Beginning with the iconic imagery of Rhetorica, armed with a sword, this essay examines traditional, formative, and contemporary associations of rhetoric with violence, and how Philippe-Joseph Salazar's use of violent metaphors for rhetoric fits the domain of his book, Words Are Weapons: Inside ISIS's Rhetoric of Terror. I suggest that Salazar's book should provoke reconsideration of how and why people use violent metaphors for rhetoric. In order to explicate this suggestion, I examine the relative applicability of casually using violent rhetoric metaphors in scholarship and everyday discourse, the strategic interplay of violent and nonviolent rhetorical tactics, the risk that rhetors take when using violent rhetoric, and the aptness of Salazar's disarmament terminology to convey the caliphate's rhetorical power over the West.

You do not currently have access to this content.