Sunday, August 23, 2009

It's all in the verbs

President George W. Bush, Sept. 12, 2001
Powerful, no-nonsense, clear

"The deliberate and deadly attacks which were carried out yesterday against our country were more than acts of terror. They were acts of war. This will require our country to unite in steadfast determination and resolve. Freedom and democracy are under attack.

The American people need to know that we're facing a different enemy than we have ever faced. This enemy hides in shadows, and has no regard for human life. This is an enemy who preys on innocent and unsuspecting people, then runs for cover. But it won't be able to run for cover forever. This is an enemy that tries to hide. But it won't be able to hide forever. This is an enemy that thinks its harbors are safe. But they won't be safe forever.

This enemy attacked not just our people, but all freedom-loving people everywhere in the world. The United States of America will use all our resources to conquer this enemy. We will rally the world. We will be patient, we will be focused, and we will be steadfast in our determination.

This battle will take time and resolve. But make no mistake about it: we will win."

Colin Powell, Secretary of State, Sept. 12, 2001,
Colloquial, specific, confident

"We are undertaking a full court press diplomatically, politically, militarily, and in the course of the morning and early afternoon I have been in touch with a number of foreign leaders and international organizational leaders to coordinate the diplomatic approach to this. I have talked to Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, and I thank the United Nations for the Security Council resolution they passed and also for the statement from the Generally Assembly. And I expect the General Assembly to also work on a resolution later today.

Lord Robertson in NATO is hard at work with a resolution that is under consideration now that would tee up -- if I can put it that way -- prime Article V responsibilities. Article V of the charter says that an attack from abroad by any one against any member of the alliance is an attack against the alliance. If that resolution goes forward, that doesn't invoke Article V yet but it puts in a position to be invoked, when the United States makes a judgment about the nature of the attack and where that attack came from. And I appreciate what Lord Robertson and his colleagues are doing for us.

I have also been in touch with Foreign Minister of Belgium Louis Michel, who is also head of the presidency of the EU at this time, and High Representative Javier Solana to thank them for the strong support we have received from the European Union and the statements they have made, and their cooperation promise to us, to deal with this tragedy and to move forward.

I have also attended -- along of course, with my other colleagues -- the National Security Council meeting with the President where we reviewed all that has happened and began to make our plans for the efforts we will taking in the future, not only to bring these perpetrators to not only justice, but to the punishment that they deserve. But at the same time to undertake a worldwide effort to build a coalition against all forms of terrorism, wherever it may occur and however it rears its ugly head."

Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Sept. 12, 2001
Speaking with the voice of memory and experience of thousands of conflicts

"We are appalled by these barbaric acts and condemn them unconditionally. These acts were an attack on our common values. We will not allow these values to be compromised by those who follow the path of violence. We pledge to undertake all efforts to combat the scourge of terrorism. We stand united in our belief that the ideals of partnership and co-operation will prevail.

EAPC Member Countries are : Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kyrghyz Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (2), Tadjikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uzbekistan."

Congress’ Joint Resolution, Sept. 12, 2001,
Includes Kennedy, Kerry, Clinton, Reid, Edwards, and so forth. Contains the usual vague verbs of political-speak and none of the specificity of Bush and Powell, or the outrage of our allies, until you get to points 7 and 8. Sounds like distant observers who have lost touch with their constituency, but do call on others to battle in the war against terrorism, but not themselves.

"Resolved (107th CONGRESS, 1st Session, H. J. RES. 61) by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress--

(1) condemns in the strongest possible terms the terrorists who planned and carried out the September 11 , 2001, attacks against the United States, as well as their sponsors;
(2) extends its deepest condolences to the victims of these heinous and cowardly attacks, as well as to their families, friends, and loved ones;
(3) is certain that the people of the United States will stand united as our Nation begins the process of recovering and rebuilding in the aftermath of these tragic acts;
(4) commends the heroic actions of the rescue workers, volunteers, and State and local officials who responded to these tragic events with courage, determination, and skill;
(5) declares that these premeditated attacks struck not only at the people of America, but also at the symbols and structures of our economic and military strength, and that the United States is entitled to respond under international law;
(6) thanks those foreign leaders and individuals who have expressed solidarity with the United States in the aftermath of the attacks, and asks them to continue to stand with the United States in the war against international terrorism;
(7) commits to support increased resources in the war to eradicate terrorism;
(8) supports the determination of the President, in close consultation with Congress, to bring to justice and punish the perpetrators of these attacks as well as their sponsors; and
(9) declares that September 12, 2001, shall be a National Day of Unity and Mourning, and that when Congress adjourns today, it stands adjourned out of respect to the victims of the terrorist attacks."

Source, September 11, 2001, Yale University

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