Monday, May 9, 2011


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President George W. Bush’s “Address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American People” was done on September 0, 001 at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. The President is speaking to all of America which includes all of Congress and its staff, news reporters, and all Americans that are watching television. This speech is nine days after the attack on the two World Trade Towers and is mainly about the current acts of terrorism, how America has put up with that terrorism, and the vaguely certain action that will be taken against terrorism.

For Bush, his speech does declare war, but it also does more. It is geared towards persuading a nation divided from the previous year’s confusing and almost controversial election to trust Bush’s ability to lead America and to succeed in a war that will require more casualties and time than other wars. Bush must first persuade America to join and follow him as a leader. He must then restore faith and morale in the shaken country, and convince Americans to be willing to go forward to take a position against terrorism for the spread of justice.

Watching Bushes speech on a video shows many characteristics of a good speaker. Even though Bush’s speech is a script to read, he does a good job in not making it just a script that’s read one line after the other. His body, voice, and eyes towards the audience are used in the way that a person that a person talking in a conversation might use their body and voice. His voice is calm and steady with conviction and necessary pauses that are generally at the end of the short paragraphs. He takes his time talking to the crowd which is relaxing to the listeners and is charismatic and determined on his part. His eyes are in contact with the audience in the crowd and on the television as if they are hooking to the audience, not as how a quick look just catches glimpses of an audience. Finally, when Bush receives applauses, he doesn’t smile or attract much attention so that he appears to have determined and content.

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Bush’s speech starts out with him acknowledging the public’s awareness and first hand experience of the situation over the issues about terrorism that he will talk about. He begins get personal with the crowd by referring to specific person and his family. That makes him seem patriotic. He next makes it known to the people that he feels their pain when he refers to people’s specific actions to help during the terrorist cause such as “We have seen the unfurling of flags, the lighting of candles, the giving of blood, the saying of prayers.” A little alliteration is used as an effect in “unfurling of flags” and later in as we have found our mission and our moment.

Bush says that the helping counties’ acts will never be forgotten “America will never forget the sounds of our National Anthem playing at Buckingham Palace, on the streets of Paris …..We will not forget South Korean children gathering to pray outside our embassy in Seoul…….Nor will we forget the citizens of 80 other nations who died with our own…”. He tells of allied countries that are doing events like praying and singing America’s national Anthem. Americans would definitely find these countries actions friendly which will transfer feelings other countries towards American as a peaceful message.

Bush makes a blunt statement about what the Al Qaeda terrorists are about with some an analogy and the summary of a hopeless and evil dream “Al Qaeda is to terror what the mafia is to crime. But its goal is not making money; its goal is remaking the world -- and imposing its radical beliefs on people everywhere.” His word choice of mafia, crime, terror, and radical give a negative tint about what he’s saying.

Bush makes a clear picture about the Al Qaeda government as a ruthless killer and as an evil doer. This is especially true when he talks about their religion, activities in the homeland, and petty actions that can get a man killed while contrasting actions that Americans feel very dear about. When bush talks about their religion, he says that “The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism”, “The terrorists directive commands them to kill Christians and Jews, to kill all Americans, and make no distinction among military and civilians, including women and children,” which really gives a negative feeling with words like extremism and kill.

When Bush talks about the soldiers that are being recruited, he says that “They are recruited from their own nations and neighborhoods and brought to camps in places like Afghanistan, where they are trained in the tactics of terror. They are sent back to their homes or sent to hide in countries around the world to plot evil and destruction.” He also says that the “Afghanistans people have been brutalized -- many are starving and many have fled. Women are not allowed to attend school. You can be jailed for owning a television. Religion can be practiced only as their leaders dictate. A man can be jailed in Afghanistan if his beard is not long enough.” Bush causes a disturbing feeling when he talks about basic freedoms to us that are being forbidden by the Taliban. This includes “They hate our freedoms -- our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other,” “They want to overthrow existing governments in many Muslim countries, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia….,” “These terrorists kill not merely to end lives, but to disrupt and end a way of life. With every atrocity, they hope that America grows fearful, retreating from the world and forsaking our friends. They stand against us, because we stand in their way,” and “They are the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 0th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions -- by abandoning every value except the will to power -- they follow in the path of fascism, and Nazism, and totalitarianism.”

All this negative talk is counteracted with wods like determination, strength, liberty, freedom, courage, and resolve, for example when he says “We will direct every resource at our command -- every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war -- to the disruption and to the defeat of the global terror network,” “We will come together to improve air safety, to dramatically expand the number of air marshals on domestic flights, and take new measures to prevent hijacking. We will come together to promote stability and keep our airlines flying,” “We will come together to give law enforcement the additional tools it needs to track down terror here at home,” and “We will come together to take active steps that strengthen Americas economy, and put our people back to work.” This again is another article which depicts them as bad people and supports Bush decision to trust him as a necessary leader of America espcecially with suc decisive action.

After Bush is done saying all the bad about this people, he cleverly states that the true Afghanistan is respected so as not to cause hatred to a group of people just for living in a certain country. He furthermore proves this by saying “The United States respects the people of Afghanistan -- after all, we are currently its largest source of humanitarian aid -- but we condemn the Taliban regime.”

Bush uses the word “I” much when he says, I will not forget and I will not yield; I will not rest; I will not relent... Doing so seems to offer some assurance that American can trust him as a strong leader. Bush uses the police shield of a victim, George Howard, to, appeal to the people’s emotions.

Bush closes with a statement that relates this time to many others when he argues that Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know that God is not neutral between them. Bush mentioned God even though he might have been criticized for it. In doing so he made his speech more emotional and appealing towards many whom know this as an important phrase.

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