History 3500
History Workshop
Summarizing Examples

Original Text


Our second goal is to prevent regimes that sponsor terror from threatening America or our friends and allies with weapons of mass destruction.  Some of these regimes have been pretty quiet since September the 11th. But we know their true nature.


North Korea is a regime arming with missiles and weapons of mass destruction, while starving its citizens.

Iran aggressively pursues these weapons and exports terror, while an unelected few repress the Iranian people's hope for freedom.

Iraq continues to flaunt its hostility toward America and to support terror. The Iraqi regime has plotted to develop anthrax, and nerve gas, and nuclear weapons for over a decade.  This is a regime that has already used poison gas to murder thousands of its own citizens -- leaving the bodies of mothers huddled over their dead children.  This is a regime that agreed to international inspections -- then kicked out the inspectors. This is a regime that has something to hide from the civilized world.

States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world.  By seeking weapons of mass destruction, these regimes pose a grave and growing danger.  They could provide these arms to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred.  They could attack our allies or attempt to blackmail the United States.  In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic.

The United States will work to prevent states that promote terrorism from threatening our nation or its allies with nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.  Although some of these governments have withdrawn into the background since September 11, we are aware of their true character.

North Korea prioritizes massive military growth over the care for its own citizens, many of whom are starving.

In Iran, a small oligarchy which represses the democratic will of the population also seeks to develop these weapons and sponsors terrorism abroad.

Iraq, which remains openly hostile to the United States, also promotes terrorism.  For many years now, the Iraqi government has worked to develop anthrax, nerve gas, and nuclear weapons.  It has gassed its own citizens, killing children in their mothers' arms.  Iraq has expelled those carrying out the weapons inspections to which it had agreed under international pressure.  Its government is clearly hiding something from the civilized world.

Such states, and the terrorists they support, represent an "axis of evil," endangering the well-being of humankind.  In their quest for nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, they pose a serious and ever-increasing threat.  Terrorists, supplied by these regimes with such weapons, would have the power to realize their most destructive ambitions.  They could launch attacks against our friends abroad or try to blackmail America itself.  The consequences of indifference in this new environment are too terrible to contemplate.

Summary without Comment (Objective Summary)

In his State of the Union address, President Bush identified North Korea, Iran, and Iraq as an "axis of evil," linked by their efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction and their possible links to international terrorism.  He emphasized that the United States cannot afford to ignore the threat posed by these states.

Summary with Analysis

In his State of the Union address, President Bush attempted to group North Korea, Iran, and Iraq in what he termed an "axis of evil."  Although Bush did not identify any specific case in which these countries had supported international terrorism, he directly accused Iran and Iraq of supporting terrorists and implied vaguely that this was also the case for North Korea.  Rather than emphasizing any immediate threat posed by these governments, the President emphasized future developments, arguing that a concrete danger could emerge if these regimes acquired weapons of mass destruction and somehow passed these on to terrorists.