Quote: “Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous and Iran will be dangerous if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon.” President Bush
Figure of Speech: antistrophe (an-TIS-tro-phe), the last-word repeater. From the Greek, meaning “turning around.”
All ten American spy agencies report that Teheran abandoned its weapons program four years ago. In response, President Bush toes a tricky rhetorical line in the form of an antistrophe, a figure that repeats the same words in successive phrases or clauses.
The antistrophe lets Bush do what he loves best: repeat a key word over and over, in order, as he puts it, “to kind of catapult the propaganda.” The figure also disguises a shift in Bush’s argument. Up till now, the White House had been rattling its sabers over Iran’s alleged development of weapons. Now the issue isn’t development but know-how.
By repeating the same word over and over and over, Bush seeks to make knowledge a dangerous thing.
Snappy Answer: “There’s only one thing to do in this crisis: imagine some weapons.”