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or “Wobble Watch By the Numbers.”

Nelson Ascher analyzes Bush’s latest speech with his word counter:

The speech: 1655 words

45 opening rather neutral words


844 words of tough criticism directed mainly at Arafat and the at the Arabs in general

166 words of mild criticism directed at Israeli settlements, checkpoints and so on, not at the military campaign

36 gentle words almost regreting what he will ask Israel to do

20 words asking Israel to halt incursions and BEGIN to withdraw (he is asking, not giving orders, he is not saying “or else!”, nor imposing conditions or a deadline)

27 friendly words, almost asking forgivness for having said the above

67 words blaming again Arafat and the Arabs

50 rather neutral words

87 tough words threatening the other Muslim countries

313 concluding words, the main weight of which is still against the Arabs

0 words criticizing Sharon in any way; his name, unlike that of Arafat, is not even mentioned.

Think those figures will make it to Harper’s Index?


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