Uncovering the rationales
May 13, 2004 4:06 PM   Subscribe

The 27 rationales... There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but a graduate student in Chicago found and tracked 27 different rationales used to justify the war in Iraq. Gathering over 1500 statements from the Bush cabinet, US senators, and from news stories, Largio even throws in some time series graphs in appendices, so you can see which rationales were hot, and which were not from Sept 2001 to October 2002.
posted by jasper411 (16 comments total)
from the exec summary: To further explain this idea, five rationales were prominent in all three phases: war on terror, prevention of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, lack of inspections, removal of the Hussein regime, and Saddam Hussein is evil.

from the 2nd link: “People may wonder, why are our men and women over there? Why did we go to war? Were we misled? In this election year, these questions deserve answers. And though this paper cannot answer these questions definitively, it can provide some insight into the thinking of the powers-that-be during the earliest stages of war preparation and give the American people a chance to answer these questions for themselves.”

Very well done--thanks, jasper411.
posted by amberglow at 4:39 PM on May 13, 2004

Very interesting site. I'll have to read through the PDF's tonight. Good post!
posted by fenriq at 4:53 PM on May 13, 2004

Dude did this to get his BA?? Impresseeeev.
posted by tristeza at 5:12 PM on May 13, 2004

Good, good stuff. The kind of legwork that's difficult to extract from grad students, let alone undergrads. (See the Ralph Klein thread, below.)
posted by stonerose at 5:19 PM on May 13, 2004

jasper411, I bow deeply in your direction. This is very, very good. ( And I bow in Devon Largio's direction also ) .
posted by troutfishing at 5:56 PM on May 13, 2004

He's not a grad student. It's a "Thesis for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts in Political Science".
posted by kenko at 6:03 PM on May 13, 2004

Reread stonerose's ccomment, kenko.

This is pretty interesting. I was upset that the keyword graphs only mapped Saddam/Iraq/Osama, because I feel like "Al Qaeda" was a much more popular talking point.
posted by rafter at 6:09 PM on May 13, 2004

(arr, sorry, kenko, I didn't see it says "grad student" in the original post).
posted by rafter at 6:16 PM on May 13, 2004

Great post -- I'm an MA student in journalism/mass comm, focusing on political communication, on this looks like it may relate to my thesis.
posted by aaronetc at 6:54 PM on May 13, 2004

Not to be nitpicky, but the student is female.
posted by amithee at 7:10 PM on May 13, 2004

Best of the web, indeed. Great find.
posted by andreaazure at 7:21 PM on May 13, 2004

Amithee--Not a picky point at all . . . isn't it interesting how we automatically default to the presumption of the author (or doctor or CEO or chairperson) being male? I confess I did-- till I googled the name and found she still has the female record for the 800m medly at her high school.

Thanks Jasper 411, excellent find!
posted by ahimsakid at 8:14 PM on May 13, 2004

Wow, this is pretty fierce. Thanks jasper!

...the student is female.

She's got one of those frustrating unisex names though. Blame the parents!
posted by sciurus at 5:35 AM on May 14, 2004

[preemptive attack]
Why does she hate America?
Is that a French last name?
I'm putting this traitor on the Free Republic "enemies" list!
[/preemptive attack]

Please allow me to add my thanks for the great find/work.
posted by nofundy at 7:54 AM on May 14, 2004

Very nifty. Thanks!
posted by DrJohnEvans at 8:20 AM on May 14, 2004

Meanwhile, Warnings go unheeded over North Korea threat.
posted by homunculus at 9:09 PM on May 14, 2004

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