Rhetorical Analysis Of President Barack Obama's Speech To The Nation On Syria

1087 Words5 Pages
Jesse Reyes Ramesh Pokharel ENGL 1304 6 October 2014 Obama on Syria Rhetorical Analysis The night before the anniversary of 9/11 in 2013, Barack Obama delivered a speech to the United States of America on the subject of Syria’s inhumane use of chemical weapons on its own citizens. The United States’ intelligence analysts estimated that more than 1,400 civilians were killed due to the chemical warheads that were launched on the area right outside of Damascus. In President Barack Obama’s address to the nation on Syria, he attempts to persuade the American people to support his plan of a targeted air strike on Syria. By describing the victims of Syria, giving reasons for the inhumanity of the Syrian government, and reinforcing his credibility,…show more content…
His dramatic diction when referring to the Bashar al-Assad regime depicts the Syrian government as a wicked monster, which is exactly what the President wishes to do in order to more easily convince his citizens. Words such as “oppressive” and “gruesome” are only some of the many emotionally appealing words that President Barack Obama incorporates in his argumentative speech (Obama par 2 and 4). Also, only a couple of minutes into the speech, President Barack Obama uses vivid imagery to depict the innocent people of Syria who were unfortunately killed by poisonous gases that the Syrian government deployed themselves. President Obama ensures that his audience feels sickened and hatred towards the Bashar al-Assad regime by including detailed descriptions of the victims. He describes the Syrian “men, women, [and] children lying in rows, killed by poison gas” and those that were “foaming at the mouth, gasping for breath” (Obama par 3). The most powerful image that President Barack Obama incorporates is that of a “father clutching his dead children, imploring them to get up and walk” (Obama par 3). This image, as well as the others, undoubtedly causes the audience to feel sympathy towards the Syrian victims and definitely loathing of the Syrian regime for doing something so…show more content…
President Barack Obama begins to use logos when he talks about the 1997 “international agreement prohibiting the use of chemical weapons” (Obama par 5). He moves on to assert that the Syrian government’s action was “not only a violation of international law, [but] also a danger to [national] security” (Obama par 10). His main point to support his assertion that the chemical attack is a danger to the American people and the world is that if no action is taken to deter the Syrian regime then other “tyrants” will not hesitate to use poisonous gas as a weapon as well (Obama par 11). The President’s logic is reasonable and therefore is effective in persuading the audience. President Obama does not try to justify his position on the topic with faulty logic. He makes it clear that the reason for taking action against the Bashar al-Assad regime is to prevent what happened to the Syrian victims to happen to any more people of the world. The majority of the audience is effectively swayed to view involvement in Syria as necessary in order to preserve national

More about Rhetorical Analysis Of President Barack Obama's Speech To The Nation On Syria

Open Document