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clinton - own people who created this awful moment it was...

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When a president must address the nation regarding an event that has happened- tragic or otherwise- he forever leaves his fingerprint upon that event diluting the recorded history and the opinions of it (both at the time and in the future). This is the case with President Clinton’s speech addressing the Oklahoma bombings. When reading the speech today, after 9/11 has taken place, the way the speech is perceived is due to collective memory. In the present one of the greatest concerns is that of terrorism from outside nations. Reading the speech today many fail to recognize that the bombings that took place were not the work of the stereotypical Muslim terrorists, but of citizens of the United States. Reading the speech a first time one might insist that Clinton himself states that it was terrorists who caused such a tragedy. However, he never explicitly blames terrorists. It is true, at the time of the speech no one thought that it might have been our
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Unformatted text preview: own people who created this awful moment- it was them. It’s always them and not us. The phrases Clinton uses, such as “dark forces,” “forces of fear,” and “this terrible sin” create a feeling that there is something to be feared. The enemy is nameless and faceless- this makes him seem all the more frightening. So what the people of America do is label someone as an enemy. It feels so much better to have a target, someone else to blame. Yet Clinton’s speech never assigns this label; in fact it is very careful not to. Rather, it is the American people who make the assignments. The fear of outsiders coming in and wreaking havoc is a universal fear- it is easy to find your enemy. Although we now know the perpetrators were our own now, the stage has been set. When the American people need it to be, as they do now after 9/11, the enemy referred to in the speech is the terrorists....
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