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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:55168
Doc. No:TL25122
Call number:‭3214795‬
Main Entry:Jacob Thompson
Title & Author:Rhetorical trajectories in the Bush administration's justifications for the preemptive invasion of IraqJacob Thompson
College:University of Kansas
Date:2006
Degree:Ph.D.
student score:2006
Page No:414
Abstract:Immediately following President Bush's January 2000 inauguration, he and key members of his administration made the decision to prioritize Iraq over several other foreign policy issues. Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, the administration began a concerted rhetorical campaign to convince the American public that the U.S. should preemptively invade Iraq. Their case against Iraq was based on the allegations that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and that Saddam Hussein's regime of was tied to international terrorism. This line of argument culminated in the claim that Iraq would inevitably give WMD to terrorists intent on attacking America. The administration's persuasive campaign culminated in the preemptive invasion of Iraq on March 19, 2003. In hindsight, it is obvious that most of the claims used by the Bush administration to justify the war against Iraq were simply untrue. Iraq possessed no WMD and Saddam Hussein's regime was not connected to al Qaeda. Despite the fact that the administration's campaign was proffered using exaggeration and innuendo, it was wildly successful. Polling data demonstrated that the vast majority of the American public heartily supported the decision to preemptively invade Iraq. In this project I used descriptive ideological criticism and cluster term analysis to explain how the administration's rhetorical campaign justifying Operation Iraqi Freedom functioned. In order to explain the administration's pro-war campaign, I examined the evolution and interplay of three trajectories. First, I analyzed the evolution of the Bush administration's ideology as evidenced by their rhetorical trajectory regarding Iraq. Second, I examined the situational and contextual trajectory by analyzing global events related to the war against Iraq. Third, I analyzed the evolution of the rhetorical situation which was represented by the trajectory of American public opinion. My ultimate goal is to discover what kind of "medicine" the administration concocted and why the American public so willingly swallowed the prescription for preemptive war. Ultimately, understanding how the Bush administration's pro-war rhetorical trajectory functioned may allow us, in the future, to be more wary of preemptive war and to guard against being led to war based on deception and innuendo.
Subject:Social sciences; Language, literature and linguistics; Bush (George W.) administration; Iraq War; Justifications; Preemptive invasion; Rhetorical trajectories; Rhetoric; Composition; International law; International relations; 0681:Composition; 0681:Rhetoric; 0616:International relations; 0616:International law
Added Entry:R. C. Rowland
Added Entry:University of Kansas