Iraq 2003-13: A journey through words

What was a "brutal regime" in 2003 became a "sovereign government" by 2004 and a US "partner" by 2011, all embedded in an underlying rhetoric of terms such as "terror", "freedom" and "democracy".

The BBC analysed more than 100 US government statements on Iraq and extracted key phrases that shaped the way the conflict was reported.

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  • The US rhetoric of war

    Explore the changes in the language used by the US government throughout a decade of conflict in Iraq. Click on each year and term to find out more.

    Terrorists

    Terrorists

    How the US used the term

    Terrorists in Iraq have attacked representatives of the civilised world, and opposing them must be the cause of the civilised world."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the nation, 7 September 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "The term has not been widely adopted in the Arab world. Instead 'resistance fighters', 'militiamen', 'gunmen' and 'jihadists' were used. The Iraqi government post-2003 adopted the American term. 'Terrorists' and 'terrorism' were used in reference to the military operations against American troops in Iraq and against Iraqi security forces and civilians."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Freedom

    Freedom

    How the US used the term

    ... and (I) urge all the citizens in Iraq to vote and to show the terrorists they cannot stop the march of freedom."

    President George W Bush
    Interview by Al Arabiya Television, 26 January 2005

    A view from the Arab media

    "In 2005 many Arab newspapers hoped the first Iraqi elections would bring a better future for Iraq, but doubted that would be achieved while Iraq was still under American occupation. Freedom was a term used to refer to the time Iraq would be free from occupation."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Saddam Hussein

    Saddam Hussein

    How the US used the term

    The regime of Saddam Hussein cultivated ties to terror while it built weapons of mass destruction. It used those weapons in acts of mass murder, and refused to account for them when confronted by the world."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the UN General Assembly, 23 September 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "The name dominated Arab media on 30 December 2006, the day he was executed. The coverage was divided between those who supported the American role and presence in Iraq and those who opposed it. Some viewed him as a martyr and others as a tyrant and criminal."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Coalition

    Coalition

    How the US used the term

    Our international coalition in Iraq is meeting its responsibilities. We are conducting precision raids against terrorists and holdouts of the former regime."

    President George W Bush
    President's address to the UN General Assembly, 23 September 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "During the war in 2003 and the days that followed, al-Jazeera was mostly referring to the coalition forces as the American and the British troops. 'Occupation forces', 'invasion forces' were also used by al-Jazeera and other Arab media outlets. 'Coalition' or 'coalition forces' were used by Saudi-owned channel al-Arabiya."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Helping Iraqis

    Helping Iraqis

    How the US used the term

    We're helping Iraqis rebuild their country's infrastructure, and Iraq will move - continue moving toward free elections, with important assistance from the United Nations."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses early transfer of Iraqi sovereignty, 28 June 2004

    A view from the Arab media

    "The two main pan-Arab news networks, al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya, looked at the role of the American troops differently. Al-Jazeera labelled it as the ‘War on Iraq’ and was sceptical about the intentions behind it and al-Arabiya labelled it as ‘Iraq war’ and covered favourably the ‘helping the Iraqis’ scenario."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Progress

    Progress

    How the US used the term

    As security in Iraq has improved, the Iraqi government has made political progress as well."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses Iraq, 18 July 2008

    A view from the Arab media

    "Most Arab media outlets reported the American official statements on what was labelled as ‘progress in Iraq’. However, many were critical of the lack of progress in security in Iraq. In June 2008, pan-Arab newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi reported an American officer saying ‘the security progress in Iraq had been insubstantial’."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Peace

    Peace

    How the US used the term

    The relative peace and strong participation in January’s provincial elections sent a powerful message to the world about how far Iraqis have come in pursuing their aspirations through a peaceful political process."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks on responsibly ending the war in Iraq, 27 February 2009

    A view from the Arab media

    "News of car bombs and suicide bombings in Iraq has been widely reported in the Arab media. In 2012 and the early months of 2013, there was an increase in random attacks targeting mainly populated neighbourhoods in Iraqi cities. Peace is what Iraqis have been hoping for the past 10 years."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Al-Qaeda

    Al-Qaeda

    How the US used the term

    Al-Qaeda terrorists and Sunni insurgents recognised the mortal danger that Iraq's elections posed for their cause, and they responded with outrageous acts of murder aimed at innocent Iraqis."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the nation on a new atrategy for Iraq, 10 January 2007

    A view from the Arab media

    "News of attacks committed by al-Qaeda was attributed to the ‘al-Qaeda in Iraq' faction. Many Arab media outlets portrayed those men as dangerous and threatening to the image and efficiency of what was presented as ‘the real Iraqi resistance groups’. News of the capture of its members in Iraq was given prominence."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Violence

    Violence

    How the US used the term

    Today, some Americans ask whether removing Saddam caused the divisions and instability we're now seeing. In fact, much of the animosity and violence we now see is the legacy of Saddam Hussein."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses democracy in Iraq with Freedom House, 29 March 2006

    A view from the Arab media

    "In 2006, news of sectarian violence in Iraq was a main feature in the Arab media. Stories were pouring from Iraq on sectarian-based killings. In general, Americans were to blame for the lack of security. Iraqi media blamed mainly the ‘extremists’ and the ‘terrorists’ for the increased violence."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Democracy

    Democracy

    How the US used the term

    In great numbers, and under great risk, Iraqis have shown their commitment to democracy. By participating in free elections, the Iraqi people have firmly rejected the anti-democratic ideology of the terrorists."

    President George W Bush
    President congratulates Iraqis on election, 30 January 2005

    A view from the Arab media

    "In an article titled ‘Integrity, corruption, transparency and democracy terms fed daily to the Iraqis’, published at the end of 2012, the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat implied that democracy, integrity and transparency were claimed but not practised. The sentiment was widely reflected in many Arab media outlets."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

  • 10 years in 15 words

    • Terrorists
    • Freedom
    • Coalition
    • Democracy
    • Iraqi regime
    • Weapons of Mass Destruction
    • Helping Iraqis
    • Violence
    • Progress
    • Sovereignty
    • Al-Qaeda
    • Security
    • Iraqi Security Forces
    • Removal of troops
    • A responsible end
    • 2003
    • 2004
    • 2005
    • 2006
    • 2007
    • 2008
    • 2009
    • 2010
    • 2011
    • 2012
    • 2013
  • 2003

    • 19 March: US-led coalition attacks Iraq
    • Fall of Baghdad: Saddam statue is pulled from its plinth
    • George W Bush declares end of major combat operations
    • US appoints Iraqi Governing Council
    • Saddam Hussein is captured

    Select a bubble to find out more about a term

    Terrorists

    Terrorists

    How the US used the term

    Terrorists in Iraq have attacked representatives of the civilised world, and opposing them must be the cause of the civilised world."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the nation, 7 September 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "The term has not been widely adopted in the Arab world. Instead 'resistance fighters', 'militiamen', 'gunmen' and 'jihadists' were used. The Iraqi government post-2003 adopted the American term. 'Terrorists' and 'terrorism' were used in reference to the military operations against American troops in Iraq and against Iraqi security forces and civilians."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Freedom

    Freedom

    How the US used the term

    ... and (I) urge all the citizens in Iraq to vote and to show the terrorists they cannot stop the march of freedom."

    President George W Bush
    Interview by Al Arabiya Television, 26 January 2005

    A view from the Arab media

    "In 2005 many Arab newspapers hoped the first Iraqi elections would bring a better future for Iraq, but doubted that would be achieved while Iraq was still under American occupation. Freedom was a term used to refer to the time Iraq would be free from occupation."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Saddam Hussein

    Saddam Hussein

    How the US used the term

    The regime of Saddam Hussein cultivated ties to terror while it built weapons of mass destruction. It used those weapons in acts of mass murder, and refused to account for them when confronted by the world."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the UN General Assembly, 23 September 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "The name dominated Arab media on 30 December 2006, the day he was executed. The coverage was divided between those who supported the American role and presence in Iraq and those who opposed it. Some viewed him as a martyr and others as a tyrant and criminal."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Coalition

    Coalition

    How the US used the term

    Our international coalition in Iraq is meeting its responsibilities. We are conducting precision raids against terrorists and holdouts of the former regime."

    President George W Bush
    President's address to the UN General Assembly, 23 September 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "During the war in 2003 and the days that followed, al-Jazeera was mostly referring to the coalition forces as the American and the British troops. 'Occupation forces', 'invasion forces' were also used by al-Jazeera and other Arab media outlets. 'Coalition' or 'coalition forces' were used by Saudi-owned channel al-Arabiya."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Iraqi regime

    Iraqi regime

    How the US used the term

    The fighting is fierce and we do not know its duration, yet we know the outcome of this battle. The Iraqi regime will be disarmed and removed from power. Iraq will be free."

    President George W Bush
    Radio address on Iraqi freedom progress, 29 March 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "The term was used among other terms. 'The Iraqi government', 'Baghdad' and 'Iraq' were used to refer to the Iraqi regime before the 2003 war. The terms 'former Iraqi regime', 'Saddam regime' and 'al-Baath regime' were put in use after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime 10 years ago."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Weapons of Mass Destruction

    Weapons of Mass Destruction

    How the US used the term

    The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the nation on the start of war, 20 March 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "The most prominent coverage of the build-up to war was that of al-Jazeera. Studies have shown that they wouldn’t use the term without attributing it to its American or British sources. They have given space to Iraqi officials to counter the American and British claims regarding this issue."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Democracy

    Democracy

    How the US used the term

    In great numbers, and under great risk, Iraqis have shown their commitment to democracy. By participating in free elections, the Iraqi people have firmly rejected the anti-democratic ideology of the terrorists."

    President George W Bush
    President congratulates Iraqis on election, 30 January 2005

    A view from the Arab media

    "In an article titled ‘Integrity, corruption, transparency and democracy terms fed daily to the Iraqis’, published at the end of 2012, the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat implied that democracy, integrity and transparency were claimed but not practised. The sentiment was widely reflected in many Arab media outlets."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Enemies

    Enemies

    How the US used the term

    Nearly every day in Iraq we're launching swift, precision raids against the enemies of peace and progress."

    President George W Bush
    President dicusses progress in Iraq, 9 October 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "In 2003, Arab media reported on the protests that erupted in several Arab cities against the invasion. The protesters shouted slogans pointing at the Americans as the enemy. Later, many Arab media outlets related the state of security chaos in Iraq to the presence of the American troops."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Helping Iraqis

    Helping Iraqis

    How the US used the term

    We're helping Iraqis rebuild their country's infrastructure, and Iraq will move - continue moving toward free elections, with important assistance from the United Nations."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses early transfer of Iraqi sovereignty, 28 June 2004

    A view from the Arab media

    "The two main pan-Arab news networks, al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya, looked at the role of the American troops differently. Al-Jazeera labelled it as the ‘War on Iraq’ and was sceptical about the intentions behind it and al-Arabiya labelled it as ‘Iraq war’ and covered favourably the ‘helping the Iraqis’ scenario."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Dictator

    Dictator

    How the US used the term

    In the new era that is coming to Iraq, your country will no longer be held captive to the will of a cruel dictator."

    President George W Bush
    Message to the Iraqi people, 10 April 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "Rarely used by pan-Arab satellite networks or newspapers. It has been widely used by the state media in Kuwait and the Iraqi media after the fall of Saddam. He is considered by some in the Arab world a nation leader. Many Arab media outlets still refer to him as former Iraqi president."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Progress

    Progress

    How the US used the term

    As security in Iraq has improved, the Iraqi government has made political progress as well."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses Iraq, 18 July 2008

    A view from the Arab media

    "Most Arab media outlets reported the American official statements on what was labelled as ‘progress in Iraq’. However, many were critical of the lack of progress in security in Iraq. In June 2008, pan-Arab newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi reported an American officer saying ‘the security progress in Iraq had been insubstantial’."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    United Nations

    United Nations

    How the US used the term

    Members of the United Nations now have an opportunity - and the responsibility - to assume a broader role in assuring that Iraq becomes a free and democratic nation."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the nation, 7 September 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "In 2003, many Arab media outlets referred to the fact that the American administration and the British government decided to go to war on Iraq without consent from the United Nations. At the time anti-invasion Arab analysts saw in the United Nations a dysfunctional body taken over by the US."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Saddam's threat

    Saddam's threat

    How the US used the term

    Fifteen months ago, we faced the threat of a dictator with a history of using weapons of mass destruction; today the dictator is a threat to no-one from the cell he now occupies."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses early transfer of Iraqi sovereignty

    A view from the Arab media

    "Term used by state media of neighbouring Arab Gulf countries in the months building up to 2003 war. During the 2003 war and the years that followed, al-Jazeera did not use such terminology and neither did prominent pan-Arab media. The Iraqi media post-Saddam, however, were keener on using it."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    2003
    • Top terms this year
  • 2004

    • Abu Ghraib scandal
    • Insurgency intensifies
    • US hands over sovereignty to Iraqi interim government
    • Saddam Hussein appears in court
    • Major US-led offensive against insurgents in Falluja

    Select a bubble to find out more about a term

    Terrorists

    Terrorists

    How the US used the term

    Terrorists in Iraq have attacked representatives of the civilised world, and opposing them must be the cause of the civilised world."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the nation, 7 September 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "The term has not been widely adopted in the Arab world. Instead 'resistance fighters', 'militiamen', 'gunmen' and 'jihadists' were used. The Iraqi government post-2003 adopted the American term. 'Terrorists' and 'terrorism' were used in reference to the military operations against American troops in Iraq and against Iraqi security forces and civilians."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Coalition

    Coalition

    How the US used the term

    Our international coalition in Iraq is meeting its responsibilities. We are conducting precision raids against terrorists and holdouts of the former regime."

    President George W Bush
    President's address to the UN General Assembly, 23 September 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "During the war in 2003 and the days that followed, al-Jazeera was mostly referring to the coalition forces as the American and the British troops. 'Occupation forces', 'invasion forces' were also used by al-Jazeera and other Arab media outlets. 'Coalition' or 'coalition forces' were used by Saudi-owned channel al-Arabiya."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Freedom

    Freedom

    How the US used the term

    ... and (I) urge all the citizens in Iraq to vote and to show the terrorists they cannot stop the march of freedom."

    President George W Bush
    Interview by Al Arabiya Television, 26 January 2005

    A view from the Arab media

    "In 2005 many Arab newspapers hoped the first Iraqi elections would bring a better future for Iraq, but doubted that would be achieved while Iraq was still under American occupation. Freedom was a term used to refer to the time Iraq would be free from occupation."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Saddam Hussein

    Saddam Hussein

    How the US used the term

    The regime of Saddam Hussein cultivated ties to terror while it built weapons of mass destruction. It used those weapons in acts of mass murder, and refused to account for them when confronted by the world."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the UN General Assembly, 23 September 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "The name dominated Arab media on 30 December 2006, the day he was executed. The coverage was divided between those who supported the American role and presence in Iraq and those who opposed it. Some viewed him as a martyr and others as a tyrant and criminal."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Sovereignty

    Sovereignty

    How the US used the term

    As the transfer of sovereignty approaches on 30 June, we are likely to see more violence from groups opposed to freedom. We will not be intimidated or diverted. On 1 July, and beyond, our reconstruction and military commitment will continue."

    President George W Bush
    Radio Address, 1 May 2004

    A view from the Arab media

    "This term is associated with the day the American troops left Iraq on 31 December 2011. The Iraqis celebrated the first anniversary last December. The day has been declared a national day for the sovereignty of Iraq. The Iraqi media hailed the occasion as the day Iraq regained sovereignty from foreign troops."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Helping Iraqis

    Helping Iraqis

    How the US used the term

    We're helping Iraqis rebuild their country's infrastructure, and Iraq will move - continue moving toward free elections, with important assistance from the United Nations."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses early transfer of Iraqi sovereignty, 28 June 2004

    A view from the Arab media

    "The two main pan-Arab news networks, al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya, looked at the role of the American troops differently. Al-Jazeera labelled it as the ‘War on Iraq’ and was sceptical about the intentions behind it and al-Arabiya labelled it as ‘Iraq war’ and covered favourably the ‘helping the Iraqis’ scenario."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Violence

    Violence

    How the US used the term

    Today, some Americans ask whether removing Saddam caused the divisions and instability we're now seeing. In fact, much of the animosity and violence we now see is the legacy of Saddam Hussein."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses democracy in Iraq with Freedom House, 29 March 2006

    A view from the Arab media

    "In 2006, news of sectarian violence in Iraq was a main feature in the Arab media. Stories were pouring from Iraq on sectarian-based killings. In general, Americans were to blame for the lack of security. Iraqi media blamed mainly the ‘extremists’ and the ‘terrorists’ for the increased violence."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Transition

    Transition

    How the US used the term

    And under the Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government, I intend to remove all US troops from Iraq by the end of 2011. We will complete this transition to Iraqi responsibility, and we will bring our troops home with the honour that they have earned."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks by the president on responsibly ending the war in Iraq, 27 February 2009

    A view from the Arab media

    "The term has been used over the 10 years. Several announcements of transition of power, transition of security and transition to democracy were reported in the Arab media. After the American troop pullout in 2012, the term stayed in use. A ‘transition to new Iraq’ notion was presented by the Iraqi government."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Democracy

    Democracy

    How the US used the term

    In great numbers, and under great risk, Iraqis have shown their commitment to democracy. By participating in free elections, the Iraqi people have firmly rejected the anti-democratic ideology of the terrorists."

    President George W Bush
    President congratulates Iraqis on election, 30 January 2005

    A view from the Arab media

    "In an article titled ‘Integrity, corruption, transparency and democracy terms fed daily to the Iraqis’, published at the end of 2012, the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat implied that democracy, integrity and transparency were claimed but not practised. The sentiment was widely reflected in many Arab media outlets."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Saddam's threat

    Saddam's threat

    How the US used the term

    Fifteen months ago, we faced the threat of a dictator with a history of using weapons of mass destruction; today the dictator is a threat to no-one from the cell he now occupies."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses early transfer of Iraqi sovereignty

    A view from the Arab media

    "Term used by state media of neighbouring Arab Gulf countries in the months building up to 2003 war. During the 2003 war and the years that followed, al-Jazeera did not use such terminology and neither did prominent pan-Arab media. The Iraqi media post-Saddam, however, were keener on using it."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Peace

    Peace

    How the US used the term

    The relative peace and strong participation in January’s provincial elections sent a powerful message to the world about how far Iraqis have come in pursuing their aspirations through a peaceful political process."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks on responsibly ending the war in Iraq, 27 February 2009

    A view from the Arab media

    "News of car bombs and suicide bombings in Iraq has been widely reported in the Arab media. In 2012 and the early months of 2013, there was an increase in random attacks targeting mainly populated neighbourhoods in Iraqi cities. Peace is what Iraqis have been hoping for the past 10 years."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Iraqi regime

    Iraqi regime

    How the US used the term

    The fighting is fierce and we do not know its duration, yet we know the outcome of this battle. The Iraqi regime will be disarmed and removed from power. Iraq will be free."

    President George W Bush
    Radio address on Iraqi freedom progress, 29 March 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "The term was used among other terms. 'The Iraqi government', 'Baghdad' and 'Iraq' were used to refer to the Iraqi regime before the 2003 war. The terms 'former Iraqi regime', 'Saddam regime' and 'al-Baath regime' were put in use after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime 10 years ago."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Elections

    Elections

    How the US used the term

    But terrorists will not determine the future of Iraq. That nation is moving every week toward free elections and a permanent place among free nations."

    President George W Bush
    Outline of steps to help Iraq achieve democracy and freedom, 24 May 2004

    A view from the Arab media

    "The first Iraqi election in 2005 was boycotted by those opposing the American invasion and interference. Many people went to the polls believing that this was their chance to a better future in Iraq. Arab media covered both sides of the story. The opposition and the supporters had their share of media coverage."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    • Top new terms this year
    • Top terms this year
  • 2005

    • Elections for a Transitional National Assembly
    • Violence escalates
    • Voters approve new constitution in referendum
    • Elections for first, full-term government and parliament

    Select a bubble to find out more about a term

    Terrorists

    Terrorists

    How the US used the term

    Terrorists in Iraq have attacked representatives of the civilised world, and opposing them must be the cause of the civilised world."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the nation, 7 September 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "The term has not been widely adopted in the Arab world. Instead 'resistance fighters', 'militiamen', 'gunmen' and 'jihadists' were used. The Iraqi government post-2003 adopted the American term. 'Terrorists' and 'terrorism' were used in reference to the military operations against American troops in Iraq and against Iraqi security forces and civilians."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Freedom

    Freedom

    How the US used the term

    ... and (I) urge all the citizens in Iraq to vote and to show the terrorists they cannot stop the march of freedom."

    President George W Bush
    Interview by Al Arabiya Television, 26 January 2005

    A view from the Arab media

    "In 2005 many Arab newspapers hoped the first Iraqi elections would bring a better future for Iraq, but doubted that would be achieved while Iraq was still under American occupation. Freedom was a term used to refer to the time Iraq would be free from occupation."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Democracy

    Democracy

    How the US used the term

    In great numbers, and under great risk, Iraqis have shown their commitment to democracy. By participating in free elections, the Iraqi people have firmly rejected the anti-democratic ideology of the terrorists."

    President George W Bush
    President congratulates Iraqis on election, 30 January 2005

    A view from the Arab media

    "In an article titled ‘Integrity, corruption, transparency and democracy terms fed daily to the Iraqis’, published at the end of 2012, the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat implied that democracy, integrity and transparency were claimed but not practised. The sentiment was widely reflected in many Arab media outlets."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Training Iraqi Forces

    Training Iraqi Forces

    How the US used the term

    We will continue training Iraqi security forces so this rising democracy can eventually take responsibility for its own security."

    President George W Bush
    President congratulates Iraqis on election, 30 January 2005

    A view from the Arab media

    "In 2012, news of American intention to withdraw its security trainers from Iraq was circulated in the Arab media. Iraqi police trainees were quoted saying they were not benefiting from their American trainers. Doubts on the efficiency of retired American officers training Iraqi policemen were outlined."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Coalition

    Coalition

    How the US used the term

    Our international coalition in Iraq is meeting its responsibilities. We are conducting precision raids against terrorists and holdouts of the former regime."

    President George W Bush
    President's address to the UN General Assembly, 23 September 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "During the war in 2003 and the days that followed, al-Jazeera was mostly referring to the coalition forces as the American and the British troops. 'Occupation forces', 'invasion forces' were also used by al-Jazeera and other Arab media outlets. 'Coalition' or 'coalition forces' were used by Saudi-owned channel al-Arabiya."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Saddam Hussein

    Saddam Hussein

    How the US used the term

    The regime of Saddam Hussein cultivated ties to terror while it built weapons of mass destruction. It used those weapons in acts of mass murder, and refused to account for them when confronted by the world."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the UN General Assembly, 23 September 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "The name dominated Arab media on 30 December 2006, the day he was executed. The coverage was divided between those who supported the American role and presence in Iraq and those who opposed it. Some viewed him as a martyr and others as a tyrant and criminal."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Iraqi Security Forces

    Iraqi Security Forces

    How the US used the term

    The new Iraqi security forces are proving their courage every day. More than 2,000 members of Iraqi security forces have given their lives in the line of duty."

    President George W Bush
    President addresses the nation, discusses Iraq and "war on terror", 28 June 2005

    A view from the Arab media

    "Iraqi security forces were dismantled just after the fall of Saddam’s regime. The coalition worked on establishing new local forces. In 2005 the Iraqi police became a target of suicide attacks or assassinations after being accused of ‘collaborating with the enemy’ - the American army. The Arab media reported the attacks." 

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Constitution

    Constitution

    How the US used the term

    The political process in Iraq now moves forward. Iraqis will return to the polls in December to elect a new government under their new constitution."

    President George W Bush
    President's radio address, 29 October 2005

    A view from the Arab media

    "The new Iraqi constitution speaks of a union between different provinces that form the Iraqi nation. The factions boycotting the first Iraqi elections saw in this a step to a divided Iraq. Arab media drew upon these factions' reservations. Both supporters and rejectionists had their share of media coverage."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Rebuilding Iraq

    Rebuilding Iraq

    How the US used the term

    Reconstruction has not always gone as well as we had hoped, primarily because of the security challenges on the ground. Rebuilding a nation devastated by a dictator is a large undertaking."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses "war on terror" and rebuilding Iraq, 7 December 2005

    A view from the Arab media

    "Arab newspapers reported the high cost of rebuilding Iraq over the past 10 years, with no major achievements. They quoted the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and American officials who admitted some of the amounts spent were wasted. Arab media also reported al-Maliki confirming that overspending was a serious issue."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Elections

    Elections

    How the US used the term

    But terrorists will not determine the future of Iraq. That nation is moving every week toward free elections and a permanent place among free nations."

    President George W Bush
    Outline of steps to help Iraq achieve democracy and freedom, 24 May 2004

    A view from the Arab media

    "The first Iraqi election in 2005 was boycotted by those opposing the American invasion and interference. Many people went to the polls believing that this was their chance to a better future in Iraq. Arab media covered both sides of the story. The opposition and the supporters had their share of media coverage."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    A democratic Iraq

    A democratic Iraq

    How the US used the term

    We are in Iraq today because our goal has always been more than the removal of a brutal dictator; it is to leave a free and democratic Iraq in its place."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses Iraqi elections, victory in the "war on terror", 14 December 2005

    A view from the Arab media

    "In August 2012, Arab newspapers described July 2012 as the bloodiest month that Iraq had witnessed in two years. They reported 325 people had been killed and 697 injured in sectarian violence in that month alone, based on statistics issued by the Iraqi government. 'A democracy tainted with blood' was the language used by many media outlets.

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Progress

    Progress

    How the US used the term

    As security in Iraq has improved, the Iraqi government has made political progress as well."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses Iraq, 18 July 2008

    A view from the Arab media

    "Most Arab media outlets reported the American official statements on what was labelled as ‘progress in Iraq’. However, many were critical of the lack of progress in security in Iraq. In June 2008, pan-Arab newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi reported an American officer saying ‘the security progress in Iraq had been insubstantial’."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Helping Iraqis

    Helping Iraqis

    How the US used the term

    We're helping Iraqis rebuild their country's infrastructure, and Iraq will move - continue moving toward free elections, with important assistance from the United Nations."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses early transfer of Iraqi sovereignty, 28 June 2004

    A view from the Arab media

    "The two main pan-Arab news networks, al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya, looked at the role of the American troops differently. Al-Jazeera labelled it as the ‘War on Iraq’ and was sceptical about the intentions behind it and al-Arabiya labelled it as ‘Iraq war’ and covered favourably the ‘helping the Iraqis’ scenario."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    • Top new terms this year
    • Top terms this year
  • 2006

    • Bombing of shrine in Samarra unleashes wave of sectarian violence
    • Parliament agrees on new government after months of political deadlock
    • Al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, is killed
    • Saddam Hussein is executed

    Select a bubble to find out more about a term

    Terrorists

    Terrorists

    How the US used the term

    Terrorists in Iraq have attacked representatives of the civilised world, and opposing them must be the cause of the civilised world."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the nation, 7 September 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "The term has not been widely adopted in the Arab world. Instead 'resistance fighters', 'militiamen', 'gunmen' and 'jihadists' were used. The Iraqi government post-2003 adopted the American term. 'Terrorists' and 'terrorism' were used in reference to the military operations against American troops in Iraq and against Iraqi security forces and civilians."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Freedom

    Freedom

    How the US used the term

    ... and (I) urge all the citizens in Iraq to vote and to show the terrorists they cannot stop the march of freedom."

    President George W Bush
    Interview by Al Arabiya Television, 26 January 2005

    A view from the Arab media

    "In 2005 many Arab newspapers hoped the first Iraqi elections would bring a better future for Iraq, but doubted that would be achieved while Iraq was still under American occupation. Freedom was a term used to refer to the time Iraq would be free from occupation."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Violence

    Violence

    How the US used the term

    Today, some Americans ask whether removing Saddam caused the divisions and instability we're now seeing. In fact, much of the animosity and violence we now see is the legacy of Saddam Hussein."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses democracy in Iraq with Freedom House, 29 March 2006

    A view from the Arab media

    "In 2006, news of sectarian violence in Iraq was a main feature in the Arab media. Stories were pouring from Iraq on sectarian-based killings. In general, Americans were to blame for the lack of security. Iraqi media blamed mainly the ‘extremists’ and the ‘terrorists’ for the increased violence."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Coalition

    Coalition

    How the US used the term

    Our international coalition in Iraq is meeting its responsibilities. We are conducting precision raids against terrorists and holdouts of the former regime."

    President George W Bush
    President's address to the UN General Assembly, 23 September 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "During the war in 2003 and the days that followed, al-Jazeera was mostly referring to the coalition forces as the American and the British troops. 'Occupation forces', 'invasion forces' were also used by al-Jazeera and other Arab media outlets. 'Coalition' or 'coalition forces' were used by Saudi-owned channel al-Arabiya."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Democracy

    Democracy

    How the US used the term

    In great numbers, and under great risk, Iraqis have shown their commitment to democracy. By participating in free elections, the Iraqi people have firmly rejected the anti-democratic ideology of the terrorists."

    President George W Bush
    President congratulates Iraqis on election, 30 January 2005

    A view from the Arab media

    "In an article titled ‘Integrity, corruption, transparency and democracy terms fed daily to the Iraqis’, published at the end of 2012, the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat implied that democracy, integrity and transparency were claimed but not practised. The sentiment was widely reflected in many Arab media outlets."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Saddam Hussein

    Saddam Hussein

    How the US used the term

    The regime of Saddam Hussein cultivated ties to terror while it built weapons of mass destruction. It used those weapons in acts of mass murder, and refused to account for them when confronted by the world."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the UN General Assembly, 23 September 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "The name dominated Arab media on 30 December 2006, the day he was executed. The coverage was divided between those who supported the American role and presence in Iraq and those who opposed it. Some viewed him as a martyr and others as a tyrant and criminal."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Progress

    Progress

    How the US used the term

    As security in Iraq has improved, the Iraqi government has made political progress as well."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses Iraq, 18 July 2008

    A view from the Arab media

    "Most Arab media outlets reported the American official statements on what was labelled as ‘progress in Iraq’. However, many were critical of the lack of progress in security in Iraq. In June 2008, pan-Arab newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi reported an American officer saying ‘the security progress in Iraq had been insubstantial’."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    A free Iraq

    A free Iraq

    How the US used the term

    The enemies of a free Iraq attacked the Golden Mosque for a reason. They know they lack the military strength to challenge Iraqi and coalition forces in a direct battle, so they're trying to provoke a civil war."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses "war on terror" and Operation Iraqi Freedom, 20 March 2006

    A view from the Arab media

    "Pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat published a news feature in August 2010 questioning labelling the troops' withdrawal as a ‘historical moment’. They quoted Iraqis criticising the term ‘free Iraq’. Among those were Iraqi journalists saying the Americans had invested in ‘a divided Iraq, not a free one’."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Iraqi government

    Iraqi government

    How the US used the term

    Unlike the interim and transitional governments that came before, the new Iraqi government will have full constitutional authority."

    President George W Bush
    President congratulates Iraqi leadership on national unity government agreement, 22 April 2006

    A view from the Arab media

    "The term ‘Iraqi regime’ disappeared over time from Arab media discourse post-Saddam. The new term that has been used is ‘the Iraqi government’. Since 2006, Nouri al-Maliki has been maintaining office as prime minister. Many Arab media outlets refer to the Iraqi government as 'al-Maliki government'."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Difficult

    Difficult

    How the US used the term

    The United States and Iraq have known difficult times together. Now both of us agree that the bonds forged between Americans and Iraqis in war can pave the way for progress that can be forged in peace."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks by president, 22 July 2009

    A view from the Arab media

    "Arab media didn’t ignore in their coverage of Iraq the difficulties the Iraqi government had faced in battling the violence hitting the streets of its main cities. Many papers blamed what they called the ‘American occupation’ for the state of chaos Iraq has been witnessing post-2003 war."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Peace

    Peace

    How the US used the term

    The relative peace and strong participation in January’s provincial elections sent a powerful message to the world about how far Iraqis have come in pursuing their aspirations through a peaceful political process."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks on responsibly ending the war in Iraq, 27 February 2009

    A view from the Arab media

    "News of car bombs and suicide bombings in Iraq has been widely reported in the Arab media. In 2012 and the early months of 2013, there was an increase in random attacks targeting mainly populated neighbourhoods in Iraqi cities. Peace is what Iraqis have been hoping for the past 10 years."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Extremists

    Extremists

    How the US used the term

    So we're working to defeat al-Qaeda and other extremists, and aid the rise of an Iraqi government that can protect its people, deliver basic services, and be an ally in the war against these extremists and radicals."

    President George W Bush
    News conference, 12 July 2007

    A view from the Arab media

    "A term that substituted the term ‘terrorists’ in many Arab media outlets. In Iraq the term has been used simultaneously with the term ‘terrorists’. ‘Radicals’ hasn’t been a widely used term in reference to those committing violence in Iraq. Arab media would also use terms like 'militiamen' or 'gunmen' to refer to the perpetrators.

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Al-Qaeda

    Al-Qaeda

    How the US used the term

    Al-Qaeda terrorists and Sunni insurgents recognised the mortal danger that Iraq's elections posed for their cause, and they responded with outrageous acts of murder aimed at innocent Iraqis."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the nation on a new atrategy for Iraq, 10 January 2007

    A view from the Arab media

    "News of attacks committed by al-Qaeda was attributed to the ‘al-Qaeda in Iraq' faction. Many Arab media outlets portrayed those men as dangerous and threatening to the image and efficiency of what was presented as ‘the real Iraqi resistance groups’. News of the capture of its members in Iraq was given prominence."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    • Top new terms this year
    • Top terms this year
  • 2007

    • Surge in US troops
    • Sectarian violence continues
    • Blackwater scandal
    • UK hands over security in Basra

    Select a bubble to find out more about a term

    Al-Qaeda

    Al-Qaeda

    How the US used the term

    Al-Qaeda terrorists and Sunni insurgents recognised the mortal danger that Iraq's elections posed for their cause, and they responded with outrageous acts of murder aimed at innocent Iraqis."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the nation on a new atrategy for Iraq, 10 January 2007

    A view from the Arab media

    "News of attacks committed by al-Qaeda was attributed to the ‘al-Qaeda in Iraq' faction. Many Arab media outlets portrayed those men as dangerous and threatening to the image and efficiency of what was presented as ‘the real Iraqi resistance groups’. News of the capture of its members in Iraq was given prominence."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Anbar Province

    Anbar Province

    How the US used the term

    Anbar province is a good example of how our strategy is working. Last year, an intelligence report concluded that Anbar had been lost to al-Qaeda."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the nation on a new atrategy for Iraq, 10 January 2007

    A view from the Arab media

    "Anbar province has witnessed recently a wave of protests and sit-ins against the al-Maliki government. In the years that followed the 2003 invasion, it was labelled by some Arab newspapers as the ‘heart of Iraqi resistance’. Other papers referred to it as an ‘al-Qaeda stronghold’."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Extremists

    Extremists

    How the US used the term

    So we're working to defeat al-Qaeda and other extremists, and aid the rise of an Iraqi government that can protect its people, deliver basic services, and be an ally in the war against these extremists and radicals."

    President George W Bush
    News conference, 12 July 2007

    A view from the Arab media

    "A term that substituted the term ‘terrorists’ in many Arab media outlets. In Iraq the term has been used simultaneously with the term ‘terrorists’. ‘Radicals’ hasn’t been a widely used term in reference to those committing violence in Iraq. Arab media would also use terms like 'militiamen' or 'gunmen' to refer to the perpetrators.

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Progress

    Progress

    How the US used the term

    As security in Iraq has improved, the Iraqi government has made political progress as well."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses Iraq, 18 July 2008

    A view from the Arab media

    "Most Arab media outlets reported the American official statements on what was labelled as ‘progress in Iraq’. However, many were critical of the lack of progress in security in Iraq. In June 2008, pan-Arab newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi reported an American officer saying ‘the security progress in Iraq had been insubstantial’."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Terrorists

    Terrorists

    How the US used the term

    Terrorists in Iraq have attacked representatives of the civilised world, and opposing them must be the cause of the civilised world."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the nation, 7 September 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "The term has not been widely adopted in the Arab world. Instead 'resistance fighters', 'militiamen', 'gunmen' and 'jihadists' were used. The Iraqi government post-2003 adopted the American term. 'Terrorists' and 'terrorism' were used in reference to the military operations against American troops in Iraq and against Iraqi security forces and civilians."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Iraqi government

    Iraqi government

    How the US used the term

    Unlike the interim and transitional governments that came before, the new Iraqi government will have full constitutional authority."

    President George W Bush
    President congratulates Iraqi leadership on national unity government agreement, 22 April 2006

    A view from the Arab media

    "The term ‘Iraqi regime’ disappeared over time from Arab media discourse post-Saddam. The new term that has been used is ‘the Iraqi government’. Since 2006, Nouri al-Maliki has been maintaining office as prime minister. Many Arab media outlets refer to the Iraqi government as 'al-Maliki government'."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Violence

    Violence

    How the US used the term

    Today, some Americans ask whether removing Saddam caused the divisions and instability we're now seeing. In fact, much of the animosity and violence we now see is the legacy of Saddam Hussein."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses democracy in Iraq with Freedom House, 29 March 2006

    A view from the Arab media

    "In 2006, news of sectarian violence in Iraq was a main feature in the Arab media. Stories were pouring from Iraq on sectarian-based killings. In general, Americans were to blame for the lack of security. Iraqi media blamed mainly the ‘extremists’ and the ‘terrorists’ for the increased violence."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    General Petraeus

    General Petraeus

    How the US used the term

    Prevailing in Iraq is not going to be easy. General Petraeus says that the environment in Iraq is the most challenging that he has seen in his more than 32 years of service."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses fourth anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom, 19 March 2007

    A view from the Arab media

    "His resignation from service was widely reported in the Arab media. The ‘sexual scandal’ he was involved in was given prominence. Many Iraqi papers still refer to him as ‘the Iraq war hero’. Many stories and allegations appeared in the early years, 2004-05, on a role that Petraeus allegedly had in establishing torture centres in Iraq."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Benchmarks

    Benchmarks

    How the US used the term

    I told the president that I'm fully committed to helping the Iraqi government achieve important objectives - we call them benchmarks."

    President George W Bush
    Meeting with Iraq's President Talabani, 31 May 2007

    A view from the Arab media

    "The term was not used in the Arab media. Terms like ‘targets’ and ‘objectives’ were used instead. ‘Iraqi people's aspirations’ was also used. Iraqi media questioned if the Iraqis would ever have their ‘national aspirations’ fulfilled. Iraqi journalists were hoping Iraqi ‘aspirations’ and American ‘objectives’ would be viewed as one by the Americans."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Security

    Security

    How the US used the term

    The most urgent priority for success in Iraq is security, especially in Baghdad. Eighty percent of Iraq's sectarian violence occurs within 30 miles of the capital."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the nation on a new strategy for Iraq, 10 January 2007

    A view from the Arab media

    "The term that has been widely used in the Arab media is the ‘lack of security in Iraq’. Stories of sectarian-based attacks, car bombs and suicide bombers resulting in heavy civilian casualties dominated news from Iraq in 2006 and after the American troop pullout in 2012."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Peace

    Peace

    How the US used the term

    The relative peace and strong participation in January’s provincial elections sent a powerful message to the world about how far Iraqis have come in pursuing their aspirations through a peaceful political process."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks on responsibly ending the war in Iraq, 27 February 2009

    A view from the Arab media

    "News of car bombs and suicide bombings in Iraq has been widely reported in the Arab media. In 2012 and the early months of 2013, there was an increase in random attacks targeting mainly populated neighbourhoods in Iraqi cities. Peace is what Iraqis have been hoping for the past 10 years."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Coalition

    Coalition

    How the US used the term

    Our international coalition in Iraq is meeting its responsibilities. We are conducting precision raids against terrorists and holdouts of the former regime."

    President George W Bush
    President's address to the UN General Assembly, 23 September 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "During the war in 2003 and the days that followed, al-Jazeera was mostly referring to the coalition forces as the American and the British troops. 'Occupation forces', 'invasion forces' were also used by al-Jazeera and other Arab media outlets. 'Coalition' or 'coalition forces' were used by Saudi-owned channel al-Arabiya."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    New Strategy

    New Strategy

    How the US used the term

    Today, I can announce that our review is complete, and that the United States will pursue a new strategy to end the war in Iraq through a transition to full Iraqi responsibility."

    President Barack Obama
    Responsibly ending the war in Iraq, 27 February 2009

    A view from the Arab media

    "Many Arab journalists welcomed Obama’s plan to withdraw American troops from Iraq. Scepticism was expressed over Iraqi security forces' readiness to take over full security responsibilities amid high sectarian tension. However, Obama’s new strategy towards Iraq was reported as a breath of fresh air compared to George Bush’s strategy in Iraq."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    • Top new terms this year
    • Top terms this year
  • 2008

    • Prime Minister al-Maliki orders crackdown on militia in Basra
    • Iraqi parliament approves security pact by which all US troops will leave by the end of 2011
    • Violence levels decrease, according to the US
    • Iraqi journalist throws shoes at George Bush during his last presidential visit to Iraq

    Select a bubble to find out more about a term

    Terrorists

    Terrorists

    How the US used the term

    Terrorists in Iraq have attacked representatives of the civilised world, and opposing them must be the cause of the civilised world."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the nation, 7 September 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "The term has not been widely adopted in the Arab world. Instead 'resistance fighters', 'militiamen', 'gunmen' and 'jihadists' were used. The Iraqi government post-2003 adopted the American term. 'Terrorists' and 'terrorism' were used in reference to the military operations against American troops in Iraq and against Iraqi security forces and civilians."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Progress

    Progress

    How the US used the term

    As security in Iraq has improved, the Iraqi government has made political progress as well."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses Iraq, 18 July 2008

    A view from the Arab media

    "Most Arab media outlets reported the American official statements on what was labelled as ‘progress in Iraq’. However, many were critical of the lack of progress in security in Iraq. In June 2008, pan-Arab newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi reported an American officer saying ‘the security progress in Iraq had been insubstantial’."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Success in Iraq

    Success in Iraq

    How the US used the term

    And we expect that, as conditions on the ground continue to improve, they will permit us to continue the policy of return on success."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses Iraq, 10 April 2008

    A view from the Arab media

    "In July 2008 the Egyptian newspaper al-Ahram ran an article warning that what the Americans labelled as a successful mission in Iraq would result in a complete failure if they did not realise the Iraqi police forces needed a longer time of logistical support to be able to secure the streets."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Al-Qaeda

    Al-Qaeda

    How the US used the term

    Al-Qaeda terrorists and Sunni insurgents recognised the mortal danger that Iraq's elections posed for their cause, and they responded with outrageous acts of murder aimed at innocent Iraqis."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the nation on a new atrategy for Iraq, 10 January 2007

    A view from the Arab media

    "News of attacks committed by al-Qaeda was attributed to the ‘al-Qaeda in Iraq' faction. Many Arab media outlets portrayed those men as dangerous and threatening to the image and efficiency of what was presented as ‘the real Iraqi resistance groups’. News of the capture of its members in Iraq was given prominence."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    The Surge

    The Surge

    How the US used the term

    Fifteen months ago, Americans were worried about the prospect of failure in Iraq; today, thanks to the surge, we've renewed and revived the prospect of success."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses Iraq, 10 April 2008

    A view from the Arab media

    "By 2008 most Arab media were critical of the American role and presence in Iraq. Surely, the ‘success’ the American officials kept talking about was seen as a ‘myth’ by many Arab journalists. Even Iraqi media at the time expressed scepticism over the American strategies in Iraq."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Violence

    Violence

    How the US used the term

    Today, some Americans ask whether removing Saddam caused the divisions and instability we're now seeing. In fact, much of the animosity and violence we now see is the legacy of Saddam Hussein."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses democracy in Iraq with Freedom House, 29 March 2006

    A view from the Arab media

    "In 2006, news of sectarian violence in Iraq was a main feature in the Arab media. Stories were pouring from Iraq on sectarian-based killings. In general, Americans were to blame for the lack of security. Iraqi media blamed mainly the ‘extremists’ and the ‘terrorists’ for the increased violence."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Peace

    Peace

    How the US used the term

    The relative peace and strong participation in January’s provincial elections sent a powerful message to the world about how far Iraqis have come in pursuing their aspirations through a peaceful political process."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks on responsibly ending the war in Iraq, 27 February 2009

    A view from the Arab media

    "News of car bombs and suicide bombings in Iraq has been widely reported in the Arab media. In 2012 and the early months of 2013, there was an increase in random attacks targeting mainly populated neighbourhoods in Iraqi cities. Peace is what Iraqis have been hoping for the past 10 years."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    General Petraeus

    General Petraeus

    How the US used the term

    Prevailing in Iraq is not going to be easy. General Petraeus says that the environment in Iraq is the most challenging that he has seen in his more than 32 years of service."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses fourth anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom, 19 March 2007

    A view from the Arab media

    "His resignation from service was widely reported in the Arab media. The ‘sexual scandal’ he was involved in was given prominence. Many Iraqi papers still refer to him as ‘the Iraq war hero’. Many stories and allegations appeared in the early years, 2004-05, on a role that Petraeus allegedly had in establishing torture centres in Iraq."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Democracy

    Democracy

    How the US used the term

    In great numbers, and under great risk, Iraqis have shown their commitment to democracy. By participating in free elections, the Iraqi people have firmly rejected the anti-democratic ideology of the terrorists."

    President George W Bush
    President congratulates Iraqis on election, 30 January 2005

    A view from the Arab media

    "In an article titled ‘Integrity, corruption, transparency and democracy terms fed daily to the Iraqis’, published at the end of 2012, the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat implied that democracy, integrity and transparency were claimed but not practised. The sentiment was widely reflected in many Arab media outlets."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Extremists

    Extremists

    How the US used the term

    So we're working to defeat al-Qaeda and other extremists, and aid the rise of an Iraqi government that can protect its people, deliver basic services, and be an ally in the war against these extremists and radicals."

    President George W Bush
    News conference, 12 July 2007

    A view from the Arab media

    "A term that substituted the term ‘terrorists’ in many Arab media outlets. In Iraq the term has been used simultaneously with the term ‘terrorists’. ‘Radicals’ hasn’t been a widely used term in reference to those committing violence in Iraq. Arab media would also use terms like 'militiamen' or 'gunmen' to refer to the perpetrators.

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Iraqi government

    Iraqi government

    How the US used the term

    Unlike the interim and transitional governments that came before, the new Iraqi government will have full constitutional authority."

    President George W Bush
    President congratulates Iraqi leadership on national unity government agreement, 22 April 2006

    A view from the Arab media

    "The term ‘Iraqi regime’ disappeared over time from Arab media discourse post-Saddam. The new term that has been used is ‘the Iraqi government’. Since 2006, Nouri al-Maliki has been maintaining office as prime minister. Many Arab media outlets refer to the Iraqi government as 'al-Maliki government'."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Anbar Province

    Anbar Province

    How the US used the term

    Anbar province is a good example of how our strategy is working. Last year, an intelligence report concluded that Anbar had been lost to al-Qaeda."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the nation on a new atrategy for Iraq, 10 January 2007

    A view from the Arab media

    "Anbar province has witnessed recently a wave of protests and sit-ins against the al-Maliki government. In the years that followed the 2003 invasion, it was labelled by some Arab newspapers as the ‘heart of Iraqi resistance’. Other papers referred to it as an ‘al-Qaeda stronghold’."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Freedom

    Freedom

    How the US used the term

    ... and (I) urge all the citizens in Iraq to vote and to show the terrorists they cannot stop the march of freedom."

    President George W Bush
    Interview by Al Arabiya Television, 26 January 2005

    A view from the Arab media

    "In 2005 many Arab newspapers hoped the first Iraqi elections would bring a better future for Iraq, but doubted that would be achieved while Iraq was still under American occupation. Freedom was a term used to refer to the time Iraq would be free from occupation."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    • Top new terms this year
    • Top terms this year
  • 2009

    • Iraq takes security control of Green Zone
    • President Obama outlines Iraq pullout plan
    • US troops withdraw from towns and cities
    • Violence continues

    Select a bubble to find out more about a term

    US-Iraqi partnership

    US-Iraqi partnership

    How the US used the term

    Now we’re in the midst of a full transition to Iraqi responsibility, and to a comprehensive partnership between the United States and Iraq based on mutual interests and mutual respect."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks by president, 22 July 2009

    A view from the Arab media

    "When Barack Obama came to power in the United States, many Arab media expressed confidence in his military approaches to end American military involvement in Iraq. This didn’t stop the Arab media from reminding that the sectarian violence in Iraq needed to be addressed with clear plans and constructive approaches."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Transition

    Transition

    How the US used the term

    And under the Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government, I intend to remove all US troops from Iraq by the end of 2011. We will complete this transition to Iraqi responsibility, and we will bring our troops home with the honour that they have earned."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks by the president on responsibly ending the war in Iraq, 27 February 2009

    A view from the Arab media

    "The term has been used over the 10 years. Several announcements of transition of power, transition of security and transition to democracy were reported in the Arab media. After the American troop pullout in 2012, the term stayed in use. A ‘transition to new Iraq’ notion was presented by the Iraqi government."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Iraqi Security Forces

    Iraqi Security Forces

    How the US used the term

    The new Iraqi security forces are proving their courage every day. More than 2,000 members of Iraqi security forces have given their lives in the line of duty."

    President George W Bush
    President addresses the nation, discusses Iraq and "war on terror", 28 June 2005

    A view from the Arab media

    "Iraqi security forces were dismantled just after the fall of Saddam’s regime. The coalition worked on establishing new local forces. In 2005 the Iraqi police became a target of suicide attacks or assassinations after being accused of ‘collaborating with the enemy’ - the American army. The Arab media reported the attacks." 

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Progress

    Progress

    How the US used the term

    As security in Iraq has improved, the Iraqi government has made political progress as well."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses Iraq, 18 July 2008

    A view from the Arab media

    "Most Arab media outlets reported the American official statements on what was labelled as ‘progress in Iraq’. However, many were critical of the lack of progress in security in Iraq. In June 2008, pan-Arab newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi reported an American officer saying ‘the security progress in Iraq had been insubstantial’."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Peace

    Peace

    How the US used the term

    The relative peace and strong participation in January’s provincial elections sent a powerful message to the world about how far Iraqis have come in pursuing their aspirations through a peaceful political process."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks on responsibly ending the war in Iraq, 27 February 2009

    A view from the Arab media

    "News of car bombs and suicide bombings in Iraq has been widely reported in the Arab media. In 2012 and the early months of 2013, there was an increase in random attacks targeting mainly populated neighbourhoods in Iraqi cities. Peace is what Iraqis have been hoping for the past 10 years."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Removal of troops

    Removal of troops

    How the US used the term

    And under the Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government, I intend to remove all US troops from Iraq by the end of 2011."

    President Barack Obama
    Responsibly ending the war in Iraq, 27 February 2009

    A view from the Arab media

    "The Arab media pointed out the security vacuum the pullout of American troops would create in Iraq. Questions of the readiness of Iraqi security forces to take over were posed. The unity of Iraq as a nation was questioned too. Scepticism over the future of stability in Iraq was prominent."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Difficult

    Difficult

    How the US used the term

    The United States and Iraq have known difficult times together. Now both of us agree that the bonds forged between Americans and Iraqis in war can pave the way for progress that can be forged in peace."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks by president, 22 July 2009

    A view from the Arab media

    "Arab media didn’t ignore in their coverage of Iraq the difficulties the Iraqi government had faced in battling the violence hitting the streets of its main cities. Many papers blamed what they called the ‘American occupation’ for the state of chaos Iraq has been witnessing post-2003 war."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Helping Iraqis

    Helping Iraqis

    How the US used the term

    We're helping Iraqis rebuild their country's infrastructure, and Iraq will move - continue moving toward free elections, with important assistance from the United Nations."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses early transfer of Iraqi sovereignty, 28 June 2004

    A view from the Arab media

    "The two main pan-Arab news networks, al-Jazeera and al-Arabiya, looked at the role of the American troops differently. Al-Jazeera labelled it as the ‘War on Iraq’ and was sceptical about the intentions behind it and al-Arabiya labelled it as ‘Iraq war’ and covered favourably the ‘helping the Iraqis’ scenario."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    New Strategy

    New Strategy

    How the US used the term

    Today, I can announce that our review is complete, and that the United States will pursue a new strategy to end the war in Iraq through a transition to full Iraqi responsibility."

    President Barack Obama
    Responsibly ending the war in Iraq, 27 February 2009

    A view from the Arab media

    "Many Arab journalists welcomed Obama’s plan to withdraw American troops from Iraq. Scepticism was expressed over Iraqi security forces' readiness to take over full security responsibilities amid high sectarian tension. However, Obama’s new strategy towards Iraq was reported as a breath of fresh air compared to George Bush’s strategy in Iraq."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Success in Iraq

    Success in Iraq

    How the US used the term

    And we expect that, as conditions on the ground continue to improve, they will permit us to continue the policy of return on success."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses Iraq, 10 April 2008

    A view from the Arab media

    "In July 2008 the Egyptian newspaper al-Ahram ran an article warning that what the Americans labelled as a successful mission in Iraq would result in a complete failure if they did not realise the Iraqi police forces needed a longer time of logistical support to be able to secure the streets."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Iraqi government

    Iraqi government

    How the US used the term

    Unlike the interim and transitional governments that came before, the new Iraqi government will have full constitutional authority."

    President George W Bush
    President congratulates Iraqi leadership on national unity government agreement, 22 April 2006

    A view from the Arab media

    "The term ‘Iraqi regime’ disappeared over time from Arab media discourse post-Saddam. The new term that has been used is ‘the Iraqi government’. Since 2006, Nouri al-Maliki has been maintaining office as prime minister. Many Arab media outlets refer to the Iraqi government as 'al-Maliki government'."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Sovereignty

    Sovereignty

    How the US used the term

    As the transfer of sovereignty approaches on 30 June, we are likely to see more violence from groups opposed to freedom. We will not be intimidated or diverted. On 1 July, and beyond, our reconstruction and military commitment will continue."

    President George W Bush
    Radio Address, 1 May 2004

    A view from the Arab media

    "This term is associated with the day the American troops left Iraq on 31 December 2011. The Iraqis celebrated the first anniversary last December. The day has been declared a national day for the sovereignty of Iraq. The Iraqi media hailed the occasion as the day Iraq regained sovereignty from foreign troops."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    End of the war

    End of the war

    How the US used the term

    ... as we end this war, and as Iraq faces its future, the Iraqi people must know that you will not stand alone. You have a strong and enduring partner in the United States of America."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks by president, 12 December 2011

    A view from the Arab media

    "December 2011 was not the end of the war for Iraqis. Suicide attacks and violence continued to overshadow their daily lives. Arab media labelled it mostly as withdrawal of American troops and dedicated space to highlight the number of Iraqi and American lives lost as a result of the 2003 invasion."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    • Top new terms this year
    • Top terms this year
  • 2010

    • "Chemical" Ali, a key figure in Saddam Hussein's government, is executed
    • Parliamentary elections with inconclusive results
    • The last US combat brigade leaves Iraq
    • Factions agree on a power-sharing agreement, more than eight months after elections

    Select a bubble to find out more about a term

    US-Iraqi partnership

    US-Iraqi partnership

    How the US used the term

    Now we’re in the midst of a full transition to Iraqi responsibility, and to a comprehensive partnership between the United States and Iraq based on mutual interests and mutual respect."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks by president, 22 July 2009

    A view from the Arab media

    "When Barack Obama came to power in the United States, many Arab media expressed confidence in his military approaches to end American military involvement in Iraq. This didn’t stop the Arab media from reminding that the sectarian violence in Iraq needed to be addressed with clear plans and constructive approaches."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Al-Qaeda

    Al-Qaeda

    How the US used the term

    Al-Qaeda terrorists and Sunni insurgents recognised the mortal danger that Iraq's elections posed for their cause, and they responded with outrageous acts of murder aimed at innocent Iraqis."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the nation on a new atrategy for Iraq, 10 January 2007

    A view from the Arab media

    "News of attacks committed by al-Qaeda was attributed to the ‘al-Qaeda in Iraq' faction. Many Arab media outlets portrayed those men as dangerous and threatening to the image and efficiency of what was presented as ‘the real Iraqi resistance groups’. News of the capture of its members in Iraq was given prominence."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Commitment to Iraq

    Commitment to Iraq

    How the US used the term

    Our combat mission is ending, but our commitment to Iraq’s future is not."

    President Barack Obama
    Address to the nation on the end of combat operations in Iraq, 31 August 2010

    A view from the Arab media

    "Arab media would report American officials’ statements on Iraq. Statements on ‘commitment to Iraq’ after the pullout of troops were reported. Arab analysts and commentators were interviewed on the subject. Many questioned the term and its practicalities. Many Iraqi media outlets called upon the American administration to stay committed to helping Iraqis."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Violence

    Violence

    How the US used the term

    Today, some Americans ask whether removing Saddam caused the divisions and instability we're now seeing. In fact, much of the animosity and violence we now see is the legacy of Saddam Hussein."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses democracy in Iraq with Freedom House, 29 March 2006

    A view from the Arab media

    "In 2006, news of sectarian violence in Iraq was a main feature in the Arab media. Stories were pouring from Iraq on sectarian-based killings. In general, Americans were to blame for the lack of security. Iraqi media blamed mainly the ‘extremists’ and the ‘terrorists’ for the increased violence."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Security

    Security

    How the US used the term

    The most urgent priority for success in Iraq is security, especially in Baghdad. Eighty percent of Iraq's sectarian violence occurs within 30 miles of the capital."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the nation on a new strategy for Iraq, 10 January 2007

    A view from the Arab media

    "The term that has been widely used in the Arab media is the ‘lack of security in Iraq’. Stories of sectarian-based attacks, car bombs and suicide bombers resulting in heavy civilian casualties dominated news from Iraq in 2006 and after the American troop pullout in 2012."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    End of combat mission

    End of combat mission

    How the US used the term

    So tonight, I am announcing that the American combat mission in Iraq has ended. Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country."

    President Barack Obama
    Address to the nation on the end of combat operations in Iraq, 31 August 2010

    A view from the Arab media

    "The Emirati daily El Itihad ran a story in September 2009 titled ‘oppressed Iraq’. The article said that the American troops were the ones defeated in Iraq, leaving the country in a miserable state of corruption and lawlessness. Many Arab media outlets questioned the meaning of the term ‘mission’."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Peace

    Peace

    How the US used the term

    The relative peace and strong participation in January’s provincial elections sent a powerful message to the world about how far Iraqis have come in pursuing their aspirations through a peaceful political process."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks on responsibly ending the war in Iraq, 27 February 2009

    A view from the Arab media

    "News of car bombs and suicide bombings in Iraq has been widely reported in the Arab media. In 2012 and the early months of 2013, there was an increase in random attacks targeting mainly populated neighbourhoods in Iraqi cities. Peace is what Iraqis have been hoping for the past 10 years."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Extremists

    Extremists

    How the US used the term

    So we're working to defeat al-Qaeda and other extremists, and aid the rise of an Iraqi government that can protect its people, deliver basic services, and be an ally in the war against these extremists and radicals."

    President George W Bush
    News conference, 12 July 2007

    A view from the Arab media

    "A term that substituted the term ‘terrorists’ in many Arab media outlets. In Iraq the term has been used simultaneously with the term ‘terrorists’. ‘Radicals’ hasn’t been a widely used term in reference to those committing violence in Iraq. Arab media would also use terms like 'militiamen' or 'gunmen' to refer to the perpetrators.

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Iraqi government

    Iraqi government

    How the US used the term

    Unlike the interim and transitional governments that came before, the new Iraqi government will have full constitutional authority."

    President George W Bush
    President congratulates Iraqi leadership on national unity government agreement, 22 April 2006

    A view from the Arab media

    "The term ‘Iraqi regime’ disappeared over time from Arab media discourse post-Saddam. The new term that has been used is ‘the Iraqi government’. Since 2006, Nouri al-Maliki has been maintaining office as prime minister. Many Arab media outlets refer to the Iraqi government as 'al-Maliki government'."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Iraqi Security Forces

    Iraqi Security Forces

    How the US used the term

    The new Iraqi security forces are proving their courage every day. More than 2,000 members of Iraqi security forces have given their lives in the line of duty."

    President George W Bush
    President addresses the nation, discusses Iraq and "war on terror", 28 June 2005

    A view from the Arab media

    "Iraqi security forces were dismantled just after the fall of Saddam’s regime. The coalition worked on establishing new local forces. In 2005 the Iraqi police became a target of suicide attacks or assassinations after being accused of ‘collaborating with the enemy’ - the American army. The Arab media reported the attacks." 

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Terrorists

    Terrorists

    How the US used the term

    Terrorists in Iraq have attacked representatives of the civilised world, and opposing them must be the cause of the civilised world."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the nation, 7 September 2003

    A view from the Arab media

    "The term has not been widely adopted in the Arab world. Instead 'resistance fighters', 'militiamen', 'gunmen' and 'jihadists' were used. The Iraqi government post-2003 adopted the American term. 'Terrorists' and 'terrorism' were used in reference to the military operations against American troops in Iraq and against Iraqi security forces and civilians."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Difficult

    Difficult

    How the US used the term

    The United States and Iraq have known difficult times together. Now both of us agree that the bonds forged between Americans and Iraqis in war can pave the way for progress that can be forged in peace."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks by president, 22 July 2009

    A view from the Arab media

    "Arab media didn’t ignore in their coverage of Iraq the difficulties the Iraqi government had faced in battling the violence hitting the streets of its main cities. Many papers blamed what they called the ‘American occupation’ for the state of chaos Iraq has been witnessing post-2003 war."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Removal of troops

    Removal of troops

    How the US used the term

    And under the Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government, I intend to remove all US troops from Iraq by the end of 2011."

    President Barack Obama
    Responsibly ending the war in Iraq, 27 February 2009

    A view from the Arab media

    "The Arab media pointed out the security vacuum the pullout of American troops would create in Iraq. Questions of the readiness of Iraqi security forces to take over were posed. The unity of Iraq as a nation was questioned too. Scepticism over the future of stability in Iraq was prominent."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    • Top new terms this year
    • Top terms this year
  • 2011

    • Violence escalates
    • US completes pullout
    • Iraq's Shia-led government issues an arrest warrant against the Sunni vice-president

    Select a bubble to find out more about a term

    US-Iraqi partnership

    US-Iraqi partnership

    How the US used the term

    Now we’re in the midst of a full transition to Iraqi responsibility, and to a comprehensive partnership between the United States and Iraq based on mutual interests and mutual respect."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks by president, 22 July 2009

    A view from the Arab media

    "When Barack Obama came to power in the United States, many Arab media expressed confidence in his military approaches to end American military involvement in Iraq. This didn’t stop the Arab media from reminding that the sectarian violence in Iraq needed to be addressed with clear plans and constructive approaches."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    End of the war

    End of the war

    How the US used the term

    ... as we end this war, and as Iraq faces its future, the Iraqi people must know that you will not stand alone. You have a strong and enduring partner in the United States of America."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks by president, 12 December 2011

    A view from the Arab media

    "December 2011 was not the end of the war for Iraqis. Suicide attacks and violence continued to overshadow their daily lives. Arab media labelled it mostly as withdrawal of American troops and dedicated space to highlight the number of Iraqi and American lives lost as a result of the 2003 invasion."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Security

    Security

    How the US used the term

    The most urgent priority for success in Iraq is security, especially in Baghdad. Eighty percent of Iraq's sectarian violence occurs within 30 miles of the capital."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the nation on a new strategy for Iraq, 10 January 2007

    A view from the Arab media

    "The term that has been widely used in the Arab media is the ‘lack of security in Iraq’. Stories of sectarian-based attacks, car bombs and suicide bombers resulting in heavy civilian casualties dominated news from Iraq in 2006 and after the American troop pullout in 2012."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Sovereignty

    Sovereignty

    How the US used the term

    As the transfer of sovereignty approaches on 30 June, we are likely to see more violence from groups opposed to freedom. We will not be intimidated or diverted. On 1 July, and beyond, our reconstruction and military commitment will continue."

    President George W Bush
    Radio Address, 1 May 2004

    A view from the Arab media

    "This term is associated with the day the American troops left Iraq on 31 December 2011. The Iraqis celebrated the first anniversary last December. The day has been declared a national day for the sovereignty of Iraq. The Iraqi media hailed the occasion as the day Iraq regained sovereignty from foreign troops."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Commitment to Iraq

    Commitment to Iraq

    How the US used the term

    Our combat mission is ending, but our commitment to Iraq’s future is not."

    President Barack Obama
    Address to the nation on the end of combat operations in Iraq, 31 August 2010

    A view from the Arab media

    "Arab media would report American officials’ statements on Iraq. Statements on ‘commitment to Iraq’ after the pullout of troops were reported. Arab analysts and commentators were interviewed on the subject. Many questioned the term and its practicalities. Many Iraqi media outlets called upon the American administration to stay committed to helping Iraqis."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Progress

    Progress

    How the US used the term

    As security in Iraq has improved, the Iraqi government has made political progress as well."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses Iraq, 18 July 2008

    A view from the Arab media

    "Most Arab media outlets reported the American official statements on what was labelled as ‘progress in Iraq’. However, many were critical of the lack of progress in security in Iraq. In June 2008, pan-Arab newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi reported an American officer saying ‘the security progress in Iraq had been insubstantial’."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Removal of troops

    Removal of troops

    How the US used the term

    And under the Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government, I intend to remove all US troops from Iraq by the end of 2011."

    President Barack Obama
    Responsibly ending the war in Iraq, 27 February 2009

    A view from the Arab media

    "The Arab media pointed out the security vacuum the pullout of American troops would create in Iraq. Questions of the readiness of Iraqi security forces to take over were posed. The unity of Iraq as a nation was questioned too. Scepticism over the future of stability in Iraq was prominent."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Mutual

    Mutual

    How the US used the term

    We are here (...) to turn the page - begin a new chapter in the history between our countries - a normal relationship between sovereign nations, an equal partnership based on mutual interests and mutual respect."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks by president after meeting Prime Minister al-Maliki, 12 December 2011

    A view from the Arab media

    "A term used mostly by Iraqi media. Pan-Arab media in general would quote Iraqi and American officials emphasising the ‘mutual interests’ between the United States and Iraq. Mutual interests over security and stability and foreign policy were among the issues emphasised by officials from both countries."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Peace

    Peace

    How the US used the term

    The relative peace and strong participation in January’s provincial elections sent a powerful message to the world about how far Iraqis have come in pursuing their aspirations through a peaceful political process."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks on responsibly ending the war in Iraq, 27 February 2009

    A view from the Arab media

    "News of car bombs and suicide bombings in Iraq has been widely reported in the Arab media. In 2012 and the early months of 2013, there was an increase in random attacks targeting mainly populated neighbourhoods in Iraqi cities. Peace is what Iraqis have been hoping for the past 10 years."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Success in Iraq

    Success in Iraq

    How the US used the term

    And we expect that, as conditions on the ground continue to improve, they will permit us to continue the policy of return on success."

    President George W Bush
    President discusses Iraq, 10 April 2008

    A view from the Arab media

    "In July 2008 the Egyptian newspaper al-Ahram ran an article warning that what the Americans labelled as a successful mission in Iraq would result in a complete failure if they did not realise the Iraqi police forces needed a longer time of logistical support to be able to secure the streets."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Training Iraqi Forces

    Training Iraqi Forces

    How the US used the term

    We will continue training Iraqi security forces so this rising democracy can eventually take responsibility for its own security."

    President George W Bush
    President congratulates Iraqis on election, 30 January 2005

    A view from the Arab media

    "In 2012, news of American intention to withdraw its security trainers from Iraq was circulated in the Arab media. Iraqi police trainees were quoted saying they were not benefiting from their American trainers. Doubts on the efficiency of retired American officers training Iraqi policemen were outlined."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Transition

    Transition

    How the US used the term

    And under the Status of Forces Agreement with the Iraqi government, I intend to remove all US troops from Iraq by the end of 2011. We will complete this transition to Iraqi responsibility, and we will bring our troops home with the honour that they have earned."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks by the president on responsibly ending the war in Iraq, 27 February 2009

    A view from the Arab media

    "The term has been used over the 10 years. Several announcements of transition of power, transition of security and transition to democracy were reported in the Arab media. After the American troop pullout in 2012, the term stayed in use. A ‘transition to new Iraq’ notion was presented by the Iraqi government."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Al-Qaeda

    Al-Qaeda

    How the US used the term

    Al-Qaeda terrorists and Sunni insurgents recognised the mortal danger that Iraq's elections posed for their cause, and they responded with outrageous acts of murder aimed at innocent Iraqis."

    President George W Bush
    Address to the nation on a new atrategy for Iraq, 10 January 2007

    A view from the Arab media

    "News of attacks committed by al-Qaeda was attributed to the ‘al-Qaeda in Iraq' faction. Many Arab media outlets portrayed those men as dangerous and threatening to the image and efficiency of what was presented as ‘the real Iraqi resistance groups’. News of the capture of its members in Iraq was given prominence."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    • Top new terms this year
    • Top terms this year
  • 2012

    • New wave of sectarian attacks
    • Arab League summit in Baghdad
    • Former Sunni vice-president is sentenced to death in absentia
    • President Talabani is taken to Germany for treatment after a stroke

    Select a bubble to find out more about a term

    End of the war

    End of the war

    How the US used the term

    ... as we end this war, and as Iraq faces its future, the Iraqi people must know that you will not stand alone. You have a strong and enduring partner in the United States of America."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks by president, 12 December 2011

    A view from the Arab media

    "December 2011 was not the end of the war for Iraqis. Suicide attacks and violence continued to overshadow their daily lives. Arab media labelled it mostly as withdrawal of American troops and dedicated space to highlight the number of Iraqi and American lives lost as a result of the 2003 invasion."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    A responsible end

    A responsible end

    How the US used the term

    When President Obama ran four years ago, he promised to end the war responsibly. He gave me the honour and the responsibility of co-ordinating that policy."

    Vice-President Joe Biden
    Remarks on foreign policy at a campaign event, 26 April 2012

    A view from the Arab media

    "Many Arab journalists questioned Obama’s call for a ‘responsible’ end of the war. They referred to the state of insecurity Iraq was encountering and the role the American troops’ presence in Iraq had played in enforcing it. Arab media reported the Iraqi government's readiness to take over security from the Americans."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Leaving honourably

    Leaving honourably

    How the US used the term

    You left Iraq with honour, your mission complete, your heads held high. After nearly nine years, our war in Iraq was over. And today Iraq has a chance to forge its own destiny."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks by the President to the troops, 31 August 2012

    A view from the Arab media

    "Many Arab media outlets dedicated time and space to outline the number of losses the American army recorded in Iraq throughout the years between 2003 and 2011. The analysis led to conclusions indicating the failure of the American mission and the disappointment both the American and Iraqi people were experiencing as a result."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    Sovereignty

    Sovereignty

    How the US used the term

    As the transfer of sovereignty approaches on 30 June, we are likely to see more violence from groups opposed to freedom. We will not be intimidated or diverted. On 1 July, and beyond, our reconstruction and military commitment will continue."

    President George W Bush
    Radio Address, 1 May 2004

    A view from the Arab media

    "This term is associated with the day the American troops left Iraq on 31 December 2011. The Iraqis celebrated the first anniversary last December. The day has been declared a national day for the sovereignty of Iraq. The Iraqi media hailed the occasion as the day Iraq regained sovereignty from foreign troops."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    US-Iraqi partnership

    US-Iraqi partnership

    How the US used the term

    Now we’re in the midst of a full transition to Iraqi responsibility, and to a comprehensive partnership between the United States and Iraq based on mutual interests and mutual respect."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks by president, 22 July 2009

    A view from the Arab media

    "When Barack Obama came to power in the United States, many Arab media expressed confidence in his military approaches to end American military involvement in Iraq. This didn’t stop the Arab media from reminding that the sectarian violence in Iraq needed to be addressed with clear plans and constructive approaches."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    • Top new terms this year
    • Top terms this year
  • 2013

    • Mass Sunni protests in Anbar province against Shia-led government

    Select a bubble to find out more about a term

    End of the war

    End of the war

    How the US used the term

    ... as we end this war, and as Iraq faces its future, the Iraqi people must know that you will not stand alone. You have a strong and enduring partner in the United States of America."

    President Barack Obama
    Remarks by president, 12 December 2011

    A view from the Arab media

    "December 2011 was not the end of the war for Iraqis. Suicide attacks and violence continued to overshadow their daily lives. Arab media labelled it mostly as withdrawal of American troops and dedicated space to highlight the number of Iraqi and American lives lost as a result of the 2003 invasion."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    A responsible end

    A responsible end

    How the US used the term

    When President Obama ran four years ago, he promised to end the war responsibly. He gave me the honour and the responsibility of co-ordinating that policy."

    Vice-President Joe Biden
    Remarks on foreign policy at a campaign event, 26 April 2012

    A view from the Arab media

    "Many Arab journalists questioned Obama’s call for a ‘responsible’ end of the war. They referred to the state of insecurity Iraq was encountering and the role the American troops’ presence in Iraq had played in enforcing it. Arab media reported the Iraqi government's readiness to take over security from the Americans."

    Dr Zahera Harb
    Senior Lecturer in International Journalism, City University London

    * 2013 data covers only January and February

    2013
    • Top terms this year

View the methodology used to find the key terms and explore the data

Research: Inma Gil, with the support of BBC Monitoring and Abdallah Al-Salmi. Production: Inma Gil, with the support of Vlad Georgescu and Roberto Belo-Rovella. Design: Ben Huxley. Development: Sophia Domfeh.


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