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The link between AXIS of Evil 9/11 attacks

Friday, May 13, 2011

The link between AXIS of Evil 9/11 attacks
Demonstrators in New York City protesting the war in Iraq carry a sign featuring the likenesses of Vice President Dick Cheney, President George W. Bush, and Attorney General John Ashcroft under the words “Axis of Evil.” 
In the latter part of 2001, while American troops were engaged in toppling the government of AFGHANISTAN, U.S. President George W. Bush publicly blamed the world’s terrorist crisis on an “Axis of Evil,” including the nations of IRAQ, IRAN, and North KOREA
Lee Hamilton—former chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, now head of the Woodrow Wilson International Center—noted that Bush’s turn of phrase “was a very effective phrase for rallying the American public” after the PENTTBOM attacks of September 11, 2001.
Critics promptly branded the label both illogical and irrelevant: Iraq and Iran had been mortal enemies since the 1970s, while North Korea had no ties to either Middle Eastern nation—and none of the countries singled out by Bush had any link to the 9/11 raids.

By late 2002 Hamilton acknowledged that Bush’s name-calling “has made diplomacy more difficult in the months since [9/11] and probably exacerbated the dangers that he was seeking to contain.”
Lumping the three disparate nations together also made it more difficult for Bush to explain the U.S. invasion of Iraq (based on unsupported claims that Baghdad possessed weapons of mass destruction) while pursuing diplomatic negotiations with North Korea (which boasts of its nuclear arsenal). In fact, while right-wing allies still employ the term Axis of Evil in their calls for a continuing global war on TERRORISM, Bush himself has not uttered the phrase since August 2002.
Professor David Houck, a linguistics expert at Florida State University, analyzed Bush’s rhetoric in an interview with USA Today.
While acknowledging that “Axis of Evil” was “a shorthand phrase that does a lot of work,” Houck also noted its primary shortcoming: “The trouble is that ‘evil’ doesn’t leave a lot of room for negotiation.
How do you negotiate with evil?”


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