Iraq in the American Presidential Debate Discourse: A Critical Discourse Analysis

Author: Nawal

Keywords: critical discourse analysis, global topics, Iraq, local semantic, presidential debate discourse, speech


The present paper aims at identifying both the American Republican and Democratic presidential nominees’ (Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s) ideologies towards Iraq in the only three American presidential debates held before the presidential elections of 2016. The presidential nominees participated in the three debates have been the same (Clinton and Trump). These debates have synchronized with one of the toughest periods in which Iraq was fighting ISIS. To arrive at these ideologies, the three presidential debates discourse has been critically analyzed depending on Van Dijk’s socio- cognitive approach. The linguistic tools selected as means to manifest the ideologies are global topics, local semantics and speech acts. The analysis has shown that the three American presidential debates represent a rich ideology discourse and that both Clinton and Trump share certain ideologies towards Iraq but differ in the majority of these ideologies. Both presidential nominees have taken advantage of
the issue of Iraq in the debates to achieve certain electoral benefits.