Friday, May 16, 2008

Bush Gets It Right...and Wrong on Islamic Extremism

President Bush gave a speech to the Israeli Knesset yesterday and spoke great words of truth and of comfort to the besieged Israelis. As Powerline aptly points out, President Bush shows that "he gets it" on some issues but not on others.

Where he doesn't get it is revealed in these words:

This struggle is waged with the technology of the 21st century, but at its core it is an ancient battle between good and evil. The killers claim the mantle of Islam, but they are not religious men. No one who prays to the God of Abraham could strap a suicide vest to an innocent child, or blow up guiltless guests at a Passover Seder, or fly planes into office buildings filled with unsuspecting workers. In truth, the men who carry out these savage acts serve no higher goal than their own desire for power. They accept no God before themselves. And they reserve a special hatred for the most ardent defenders of liberty, including Americans and Israelis.
Bush continues to push the erroneous theory that Muslim extremists want to kill us because we are democratic and stand in the way of their lust for power. He continues to believe, wrongly, that the terrorists are not being true to "the real Islam." All that is, is crap.

The terrorists are indeed adhering to the true Islam and the example and commandments of its false and evil prophet. Their ideological struggle is based on their violent, intolerant and lethal religion...a religion that has no connection whatever to the "God of Abraham."

Where he does get it is shown by these words:

The fight against terror and extremism is the defining challenge of our time. It
is more than a clash of arms. It is a clash of visions, a great ideological
struggle. On the one side are those who defend the ideals of justice and dignity
with the power of reason and truth. On the other side are those who pursue a
narrow vision of cruelty and control by committing murder, inciting fear, and
spreading lies.

And that is why the founding charter of Hamas calls for the "elimination" of
Israel. And that is why the followers of Hezbollah chant "Death to Israel, Death
to America!" That is why Osama bin Laden teaches that "the killing of Jews and
Americans is one of the biggest duties." And that is why the President of Iran
dreams of returning the Middle East to the Middle Ages and calls for Israel to
be wiped off the map. There are good and decent people who cannot fathom the
darkness in these men and try to explain away their words. It's natural, but
it is deadly wrong. As witnesses to evil in the past, we carry a solemn responsibility to take these words seriously. Jews and Americans have seen the consequences of disregarding the words of leaders who espouse hatred. And that is a mistake the world must not repeat in the 21st century.

Some seem to believe that we should negotiate with the terrorists and radicals, as if some ingenious argument will persuade them they have been wrong all along. We have heard this foolish delusion before. As Nazi tanks crossed into Poland in 1939, an American senator declared: "Lord, if I could only have talked to Hitler, all this might have been avoided." We have an obligation to call this what it is -- the false comfort of appeasement, which has been repeatedly discredited by history.

The last sentence above is particularly accurate.

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