Locating ‘Ground Zero’: caught between the narratives of crime and war
This chapter offers some commentary upon this suggestion by attempting to locate September 11 in the two narratives most essentially tied to the power of the nation state: those of crime and war. September 11 was a real and a symbolic event. But the symbolism went further even into the use of the term Ground Zero. Ground Zero became the site of destruction, loss, mourning and rebirth. In reacting and attempting to constrain the effects of September 11, the discourses of crime and war may be intermingled, with a result that is logically unsatisfying but effective in reasserting two traditions of the governing metaphor (and the metaphor of governing). Crime and war are no longer stable categories, nor is terrorism, although there will be those who rhetorically present it as such to galvanise responses. Terrorism seemed like something that happened somewhere else – and somewhere else a safe distance over the horizon.