And then as dangerous so that their destruction is necessary in order to
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maintain the ‘health’ of the USA and the rest of the ‘civilized world’.
This implies a conceptual metaphor: TERRORISTS ARE DANGEROUS ANIMALS .
Clearly, this language is highly emotive and incites extreme political
Action. Representing human agents as if they are dangerous animals
Implies that they have forsaken any claim to be treated like human
Beings, for example, with respect to their human rights under inter-
National agreements such as the Geneva Convention. George Bush
Junior employs an extreme form of rhetoric when referring to perpetrators
Of terrorism because his metaphors slide down the Great Chain of Being
from hunted animals to ‘parasites’ in need of total elimination:
My hope is that all nations will heed our call, and eliminate the terrorist parasites
Who threaten their countries and our own. (29 January 2002)
America encourages and expects governments everywhere to help remove the
Terrorist parasites that threaten their own countries and peace of the world.
(Applause.) (11 March 2002)
They support them and harbor them, and they will find that their welcome
Guests are parasites that will weaken them, and eventually consume them.
(12 September 2002)
This implies a futher conceptual metaphor TERRORISTS ARE PARASITES ;
another political text in which the word ‘parasite’ was used with reference
to a human topic is Hitler’s autobiographical account Mein Kampf. In
Chapter 11 (entitled ‘Nation and Race’) Hitler uses cultural stereotypes
For animals to refer to the Jews using a shift down the hierarchy of the
Great Chain of Being:
George W. Bush and the Rhetoric of Moral Accounting 183
For that reason he was never a nomad, but only and always a parasite in
The body of other peoples . . . His spreading is a typical phenomenon for all
parasites; he always seeks a new feeding ground for his race.
It is also one that is reiterated in various forms through this chapter of
The Jews’ life as a parasite in the body of other nations and states explains a
As in Bush’s ‘Axis of Evil’, Hitler finally shifts to the lowest level of the
Great Chain of Being – that associated with evil. Indeed within the
Great Chain of Being concept, without evil at the lowest level, good
Could not exist at a higher one. The shift to the supernatural category is
the final stage in Hitler’s use of metaphor in Mein Kampf:
Here he stops as nothing, and in his vileness he becomes so gigantic that no
One need be surprised if among our people the personification of the devil as the
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