Cda and power relations


This study aims at finding the connection between language and ideology which is represented by language. Through the analysis of Obama’s speech it will be seen that how dominant forces exercise their power, maintain their superiority and show their dominance.

In this study it is tried to show that how come dominant forces or groups adopt strategies which fulfill their personal interests. In other words through the application of critical discourse analysis the text is analyzed to see up to what extent dominance and power is seen in the words and speech of those in power. CDA always aims at exploring the way social power abuse and dominance are enacted in society. Words are not to be considered neutral but as having some particular meanings which are not always obvious to all readers. Keywords: CDA, dominance, Obama’s speech, Power, Power realations.


Language is a phenomenon which is related to our social and cognitive development right from ourchildhoodand plays a very crucial role in the formation of our identity. Whatever we say always contains some meaning and represents our perception toward a certain thing or idea. Language plays a very important role because every action particularly a political action is accompanied and in fact influenced and played by the language we use. We have always got a particular way of understanding and perceiving language. And the way we perceive language builds the foundation of our social construction and individual as well as group relationships.

And some branches of linguistics have tried to explain that what kind of relationship is there between the use of language and importance of perception. Because the way we make use of language tells our intention toward any important issue either political or social. Any discourse either spoken or written can emerge from many sources like cultural, social or power background. Language has always its surface and real meanings and surface meanings differ from that of real meanings, and it is in fact one of the aims of discourse to show how language is working and what context it is being used in. .. Using a language involves something that goes beyond the acquisition of structures and the ability to make appropriate choices in the realization of the particular language functions. ” (Yalden, 1987, p 39). Every language finds its ways in discourse and in order to understand a speech or a text it so very necessary to get into the depth of that very spoken or written text and go for the context of it. Because unless the text is seen as having more than surface meanings, it would not be easy to get real meaning and understand the motive and intention of speaker.

Discourse always intends to bring forth the context of a thing and bring into light which is otherwise not transparent enough to a reader and listener. Because it’s so very evident that our words have never been neutral and language is not an abstract thing rather our words have meanings and they belong to some particular social and political condition. It’s quite important to know that what actually people do with words and this takes language from being comprised of structures and grammar to function and communicative competence.

Discourse Analysis

Discourse analysis is a rapidly growing and vast field. Discourse explains that how texts relate to contexts of situation and context ofculture. How texts are produced as a social practice, what texts tell us about happenings and what people think and belief. Text analysis is the study of formal linguistic devices that distinguish a text from random sentences. Discourse analysis takes into account the text-forming devices with reference to the functions for which the discourse was produced, and the context within which the discourse was created.

The very aim of discourse analysis is to show how the linguistic elements help language users communicate. Cohesive devices tell us the text and discourse is the meaning in the context. When we find out meaning in the context, and when we find out meaning from a text that will become discourse, and when analyze the text along with the context it becomes discourse analysis. It’s a well known fact that language is checked not in the text but in context as well. It is very necessary to know historical background of any event.

For example if a text consists of words about 9/11, it will be obvious to for the historical story. To know actually about a text background knowledge is required which will make the sense even more clear. Certain structures are traced out to reach to the meanings and this is called discourse analysis. Discourse analysis is a methodology but a research as well. It brings new things into knowledge and refers to expressing oneself using words. It is evident that words are never neutral and everything which is written or read has some meanings and through discourse analysis those meanings become clear.

This is discourse analysis which enables the analyzer from seeing language as abstract to seeing it as having some meanings related to particular conditions like historical, social or political. Discourse analysis has been used to describe a number of research approaches whose ultimate purpose is to focus on the use of language. Conversational analysis, critical discourse analysis is some kinds of discourses which have their own methods and assumptions but the ultimate purpose is to explain the way meanings are constructed incommunication.

A wide range of texts including journals and broadcast media, political speeches, interviews have been understood through the application of discourse analysis. Discourse analysis includes the ways in which people assume meanings of a text within a given context. Conversational analysis focuses on the analysis of the ways language is being used. It tells how people respond to any conversation and how they make use of a specific word or any provided phrase. On the other hand critical discourse analysis (CDA) is concerned with the imbalance sources of power, inequality and bias.

Critical Discourse Analysis

The term critical discourse analysis is an approach which studies discourse in which language is viewed as a form of social practice and focuses on the ways social or political domination are presented by text and talk as well. Power is one of the concepts CDA deals with and CDA tends to analyze the language of those in power, of those who are responsible for the inequalities in done in a society. Moreover CDA researchers attempt to know how discourse produces domination, and how power abuse of one group is exercised on others. And how dominated groups may strive to resist such actions. Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) is a type of discourse analytical research that primarily studies the way social power abuse, dominance, and inequality are enacted, reproduced and resisted by text and talk in the social and political context. ” (van Dijk, 2001, p. 352) One more important perspective concerned by CDA about “ power” is that it is a very rare chance that a text is a work of only one individual. There exists in texts certain evidence which, if observed through a critical eye, clearly shows the ideologies of those who intend to struggle for dominance.

The constant unity of language with a number of social issues makes one thing clear and obvious that there is a close relationship of language with social power and this relationship occurs in a number of ways. Power is not essentially derived from language but language can be used in a way so as to challenge power. Language enables to establish differences in power in hierarchical social matters, issues and structures. The actions and words of those in power are always considered of great significance and given a particular importance.

And they apply different strategies which are more than enough to show their interests, and it so happens that their words are taken as the ultimate truth. “ The words of those in power are taken as “ self-evident truths” and the words of those not in power are dismissed as irrelevant, inappropriate, or without substance” (van Dijk, 2000). In fact it is one of the responsibilities of the CDA researchers to play a very important role in bringing into light the problems and issues of those who have become the victims of dominance and power abuse, and then question the voice of those who have been exercising their power over other groups.

Indeed it’s so very important to question them in order to reveal their hidden motives, their superiority, personal interests to make others subjugated. “… home practitioners must engage in critical discourse analysis to make the voice of the marginalized legitimate and heard and to take the voice of those in power into question to reveal hidden agendas and motives that serve self-interests, maintain superiority, and ensure others’ subjugation. (Henry & Tator, 2002) As already mentioned that CDA’s main concern is about the power and use of power which is reflected in the text and talk of those who struggle to maintain their authority over others, so it is believed that oppression, inequality and biasness would be left unchallenged if the text is not viewed and analyzed keenly and critically. “ Given the power of the written and spoken word, CDA is necessary for describing, interpreting, analyzing, and critiquing social life reflected in text” (Luke, 1997). Power, dominance and inequality are equally interpreted by the help of CDA as these terms are major concern of CDA. CDA is concerned with studying and analyzing written texts and spoken words to reveal the discursive sources of power, dominance, inequality, and bias and how these sources are initiated, maintained, reproduced, and transformed within specific social, economic, political, and historical contexts” (van Dijk, 1988). As a matter of fact CDA aims to bring a reform in the society and tries to illuminate the paths of suppressed groups and people. Its whole purpose is to let the oppressed groups know of the injustice done to them and make them able to resist it in order to make their lives worth living.

It is in fact a path which tends to lead the dominated bodies to transform their lives. CDA has got many objectives and one of those is to uncover the ideologies that are otherwise hidden in the words or written texts. “… a critical approach to discourse seeks to link the text (micro level) with the underlying power structures in society (macro sociocultural practice level) through discursive practices upon which the text was drawn (meso level)” (Thompson, 2002). Language tends to have some meaning in it which is not transparent always.

CDA plays an important role in making those meanings clear which are otherwise opaque to a common man. “ CDA helps make clear the connections between the use of language and the exercise of power (Thompson, 2002). ” CDA does also aim to find connection between social power and discourse. According to van Dijk (1996), “ one of the central tasks of CDA is to account for the relationships between discourse and social power” (p. 84). CDA actually makes itself involved in many social issues which need to be resolved. They can be political issues, power abuse and many others. CDA sees itself as politically involved research” (Titscher et al, 2000, p. 147). Now it will be clear that CDA is interested in analyzing and critiquing the obvious as well as hidden structural relationships ofdiscrimination, inequality, power, dominance and control which are shown by language use.

Application of CDA

This research study is concerned with the critical analysis of speech of the president of America telling the entire world about the death of Osama Bin Laden (Leader of Al-Qaeda) who was shot dead in his apartment, in Abbotabad (Pakistan), after an operation by the USA troops.

Researchers would be interested in critically analyzing the whole speech/text in order to find out traces of power imbalance, inequality, and unjustified practice made by the USA. This research will also take into consideration the views of some of the officials of American government as well as the remarks made by Prime Minister of Pakistan. The agendas, ideologies, and hidden motives of the dominant group, in this case America, would be brought into consideration through the help of critical discourse analysis of the speech by President Obama.

It will be viewed that how they have managed to show their dominance over others (Pakistan) and what kind of imbalance of power relationship has been generated by the dominating country (USA).

Background of Osama bin Laden

Al-Qaida leader Osama Bin Laden is believed to have ordered the attacks on New York and Washington on 11 September 2001 and a number of others. He was top of the US most wanted list. And then a war had been declared against Al-Qaida by the USA.

And this operation in Pakistan was done when the American government was sure enough about Bin Laden’s presence in Pakistan.

Text of President Obama Speech

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children. It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history.

The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory — hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction. And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father.

Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3, 000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts. On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one Americanfamily. We were also united in our esolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda — an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies. Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort.

We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot. Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.

And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network. Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground.

I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice. Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed.

They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body. For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda. Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must — and we will — remain vigilant at home and abroad.

As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not — and never will be — at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11 that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity. Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we’ve done.

But it’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people. Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates. The American people did not choose this fight.

It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded. So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies.

We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been done. Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice. We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify theprofessionalism, patriotism, and nparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day. Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores. And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.

The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle forequalityfor all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place. Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. Thank you. May God bless you.

And may God bless the United States of America.


The speech opens with a detail explanation of the whole incident of Abbotabad (Pakistan) and President Obama congratulates the people of his country and the rest of the world about the victory which embraced them after a long p of time. Then there are a few statements about what did the families of the victims of 9/11 go through and what kind of grief surrounded the whole nation. But there then comes some statements which, if analyzed critically, clearly show the efforts America has made to fulfill her personal interests.

Obama at one instant states, “ Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort. ” And then he makes further comments which are a clear cut example of their intent to show dominance over Al-Qaeda and then their efforts to fulfill their own self-interests. Says he, “ And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of 9/11 plot. These two above mentioned fragments of his speech just seem enough to elaborate their point of view about their position in the world and their way of doing things. It is obvious that they have been putting themselves in this effort for last ten years. Then the point becomes even clearer when President Obama talks about the result of their continuous efforts and tell the world how they located bin Laden. “ Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden.

It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan”. This statement if observed superficially will only be discussing about the fruitful results of the US intelligence on the matter of bin Laden’s capture. But in the eyes of CDA it’s just not a simple statement but it is something greatly related with the imbalance power relationship with Pakistan as well.

If analyzed and interpreted critically, it becomes obvious that USA government has shown little reluctance in sharing their plans with Pakistan. For example to understand it more clearly just ponder on the words said by Obama. “ I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. ” What does “ my national security team” mean? It obviously means that Obama has just asked his national security team to go through the process of finding Laden.

He has not mentioned that any plan or idea is shared with Pakistani officials or intelligence. So through the application of CDA and considering its main purpose it is evident that nothing matters for them as far as their interests are concerned. Pakistani security team was just not told anything and USA just took their special team in confidence. It means that they have been struggling and making many efforts without letting Pakistan know anything about it.

And it must be observed that the process of inquiring about Laden’s presence was taking in Pakistan and Obama makes it clear in his speech that he learned that Laden was present “ deep inside of Pakistan”. Now this is again something of great importance, as it is like showing dominance and power over other country. In the above stated comment of Obama two things show the excessive use of their power. First President’s meeting with his security team only and second the action of investigating Laden’s presence in Pakistan is the thing not being shared with the country where he actual action was to take place. This is to be considered as one of the examples of inequality and wrong use of power by USA. The story is just not over here as there comes many more evidence in the text which represent the inequality USA seems have done to Pakistan. “ Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbotabad, Pakistan. ” There again needs to apply CDA and get into the depth of the statement and reach to the real meanings which are otherwise hidden and not easily understandable. Today, at my direction” is just not simple phrase but something that is more than enough to affect the power relationship between two independent countries. “ Today” seems to specify the day and time which appeared suitable to the dominating country and then “ at my direction” is indicating towards something which goes in favor of USA because here again it is noticeable that President Obama looks like in believing in his own orders and directions, not giving any clue of the direction or requirement of taking the direction of Pakistani government.

This if critically analyzed is pointing towards the belief which the USA government might have in them and in their power as well. And this looks like USA tends to imbalance the power relation with Pakistan and makes that country dominated by such remarks and action as well. Then there come another statement which looks even closer to the way one may exercise their power over other group or a country might be. “ Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us.

We must—and we will—remain vigilant at home and abroad. ” In the above mentioned statement there are three important words which are enough to grab the attention of those who work through CDA. “ We must, we will remain vigilant at home and abroad are not having ordinary meanings in them as it is well known fact that words are not always ought to be neutral. If viewed deeply there in that statement a word is used “ abroad” and it seems to indicate some determination of American government.

Using words like “ we must”, “ we will” is a way adopted for asserting their power and dominance. And it’s not their country only they will be working but abroad as well. And abroad can be any other country or Pakistan may be as he didn’t mention it at all. , as he said it was not the end of their efforts and any further action could be possible in future. Judging this very fragment of his speech it might be said that it was not at all a neutral statement and contained in it a signal to show their strength and then will to exercise power whenever they feel it to exercise. Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we’ve done. ” Such a statement from president of USA for another independent country is indeed of great attention as it again refers to the same thing which CDA aims at. Critically evaluating, this statement contains some meaning which seems to give world an idea about what USA thinks and wants to do. To make an argument like “ I’ve repeatedly made clear” is containing a huge meaning in itself.

It refers to the idea of being always right, and dominant. And if analyzed this statement more deeply, it appears as if America is biased toward Pakistan and this is shown through the text itself. “…. that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. ” This remark is showing the bias America is or may have against Pakistan. As it shows that they are already having some prejudice against Pakistan and have repeatedly made it clear that they would take an action if found it good in their interest.

Continuing further he adds that he called President Zardari and his officials and was told that it was a great day for both of their nations and further Obama states, “ And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates. ” It does seem opaque that what kind of contribution they are asking Pakistan to make, they may be signaling toward the same way they just adopted to attack Osama in Pakistan, and making Pakistani government clear that their contribution lies in the fact that they would not be asked if the action is to be taken again to attack any other member of al Qaeda.

President Obama’s speech consists of many fragments in which he every now and then shows his sympathy with his nation about the incident of 9/11 and ensures to take possible measures to protect their country but that statement itself becomes controversial and looks like to serve their purposes only. Says he, “ Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies,” This statement is just telling the way they want to secure their country.

And letting the entire world know of what they think of the security of their people and country. But in a way or other it suggests that it is only their security that matters and they will not allow anyone to threaten their security, moreover they will be relentless in defense of their citizens. But the question arises that what about the security of the country which was threatened and weakened when President Obama took that action in Pakistan and made it clear that they had already said that any action of this sort could take place in Pakistan if necessary.

On one side securing their own country and on the other hand not showing any concern about the security of the other country (Pakistan). These kinds of phrases are interpreted with the help of CDA in order to detect the hidden ideologies of the dominating country. And statements like this and many others are a warning to let others know not to take this matter lightly. CDA aims at exploring the motives of dominant group and it tells what one is allowed and expected to do. President Obama concludes the speech with a statement which contains in it a message which confirms their dominance, power and threat to power relation with Pakistan.

Adds he further, “ The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all citizens; our commitments to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place. ” Though these are the closing comments from president Obama but they do have the signs of over dominance. “…America can do whatever we set our mind to. If this and many other above mentioned statements are left unchallenged then power relation and excessive use of dominance by America in this particular case can create many problems for the country who is being repressed and dominated. As it is one of the main aims of CDA to reveal hidden motives which do lie in texts and words, this piece of text does need a critical analysis. Telling what America can do somehow discloses the ideological assumption of America. This appears like America has got some firm belief in their strength and that they can do whatever they want to do.

It’s through the application of CDA that it becomes possible to let others know that how those who in power maintain their superiority and how they want or ensure others subjugation. This statement is just no looks like a warning to al Qaeda only but to the entire world. Saying that America can do anything seems like America can attack Al Qaeda again as well as America can make use of its excessive power by maintaining its dominance and can again take such sort of action in Pakistan. It points towards the commitment America has made in order to be superior and ensure its superiority over others.

CDA is very helpful in such situations as it help in understanding that how one exercises their authority through words. This very statement is a signal toward the presence of imbalance in power relationship between the two countries (Pakistan and America). And CDA helps understand the social problems, inequality and excessive use of one’s power and superiority over others. Some comments of the American officials have also been added and analyzed with the help of CDA. BBC reports on May 2, 2011. The US official said that intelligence had been tracking a trusted courier of bin Laden for many years.

The courier’s identity was discovered four year ago, his area of operation two years ago and then, last August, his residence in Abbotabad was found, triggering the start of the mission. (BBC News) This news by US official reflects the same idea as it was there in President Obama’s speech. Their continuous effort to find out Osama’s residence across the world appears to be their top priorities. And as the official said that at last they found him in Abbotabad (Pakistan), it looks like that they had kept an eye on Pakistan.

But what happened actually that the plan was not at all shared with Pakistan, which seems like a way used by US to exercise its superiority and keep its self interest most important. It actually can be fatal for the power relation between the two countries because inequality can be seen in this very case. According to another report by BBC it was said that nothing about the plan was shared with anyone including Pakistan. The official said “ Only a very small group of people inside our own government know of this operation in advance. (BBC News) The statement is what CDA aims to bring into notice. US officials knew that the operation was to be held in Pakistan but it was not their concern to share it with the officials of Pakistan. At surface level this statement is not that dangerous but its critical analysis may make it prominent and questionable. The information was shared with a very few people of the US and it indicates towards the inequality shown by the US. It too shows the power abuse which according to CDA needs to be resisted.

Power relations can be at risk if such statements are made by an independent country for another independent country. It looks like as if sovereignty of a country has been challenged through the words of those who have power and this time Pakistan seems to be the victim of such oppression and injustice. The nature of these remarks makes CDA an interesting task. This should be kept in mind that those who are in power they keep asserting their dominance through the use of words and this has just been shown and understood through the critical discourse analysis of above mentioned remarks of the US officials.

BBC News had too added the remarks of different officials of many countries but in this very analysis the remark of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani would be analyzed. “ Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani said the killing was a “ great victory” but added that he “ didn’t know the details” of the US operation. ” (BBC News) CDA aims to highlight oppression, repression and marginalization by critically analyzing the text to reveal dominance. And what makes the remark of Prime Minister a questioning one. The declaration of Mr. Gilani about having no details about the US operation seems to ensure what America wanted for them. The operation was made in Pakistan and the Prime Minister of the same country has not been told about it. Dominance of America may be observed here as there comes no resistance from the words of Prime Minister. Moreover it seems to ensure the subjugation of Pakistan and domination of America in the very incident of Abbotabad. This is an attempt to critically analyze the words of those in power. It is shown that what it looks like and what it actually is. . Conclusion Let this fact be acknowledged that those in power have always some hidden motives and ideologies which they adopt to serve their purposes and fulfill their self-interests. Their words are not at all neutral rather they have respective hidden agendas which they use to maintain their superiority. The same has been understood by critically analyzing the text of President Obama’s speech after the death of bin Laden. CDA tries to illuminate ways followed by dominant forces that favor their personal interests.

A text may appear flat if not critically observed but if critically evaluated it reveals hidden traits of those who tend to exercise their power by using words and speech. CDA has played a major role in unraveling the text and meanings which are contained in it. Critical analysis of text is necessary to challenge the excessive use of power, oppression and inequality, and CDA helps resisting such actions if prevailing in the society.

Disclaimer: The text of Obama’s speech was taken for the research purposes only and none other purpose should be extracted out of this analysis. The text analysis should not be taken politically or personally.


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