Call President Bush (and his speechwriters) linguistically resolute, but five years later whatever has changed in our world, nothing much has changed in the fearful world of Bushword, not by the numbers anyway.

On September 20, 2001, just nine days after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the President addressed a joint session of Congress and set the tone for everything that was to follow. Here’s just a very partial sample by word use of that speech and the world it painted:

Terror, terrorists – 33
War -12
Attack – 8
Fight – 7
Threat, threaten – 5
Murder, murderous – 4
Enemies – 3
Struggle – 3
Kill – 3
God – 3
Evil – 2
Violence – 2
Extremism (Islamic) – 1

In his 9/11 anniversary address to the nation last night, the President’s first paragraph set the familiar word choice tone. Here were the key words: “… attacked us… barbarity unequaled… murdered… made war… not yet safe… the threat…”

You could, in fact, have taken that five year-old speech, shaken the words up, and simply dropped them randomly into last night’s speech (which was a few hundred words shorter), with about the same effect. Here’s a fuller count from last night of almost exactly the same set of words, painting almost the same terrifying picture of our world:

Terror (terrorists) – 17
Enemies – 14
War (on terror, Cold, Third World, upon the entire free world, clouds of) – 13
Attack – 13
Extremists (global network of, movement, ideology) – 6
Fight, fighting – 6
Threat – 6
Defeat – 5
Radicalism, radical (Islamic empire, dictators) – 5
Struggle (for civilization, between tyranny and freedom) – 4
Kill (without mercy, our citizens) – 3
Evil (face of) – 3
God – 3
Violence – 3
Weapons (of mass destruction, nuclear) – 3
Suffering – 2
Destruction, destroy (our way of life) – 2
Hate, hateful – 2
Risk – 2
Offensive, offense – 2
Battle – 2
And singletons of: Dangerous, aggression, firepower, arsenal, totalitarian, horror, conflict, death, tyranny, murder, fear, barbarity.

Between the two moments and speeches, so much had changed in the world, so little in the words. Some of the phrases were simple repeats. The soaring other side — “courage,” “freedom,” etc. — of the President’s Manichaean world remained almost untouched (with the exception of a single uncharacteristically florid phrase, “…when the people of the Middle East leave the desert of despotism for the fertile gardens of liberty…”) as did the linguistic line-up meant to indicate what a commander-in-chief presidency can do to save us from the vision of hell on Earth he always paints (“safe,” “protect,” “defend,” “homeland”).

True, “evil” had tied “God” in the word count five years later, but essentially the President has never stopped peddling the same Bushwa. The only real question is: Are Americans still taking it in?