Imaginative Geographies “The Pursuit of a Moral and Justifiable Reality”
While a certain written or verbal discourse can persuade a reader to form an emotional response in the favor of the discourser, the viewer or reader might want to look deeper into the subtext. One must take into account much more than is written on a page or spoken into a microphone. Looking at controversial situations from multiple angles and perspectives can lead one to gain a further understanding of an event or group of events, and avoid mental myopia. Oftentimes, one must dig back into the actual roots that set the stage for something. This process can bring an incredible sense of enlightenment and a whole new view of the world we live in today. The contrast of the two readings did just this for me, causing me to form contradictory outlooks due to content and depth of argument.
In regards to the speech by George W. Bush, I believe he does a great job justifying his actions as to why we need military involvement in the Middle East. He does so by defining Al Qaeda in a way where anyone with the slightest bit of patriotism or reason can assume that these people need to be wiped off the map. What he doesn’t do is describe how these political factions rose to power partly due to the political and capitalistic actions of the United States in the latter half of the 20th century. His rhetoric makes any logical American agree that terrorist groups in the Middle East are the Global Enemies, and our number one priority as a responsible world power is to take out this radical faction. His speech reads much easier than Mitchell’s comprehensive and extensive piece on the role of the United States in the Middle East past and present. Bush speaks of the disconnect between Islam and Al Qaeda several times, attempting to ensure Americans and others watching that not all of these individuals in Iraq are The Enemy. Despite this, the reader is still left with a feeling of anger and Bush’s speech did a fantastic job convincing me who our enemy was, and why they were our enemy. It gives me comfort and a feeling of appreciation for our military and this decision to invade Iraq. He instilled a sense of patriotism, and a sense of trust in the US government.
On the other hand, Mitchell’s speech makes me feel as though Bush’s decision to invade Iraq never would have occurred had we not been so money-hungry and devious in regards to oil in the Middle East. Once Aramco and our government found that we could make huge profits off Saudi Arabian oil, they did everything they could to shape the political and military landscape in the Middle East to ensure that they were making maximum profits. This snowballed into our indecisive alliances and unethical political behavior. We helped overthrow a relatively stable Iraqi government in 1963, and assisted in the killing of their leader, which brought to power the Ba’ath party, headed by Sadaam Hussein. Every conflict in the Middle East brought about US involvement, and we were always looking out for our enlightened self-interest, disregarding how we were affecting the stability of these countries. In contrast to Bush’s speech, Mitchell’s made me feel upset with my countries past decisions, and led me to believe that we were at the root of many of our current issues decades later. I was shocked to read much of what was put on the page in front of me, and felt ashamed of the fact that I have this image of America as a pure and noble country. In reality, our greed and intervention displayed in this article came back to haunt us years after their inception. Mitchell’s intensive breakdown of our activity in the Middle East really helps the reader get a grasp of how many of the issues in the Middle East arose in the first place. He explains in great detail the events that lead to vast changes in political landscape, and has very little bias in doing so.
Looking at the speech by George W. Bush, the political discourse…