War Tourism

Quenching the thirst for war
War tourism
Why do we constantly court for the danger? Why do the fact of nearly dead, give us a life-affirming experience? War, murder and innocent victims is a standard picture for many people in front of the television, they see war trough a glass screen. Some people search for something more, they want to feel and sense war, with no filter. They travel through war-zones, with potential danger for death. This is what Thomas Steinmetz treats in his article “quenching the thirst for war”, written in 2008. The text is about tourism in war-zones, and what the phenomenon is based on? Why run the risk, well aware that they might risk their lives?

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To explain that, Thomas Steinmetz make use of different experts, who has substance in what they say. Through them Thomas Steinmetz paints a picture of these tourists, who has created a new line of business. There are spoken of different types of tourists. Some tourists want to touch the death. Others are more cultural interested and don’t mind the danger who is a big part of it. At last some wants to get the impression of war, not only through television. The article is non-fiction journalism. There are different marks, who suggest that it is a non-fiction text. The writer Thomas Steinmetz is straightforward, he tries to be educational and have coherent thoughts. The pronouns refer to the tourists. The text is a comment, because Thomas Steinmetz comments on the phenomenon “war tourism”. The article starts in medias res, with no background and information about the topic. The journalist Thomas Steinmetz is interviewing Geoff Hann, a British group leader for the travel agency Hinterland.

To get an overview of the text, the rhetorical pentagon is a useful in-depth analysis. The topic in the text is “war tourism”. The genre is non-fiction journalism, it is not known where the text is printed, but it could be printed in a magazine or some kind of quality press. The journalist Thomas Steinmetz is the central narrator in the text; we see that in the beginning of the text. The article is written in third person. The article has a large number of “experts”, who tries to find an explanation of why people are traveling to war-zones. Thomas Steinmetz establishes his ethos through the experts. He does that, to improve his trustworthiness.

He looks at the situation objectively; by implicate professors, guides and tourist bureaus to get different views and perspectives. In that way Thomas Steinmetz let the reader choose standpoint in his objective points. The reader could be people who are adventurous or people who can relate to the text. But the reader might also be an ordinary person, who is interested in how humanity as well as society trends develop, and why? Thomas Steinmetz uses a very informative language. He present lots of facts, and this appeal to logos. He inform mainly by using experts. He generally divides the text up in academics and guides; this makes a contrast in the text, because you get the impression that he is a bit subjective.

This is seen in the beginning where Thomas Steinmetz ironically writes:” Battling militia (…) such encounters says Hann is just a part of the experience – and a part of the “fun” (l. 6 p.9) Thomas Steinmetz can’t obviously see the connection between battling militia and fun. Fun is therefore written with inverted commas, to make the contrast clear. We also get a concealing sign of a subjective position in the text, when Thomas Steinmetz writes Witnessing the damage caused by rockets in Israel’s north and south, visiting the site of poison gas attacks in northern Iraq, and touring the bullet-ridden buildings of Beirut are just a sampling of the Middle-East’s arguably “dark” tourist attractions(…) associated with death, destruction, conflict of war” Thomas Steinmetz refer to Professor John Lennon’s book “Dark tourism” he mark “dark” to get the reader’s attention. He makes the reader think to make the contrast clear. He appeals to pathos, because he between the lines make it clear, that he thinks it is wrong to make cruelty to a business.

The circumstances could cause the writers disagreement in the trend “war tourism”. He has maybe been provoked, to write the article, it appears several times in the text. This leads to the intention, Thomas Steinmetz’s intention with this comment, is to bring ethics and moral in focus. Thomas Steinmetz goes into the topic, in an indirect way. The reader doesn’t necessary capture Thomas Steinmetz point, but between the lines, he discusses the twisted view on this kind of tourism. And the reader builds up a theory who indicates that Thomas Steinmetz is against “war tourism”. Another thing who can suggest this theory is the order in which he enhance the guides and the professors. He sympathises with the professors, by giving them the last word. The reader can therefore get an idea of an ironic undertone in the interviews with the guide and the travel agencies. And the ironic and negative undertone generally “As they enter war zones, cross checkpoints, and stumble upon sites of political instability, these travelers come heavily armed – with cameras, guide books, maps and tour guides”.

“Quenching the thirst for war” goes to show that people by nature have a dark side. Some people are fascinated to sites where war has misfired inhuman conditions, killings, destruction and victims. The travel bureaus hasty saw a way to take advantage of this strange tendency. The bureaus see this inclination as another way to earn money. The contrast is big; some people see war as a tourist attraction like the Eiffel Tower, others see it as contempt for life. The professors reproach the press coverage for motivating the idea and desire to a picture of reality. The people want to see it for themselves. They are neutrally attracted to things they can’t explain, and things that are hard to understand. Some people are searching for the kick others want to understand the reality. This is the reality.

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