Moderating Opposition and Shaping Political Settlement in the US Presidential Speech on the Military Action in Syria: A Critical Discourse Analysis
Keywords:Presidential Speech, Barack Obama, military Action in Syria, critical discourse analysis, ideology, linguistic devices
This study aims to analyze Barack Obama’s speech on Syria delivered on September 10, 2013 in response to the chemical attacks launched against Damascus on August 23, 2013. The study employs Fairclough’s (2001) framework of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to bring out the ideological polarization latent in the language of Obama by investigating the linguistic devices used to stir emotions in listeners to adopt certain stands or take certain action. The study posits three questions to investigate how Obama’s language has been used to display the nature of the U.S. political discourse during the Syrian crisis, explore the ideological component enshrined in Obama’s language, and cast light on the typical discourse strategies used by Obama to appeal to the international community to lead a coalition against Syrian regime. The analysis of Obama’s speech reveals the ideological opposition to implicating Americans and their allies solely in toppling Al-Assad’s regime under the pretext of being preoccupied with quelling violence and establishing peace in the world. The analysis also demonstrates that Obama has availed himself of many linguistic devices such as lexical manipulation, metaphorical expressions, personal pronouns, parallelism, and rhetorical questions to rally support for the US military action in Syria.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Yasser Gomaa, Mervat Albufalasa
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