Rhetorical Strategies Used by President George W. Bush Essay

Rhetorical Strategies Used by President George W. Bush Essay

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Rhetorical Strategies Used by President George Bush After the September 11 Terrorist Attacks



On September 11, 2001, the Islamist terrorist group known as al-Qaeda launched a series of terrorist attacks on the United States of America, specifically in the New York City and Washington D.C areas. Nineteen al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four planes with the intention of using them as suicide attacks that would crash those planes into designated buildings, or targets. Two of the four passenger jets were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, both of which collapsed entirely within two hours of being hit. The third plane was crashed into the Pentagon, and the west side of the building, which is the Headquarters of the US Department of Defense, partially collapsed. The fourth hijacked plane was intended for the US Capitol Building in Washington D.C, but instead crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after the passengers of the plane interfered with the hijackers. The attack on September 11th was devastatingly fatal—almost 3,000 people died in the attacks, including all of the al-Qaeda hijackers and every passenger aboard the four planes.

On the evening of September 11, 2001, in the wake of these attacks, President George W. Bush issued an address to the nation. In his speech, Bush addresses the citizens of the United States, which is his target audience. However, due to the nature of the attacks, people from all over the world viewed Bush’s address from their televisions, and people from both the United States and the rest of the world were able to access the speech later on the Internet. Bush’s main purpose in his address is to issue a formal presidential response to the terrorist attack, but more i...


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...s audience’s emotions of fear and sadness, but also of patriotism through charged language and by compelling his viewers to identify with the victims, in order to galvanize a sense of anger and commitment to justice, which he is able to achieve this charged language through use of metaphor and periphrasis. By presenting his argument as one of policy and supporting this claim through the formal topics of definition and concomitant, Bush is able to ultimately use his address to argue that America should be defended, because defending America means defending the doctrine of freedom itself.

Works Cited

Bush, George W. "A Great People Has Been Moved to Defend a Great Nation." Oval

Office. Washington D.C. 11 Sept. 2001. American Rhetoric. N.p., n.d. Web. 7

Mar. 2013.
gwbush911addresstothenation.htm>.

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