Foreign Policy

Word Cloud Comparison of Obama, Ahmadinejad and Netanyahu UN speeches

I think the order of the recent speeches at the UN will be remembered for quite a while. Obama spoke one day, Mahmood Ahmadinejad spoke the next day, which was Yom Kippur, the Jewish holy day, and Benjamin Netanyahu spoke the last day. Keep in mind also the importance of Yom Kippur historically to the state of Israel – in 1973 the Arab nations rose up to destroy Israel on this “Day of Atonement”, thinking the Jews would flinch in defending themselves on a day dedicated to strict fasting and introspection. They were very wrong.

So what did they focus on in their speeches? One somewhat insightful way of analysis is a word cloud, which I recently used to compare Ann Romney and Michelle Obama’s speeches.

Here are the three speeches – can you guess which is which?

[right click to see large size]

No surprise that Obama and Mahmood both emphasize vague and airy notions, while Netanyahu zeroes in specifically on the challenges the world faces right now. In case you can’t tell, the top is Obama, the middle is Mahmood, and the bottom is Netanyahu.

Netanyahu said the word “duck” a lot.

Mahmood’s is the most abstract – hardly any nations are mentioned much. This fits the character of the speech, which seemed to be borrowing from Ron Paul’s populist monetary policies, Occupy Wall Street’s call for overthrowing the existing system, just a smidgen of Hitler, and sprinkled liberally with Hegelian philosophy. 

But none of this matters because the media is childishly focusing on Netanyahu’s bomb diagram instead.