Presidential Crisis Rhetoric and the Press in the Post-Cold War World

Presidential Crisis Rhetoric and the Press in the Post-Cold War World

Presidential Crisis Rhetoric and the Press in the Post-Cold War World

Presidential Crisis Rhetoric and the Press in the Post-Cold War World

Synopsis

Kuypers combines rhetorical theory and framing analysis in an examination of the interaction of the press and the president during international crisis situations in the post-Cold War world. Three crises are examined: Bosnia, Haiti, and the North Korean nuclear capability issue. Kuypers effectively demonstrates the changed nature of presidential crisis rhetoric since the end of the Cold War.

Excerpt

In October 1991, President Jean Bertrand Aristide of Haiti was forcefully removed from office following a coup d'état led by Haiti's military leader, General Raoul Cedras. In response to this event, President George Bush issued Executive Order 12775, which officially elevated the situation in Haiti to the level of a "national emergency" for the United States. The Bush administration immediately called for economic sanctions and, in cooperation with the United Nations and the Organization of American States (OAS), initiated an embargo that would last throughout Bush's term as president.

In January 1993, Bill Clinton was sworn in as president and inherited Bush's Haitian policy. Throughout his candidacy, Clinton had derided the Bush administration's policy on Haiti. Yet upon taking office, Clinton essentially left Bush's policies in place, made them his own, and modified them in the ensuing months. Throughout 1993, the situation in Haiti remained unstable, and several key events occurred to which the president and the press responded. On 19 February 1993, the freighter Neptune sank, leaving over 800 Haitians dead. On 13 March 1993, the Haitian military arrested a soldier after he had been granted political asylum by the United States. On 15 March 1993, President Aristide visited President Clinton in Washington. On 3 July 1993, the Haitian leaders signed the Governors Island agreement that set a specific time for President Aristide's return to Haiti. Finally, on 11 October 1993, U.S. and Canadian military engineers and trainers were prevented from disembarking in Port-au-Prince.

Although these events prompted criticism of the Clinton administration, they were also used by the Clinton administration to justify increased action. The press focus was primarily upon the legal battle . . .

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