8.4.4        A Moral Mission

(This is an archived extract from the book Patterns of Power: Edition 2)

In his speech at Cincinnati on 7 October 2002, Bush drew attention to Saddam Hussein’s oppression of his own people:

“On Saddam Hussein’s orders, opponents have been decapitated, wives and mothers of political opponents have been systematically raped as a method of intimidation, and political prisoners have been forced to watch their own children being tortured.” [1]

This was undeniable, and it was likely to arouse public indignation. 

If Bush's objective were to stir up indignation in the Iraqi people, to persuade them to overthrow Saddam Hussein, he would not have tried to do this through a speech in Cincinnati.  His speech can be more plausibly interpreted as an attempt to become a moral leader (4.3.1), to win the support of the American people and Congress for a war against Iraq by characterising Saddam Hussein as ‘evil’.

© PatternsofPower.org, 2014

[1] Bush’s Cincinnati speech of 7 October 2002 (quoted earlier: 8.4.1) was published by the White House and by several newspapers. It was available in April 2014 at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/oct/07/usa.iraq and at http://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/cahier/irak/a9683