How did the U.S. government lead its people to war?

Rhetoric and Spin

Caves and Shadows

In the lead-up to war with Iraq, President Bush described the terrorists as living in caves, and Hussein as a leader of a “shadowy” network of terrorists.  This language of caves and shadows is a rhetorical device used to dehumanize the enemy, associating Hussein with the beasts and monsters of mythic tales.



BUSH:  This is a war where the leaders hide in a cave, or they kind of hide in a dark corner of one of the cities around the world, and then they send youngsters to their suicidal deaths.

BUSH:  We continue to pursue the terrorists in cities and camps and caves across the earth.


BUSH: ...shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained.


BUSH:  It’s a man who has got connections with al-Qaeda. Imagine a terrorist network with Iraq as an arsenal and as a training ground. So that a Saddam Hussein could use this shadowy group of people to attack his enemy and leave no fingerprint behind.

[continue to the next section: "Peace and Freedom"]

[link to a PDF of this page]