist frames contain metaphors that provide "mental representations"—a term used by Cook (1995: 146 in: Wallhead Salway 1997: 68) to characterize schemata as typical instances—of the Orient and the Oriental, of Iraq and the Iraqis as well as of other Arabs. As these are mental images based on "cultural cognitive models", the Orient (and by the same token the Oriental) is a state of mind rather than a physical reality. In its turn, this state of mind or mindset is structured in a number of frames. Morgan's understanding and definition of the term frames is partly based on the works of Goffman (1974), and Lakoff (1987). According to Morgan:
[...] each of these 'frames' of self-presentation is a multi-element cognitive model with rich traditional linguistic and cultural components and associations, including presuppositions and entailments or inferences, through which a society views, understands, structures, and conducts itself and its activities. Because of this complexity, these cultural frames are often cognitively linked to each other by the intersection or overlap of some of the elements of their idealized cognitive models." (1997: 276).
By analogy, what I refer to as Orientalist frames are "multi-element cognitive [...] [models] with rich traditional linguistic and cultural components and associations, including presuppositions and entailments or inferences, through which [...] [the West] views, understands, structures, and conducts itself and its activities" towards the Orient.
Islam as the core element of Orientalist thinking today is "defined negatively as that with which the West is radically at odds, and this tension establishes a framework radically limiting knowledge of Islam" (Said 1997: 163). In the context of Western thinking patterns characterized by Orientalist metaphors, the function of frames within the "cultural cognitive model" of Orientalism is two-dimensional. It is accomplished with much distinction by the use of frames of Self-presentation and frames of Other-representation respectively. The first conceptualize the Judeo-Christian West in terms of a civilization or world view that has emerged as the "fittest" (in the Darwinist sense) from a global struggle for survival with rival ideologies (notably, and most recently communism) and civilizations. The second, i.e. the frames of Other-representation, construct what Said describes as Orientalism:
[...] a political vision of reality whose structure promoted the difference between the familiar (Europe, the West, "us") and the strange (the Orient, the East, "them"). This vision in a sense created and then served the two worlds thus conceived. Orientals lived in their world, "we" lived in ours. The vision and material reality propped each other up, kept each other going. [...] My argument takes it that the Orientalist reality is both antihuman and persistent. Its scope, as much as its institutions and all-pervasive influence, lasts up to the present. (1979: 43)
In other words, black-and-white images of Us and Them were used to explain what had happened in the Middle East and to justify what had to happen in response. And when it became more and more obvious that war was imminent, many had come to accept the inevitable or what seemed inevitable, since even the most strident critics of war would identify with Us—as presented in these frames—rather than with Them.
The function of framing of images is to present simplified schemata of a complex cultural and political reality. The polarization inherent in the frames of Self-presentation and Other-representation reveals the manipulative potential that comes from the conceptual metaphors they depend on. Again, as metaphors allow us to come to terms with a less concrete or inherently vaguer concept such as war by structuring it in terms of more concrete concepts, Orientalist frames serve to focus on those aspects of the Orient that are diametrically opposed to the West, while downplaying or hiding aspects shared by both the Orient and the West (see Lakoff—Johnson 1980: 112; 149). By identifying with what is associated with the West (e.g. freedom, human rights, democracy), the public in the West finds it easier to accept the inevitability of war, as to dissent would mean to identify with the enemy's way of life. On the other hand, by identifying Orientals with undemocratic obsolete political and social systems, the war was characterized as serving another altruistic objective, i.e. the emancipation of the Iraqi people, who would eventually have a chance to get rid of a severely weakened Saddam Hussein15
. Thus, the success of the war-track diplomacy, which undermined the peace-track, was accomplished by Orientalist metaphors that contrasted the positive self-image of the U.S.-led international alliance with the negative image of Iraq, its leader and its army as well as of Orientals in general.
Hutton's interpretation of Whorf's work as in favour of other (i.e. non-Western) world views (1999: 2) results in the notions of "cultural relativism" and "universalism". According to Hutton, the former implies that the world's cultural point's of views are equal, the latter points to the other (i.e. non-Western) world view's potential as a "corrective" to "western language culture" (ibid.). The question whether one has to chose between these seemingly contradictory views that seem to represent "progress" and "reaction" respectively is not the one that guides this study. It cannot be the same question, since the hypothesis here is that news coverage of the the Gulf crisis and war offered no alternative to Orientalist conceptualizations of Iraqis (or other Arabs and Muslims for that matter). Hence, Orientalist thinking cannot be considered as compatible with either "cultural relativism" or "universalism". However, what seems to be a most promising avenue for further investigation in the context of this study is the kind of exploration Hutton makes with regard to language structures and the associated world-view in non-Western language and cultures (ibid.: 5). Of course, such an examination of that "variant of Orientalist dualistic thinking [...] that sees the West as conceptually rigid and Eastern thought as open-ended and flexible" (ibid. 14) would have to start with a discussion of the culturally and geographically different notions of Orientalism held by the West resulting in a differentiation between what can tentatively be referred to as an Asian Orient with a background of Buddhism and Hinduism and an Islamic Orient.
It is now time to present some of the total of 7 frames16based on the Orientalist conceptual framework. The source domains for the metaphors presented in the respective frames17correlate with the polarized keywords presented in Table 1:
4.1. Frame 1: Civilization vs. Barbarism
This frame consists of the conceptual metaphors
(1) If there is a consensus among Kuwaitis about anything, it is this: despite its vast wealth, Kuwaiti society was sick, and not merely because of democratic failings or the poor treatment of expatriates. (T, 24 Dec. 90)
However, the most forceful image used in news reports on the Gulf war was no doubt the conceptualization of Saddam Hussein as the reincarnation of Hitler, the immorality of whom was also conceived as a disease that had been allowed to spread because it had not been "treated" in time. Treatment here, of course, meaning containment of expansionist dictators by the peace-loving international community (ibid.: 263):
(2) Three cheers for the U.S. for showing the tyrant Saddam that the civilized world will not tolerate another Adolf Hitler. (T, 10 Sept. 90)
In this light, history proved those who favoured war right. Both the invasion and the allies' response to the aggression were cast in terms of an eternal battle between good and evil. The West used historic figures and references to religious and historic sources that brought to mind the triumph of those who had used force to stop evil from spreading:
(3) Operation Desert Storm, which started just six weeks before with the launching of the air war, produced a stunning victory for Bush, a triumph of almost Biblical proportions—his enemy slain in countless numbers, his own soldiers hardly touched by the battlefield's scouring wind. (N, 11 March 91)
(4) According to Scowcroft [National Security Adviser], the gulf crisis poses a crucial question: "Can the U.S. use force—even go to war—for carefully defined national interests, or do we have to have a moral crusade or a galvanizing event like Pearl Harbor?" (T, 7 Jan. 91)
Just as the average Iraqi soldier was negatively affected by the "Ruler-for-State" metonymy, the US military, too, were conceptualized as an embodiment of Western principles:
(5) Schwarzkopf: A Soldier of Conscience (N, 11 March 91)
(6) "This is a long, long way from home, but I think Americans are home wherever their principles are, " he [James Baker] said. (N, 28 Jan. 91)
In spite of his insistency on peace conditions that the US knew were unacceptable to Saddam Hussein, George Bush would still be cast as a benevolent leader who was in pursuit of peace:
(7) President Bush stood in front of the United Nations last week and offered what seemed like an olive branch to Saddam Hussein. (N, 15 Oct. 90)
Saddam Hussein, on the other hand, was conceptualized as a prototypical immoral and inhuman leader, driven by the basic instincts of survival, greed, and revenge:
(8) You could see it at work last week in the swollen faces, glazed eyes and mumbling voices of the American, British, Italian and Kuwaiti airmen that Saddam Hussein dogmarched through Baghdad and grilled on TV. (N, 4 Feb. 91)
(9) If tanks move into Saudi Arabia, mocking Baghdad's butcher may no longer seem so funny. (N, 24 Sept. 90)
Thus, Saddam would also be seen as heir to countless Oriental rulers who in ancient times had attempted to defeat or actually succeeded in defeating the Judeo-Christian West, such as the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar or the Kurdish warrior Saladin:
(10) Saddam sounds like a ninth-century holy warrior preparing to battle the infidel. [...] Saddam borrowed his ghoulish threat to make the Americans "swim in their own blood" word for word from Al-Tabari, the Herodotus of the Arab world who chronicled the jihads of the Abbasid Empire. (N, 21 Jan. 91)
Some of the examples in this frame illustrate another characteristic of Orientals, i.e. cowardice and cruelty18
(11) Saddam's attempt to "hide behind Western women and children" was "utterly repulsive" said Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. (T, 3 Sept. 90)
(12) Knowing that he cannot win the war on the battlefield, Saddam will sacrifice the lives of his own soldiers in order to kill Americans. (N, 11 Feb. 91)
Moreover, these qualities were extended to characterize the Iraqi military by means of the "Ruler-for-State" metonymy:
4.2. Frame 2: Power vs. Weakness
Here, the relationship between the Orient and the West is conceptualized in terms of an asymmetrical power distribution. As power is always relative, Iraq, too, can be seen as powerful, although only as compared to those who are weaker:
(1) "Any time an independent Arab leader looks strong," he [an old man in Bahrain] boomed, "the West beats him down." (T, 15 Oct. 90)
(2) After all, he would be expected to lose a fight with a superpower, but he might well gain respect for standing up to the U.S. hard and long. (T, 21 Jan. 91)
The subframe "the Oriental is effeminate or emasculated" builds on the conceptualization of power as gender-related both in the Orient and the West. Traditionally, power has been associated with masculinity, while weakness is equated with femininity. Hofstede's extensive cross-cultural study represents valuable research on this issue (1980: 261–311; ch. 6 on "Masculinity"). On the basis of his 40-country-survey on national differences in masculinity and feminity, Hofstede (pp. 278–279) measures these countries' "masculinity" pattern by means of the "MAS" (i.e. Country Masculinity Index). The "MAS" (ranging between zero and 100) reflects the degree of importance the respondents attached to occupation-related masculinity and femininity values. As Iraq was not part of the research, the data for Iran will be used here to compare the "MAS" values of the U.S. and Iraq in the context of their power relations. Thus, the U.S. were well above average with a "MAS" of 62, while Iran had a "MAS" of 43, slightly below average. However, even more important are what Hofstede (p. 288) refers to as the "connotations" of the "MAS Index". For instance, while "Low MAS countries" are characterized by believing in "group decisions", "High MAS countries" are characterized by a "[b]elief in the independent decision maker" (ibid.). This is just one example of what is conceived of as a culture-specific view related to the process of decision-making in the U.S and Iraq respectively. The difference in "MAS" value for the U.S. and Iraq respectively strengthens the idea underlying conceptualizations of the Orient as weak and therefore feminine or rather emasculated, while the more powerful West is seen as masculine. As Lakoff (1992: 477), too, points out, "it is common for Arabs to conceptualize the colonization and subsequent domination of the Arab world by the West, especially the US as emasculation". At times, the West which is well aware of the association between political power and masculinity in the Arab world, uses this image to emphasize the power asymmetry between themselves and the Iraqis. However, according to the "just-war scenario", it is Kuwait which is conceptualized as "a weak, defenseless country", i.e. "as female", while Iraq is conceptualized as "a strong militarily powerful country", i.e. "as male" (Lakoff 1992: 477). This is again an instance of power being relative. The power of the conceptual metaphor "Kuwait-as-rape-victim" lies in the moral implications, i.e. the utter contempt for the violator and the unconditional sympathy for the victim:
(3) Eager to divert attention from his rape of Kuwait, the Iraqi leader has tried repeatedly to drag Israel onto center stage in order to convince his fellow Arabs that the enemy is not Iraq but the Zionists and their American backers. (T, 22 Oct. 90)
Consider the conceptualization of Iran in the following example, suggesting that lack of power compels a nation to "flirt" with those who are stronger, i.e. more masculine than itself. Another reason for comparing a weak state to a woman is the classical male notion that women are capricious and act selfishly in pursuit of their goals:
(4) Iran, which at first seemed to be quietly siding with the United States against its old foe, now seems content to play both sides of the street; flirting with the United States even as it gleefully accepts Saddam's offer of a peace treaty favorable to Teheran. (N, 27 Aug. 90)
Whooever rescues the victim and punishes the aggressor is conceptualized both as strong and as a hero, a role that the U.S. could easily identify with. Similarly, the political domination of the Arab world by the West is viewed as an act of emasculation by someone more powerful:
(5) "Preparing the battlefield," the euphemism Schwarzkopf used for emasculating the Iraqi Army, had changed the arithmetic. (N, 18 March 91)
(6) One reason for Iraqi impotence in the early gulf war was U.S. mastery of the electronic battlefield. (N, 28 Jan. 91)
According to Lakoff, "[e]very form of metaphorical morality has its source in experiential morality." (1996: 250f.) His "metaphor system for morality" helps explain how moral actions in states and rulers (or individuals in general) are metaphorically understood in terms of the basic schemes "well-being is health", "well-being is strength" and "well-being is wealth" (see ibid.: 252f.). Immoral actions, on the other hand, are seen as based on morality as sickness/weakness/poverty. Implicitly, the more powerful is conceptualized as more moral. This, of course, is only the case if it is the powerful who is using the metaphor. Thus, Iraq's strength was be considered as "opposition" or "rebellion", but never as the kind of strength that could possibly (and legitimately) try to "bring the US to its knees":
(7) Saddam's appeal goes beyond envy to touch the historical core of Arab malaise, the sense that a magnificent past has given way to a demeaning present. (N, 27 Aug. 90).
(8) That raised a question: did Dugan knowingly risk his career to put forth the Air Force view that air power is enough to bring Iraq to its knees? (N, 1 Oct. 90)
(9) And he [James Baker] privately winced at some of Bush's macho threats to "kick ass." (N, 14 Jan. 91)
However, as the following example shows, apart from military power, financial power, too, plays a role in determining whether a country is seen as masculine or feminine, since national power is also expressed in terms of sexual health:
(10) Meanwhile European pundits wrote about the final demise of both [this emphasis is not mine] superpowers and buried the United States as a bankrupt, castrated giant. (N, 24 Sept. 90)
4.3. Frame 3: Maturity vs. Immaturity
This frame consists of the conceptual metaphor "the Oriental is a student"/"the Westerner is a teacher". As in Frame 2, here too, the relationship between the Orient and the West is not one between equals. Rather, one party is in control and the other is controlled. In the case of the student-teacher relationship, the Oriental is conceptualized as someone who is in need of cultural (e.g. women's liberation), political (e.g. political freedom) and economic (e.g. capitalism) education or instruction. This metaphor implies that Orientals—like students—have a lower level of knowledge and experience. The Westerner, on the other hand, is conceptualized as culturally, politically, and economically advanced, i.e. in a position to educate, instruct, and guide. The student is expected to reach the same state through a process of formation and education. The teacher, on the other hand, is expected to be altruistic, his/her only objective being the continuing mental and physical development of all entrusted students. To accomplish this, teachers have to be patient as the young lack the knowledge and experience which would enable them to make the right decisions. Also implicit in this conceptualization is that students can become something of a nuisance or problem if they do not fulfill expectations, indulge in provocative behavior or destabilize the rest of the class or—rather in this context the "family of nations" by trying to have it their own way:
(1) Much of the talk about a new world order started a year ago, when Saddam was just another loudmouth bullyboy who was being paid off by the Gulf Arabs, lethally equipped by the Soviets, as well as the French and Germans, and coddled by the U.S. (T, 28 Jan. 91)
(2) "At one level, for the very first time in Saddam's career he is exactly where he wants to be—at the center of power, the focus of attention," says Jerrold Post, a specialist in psychological profiles of world leaders. (N, 10 Dec. 90)
(3) One reason George Bush was so determined to punch this bully in the nose was to deter the other bullies in the schoolyard. (N, 11 March 91).
Thus, the U.S. response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait was not only conceptualized as an act of restoring justice and peace by reestablishing the pre-invasion status and the power balance in the region, but also as a lesson in international politics. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the U.S. was eager to demonstrate that the idea of two superpowers was not indispensible. Moreover, the superiority of U.S. hightech military equipment and superbly trained personnel could wipe out the Vietnam trauma and restore trust in the U.S.:
(4) Desert Storm was a didactic war, waged to instruct potential aggressors in new rules for the game of nations. (N, 11 March 91)
(5) A Textbook Victory (N, 11 March 91)
(6) This is a war to punish Saddam, not the entire Arab world. (N, 28 Jan. 91)
The asymmetry inherent in this relationship is that the "teacher" is in a position to determine everything, i.e. the "teaching methods", the "evaluation" of the "performance", and most importantly, the "subjects" (in this context, democracy) to be taught:
(7) Such a humiliation, they hope, will hasten his overthrow or, at the least, teach him a lesson. (T, 27 Aug. 90)
(8) There is also much talk of maintaining a permanent U.S. presence in Saudi Arabia to keep Iraq honest, but most analysts outside the Administration doubt the Arabs would tolerate that for long. (T, 10 Sept. 90)
In the cold-war-era, there had been two main ideologies, not to chose from, but at least to identify with which gave domination a better face. However, in the post-cold-war era, the "student", here Iraq, is put in a class it does not even want to belong to. The way of life represented by the U.S. can neither be translated into Iraqi culture and society nor is it desirable. But, as the fashionable phrase "new world order" suggests, it is not for those to question it who have no share in designing it. All the "students" can do is take the place assigned them and try their best to please, although not all lessons learnt are approved of by the teacher:
(9) Saddam has memorized the lesson of Ho Chi Minh: that no matter how superior America's force in the field, it cannot win without the hearts and minds of the American people. (N, 10 Dec. 90)
Unfortunately, many Arab states are conceptualized as unsuccessful students who have to be disciplined and put back in their place from time to time. In this context, Rosch's notion of "cognitive reference points and prototypes" contradicting the classical theory of categories (i.e. that "the properties defining the category are shared by all members, and so all members have equal status as category members", Lakoff 1987: 40) can be applied, since some Arab nations are, and especially during the Gulf War were, considered as more central to the category "Oriental" than others. While Iraq was the prototypical member in this war, the most representative member (Lakoff 1987: 41), others, e.g. Jordan or Egypt who were not central in this conflict were not central to the category "Orient/Oriental" either. The reason, obviously, was the need to focus on the adversary, in this case Iraq and use Orientalist conceptualizations of other Arab nations to support the political and military approach to Iraq. Since in this conflict, Jordan and Egypt, for instance, played only support roles, there was no need to conceptualize them as prototypical or most representative members of the category "Oriental". Also, this was an opportunity to prove that West could meet East if East fulfilled the expectations of the West first:
(10) Jordan has often been praised by the West for its political realism and moderation. (N, 10 Sept. 90)
(11) Egypt—which is sending two mechanized divisions totaling 30,000 personnel to Saudi Arabia and which, in facing up to Saddam, has absorbed economic losses that President Hosni Mubarak estimates at $9 billion—gets a grade of A+ from Congressman Aspin. Many others, however, deserve a D—or an F. (T, 24 Dec. 90).
(12) Iraq's ambassador to Britain was summoned to the Foreign Office and given a 20-minute dressing down. (T, 27 Aug. 90)
The conceptualization of the U.S. as a stern teacher implies the notion that adults sometimes have "to be cruel to be kind" in order to achieve certain educational objectives. Not rewarding Iraq's aggression by negotiating, which was misrepresented as "compromise", was considered to be the best way to achieve the educational objective, i.e. punish a defiant "student", here Saddam Hussein and help his country return to the peaceful family of nations:
(13) "We've got a carrot-and-stick policy," said Baker, "and the carrot is, if he gets out, he doesn't get the stick." (N, 17 Dec. 90)
(14) The feckless international response to his muscle flexing during the past decade has nourished his belief that he has little to fear if he misbehaves (T, 13 Aug. 90)
4.4. Frame 4: Rationality vs. Emotionality
This frame depends on two main stereotypes: "Orientals are emotional" and "Westerners are rational"—"[t]he perceived Arab tendency towards verbosity and antagonistic dispute is the opposite of self-ascribed European norms of negotiation, consensus and rational dialogue." (Blommaert&Verschueren 1998: 37) Accordingly, the Orient is conceptualized as ruled by emotionality rather than by rationality and the implication is that this is simply a case of cultural difference, i.e. something that cannot be changed and has to be accepted when dealing with Orientals. This contrast is not only applied to Saddam Hussein and George Bush as the representative adversaries in the crisis, but it is also extended to include on the one hand, the people they represent, and on the other hand the culture and value system they stand for, i.e. the West and the Orient:
(1) Logic in the Arab world is often eclipsed by emotion. (T, 27 Aug. 90)
(2) And, he adds, "given the unstable political environment in the region, in which emotions take precedence over rationality," calculated deterrence may simply not work in the Middle East." (N, 2 July 90)
This, of course, is an instance of what Lakoff describes as "reference-point reasoning" or "metonymic reasoning", i.e. the "idea that a part of a category (that is, a member or subcategory) can stand for the whole category in certain reasoning processes." (Lakoff 1987: 13). A subframe, i.e. "arguments are paths vs. arguments are circles", respectively, in the West and in the Orient, expands the difference in culture-dependent thinking modes. The Western way of thinking is characterized as linear, typically progressing as one makes a rational argument (see Lakoff—Johnson 1980: 89–91). Linearity, of course, suggesting "sequential development" of thinking which is comprehensible to others19
. The Oriental way of thinking is conceptualized as circular and more often than not incomprehensible to a Western mind. Not only do the examples suggest is this true of Saddam Hussein, but also of Orientals at large. From the Western point of view this means that an argument made by an Oriental leads nowhere as it typically returns to the starting point:
(3) "Saddam Hussein thinks in terms of circles," said Amitzia Baram, a Haifa University expert on Iraq. (N, 13 Aug. 90).
(4) With sanctions serving only to increase Saddam's belligerance and the West struggling to fathom his thinking, war looks more and more inevitable. (T, 8 Oct. 90)
(5) "King Hussein is running around rather frantically," Bush was quoted as telling congressional leaders. (N, 10 Sept. 90)
With regard to the Gulf crisis, this rendered negotiations between the respective leaders meaningless. However, as rationality can also be interpreted as a lack of compassion, which is a positive kind of emotionality, George Bush, it is said, had to struggle to remain cool-headed:
(6) Bush has tried hard not to be swayed by emotionalism. (N, 3 Sept. 90)
By establishing this fundamental cognitive contrast between Saddam Hussein and George Bush, between the Orientals and the Westerners, and repeating it over and over again, the Western public gradually came to accept the dismissal of diplomatic efforts in favor of a military option as inevitable. Another stereotype related to Frames 3 and 5 conceptualized Orientals as respecting political leaders in pursuit of omnipotent (or pan-Arabic) ambitions, while showing less admiration for rational leaders with diplomatic skills:
(7) Iraq's leader may be a blood-trenched tyrant, but for many he is nonetheless a symbol of dignity, unity and self-reliance. (T, 28 Jan. 91)
This stereotype not only questioned the Oriental's political maturity but it also suggested an imbalance between "emotionality" and "rationality" in favor of "emotionality" in the average Oriental. However, an obvious asymmetry remains in the conceptualization of Saddam Hussein as ruled by emotion rather than by logic, since, as Lakoff (1992: 466) too points out, the Iraqi leader's decisions and political moves are perfectly in line with the "[r]ationality is the maximization of self-interest" metaphor. Another asymmetry is the initial view (as long as the peace-track was credibly pursued) that rationality was something that the West could teach the Orientals:
(8)The secretary-general of the United Nations, Javier Pérez de Cuellar, flew to Amman to see if he could talk some sense into the Iraqis. (N, 10 Sept. 90)
These two examples are clearly in conflict and even contradiction with the aura of 'emotionality' stamped on the Arab world as the reasoning here seems to be that neither Saddam Hussein nor the Iraqis at large are devoid of rationality. Rather, rationality is viewed as something that can be restored, if lost temporarily, or is still worthwhile being expected:
(9)"I haven't seen sense or reason from Saddam," Bush told congressional leaders. (N, 10 Sept. 90)
4.5. Frame 5: Stability vs. Instability
This is the category that reveals most clearly that the images of the Orient are to be considered as detached from physical reality as they are used to project upon physically real nation states a conceptualization which has not so much to do with experiences of the Orient but preconceived ideas about it. For example, oil-rich Arab states such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are described as "[b]uilt on sand" (N, 13 Aug. 90). The most significant implication here is that the Orient is as unreal and thus as unstable as a fictional place both in the political and geographic sense. At this level, the Orient's divergency from the West is either metaphorically conceptualized in terms of natural forces, e.g. the Orient is seen as "out of balance" or "turbulent" or in terms of imagination, even deception as reflected by references to fairytales, stories or wishful thinking:
(1) The bigger problem is that oil is not spread randomly: it is concentrated in a region of volcanic politics. (N, 20 Aug. 90)
(2) Bush's bright hopes for gathering more Republican strength in swelling Florida, Texas and California in the election just two months distant are now also tied to the shifting sands of the Middle East. (T, 10 Sept. 90)
This frame contains a subframe, i.e. "reality vs. illusion", which is also related to Frame 2 as it establishes power relations between the Orient and the West: as a Western invention, the Orient remains subject to Western reinvention. Thus, in line with its conceptualization as a fairytale location, the Orient (as well as the notion of Arab unity) is seen as bound to evaporate (due to disillusionment) or to be destroyed by some kind of outside interference20
. As a consequence, military or other interventions in the Orient are perceived as less momentous in the Middle East than elsewhere:
(3) In economic terms, the have-nots see little future except as part of that dream kingdom known as the Arab Nation. (T, 27 Aug. 90)
The subframe "reality vs. illusion" also illustrates how the average Oriental's mental and emotional condition is conceptualized as unbalanced, unpredictable and uncontrollable in analogy to natural forces. Westerners by contrast are conceived of as balanced, reliable and controled. This dichotomy is indissolubly linked to the Western conception of the superiority of rationality over emotionality.
(4) Either way, if war breaks out, the tremors will shake the entire Arab world. (N, 14 Jan. 91)
(5) As war in the gulf looks ever more probable, the uneasiness and frustration of ordinary citizens are beginning to bubble over. (T, 15 Oct. 90)
(6) The rising tide of pro-Iraqi sentiment has caught some by surprise: many of the 3 million Egyptian laborers who worked in Iraq before the war brought back tales of horror about life in that country. (N, 18 Feb. 91)
According to the Western principle of "objective truth"—discussed at great length and considerable depth by Lakoff and Johnson (1980)—emotion is believed to have to be controled by reason and not the other way round. Therefore, attempts by the West to enforce and maintain a balance of power in the region are doomed to fail as Saddam Hussein is depicted as an Oriental leader who is able and willing to change the balance of the world. The balanced state of the world, of course, being something that is defined by the West and of which the West is a self-declared guardian:
(7) He has the army, the arsenal and the audacity to pursue his grand ambition to rule the region—or rock the world. (T, 13 Aug. 90)
(8) They all laughed nervously; Saddam had thrown everyone off balance. (N, 28 Jan. 91)
(9) Japan and Germany should share a big chunk of the financial costs of keeping the world in balance. [Yasuhiro Nakasone, former Japanese Prime Minister] (N, 11 March 91)
Another aspect of the subframe "reality vs. illusion" is implied by the metaphor conceptualizing Arab leadership as illusory, as an act of self-deception. Thus, Pan-Arabism is conceived of as an Arab Dream that—unlike its American equivalent—will not come true, as Arabs lack the kind of unity that would enable them to act in unity.
(10) The Kuwaitis thought they would live happily ever after—until Iraq came and took Never-Never Land away. (N, 13 Aug. 90)
4.6. Frame 6: Alliance vs. Kinship
The stereotype ruling this frame is "Orientals are brothers/Westerners are allies". The conceptualization of Arab alliances as fraternization, while Western alliances among cultural kin such as Americans, Britons and Germans are not seen as such suggests that alliances between Westerners are based on cool reason, whereas Oriental alliances are regarded as based on blood ties which are not self-determined, but have to be put up with:
(1) In a "Dear Brother" letter to Iranian President Hashemi Rafsanjani, Saddam offered to ... (N, 27 Aug. 90)
(2) Assad's own senior military staff is firmly opposed to a shooting war against a brother Arab nation. (N, 17 Sept. 90)
(3) The minister of Information, Latif Jassim, whose chief qualification for high office seems to be that he came from Saddam's village, ... (N, 8 Oct. 90)
The "peace-loving family of nations" is a Western construct that defines itself by including and excluding potential members based on self-interest rather than on family ties. This conceptual metaphor moreover levels differences within both worlds. Thus, despite the economic, political, ideological and cultural disparity among Arab nations, "the Arab world" is viewed by the West as a close-knit family:
(4) As long as a decent interval elapsed, the United States would not interfere with negotiations among what he called the "happy Arab family. " (N, 19 Oct. 90)
All Arabs or rather all Muslims are viewed as "brothers" who close ranks against foreign, i.e. Western intervention. On the other hand, the West, too, is conceptualized (and thus idealized) as homogeneous. Ideally or rather in the Western democratic sense, an alliance is an egalitarian institution. In reality, however, neither the Oriental family nor the Western alliance is egalitarian or homogeneous. But in order to serve as dichotomous categories, both have to be conceptualized and presented as homogeneous. To speak of an Arab world in support of Saddam or to speak of a Western alliance that is unanimously determined to defeat Saddam is not just illusory, but it is a deliberate ignorance or even misrepresention of the reality on either side. Yet, the following is one of the rare examples acknowledging the divisions within what is viewed as the happy Arab family:
(4) Saddam might not trust his Arab brothers, much less Washington or Tel Aviv, to honor a compromise. (N, 19 Oct. 90)
The use of expressions such as "the Kuwaitis bought off Saddam" with billions worth of interest-free loans, is not matched by references to, for examples, the U.S. aid to Israel as well as to other countries for services rendered in aid of US foreign policy. The entailment of the family metaphor, i.e. the "family of nations" metaphor suggests a happy family life which is not a realistic reflection of the status quo either: those—Westerners or not—who are not satisfied with their treatment or their position in this family order (new world order) try to break free from the family from time to time only to be disciplined and then reintegrated into the family:
(6) Iraq is bankrupt and a world pariah. (N, 18 March 91)
There is a link between this frame and Frame 5, i.e. "stability vs. instability". Oddly enough, the concept of "family" represents "instability" here, whereas the "alliance" stands for "stability". Traditionally, the family is conceived of as the most natural and therefore strongest network of relationships. This has to do with what "family" and "alliance" are based on according to the Orientalist framework: the family concept is based on blood ties that cannot be chosen; alliances, on the other hand, are perceived as based on a sensible choice of partners:
(7) ... his Arab brethren in OPEC were prepared to follow his [S.H.'s] lead. (N, 6 Aug. 90)
Obviously, bonds that are determined by reason have, especially according to the Western model of reasoning, a higher life expectancy than bonds based on fraternity because, as the model claims, logic is the ultimate.
(8) "Baker and Shevardnaze will put their arms around each other and say to Aziz, 'Get the picture?' The message should be unmistakable" said a senior U.S. official. (N, 10 Dec. 90)
What this frame hopefully sheds light upon is the trend that the new world obviously seems to work in favour of cultural-economic family ties rather than kinship. In other words, the military and more recently cultural colonization and domination of much of the world by Euro-Americans seems to be a more successful strategy in the New World Order than kinship-based alliances among Islamic countries.
4.7. Frame 7: Gambling Table vs. Bazaar
According to this frame, life in the Orient is conceptualized as functioning according to the bazaar mechanism, meaning that everything is subject to negotiation or rather haggling and there are no certainties:
(1) "The Middle East diplomatic bazaar, closed for the duration of the gulf war, is open for business once again." (N, 11 March 91)
(2) The real issue is Iraq's bid to join the nuclear club, and whether the world will bar the door now or later, when the cost could be even steeper. (N, 3 Sept. 90)
Gambles or games, on the other hand, are characterized by a set of rules known to and obeyed by every player. Both consist of people who in order to win make strategic moves, who may even mislead the others with regard to their strategy and possibilities. And since the rules are the same for everyone, and ideally, everyone sticks to the rules and noone cheats, winning or losing depends solely on a player's skills leaving no uncertainties or room for arbitrariness:
(3) The diplomatic gamble... (N, 10 Dec. 90)
(4) ... the diplomatic chess game ... (N, 28 Jan. 91)
"Winning", according to the diplomacy-is-a-gamble metaphor, requires that certain, i.e. Western rules of conduct are to be observed. So even when Saddam Hussein or Orientals in general were conceptualized in terms of the gamble metaphor, they are depicted as losers, as they are not good players or do not play according to Western rules. "Winning", according to the bazaar mechanism is determined by bid and counter-bid, the risk being that one pays either too much or offers too little to be considered to be the winner in the deal. The result, in the bazaar version of diplomacy is unpredictable, while the Western gamble, requires strategic thinking, training, experience, and ideally, honesty. However, the West did engage in bazaar-style negotiations as well, since the alliance was not a volunteer troop after all. Rather, it had to be kept together by either incentives or threats:
(5) The parties bargain behind diplomatic smoke screens, exchanging ambiguous signals and unspoken messages. (N, 17 Dec. 90)
But rather than viewing U.S. efforts to summon material and immaterial aid for the war as a similar form of haggling, news coverage presented the Oriental way of reaching solutions as archaic or even funny:
(6) The Palestinians. Backed wrong horse, but war or not, peace conference is more likely. (N, 21 Jan. 91)
It is important that the two different ways of negotiation were conceptualized and presented as culture-specific: the bazaar was being associated with arbitrariness, cunningness and spontaneous decisions, while the gamble metaphor emphasised the observance of objective rules in negotiations. Thus, the Western way of negotiating appears to be regulated by straight rules, so the West can send "unconditional withdrawal with no strings attached" as a message to Saddam Hussein who is said to be a "shrewd bargainer" (N, 10 Dec. 90), i.e. someone who is out to get the most by giving as little as possible. This frame does not allow the Iraqi leader to have the same view on international relations and participate in the diplomatic gamble as an equal:
(7) Saddam is a dreamer, a gambler who backs his wagers with the blood of his people. (N, 10 Dec. 90)
(8) Of all the cards Saddam Hussein was holding as he attempted to stave off the U.S. and ist allies, the strongest was the thousand of Americans, Britons and other foreign nationals held against their will in Iraq and Kuwait. Last week he played it. (T, 27 Aug. 90)
By conceptualizing Saddam Hussein and his staff as haggling bazaar merchants, Western diplomats, preferring to describe their job as negotiating, discredited the people involved and ridiculed the proposals offered by the Iraqi side:
(9) ... the long string of conditions attached to the withdrawal [...] might well be an initial bid designed to be taken little more seriously than a bazaar merchant's opening price quotation. (T, 25 Feb. 91)
One of the biggest (and fatal) paradoxes, was the rejection of negotiations with the Iraqi leadership. When President Bush reiterated unremittingly that there was nothing to negotiate between Iraq and the rest of the world, this was actually contrary to the popular conception of what diplomacy is about, i.e. negotiating and making compromises:
(10) Bush says there's nothing to negotiate about."(N, 17 Dec. 90)
(11) "I cannot make any concessions on these," said Pérez de Cuellar, "I am not a merchant to negotiate." (T, 10 Sept. 90).
By evoking images of bazaar merchants sitting at the same table with Western diplomats looking for a good deal, the Western public was led to view neither Saddam Hussein nor his staff and their proposals seriously. Any proposal that came from Iraq could be easily dismissed as an attempt to cheat on the West, which by considering any of the Iraqi proposals would be allowing the criminal to get away with the crime and look like a winning hero:
(12) But we mustn't assume this opening bid of Saddam means that he has given up. (N, 25 Feb. 91)
The mere use of the verb bargain to describe the U.N. Secretary-General's function in the peace efforts with Iraq is inappropriate in Western eyes. By "bargaining", the United Nations' highest representative would have descended to the level of haggling Oriental merchants:
(13) The U.N. secretary-general could not bargain with Aziz. (N, 10 Sept. 90)
To conceptualize Iraqis and Kuwaitis as haggling over serious issues such as border disputes like Oriental merchants means to take them not seriously as political actors:
(14) When the Iraqis and Kuwaitis gathered in Jidda for a final haggle over oil and borders, ... (N, 28 Jan. 91)
And when an ultimatum, which implies finality to Westerners, is said to be be considered as flexible (thus is also considered less final from a Western point of view) in the Middle East, this does not only cast a very poor light on the Orientals' performance in international politics, but it also serves to question the efficiency of peaceful negotiations with Orientals:
(15) The Bush administration may fret about timetables. But in the Mideast, explains a Western diplomat in Cairo, "a deadline is a starting line and a very elastic one at that." (N, 7 Jan. 91)
There is strong evidence that news coverage of the Persian Gulf War made ample use of Orientalism or what has been discussed at some length in the second part as the "idealized cognitive model" that continues to dominate Western thought and action with regard to the Orient. Since the Orientalist stereotypes had disastrous implications for the way the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait was handled, the analysis of East-West relations against this Orientalist background helps to understand why Iraq—in the post-cold-war era—still finds itself on the other side. It should be clear now that the West continues to be used as a label in the aftermath of the cold war to refer to the dominant political, economic, and cultural world system. In other words, it is the "club" that everyone wants to belong to in order to share the prerogatives that come with membership. As the Gulf War has shown, it is the West that determines who qualifies for membership by defining what is "West". My thesis in this study has been that Orientalist metaphors conceptualized the enemy, Iraq, in terms of traditionally rich associations with the Orient, and Islam as an integral part of it, in order to justify the war as a way to protect Western civilization and its way of life. As subsequent crises in the Gulf have shown, Orientalist language is well-established in the Western media world so that any new crisis or rather coverage of it can rely on the images and ideas that have been perpetuated for so long. The danger, of course, is that since Orientalist language dominates and limits our perception of what is going on in that part of the world known as the Orient, neither the legitimacy of any kind of intervention by the West is seriously or efficiently questioned nor is the Orient's side of the story taken sufficiently seriously. In this context, it would be appropriate to point out that it would be well worthwhile to find out if and to what degree the Orient uses "the West" as a foil as is the case the other way around.
In order to conceptualize the enemy as a threat to the rest of the world, at least to Western civilization, news coverage relied heavily on the Orientalist framework, characterized by the conceptual metaphors presented in Frames 1–7, which are still a fraction of the total picture that emerged from the data analysis. Thus, the Orientalist framework as the overarching theoretical structure polarized the world into the Orient and the West, into Us and Them. For the Iraqis, this meant that they—as part of the Orient and the Islamic world—were associated with images of barbarism, weakness, immaturity, emotionality, instability, kinship-based alliances and bazaar-style negotiations (see Frames 1–7), while the West was equated with the opposite images, i.e. civilization, power, maturity, rationality, stability, alliances motivated by common interests and objectives, and calculated gambles in international negotiations. These representations of Iraq and the Iraqis served to demonize the enemy, while accumulating in the self-images everything that was worth fighting for. The simplified and schematized conceptualization of Iraq as part of the Orient thus justified a hard-line approach to the Gulf crisis which eventually led to war. Key elements of this simplification and schematization were the "mental representations", the stereotypical ideas and images regarding the Orient which the West has still not been able to give up and probably never will. Despite the negative connotations of the term, this attitude therefore reflects neocolonialism as the dominant cognitive pattern in the West to explain and deal with the cultural and political reality of the Orient.
It seems that as long as the Orient, in particular the Muslim Orient, is used by the West, in particular by the U.S., as a foil, as the embodiment of all that is a threat to "our way of life", international conflicts between the powerful and the weak nations in the world will continue to turn regional conflicts into military showdowns between Islam and the rest of the world.
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BBC radio, for instance, listed dozens of songs "unsuitable" for wartime play, including "Everybody Wants to Rule the World", "Give Peace a Chance", "Walk Like an Egyptian", and "We've Got to Get Out of This Place" (see N, 4 Feb. 91).
The examples in the frames are accompanied by parentheses indicating the source, i.e. either N for NEWSWEEK or T for TIME, and the issue. The square brackets give additional information that may not be evident from the sentence context though for the sake of inspection and clarity, some of the full contexts in which the examples occur are quoted in the examples of Orientalist metaphors. Italics are used to mark the metaphorical conceptualizations in the examples classified as Orientalist.