An Efficacious Speech by Bush Essay

An Efficacious Speech by Bush Concerning the Sept - An Efficacious Speech by Bush Essay introduction. 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks on America Ayşegül Altın
Pelin Acartürk
Yeditepe University
Self-Evaluation: This was the first time we have analyzed a politician’s speech. We believe that this writing assignment helped us to see what kind of rhetorical devices Bush used to make his speech effective. After this assignment of examining an impressive speech and writing a rhetorical analysis paper about the speech, we decided to use these beneficial rhetorical devices in our own writings and presentations to impress our readers and listeners. While analyzing the speech we realized the importance and power of both facts and emotional concepts as rhetorical tools, so, we decided to use these elements in our essays to convince our readers. We think that with the help of this assignment we will look at our future essays from a different point of view.

An Efficacious Speech by Bush Concerning the Sept. 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks on America On September 20, 2001, President George W. Bush made a speech addressing to a Joint Session of Congress about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on America. This speech of Bush (2001) was far more important than the others because as we can understand from the statements such as moments of silence, tragedy, day of mourning, great cause, at the time of this speech America was in a chaotic situation. This speech was crucial for Bush to demonstrate that he was rolling a log for his respectable congressmen and citizens during these hard times. As a consequence, Bush found it necessary to console and encourage his citizens, and give hope for better days. When we take these factors into account, President George W. Bush was really effective in giving an inspirational speech to his congressmen and citizens as he united people of America as one to fight against their enemies and be strong for the better future of their country by using strong convictions and stimulating the patriotic feelings of people. It is essential to understand who Bush is and to whom he was speaking so as to understand the importance and effectiveness of his speech
completely. We will first mention about Bush. Bush was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He graduated from Yale University with a B.A in history and Harvard Business School where he got his Mater of Business Administration. Bush is the only U.S president to have earned M.A.B. After graduating from universityhe went into politics. After his unsuccessfulattempts in his political life and somewhat unstable periods in his personal life,his party got broad support and he was eventually elected as the 43th President of America in 2000 (Wikipedia, 2001).

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Figure 1. Image of George Bush Addressing to Congress. Source: The Guardian (2001)
The audience for Bush’s speech should also be taken into account. While making his speech in front of congressmen,Bush was speaking to the citizens of America who were extremely furious and confused because of the terrifying terrorist attacks at the same time. Furthermore, he was also addressing to all the people around the world. We can give an example of how Bush was addressing to all the people of the world by quoting one of his sentences from his speech, “I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world …Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the name of Allah” (Bush, 2001). Moreover, we can understand how Bush (2001) extended his speech to people outside of the USA when he said, “This is not, however, just America’s fight. This is the world’s fight. This is civilization’s fight. This is the fight of all who believe in progress and pluralism, tolerance, and freedom. We ask every nation to join us.”Furthermore, in his speech Bush attempted to make the nation one by in spite of the nations’destroyed unity in that insecure and frightening period. We can understand this when Bush (2001) stated, “We have seen the state of our union in the endurance of rescuers working past exhaustion.”

Bush utilized a combination of different devices which appeal to audience’s logic and emotions to convey his messages to his citizens’ in a more effective and credible manner. One of the ways he used is appealing the intense emotions of his audience who were trying to get over from the unpleasant effects of tragic terrorist attacks. He used expressions such as
“we, us, our” frequently to generate united and patriotic feelings among the citizens. We can see the use of these expressions in such statements “Our grief has turned to anger and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our enemies to justice or justice to our enemies, justice will be done” (Bush, 2001). Bush used these expressions to show that his position as the president is the same as the citizens’, and the citizens’ position is the same as the President’s. Moreover, we can see more examples of his using emotional expressions to console his citizens and surpass the fear and anger that his citizen were trying to deal with when Bush said (2001), “We’ve seen the unfurling of flags, the lighting of candles, the giving of blood, the saying of prayers in English, Hebrew, and Arabic. We have seen the decency of a loving and giving people who have made the grief of strangers their own”

Furthermore, Bush usedlots of real life factstosignify his acts and the purposesbehind these acts in the process of fighting against the critical threats the U.S.A facing. An example of this can be seen when Bush (2001) said, “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.” Furthermore, Bush used logos to support his judgment for the military action to get revenge of the terrible event and repeat the need for such action. We can see the use of logos effectively about his plan of action and the aim when Bush (2001) stated,“Our war with Al Qaeda will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.” Lastly, during his speech Bush established his credibility by his authoritarian tone through his quick and sincere response to the act of terrorism. We can see his establishing his reliability when Bush (2001) said, “My fellow citizens, the dangers to our country and the world will be overcome. We will pass through this time of peril and carry on the work of peace. We will defend our freedom. We will bring freedom to others and we will prevail.”In these lines,Bush used his knowledge assertively and instructively as the President to explain to his citizens how things were and make his speech more credible. Taking everything into consideration, the combination of patriotic feelings that Bush generated in his audience, his determined tone,and the items he used effectively throughout his speech to make himself more credible in the eyes of
audienceenabled him to make a persuasive and impressive speechand achieve his purpose of consoling the citizens’ of the U.S.A and making them one heart during that hard time.

George W. Bush. (n.d). Retrieved September 29, 2013, from

The Text of President George W. Bush’s Address to a Joint Session of Congress Concerning the Sept. 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks on America. (2001). Retrieved September 29, 2013, from

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