Are you ready to do the rhetorical paradigm shift one more time? Today, October 6, 2005, George Bush has once again moved the line in the sand to define his war as one against Islamic radicalism. Terrorists are no longer the concern. Weapons of mass destruction are no longer the concern. Now we are at war against a coordinated front of Islamic radicalism. "First, these extremists want to end American and Western influence in the broader Middle East, because we stand for democracy and peace and stand in the way of their ambitions."
Okay, I can see how we could say that we stand for democracy - but with a straight face behind our Abrams tanks and Apache helicopters (and while we're at it, why hasn't the NCAA come down on the US military's use of Native American imagery in its ranks?) we stand for peace?
"Second, the militant network wants to use the vacuum created by an American retreat to gain control of a country, a base from which to launch attacks and conduct their war against non-radical Muslim governments." Righto - like the Boss says, "No retreat baby, no surrender."
"Third, the militants believe that controlling one country will rally the Muslim masses, enabling them to overthrow all moderate governments in the region and establish a radical Islamic empire that spans from Spain to Indonesia. With greater economic and military and political power, the terrorists would be able to advance their stated agenda: to develop weapons of mass destruction, to destroy Israel, to intimidate Europe, to assault the American people and to blackmail our government into isolation." Ah, now I see the connection - once the Islamic radicals get their terrorist hooks into the masses, then they can get to work on those weapons of mass destruction. You have to understand that this stuff doesn't always come clear on the initial vision.
The part that cracked me up, personally, was the part where he did his Captain Kirk history litany. James T. Kirk would always make some list that would start with two easily recognized characters, then one off-the wall bongwater reference. "We remember Genghis Khan, Adolph Hitler, and of course Greblach of Zeberon." Captain George W. Bush recites his: "And the civilized world knows very well that other fanatics in history, from Hitler to Stalin to Pol Pot, consumed whole nations in war and genocide before leaving the stage of history." Pol Pot having just a bit more name recognition than Greblach of Zeberon.
Finally, at the risk of going on all day, is a bit of the Looking-Glass type logic that continues to imbue George's world view: "Some have also argued that extremism has been strengthened by the actions of our coalition in Iraq, claiming that our presence in that country has somehow caused or triggered the rage of radicals.
I would remind them that we were not in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001, and Al Qaida attacked us anyway." Here's what George said on September 18, 2003 "We have no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with the Sept. 11" attacks. Feeling a little fuzzy yet? It was the religious and ideological differences between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda that kept them from getting together in the first place. By removing Saddam Hussien ("our presence in that country") we have created a fertile ground for - wait for it - Islamic radicalism.
"And Islamic radicalism, like the ideology of communism, contains inherent contradictions that doom it to failure." Hey howdy hey campers, remember the commies? Well now we've got something worse. This time it's not about the workers controlling the means of production either. "America is making this stand in practical ways. We're encouraging our friends in the Middle East, including Egypt and Saudi Arabia, to take the path of reform, to strengthen their own societies in the fight against terror by respecting the rights and choices of their own people." Those "friends in the Middle East" supplied more than half of the hijackers on 9/11. Thank you, and may God bless America.