About Presidential Oratory

The advent of the war on terrorism has certainly brought out the
rhetorician in George W. Bush, who uses ethos, pathos, logos, and time and
grammar in his oratory. For example, Bush draws ethos not necessarily as a
president, but one sharing the emotions of the American people, referring
to them as my fellow Americans in his first speech immediately following
the attacks. In the same speech, Bush uses an argument through analogy in
his logos, comparing and contrasting America to the Twin Towers and
concluding that America is not a building and thus not liable to
shattering under attacks. Furthermore, Bush attempts to draw pathos from
the audience by referring to terrible sadness America must be feeling.
Moreover, in his speech during the National Day of Prayer and Remembrance,
Bush utilizes polysyndeton, a grammatical technique in which multiple
conjunctions are used in a series: Grief and tragedy and hatred are only
for a time. The effect is the equal emphasis of each of the emotions
listed.

Martin Vega

President Bush's oratory is most often characterized with an appeal to
ethos which portrays him as a "fellow citizen" (www.whitehouse.gov, Statement
by the President in His Address to the Nation).  Bush tends to use "we" in
lieu of "I" (i.e. "we're the brightest beacon," "we go forward to defend
freedom"), presenting himself as a fellow American, sympathetic to the common
people.

In addition, Bush utilizes alot of "righteous" oratory in his
presidential speeches.  Specifically, in his Sept. 11 address, he makes
liberal references to "evil acts," and even quotes Psalm 23.  In his Sept.
14th address, Bush again elevates his rhetoric, claiming that America has a
responsibility to "rid the world of evil."  At the National Day of Prayer and
Remembrance, he invokes God (as would fit a cathedral ceremony), yet also
takes on the rhetoric of a preacher in interpreting God's signs as "not
always the ones we look for."  Further, in the Remarks by the President Upon
Arrival at the White House (Sept. 16), the president uses references to
"evil-doers" a total of nine times throughout his short statement.

The last aspect of Bush's oratory that I want to focus on is his use of
anaphora.  The president employs this device in each of the statements we've
read, lending a consistent, steady quality to his delivery, keeping with the
even keel of his voice.  For example, in the "Address to a Joint Session of
Congress and the American People" on Sept. 20th, Bush uses anaphora for
dramatic effect, repeating the phrase "we have seen."  In the speech on the
South Lawn, he repeats the phrase "We're a nation."  In his Sept. 14 speech,
he utilizes anaphora in "[m]ay He [god]," "[t]here are prayers," and "[t]hey
are the names of."

Lindsey Carter

Bush’s oratory is greatly varied, depending upon the preparedness of his speeches.  For example, during his joint address to Congress on September 20, he utilizes many effective tools of rhetoric.  For example, toward the end of the speech, he combines asyndeton and anaphora with style and eloquence, saying, “I will not forget this wound to our country or those who inflicted it; I will not yield; I will not rest; I will not relent in waging this struggle for freedom and security for the American people.”  Also, in the same speech, he states, “Whether we bring justice to our enemies, or our enemies to justice, justice will be done.”  This is a very effective example of chiasmus.  At the very beginning of the speech, in addressing, “fellow Americans,” he uses apostrophe in order to include the uncertain people watching from their homes.  However, in such oratory as the remarks on the South Lawn on September 16, he lacks the style, memory, and preparedness of this later speech, thus being a much less effective rhetorician.  He hesitates repeatedly through the speech and uses much less sophisticated or even appropriate vocabulary.

Valerie Terrell

In almost every statement made by President George W. Bush regarding the
US's 'War on Terrorism,' a sense of judicial oratory is present.  He
also strengthens his ethos by justifying or 'defending' the actions of
the United States.  Bush always reminds his audience of the horrible
crimes which the Taliban has committed against the United States.
'Enemies of freedom committed an act of war against our country.'  He
then justifies the United State?s actions in response to the terrorism
'Tonight we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend
freedom.'  In this statement, President Bush says that in order to
defend what we believe in (freedom), we must take action.
 

When President Bush speaks about Osama Bin Ladden, he uses epideictic
oratory to place blame on him.  Because of President Bush, we see Bin
Ladden the epitome of what is  'generally accepted as vicious, evil, or
base.'  For example, in his  September 21 speech, Bush states that 'The
Taliban and its leader, Osama bin Laden hide in countries around the
world to plot evil and destruction.'  By this statement, we
automatically think of Osama Bin Ladden as an extremely dangerous and
evil man.

Chrissy Ikeda-Yano

In Bush's oratory, he shifts and addresses several different audiences, and uses
historical references to shape how he wants his audiences to think about the attacks.
In his speech before the Joint Session of Congress, he had to address many different
audiences with different needs. For the American people, ("My fellow citizens"), he
has to answer questions about the attacks, to allies (Britain, etc) he thanked,
to "the Taliban" he offered an ultimatum. He also used historical references such as
Pearl Harbor, to call on the sense of national unity in the face of a single threat,
and compared the ideology of Al-qaeda to that of Fascism and Nazism, to communicate
the danger it represents and also to say that it will be defeated.

Andy Ngo

Bush emphasizes a sense of unity for Americans. He repeatedly in his speeches speaks using lists of labels for identifying the victims. ex:  "To the children and parents and spouses and families and friends of the lost, we offer the deepest sympathy of the nation.  And I assure you, you are not alone." In doing this, Bush gives identity to the victims, evoking more sympathy from Americans.

"In these acts, and in many others, Americans showed a deep commitment to one another, and an abiding love for our country.  Today, we feel what Franklin Roosevelt called the warm courage of national unity.  This is a unity of every faith, and every background." By implying that Americans are already unified and have shown this unity, people are more open to accepting this idea. Previous to September 11th, Americans had little reason to look at themselves as a unified society. We were usually spoken to and spoken of as individuals. By speaking as if there is already strength in unity throughout the nation, others will be prone to follow this lead.

In Bush's speech on September 20, 2001, he gave a lot of information to the public as he skope to congress. After emphasizing that the entire world took notice and was effected by the tragedy, he proceeded to show that he was in tune with the needs and wants of Americans. He began an entire section of his speech by saying "Americans have many questions tonight.  Americans are asking:  Who attacked our country?" Following this, he plainly explained what the government knows and what is being/going to be done. This was done for the purpose of reassuring citizens that their interests are being well served.

Michelle Hofer

Point of view:  I vs. we vs. you:  The President uses various points of view in his speeches.  In his first speech, Bush uses primarily the first person plural pronoun, "we," except when he needs to specify what actions he has taken.  This both places the President within the audience of mourners and singles him out as a "doer."  He is the one who has stepped up to deal with the crisis.  In the South Lawn speech, however, Bush uses the second person plural pronoun "you."  He is no longer a part of the grieving audience, rather, he is apart from them (and above them), the one who thanks them for their support of his country.  After his inclusion of himself in previous speeches, this appears out of place.  The use of "you," however, does emphasize the personal feel which Buch seeks, as each audience member feels personally, rather than collectively, thanked.  It also informalizes the speech.

Kairos:  The President's speeches reflect the different locations in which they are given.  Perhaps most glaring is the difference between the first speech and the South Lawn speech.  The first speech was given on TV with the likely help of a teleprompter, and the word choice of the speech reflects this.  The sentences are carefully considered and each word was carefully chosen.  The South Lawn speech, however, does not benefit from the use of a teleprompter and appears informal, using contractions, repetitive phrasing, and countless "uhs."  While the South Lawn speech is painful to listen to from a public speaking perspective, it is more natural, it is the President without the help of a speech writer and of a teleprompter.  It is, of course, also a dangerous speech, as it includes the use of the word "crusade" to describe the US's attack on Bin Laden.  Unfortunately, it is the human mind at its most natural that can lead to the small mistakes of the "crusade" sort, which can touch off huge international response.  While most speeches, given with the help of a teleprompter and countless editors, normally do not allow for such mistakes, they are unnatural, and in a sense, canned.

Joy Powers

Bush's oratory is simplistic. He tries to appeal to what he would term
the "common man" by using repetition and other rhetorical devises that
over emphasize and over simplify points he is trying to convince his
audience of. Bush’s oratory also relies on appeals to pathos and not to
logos. He always uses extreme examples, like the passengers on the plane
that over took the hijackers, which are impossible not to support, but
that he might not be using in the a context that is beneficial to those
who support it.

Emily Mullen

In Said's article, he writes: "But we are all swimming in those waters,
Westerners and Muslims and others alike. And since the waters are part of
the ocean of history, trying to plow or divide them with barriers is futile.
These are tense times, but it is better to think in terms of powerful and
powerless communities, the secular politics of reason and ignorance, and
universal principles of justice and injustice, than to wander off in search
of vast abstractions that may give momentary satisfaction but little
self-knowledge or informed analysis." In writing this, he is arguing against
the two cultures rhetoric. He explains that, in a sense, everyone is going
through the same thing and fighting the same war, reminding us that we are
all human beings. Despite cultural or religious beliefs, we all participate
in a power struggle which should be the basis of the issues, not culture or
religion.

Zizek's article also argues for and against it. He writes of how people view
the world as 'us' and 'them', the "civilized" and the "savage." Then, at the
same time, he writes about how the "civilized" cultures in the First World
aren't even united and they "find it more and more difficult to imagine a
public or universal cause for which one would be ready to sacrifice one's
life." This statement points out that while there is a war with the
democracy against Islam, there is no unity. The citizens of America are not
unified in cause as much as they are in concept.

Michelle Hofer

About The "Clash of Civilizations" Argument

The concept of “two cultures” rhetoric pins the Western Judeo-Christian culture against the Eastern/Middle Eastern Muslim culture.  According to Said, this is a result of the clear dichotomies set up during and after the Cold War, which pinned the US democracy against the USSR communism.  He finds this faulty, because it fails to recognize the true complexity of the issues at hand.  To simple say that these cultures are different and in perpetual conflict fails to address the true issues that lead to conflict.  For rhetoricians like George W. Bush to draw distinctions between “West” and “East,” “good and “bad,” does a disservice to the conflict.  However, Zizek says that the simplification is sometimes an apt one.  He states that indeed there is a cultural gap, inhibiting those in the United States from understanding the motivations and tactics of those in the Islamic world.

Valerie Terrell

The 2 cultures rhetoric claims that following the end of the cold war,
the primary conflict between nations will be a cultural conflict,
especially between Islamic and Christan nations. It claims that those
in Islamic cultures are uncivilized and the West will have to remain
strong to fight them off. Edward Said argues against this rhetoric by
explaining that it is a view that has been overly simplified since it
lumps together two huge groups of people, "the West" and "Islam". He
also points out that there is no mention in Huntington's article of
where he got evidence for his claims about Muslims' feelings about their
culture and power.

Emily Mullen

Edward Said does not believe that these labels should be
placed to identify groups, such as the West and Islam.  He incorporates
Berlusconi's idea  in posing the question 'Where does one draw the line
between 'Western' technology and, as Berlusconi declared, 'Islam's'
inability to be a part of modernity.'  Said's major focus of his attack
is his belief that labels such as the 'west' and 'Islam' are negative
because they ?mislead and confuse the mind? and pigeonhole individuals.

In response to the 'Clash of civilizations,' Slavoj Zizek at first notes
that it has some truth with it.  He states that America's way of
thinking does not permit them to understand how people could possible
commit such an act of terrorism without regard to others who they kill.
However, overall, Zizek rejects this idea.  He believes that instead of
the 'clash of civilization,' this act is 'rather clashes within each
civilization.' He says that there is not a strong difference between
the ideas between the west and the rest:  every idea of the 'outside
world? or 'others' are present in the United States.

Chrissy Ikeda-Yano

In Said's article, he writes: "But we are all swimming in those waters,
Westerners and Muslims and others alike. And since the waters are part of
the ocean of history, trying to plow or divide them with barriers is futile.
These are tense times, but it is better to think in terms of powerful and
powerless communities, the secular politics of reason and ignorance, and
universal principles of justice and injustice, than to wander off in search
of vast abstractions that may give momentary satisfaction but little
self-knowledge or informed analysis." In writing this, he is arguing against
the two cultures rhetoric. He explains that, in a sense, everyone is going
through the same thing and fighting the same war, reminding us that we are
all human beings. Despite cultural or religious beliefs, we all participate
in a power struggle which should be the basis of the issues, not culture or
religion.

Zizek's article also argues for and against it. He writes of how people view
the world as 'us' and 'them', the "civilized" and the "savage." Then, at the
same time, he writes about how the "civilized" cultures in the First World
aren't even united and they "find it more and more difficult to imagine a
public or universal cause for which one would be ready to sacrifice one's
life." This statement points out that while there is a war with the
democracy against Islam, there is no unity. The citizens of America are not
unified in cause as much as they are in concept.

Michelle Hofer

Arguments for two cultures rhetoric often hinge on the reality of
divergent ideologies between two different cultures. For example, George
W. Bush in his speeches often characterizes Osama Bin Laden and the
Islamic Fundamentalists as evil, invoking, at times, the idea of a
crusade. Osama Bin Ladens, as another example, responds in kind, dealing
with the notion of a crusade, or jihad, in a much more serious, and
apocalyptic, manner. Indeed, it seems that as if both American leaders and
leaders of Islamic fundamentalism, there can be no compromise between the
values of this brand of Islam and American secular values.

At other times, however, American leaders try to bridge the cultural
divide between the Arab world and America. Indeed, Condoleeza rice, in an
interview with the Al Jezeera news network, sends a message to the Afghan
people that America is fighting terrorism, not any particular religion or
culture. Furthermore, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld makes clear in his
interview with Al Jezeera his intention to garner the support of Arab
nations against terrorism in general.

Martin Vega

The two cultures argument argues that there are essentially two cultures in this world, the Western and the Eastern or the Christian and the Islamic.  The argument assumes a West oriented primarily with progress, freedom, and with stability, the East a nebulous unknown of strife, rampant sexuality, and backwardness.  The argument is extremely ethnocentric.  Edward Said argues against the two cultures rhetoric, asserting that the generalizations do not account for the variation within the two cultures and that this view is oversimplified.

Joy Powers

In Edward W. Said's piece, "The Clash of Ignorance" (The Nation, 10/22/01),
the author presents a counterargument to the "two cultures" rhetoric
advocated by Samuel Huntington.  In "The Clash of Civilizations?" (Foreign
Affairs, Summer 1993), Huntington introduces the idea of the West v. Islam.
In his argument, he contends that in post-Cold War politics, cultural
differences will be the "principal conflicts" of global affairs.  He supports
his assertion by defining two entities, that of "Islam" and that of "The
West," arguing for the clash of the two cultures as the "battle lines of the
future."  In contrast, Said's argument seeks to deflate the idea of "two
cultures" rhetoric, noting that the concept of "Islam" (as defined by
Huntington) fails to take into consideration the varying degrees of extremity
and conflicting undercurrents inherent in ANY religion or culture.  To lend
support for his argument against "two cultures" rhetoric, Said further shows
the personification of "The West" into one large entity as another example in
which thinkers like Huntington fail to acknowledge the cultural subtleties
and conflicting identities present within the very body they attempt to
define.
     Essayist Salman Rushdie also exhibits "two cultures" rhetoric in
employing Huntington's concepts of "Islam" and "The West" in his own essay,
"Fighting the Forces of Invisibility" (The Washington Post, 10/2/01).  Though
Rushdie's argument does not specifically focus on the idea of two cultures as
its topic, it does support "two cultures" rhetoric because it utilizes the
entities, as defined by Huntington: "The West's response to the Sept. 11
attacks will be judged in large measure by whether people begin to feel safe
once again."  Rushdie acknowledges the cultural differences and distinct
views present in "Islam" and "The West," yet employs them as valid entities
as he uses "two cultures" rhetoric.
     Lastly, writer Slavoj Zizek, in his article "The Desert Of The Real" (In
These Times.com, 10/29/01), argues against "two cultures" rhetoric by
defining America as part of a larger whole (the world), which has only
recognized itself as part because of September 11th.  Zizek focuses on
America's view of the "Outside", not on Huntington's concept of "The West"
and "Islam."  Indeed, there is no mention made in Zizek's essay of either as
culturally encompassing entities whose conflict divides the world.  Zizek
instead argues that America needs to recognize itself not as "The West," but
as part of a greater whole; Americans need to understand their role as one
nation in a world of many.

Lindsey Carter

About Essays by Zizek, Said, and Rushdie

I find Zizek's argument to be the most convincing of the articles we
read in the fourth week. In his argument he makes many important points:
American peace has been bought on the back of those in poorer and "less
advanced" nations; the towers more than anything symbolized "virtual
capitalism"; the attacks while deeply dismembering and devastating for
many individuals and families, are more symbolic then anything when one
examines the world atmosphere that they occurred in, where in many
countries more devastating (in terms of loss of life) events and
circumstances are a daily reality.

Emily Mullen

I found Zizek’s argument most convincing.  I chose his because he has a great point, America is waking up to what some countries have been experiencing for decades.  Some people continually live in fear.  He backed up his claims with things like the statistics on the amount of people that die each day from AIDS in Africa.  And his closing argument has a strong appeal to pathos, he brings Christianity into the picture, and possess the question “do you believe what you profess?”  This was so rhetorically well done.  He hits on religion, which this attack had something to do with and which has become a heated debate.  And at the same time, the suicide bombers sacrificed their lives for what they perceive God’s will to be, will Bush, who professes Jesus to be his guiding light, even go as far as not taking the lives of others?  Well thought out and dictated argument…it made me think

Erin Stevens

Zizek's arguement was most convincing to me because he brought up the most points that I agree with. I especially agree with his point that the claim that "nothing will ever be the same" needs to be interrogated. People spew this rhetoric that the world is forever changed. While there have been tremendous effects, generally, the world has moved on. I was also in accordance with his view that America has two choices: saying "this can't happen here" and "this can't happen anywhere." America is very concerned with what goes on in our country. Before 9/11 happened, we thought we were practically immune to the ills and evils of the world. We needed to step back and realize that although this was a tragic event for us, we are not the only ones who have been or could be terrorized. I think that in fighting the war, we are doing this; fighting for ourselves and for the rest of the world.

Michelle Hofer

I found Edward Said's argument most convincing.  While Zizek's concept of maintaining violence in some corners of the world to preserve our own peace is intriguing, I can't quite bring myself to accept it.  Having previously read some of Said's writings on Orientalism, I agree that now is not the time to indulge in the sweeping generalizations that have served us in the past.  Generalizations will not help us as we face the violence in the Middle East, a possible war with Iraq, and continued war in Afghanistan.  They can, however, hurt us.  Considering the recent military defeat, we must wonder if the armies operate completely away from such generalizations.  The soldiers believed they were going to fight some 200 soldiers, armed with little more than old guns.  Instead, they found themselves face to face with many more soldiers and much more advanced weaponry.  The assumption that the enemy would be weak and small is a common one for the US military (CF Black Hawk Down...much the same thing happened).  We all too often see the enemy as a less evolved image of ourselves, a little monkey holding a gun and a grenade (holding with Said's idea that the East is associated with antiquity and the West with modernity).  The enemy, however, is not a monkey, he is a thinking man, and he can outwit us.

Joy Powers

I find Edward Said's idea that 'Divisions will be cultural rather than
political or economic' to be the most convincing.  Although political
and economic problems do clash with each other, I too see one of the
major differences to be the cultural aspects.  We gain our political and
economic decisions from our culture:  what we believe is right or wrong.
Ever since we were young children, we have been taught by our parents
what is 'right' and 'wrong' according to the society in which we live.
These shape the morals in which we live by.  If our morals clash with
other culture?s morals, major problems will arise.  Eventually, our
cultural differences will turn into political differences.

Chrissy Ikeda-Yano

I find Said's most convincing because I found the chain of reasoning clearest.

Andy Ngo

Rushdie's argument proves to be most convincing in that he does not come
off as critical of the assumed audience (America) as Zizek or Said.
Indeed, Rushdie maintains that we do not need to change drastically in
order to maintain peace within our country. Furthermore, we should defend
our ideals, including mini-skirts, if they mean anything to us. Thus, by
sticking to the values of his audience the most, Rushdie stands the best
chance of delivering a persuasive argument.

Martin Vega

Among the many brilliant arguments presented through each of the articles by Zizek, Said, and Rushdie, I found the most convincing, dynamic, and effective to be the one by Rushdie at the conclusion of his article, where he argues that we should define ourselves by what we stand for.  He says the fundamentalists believe Americans stand for nothing, or at best for “sybaritic indulgences.”  Rushdie argues that the one way we will defeat this notion, the fundamentalists who seek to do us harm, and terrorism in general is to agree on what we stand for and propose that those things are worth dying for.  His list includes such things as universal adult suffrage, women’s rights, Jews, homosexuality, beardlessness, short skirts, love, music, movies, literature, bacon sandwiches, and freedom of thought.  Though these things range on the spectrum of essential to absurd, each are equally important in defining ourselves.  I thought this argument was by far the most provocative.

Valerie Terrell

I was most convinced by Salman Rushdie's argument in "Fighting the Forces of
Invisibility" (The Washington Post, 10/2/01).  Rushdie builds a strong ethos
from the beginning, using the first person to demonstrate his foreboding on
the subject (and consequently, presenting his ethos in a manner which allows
him to come off to his audience as educated, intelligent, and well-informed
of international issues).  His use of "we" in his second paragraph also
serves to identify him with his audience, and his use of quotations from
American literary figures further builds his both his ethos and his appeal to
pathos by playing on shared sympathies among Americans.

Rhetorical devices removed, I loved Rushdie's argument that Americans
would have to declare themselves believers in "short skirts, dancing, [and]
beardlessness."  His rhetoric allowed him to present his argument in a light
manner, while maintaining the gravity of the issue and the integrity of his
message.

Lindsey Carter

About the Flyers to Afghanistan

I think that the leaflets are contradictory in nature, but we must also consider the specific diction the flyers use and the intentions of the "foreigners."  The foreigners the Afghans are requested to drive out are called "foreigners," while the foreigners who are here to help, are called the League of Nations.  Yes, the lighter colored hand does signify that the League of Nations are foreigners, but they are not specifically labeled as such.  Furthermore, the "drive out the foreigners" leaflets specifically ask the Afghans to drive out their foreign government.  These foreigners have ruled the country poorly for many years.  The League of Nations, however, has no desire to rule the nation, only to establish a government of Afghans.  While the League of Nations did support the Northern Alliance, it did not place a "foreign" government over the Afghan people.  While the flyers are contradictory, I do not think that this "contradiction" will overly confuse its audience.

Joy Powers

Because the flyers in Afghanistan are directed at a diverse population, in social class, education and literacy, and sympathies, they represent seemingly contrasting views; however, a more appropriate assessment of these flyers is that the messages vary according to the group they attempt to reach.  For those who are wary of foreigners, they say, “The Partnership of Nations will help rescue the Afghan people from Taliban criminals and foreign terrorists.”  For those who are hospitable toward foreigners, they warn that the foreigners who threaten to terrorize a unified Afghanistan should be driven from its borders.  Therefore, the messages of the fliers seem contrasting, if only because they address different audiences.

Valerie Terrell

The flyers dropped in Afghanistan are inherently contradictory. Not only
is there the contradiction of the need to expel certain foreigners while
giving hospitality to others, they also often make the claim that the
"partnership of nations" is making all kinds of actions to protect them
while bombing them. Also the flyers depicting Taliban and Al-Qaida
forces "in their graves" and as skeletons are laughable and disgusting
and cannot do much more then to make the "partnership of nations" look
like the "barbaric" people they are supposedly defending us against.

Emily Mullen

Although contradictory in their message, the contrasting messages in the
flyers dropped on Afghanistan are necessarily concomitant because their
purpose is the same. Indeed, rather than offset one another, they
compliment one another, for in order to facilitate American involvement
into Afghanistan, the support for Americans and opposition to its enemies
is equally necessary.

Martin Vega

In addition to the flyers that are directed at the Afghan people in general,
there are a group of flyers that are directed at the soldiers of the Taliban
which aim to degrade their morale by highlighting the hopelessness of their
cause and their abandonment by their leaders.

Andy Ngo

About Missing Persons Posters

http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0137/missing12.php
http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0137/missing8.php

The two missing persons' posters whose URLs are listed above are very
different visually. The second one, depicting Gertude (Trudi) Alagero,
is very professional looking. It has pictures that show a variety of
views of Alagero in different settings. She is very relaxed and happy
looking in all of the pictures, so one almost forgets what they are
looking at until they read further and see the jewelry listed,
engagement ring, and the person to contact, her fiancé. The first flyer,
Eric Andrew Lehrfeld, is very different. It immediately defines this man
as a family man, since he is shown in all pictures with a very young
child. The flyer is also not professional, it looks like the photos were
attached with tape, and the name and phone number are hand written.
These factors make this flyer more immediately upsetting to the viewer.

Emily Mullen

I chose to compare the posters of Eric Andrew Lehrfeld
(www.villagevoice.com/issues/0137/missing12.php) and Antonio Melendez (www.villagevoice.com/issues/0137/missing1.php).  The rhetoric of Lehrfeld's
missing persons' poster utilizes a powerful appeal to ethos, depicting
Lehrfeld as a husband and father.  Lehrfeld is dressed nicely in each photo,
in either collared dress-shirts or business suits, and in every picture, he
is portrayed with his infant daughter (and in one, with his wife).  The image
of him as a caring father and husband appeals to the viewer's pathos.  In
contrast, Melendez's poster is lacking in the pathos of Lehrfeld's poster,
yet draws on a powerful ethos becuase of the photos used in the poster --
copies of Melendez's World Trade Center photo identification cards.

Lindsey Carter

http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0137/missing4.php
http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0137/missing1.php

I picked these two because they’re so drastically different. The both would like to find the men pictured, but the first one serves more as a remembrance to the man photographed, where the second one is a picture, the facts, and telephone number.  The first one was done in loving memory, saying that Daniel Lopez was “always the type to help someone in need” doesn’t actually help anyone spot him or find him, it’s just about closure, and love.  The second poster very well may have been made by Melendez’s colleagues, someone not as emotionally attached, non-English speakers, or someone unready to talk about the missing.  It serves solely for the purpose of identification.  Lopez’s has a stronger appeal to pathos, and is probably the type of poster I myself would have made had I been missing my loved one.  Lopez’s poster realistically says, “In Loving Memory”

Erin Stevens

The differences between these two posters could be summed up as a differing use of text and image as rhetorical tools.  The Daniel Lopez poster uses primarily text in order to eulogize its subject.  In addition to a static image, the audience is provided with a minute by minute account of the subject's last day.  Characteristics are communicated through text rather than image; the audience learns his age, clothing, and attributes ("he was always the type to help someone in need") through what resembles the literary technique of direct characterization, rather than deriving it themselves through hints given.  The Eric Lehrfeld poster, on the other hand, uses virtually no text at all, except his name and the contact number.  Unlike the Lopez poster, which characterizes directly, this poster uses indirect characterization.  The audience is aware that Lehrfeld was a family man, deeply devoted to his young child.  The audience is impressed by the pathos of the now orphaned child, but little is stated directly.  Interestingly, both posters impress on their audiences the postive characteristics of their subject regardless of the method, emphasizing Lopez' desire to help others and Lehrfeld's pride and delight in his child.  Furhtermore, one must notice that both posters evidence a fair amount of forethought by the poster, as both have most likely been duplicated, but have been duplicated in color, no doubt to preserve the images' resemblance to their subject.  Considering the atmosphere of New York at the time, it is amazing that color copying facilities could be found and utilized...as color copying is not a staple in drugstores (as are normal copy machines).  The effort put into copying and posting the posters is a further tribute to the subject.

Joy Powers

The missing persons posters of Daniel Lopez and Erin Andrew Lehrfeld
utilize different methods of achieving the same goal. The goal for both
posters is to give a somewhat biographical account of the lives of their
subjects. Given that Lopez and Lehrfeld are almost certainly dead, the
posters thus serve as memorials. Lopezs poster achieves this end primarily
through written text while Lehrelds poster achieves it primarily through
images of him and his family.

Martin Vega

Eric Andrew Lehrfeld's missing persons poster consists of three
pictures, and in each photograph is a picture of him and his young
daughter.  From these pictures, the viewer sees Eric as a 'good family
man.' It does not contain much writing:  in fact, the only information
on it is his telephone number and name.  However, I believe that this
picture is more of a tribute to him in opposed to a flyer to help find
Eric.  Unlike many of the other posters, (besides the pictures) there is
no physical description of him (i.e. height, weight, hair color, eye
color, etc.)  Although the family would love to have him back, it can be
implied from his poster that they realize that there is not much hope in
finding him alive.

Daniel Lopez's missing persons poster contains only one picture and many
words.  However, there is not a lot of physical information about him.
This poster, just as Eric Lehrfeld's, seems to realize that he is no
longer alive.  'These were my brother's last words.'  This quote is
solemn:  the family seems to use this poster to memorialize Daniel
Lopez.

Chrissy Ikeda-Yano

The missing persons’ posters put up in New York were significant for the city.  Initially, they indeed served as missing persons’ posters, as evidenced by the poster for Alisha Levin.  This poster gives the name, important statistics and identifying features, and a contact telephone number.  This poster was posted in an effort to locate Ms. Levin.  However, as the days passed, and it became clear that holding out hope to find family members was ineffectual, the posters began to serve another purpose altogether.  Arnold Lim’s poster, for example, featured five different pictures, including one of him sunbathing at the beach, as well as detailed information about his appearance, significant items he was wearing, where he worked, and five separate contact numbers.  This information was presented to show Mr. Lim as a man with a family, with friends, with a community who cared about him and were desperate to find him.  This poster served less as a missing person poster and more as a memorial or a tribute to his life.

Valerie Terrell

About the Hijackers' Letter

I think that the hijackers' letter is often misunderstood by its American audience, especially the sections pertaining to the hijackers' eternal rewards.  As this nation is characterized by indifference and complacency, it is difficult for Americans to comprehend a person willing to die for a cause, regardless of the eternal rewards.  Dying requries giving up immediate pleasures (family, love, life) for deferred, intangible pleasures (the eternal reward and God's pleasure).  Americans, especially latter generations, are unaccustomed to deferring their pleasure.  But more importantly, Americans often misunderstand the references to the 70 black eyed virgins ("beautiful angels" in Atta's letter).  The virgins are not provided to gratify sexual desires, but Americans often assume that the hijackers are looking forward to heaven with lecherous thoughts.

Joy Powers

What probably has been the most misunderstood feature of these hijackers' letters
has had to do with the motivation of the hijackers being linked much to the "beautiful
angels" of paradise. It seems that these men were much more concerned with purifying
themselves spiritually than anything else in their preparations. The story told in the
first paragraph of page 4 is illustrative of this point. The story tells of a battle and
one Ali who was spit on by an infidel, but refused to fight the infidel out of revenge
but him later for the glory of god. The point of the story was to illustrate that an act
had to be done right, for the glory of god, etc., with earthly and heavenly rewards
secondary to doing this glorifying act in the right spirit.

Andy Ngo

"8- let your heart be happy [crossed out word] only few easy seconds separate
you from the beginning of a happy life, peaceful life, and the everlasting
tranquility with Prophets and the faithful and martyrs, they are the kindest
[creatures]. We ask God to [help us be] optimistic, the Prophet, peace be
upon him (He loved to be optimistic in all his doings)" (ABCNEWS.com:
Translation of the Hijackers' Note, 9/28/01).

I think many Americans have trouble understanding the concept of
martyrdom prevalent in extreme fundamalist Islam.  Typically, in
Judeo-Christian (Western) thought, suicide carries a negative stigma related
to the teachings of the Bible.  Most Christians believe that those who commit
suicide are condemned to hell or to purgatory (or at least excluded from the
paradise of heaven).  In this thinking, many Americans lack the understanding
of martyrdom in the Islamic sense: In parts of the Muslim world, suicide
bombers, or shaheed, are considered martyrs, and extended a special welcome
into heaven, according to an article by Joseph Lelyveld (The New York Times,
10/28/01).  In most of the cases related to shaheed which Lelyveld
interviewed, the suicide-bomber's family was proud of their relative becuase
of his glorified eternal status as a martyr.  In examining the concept of
shaheed from the Islamic viewpoint, the above passage, reprinted from the
hijackers' note, becomes more understandable to American audiences.

Lindsey Carter

The feature of the hijackers letter that seems most misunderstood is the
selfless religious piety of the hijackers. Although some believe the
hijackers beliefs are driven by unfounded fanaticism and fantasies of an
afterlife of paradise, the hijackers convey the same feeling of devotion
to God as the Christian faith, if not more so.

Martin Vega

I think that it is hard for Americans to understand the passage about
obedience, since we all like to and are told to think that we are
extremely independent and do not have to answer to anyone outside of the
work place. The parts that are most puzzling are when passages are not
included due to illegibleness and when improper grammar is used, making
it obvious there were problems in the translation.

Emily Mullen

What I think is most misunderstood is how the hijackers could commit the terrorist attacks all in the name of and for God; how they could believe what their doing is holy.

Erin Stevens

I think that the overall intention and motivation of the hijackers to
carry out their task is the most misunderstood part.  As evident from
the letter, the hijackers felt (or as least were lead to believe) that
their action was not an act of terrorism but a god sent task which was
placed upon them.

One puzzling passage in the hijacker's letter can be found in the
statement 'Then you should apply the concept of taking prisoners [of
war]. You are allowed to take prisoners and to kill them.'  At this
time, there was no war between the United States and the Taliban.
However, they say that it is permissible to take 'prisoners of war.'  It
is hard to determine if the Taliban was referring to the war between
Palestine and Israel or something else.  However, I feel that because of
their anger toward the US, the Taliban felt as if they were at war.

Chrissy Ikeda-Yano

The feature of the hijackers letter that seems most misunderstood is the
selfless religious piety of the hijackers. Although some believe the
hijackers beliefs are driven by unfounded fanaticism and fantasies of an
afterlife of paradise, the hijackers convey the same feeling of devotion
to God as the Christian faith, if not more so.

Martin Vega

The American audience seems most baffled by the continual invocation of God as having willed this event.  The letter states that, as the time to hijack the planes grows nearer, each person should reassure his compatriots of the righteousness and greatness of the acts they are about to commit.  “You should remind him that this work is for the sake of God, praise be to Him. You should encourage your brothers, assure them, and remind them of the beautiful Qur'anic verses like, "those who fight for the sake of God, those who buy the hereafter using their lives," and God's words "do not think that those who were killed for the sake of God are dead?"  Most American audiences, even of the most religious nature, cannot understand how such heinous acts can be justified through invocations of faith, God, and religion.  However, most American audiences do not understand the mentality of these hijackers, who clearly believed the words they spoke, who staunchly felt that God’s will was bringing America to its knees and bringing international attention to the situation in the Middle East.  These hijackers saw Americans as infidels who stand for nothing noble or good, and so they felt they were perfectly justified, in the eyes of God, to commit these acts.

Valerie Terrell

About Government Websites Like Those of the State Department

These documents are records of the government, including statements,
reports and other published materials, all which fall under the category
of primary sources.

Emily Mullen

Both sites give the text of important recent developing regarding both
the United States and other countries.  For example, when I checked out
the two sites today, I found the transcript from a press conference with
Department Spokesman Boucher.  This is not an article describing it:
instead, it is the actual words which were spoken at the conference. It
also include press releases from the secretary and the State Department.
Lastly, the news on the websites both come directly from the government
instead of going through a secondary source, such as the media.

Chrissy Ikeda-Yano

About How You Read the News Since the Class

I am definately more prone to question things I read or hear. I am now aware that the media is presenting me with infomation and that it is not always the full story. In the media's presentation of information, they are trying to acomplish or achieve something. When recognizing what it is they are trying to do, it is easier to form your own opinions about an issue.

Michelle Hofer

I read news differently than I did before because now I am more concious of the fact
that many different documents are designed with goals and audiences in mind, and I
therefore read them a little more closely than I did before.

Andy Ngo

I am now able to read the news with a more acute eye on who is being
appealed to and how these appeals are being made.

Emily Mullen

After taking this class, I now look at the news in a much more skeptical
manner, realizing that all reports, however objective, cannot shake off
subjectivity. This is especially true in cases such as government sites,
which have definite political agendas. Furthermore, news is often used as
a means of conveying one nations support for, or opposition to, another.
For example, I noticed that Arabian papers were much more critical and
skeptical of American involvement in the Middle East than American papers.
Indeed, newspapers ultimately have audiences to cater to and must thus
give some leeway to the views of their general audiences. Thus, I try to
pick out the rhetoric conveyed, whether direct or indirect, overt or
subtle.

Martin Vega

Well, I must admit that I wasn't reading the news before this class.  I tend to operate on the ostrich principle, assuming that I really don't want to know the horrible state of "chassis" ("Juno and the Paycock," Sean O'Casey) that the world is in.  So most importantly, this class has stimulated an interest in the news.  I think, however, that I am looking carefully at the rhetoric used by the various news providers.  I am more aware that articles in Time and also in newspapers are not primary sources, and based upon that, they are not always unbiased.  I am aware that while the United States does publish propaganda (in the strictest of the meaning at least), our news is filtered through a primarily sympathetic mindset.

Joy Powers

Whenever I hear any type of political speech or message (such as Bush or
Bin Ladden's  speeches), I can now point out certain elements of
rhetoric which are present.  For example, I can now determine what
audience he is addressing his speech to and how he uses persuasive
appeals to pathos in this writing to create a believable ethos.

Chrissy Ikeda-Yano

This class has changed the way I follow the news.  I am much more engaged in following the development of current event issues and stories, and I am much more eager to read a diversity of perspectives on such issues.  I recognize the rhetorical devices and tools used by prominent personalities in the world and how this rhetoric is interpreted by different journalists and news organizations, each with their own set of biases.  I feel less manipulated by people in the news, because I am able to interpret sources, information, and rhetoric much more critically.  This class has helped to sharpen the skill of critical thinking in specific application to the news.

Valerie Terrell

I read the news differently because I’m looking for the rhetorical appeals, instead of simply reading for he emotional connection and facts.  I’m now looking to see if they say “we,” or if the background or color scheme is trying to promote America.  I’m paying greater attention to how the delivery of the news report is trying to make me feel, and the Nationalistic American slant that most US news have.  I enjoyed this class because I think it will help me not only to pick out the strengths and weaknesses in other arguments/speeches, but also help me to prepare my own dictations.  The class also gave me a more global perspective to how the world is perceiving the repercussions of 9-11.

Erin Stevens

I am definately more prone to question things I read or hear. I am now aware that the media is presenting me with infomation and that it is not always the full story. In the media's presentation of information, they are trying to acomplish or achieve something. When recognizing what it is they are trying to do, it is easier to form your own opinions about an issue.

Michelle Hofer

I think overall, I'm more objective; I find myself looking for the
counterargument or the "other side" of the issue as I'm reading an argument.
I also find that I'm more discerning in how I listen to the news on
television or how I read the news online; I'm less likely to accept the
speaker's rhetoric as it is presented and more likely to get involved in the
issue by doing a little bit of analysis or research on the subject first.
I've developed a new awareness of rhetoric in the media, sometimes to a
fault; my roommates are slightly annoyed with my new tendency to analyze the
rhetoric of television newscasters as they give their reports.

Lindsey Carter