The Clash of Civilizations Rhetoric in George W. Bush’s Speeches
university Mouloud Mammeri of Tizi-Ouzou
The present dissertation demonstrates how the utilization of language is always manipulated to convey the purposes of the speaker in order to have an effect on the listener. Politicians, in particular, comprehend the power of words to explicate and justify acts, as well as to persuade people to support them, even if this support implies a risk to their lives. Based on this understanding, I have analyzed the selected speeches and declarations of former President of the United States, George W. Bush, starting from September 11, 2001 leading up to the 2003 attack on Iraq, with special emphasis on the way he makes use of metaphors. The aim of the analysis is to reveal the real and essential motivation for Bush’s thoughts and actions. Samuel P. Huntington’s idea of The Clash of Civilizations (1993) seems likely to be his foremost (hidden) motivation. Furthermore, I suggest that Orientalism is the most significant ideology standing behind Bush-Cheney’s War on Terror rhetoric. To demonstrate that, I have devoted a considerable attention to metaphors and cognitive metaphor theory developed by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson (1980), metaphor criticism as presented by Lakoff (1991-2003) and Jonathan Charteris-Black (2005-2011). Metaphors are a very efficient means of presenting acts and actions in a manner that engages the audience and wins its sympathy, as they allow the speaker to identify himself/herself with the right and the good, and the enemy with the wrong and the evil. With the help of metaphors George W. Bush has succeeded in presented the events preceding the Iraqi war in a vague and often distorted value terms where assaults became preemptive defense, military invasion change of regime, war becomes peace, and occupation becomes humanitarian intervention.