An Analysis of the Letter George
Bush Wrote to Saddam Hussein

            President George H. Bush takes
initiative in a potentially threatening situation and writes to Saddam Hussein in
a way that gently warns Hussein to assert control to avoid the start of a war. Initially,
the letter is very forward towards Hussein and it is obvious to the audience
that Bush is using an argumentative tone to avoid a serious consequence. When
analyzing the letter from a rhetorical aspect, it seems as if the letter is
written with not just one audience.

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            Bush addresses the letter to
Hussein, but reading it more closely shows the ulterior aim of communication
with a broader secondary audience by referencing “we” in the start of the
letter. While speaking to Hussein, Bush uses references to the secondary
audience (in paragraph 1, 3, and 5) and repeats “we” to show that he and
Hussein are not the only ones that are being affected by the outcome of this
letter. Throughout the entire piece, Bush repetitively brings up the people of
Iraq as well as the people of the US, a tertiary audience to the letter. If Hussein
chose to not fulfil what Bush is requesting, the Iraqi and the Americans would
have to assume further action.

            By the restatement of “we”, Bush is
showing to readers that he is not only speaking for himself, but expressing the
thoughts and words of others that are in agreement with him. In paragraph 7,
Bush mentions other countries (Arab and Muslim countries) that stand by the disapproval
of Hussein’s tactics. By providing the audience with examples of others who are
in agreement with his argument, Bush is establishing his credibility and
emphasizing to the audience and Hussein the importance of the information he is
speaking on. Bush uses these mentions of other political groups to indicate the
support of his thoughts which further assists in accomplishing the goal of the

The objective of the letter is to
draw the attention of the Iraqis to be in compliance with the UN Security Council
resolution which is directed towards Hussein from the start of the letter. As a
reader examines the letter more closely, Bush ties in “we” (everyone in
agreement with his argument), other Arab and Muslim countries, and mentions the
entirety of the world, all serving the purpose of secondary audiences of this
piece of writing. Analyzing this letter rhetorically shows the logos being Bush
pushing for Hussein to comply and avoid a war breaking out, the pathos is
Hussein and a secondary audience of the people of the US and Iraq, and the
ethos is Bush who speaks with an authoritative and confrontational attitude to
convince Hussein to retract the Iraqi from Kuwait.



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