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President George W. Bush's Speech after the 9/11 Attacks: a Critique

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This document was originally given as a speech by President George W. Bush to the American people after the 9/11 terrorist attack. This is the speech that not only consoled America, but set the groundwork of the response to the terrible and horrific attack on American soil. Much like certain Israelis (especially those who lean right), George Bush comes to the conclusion in his speech that, “We stand together to win the war against terrorism”, very quickly after his brief condolences to the American people. George Bush believed that the proper response to 9/11 was not a simple acceptance of tragedy and solidarity of victims, but rather a call to action to fight “those responsible and bring them to justice”.

The language used by President Bush in his address is for the most part highly ideological and nationalistic. In the time of sadness that has swept over American people, President Bush attempts to make people feel united in the struggle against great forces of evil. In the eyes of President Bush, the American people have persevered through the trials of the terrorist attacks, and people should have hope for the justice that will come in the future. A highly nationalistic and vague message is given, which allows for universality and comfort for all people in America. In addition, President Bush cites an Old Testament Bible passage (Psalm 23), in which God is described as being with a man walking “through the valley of the shadow of death.” President Bush wishes that people hold true to these values, no matter what religion they are from, so that Americans can move through this period of sorrow (which equates perfectly with a man walking through the valley of death). This address responds not only emotionally to the sorrow of many, but also concretely in the sense that it states firmly that justice will be done for what has happened. There are little specifics for how this will happen, but one thing that President Bush discussed is that there will be “no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.” This could have gigantic implications in the future in the Middle East, because President Bush is essentially asserting that wars against countries may happen in the future, not just against terrorist organizations.

This response can be equated to much of the similar policies of Benjamin Netanyahu and Naftali Bennett, who both believe that the solution to the Palestinian terrorist attacks is either war, or a complete annexation of Palestinian land. Naftali Bennett is slightly less of a war-mongerer than Netanyahu, in that he supports annexing Area C of Judea and Samaria, as opposed to neglecting Palestinian negotiations and letting people die as Netanyahu does. The connection between George Bush’s response to 9/11 and Netanyahu’s perpetual violence is infallible, that in both situations, the leaders of the countries affected by acts of terrorism responded with extreme calls to action to fight the instigators. George Bush essentially had the support to enter Iraq and do whatever he pleased in the Middle East because Americans needed to bring someone to justice, regardless if it meant destroying Iraq. In the same way, Netanyahu has the fundamental right to defend his country, but his tactics have been called into question by many of his critics. Israel is essentially under perpetual threat and attack, and usually experiences several acts of terror per year. The global media has a tendency to overexpose Israel’s aggressions, promoting a sense that Israelis are bloodthirsty, yet this conception is not true. Israelis are more apt to defend their country with force when threatened because they are constantly living in the same shoes as Americans immediately after 9/11. Israelis are in a constant state of fear, and are torn between the solidarity of community to grieve together, or a call to arms, to fight the injustice that caused the injustice. Israel is constantly recovering and at threat of terrorist attacks, and much like America did after 9/11, needs to find a people to fight to justify the injustices committed against Israelis. George Bush’s post 9/11 sentiments justify Israeli military activity in that Israel’s response to direct terrorist threats are sufficiently more minute than America’s. George Bush does not justify Israeli aggression, but proves a point that America is really in no place to judge.

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President George W. Bush’s Speech after the 9/11 Attacks: a Critique. (2019, April 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved January 21, 2021, from
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