Volume 13, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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This article employs critical intertextual analysis (CIA) to examine how American presidents from opposing political parties respectively inaugurated and extended the war in Afghanistan. After explaining the CIA framework, I investigate two post-9/11 “call-to-arms” speeches delivered by George W. Bush and Barack Obama. I find that Obama responds to changing circumstances (e.g. public dissatisfaction) by varying stylistic elements of Bush’s rhetoric. Nevertheless, he rearticulates the overarching features of Bush’s “war on terror” discourse. Thus, Obama ultimately achieves policy continuity, but only by employing micro-rhetorical strategies that create the appearance of change. I conclude that, if Obama had been more enterprising, he might have enacted real change – and broken completely with Bush’s rhetoric and policy of global war. Keywords: Afghanistan; Bush; critical intertextual analysis; Iraq; Obama; recontextualization; thematic formation; war on terror


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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