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Textual Analysis - Crisis In Iraq (Peter Beaumont, The Observer).

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Textual Analysis: Crisis In Iraq (Peter Beaumont, The Observer) The journalist behind the writing of this highly-opinioned text, Peter Beaumont, is certainly anti-American. This is the thought that initially comes across to me after reading the articles headline as follows: "Farah tried to plead with the US troops but she was killed anyway" There are already a number of things you could pull from that headline that could back up my initial point, and what's more, Beaumont carries this distain for the American forces on throughout the piece. The headline sets up an antithesis; pitting America and Iraq against one another. He straight away makes Iraq and this Iraqi family out to be the victims of the affair, whilst the US are handed the 'bad guys' image. His choice of centering the headline on the attack being from 'US troops' rather than coalition which is probably more likely to be the case, emphasizes his personal displeasure for the US and its military. ...read more.


This is a continuation of his attempt to constantly keep an image of what happened in the readers mind. By not starting and continuing through the article chronologically, he is able to foreground the most important events, thereby ensuring they aren't forgotten. He then begins to talk about what took place that would almost make anyone think he was there, witnessing it. Something which is crucial to remember is that he constantly refers to Farah's neighbors as his witnesses, and there is no way that they say could be completely impartial - after consideration you would say they were the perfect witnesses for Beaumont's story, as whilst what they say may not be true, it is exactly what he wishes to hear. He then sets the scene at which the fracas took place - 'set among dusty paths lined with palms and stunted with trees.' This helps to play up his picture of the 'innocent Iraqi' as we are made to visualize a poverty-stricken scene and upon doing so, begin to feel more and more sorry for the Iraqi family. ...read more.


Now yes it is correct that the US had perhaps raided this house by mistake, but could they really afford to see gunshots being fired at them, albeit 'defense' shots, and not fire anything back? One could hardly justify the death of anyone in this situation, but by all accounts it was a dreadful accident. Beaumont is painting an entirely different picture. Nevertheless, be they fact or fiction, Beaumont's words all crucially serve there purpose of making the US look bad. As a conclusion, I would say this text definitely and thoroughly serves its purpose as a piece of rhetoric, but its informative value certainly has to be questioned. Peter Beaumont obviously has reservations as far as the war in Iraq and uses this piece as way of projecting them to the public. His use of language and portraying Iraq as the innocent party is backed up by a systematic degrading of the American forces. Whilst this text is very opinionated, it does what it is set out to do. Matt Wall - English MBR September 21, 2003 ...read more.

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