Dear Metaphor Project Network,
Below is a short piece I published yesterday on The Daily Kos. Some of the comments immediately made on it are very much worth reading too—a direct quote from Osama Bin Laden found in a U.S. Government translation of his videotaped speech, published by the Washington Post on November 1, 2004 and a pie chart from the Rand Corporation about what really defeats terrorists (not big military ops) are among the best.
Please pass this post along to your networks—our U.S. domestic battle over Afghanistan funding is about to start in earnest. You can also go to the page directly by clicking the following link and if you are logged in at The Daily Kos, you can leave your own comment or recommend the piece as well.
Susan C. Strong
Framing Afghanistan as a Snare, Trap, or Trick
by Susan C. Strong, The Metaphor Project
In Rob Kall’s OpEd News 11.26.09 piece on American metaphors used to sell the Afghanistan War to our people, he definitely covered all of the ways that work (Afghanistanas Sports Event, Sexual Fantasy and Detour From the Hero’s Journey). (1) Also, it’s true, as he says, that in the (sports) hero’s journey, a triumphant return home requires outwitting or avoiding all efforts to stop his or her success. But some ways this counterargument can be framed using common American story motifs are these: Afghanistanis a trap Al Qaeda and Bin Laden set for us, a snare, a trick designed to bleed us dry, toweaken us, to wear us and our economy down, and so defeat us, while ensuring we enrage Muslims worldwide. Think about it–why did Bin Laden fall back on a country no one has ever conquered for his training operations? (This is also true for the area of Pakistan Al Qaeda is in now.) The only way we can win this one is ‘not to fall any further into Bin Laden’s trap’–‘to outwit him by avoiding a long drawn out struggle in Afghanistan.’ ‘Reducing our involvement there is the only way to get clear of the trap.’ Let’s hope President Obama uses some of these other American metaphors to tell us on Tuesday that we are going to scale down and escape Bin Laden’s Afghan trap!
(1) Try going to http://www.opednews.com, searching for Rob Kall’s own blog, and then choosing articles. As you can see, this piece was originally published on 11.26.09.