No Sincerity, No Influence
In times of great shock and distress, one can easily drown in overwhelmingly deep emotions. On September 11, 2001, the majority of Americans were struggling to stay afloat. There were some, however, that managed to stay out of the waves and observe their surroundings. In his article, “Some People Push Back: On the Justice of Roosting Chickens,” Ward Churchill proved he was not one to be dragged down by emotion. He took a step back, and examined why he believed 911 might have happened. His basic argument is that the United States had it coming. He supports his claim by targeting emotions alongside unreliable facts and almost sarcastic counter-arguments. Churchill begins his article with information that targets emotions. He reminds his audience about the “Class I Crime Against Humanity” (4) that has been committed by the U.S. in Iraq. In doing so, he makes sure not to leave out that the act has killed a half-million “Iraqi youngsters, all of them under 12” (3). Though this is a combination of pathos and logos, the lack of ethos brings down the power held by his statistic. This absence of credibility is due in part to the author not establishing it, and to the tone he uses throughout the article. Later, he goes as far as to compare the U.S. surgical bombing of Iraq’s water purification and sewage facilities as a “holocaust” (6) and “a performance worthy of the Nazis” (7). Churchill’s comparison appears to exist only to anger and offend his audience as he has very little credibility to support these claims. His targets on emotion were not as effective as they could have been, both due to the state of his audience and his lack of sincerity. Churchill relies on quite a few statistics in this article. However, his use of logos is weak, mostly due to his “counter-arguments” (or lack thereof). In one section he writes that “[t]here were, after all, far more pressing things than the unrelenting misery/death of a few hundred Iraqi tikes to...
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