Playing on them like a pipe: An open letter to Bush’s supporters

Dear Mainstream Conservatives:

With all the wild enthusiasm that you have expressed and still express about President Bush’s adoption of the phrase “Islamic Fascists” a few weeks ago to describe our enemies, you seem not to have noticed that he has not used the phrase since then. He used it once, which got you all swooning, then he dropped it like a hot potato, but you all kept swooning.

He continued the same in his remarks today to the American Legion. In this 5,000 word speech, he refers to our enemies as Fascists, Communists, totalitarians. Nothing about “Islamic Fascists.”

But there’s no sign that you have taken cognizance of this. You all seem to be still thinking that he’s calling our enemies Islamic Fascists. In fact for the last few weeks, and today at The Corner, you have been defending Bush from liberals who condemn him for saying “Islamic Fascists,” which is pretty funny, seeing as he’s already given it up.

In today’s speech he dropped the “Fascist” part too, and went back to speaking of the “war on terror.” Thus he said:

“Today, I’ll discuss a critical aspect of this war: the struggle between freedom and terror in the Middle East, including the battle in Iraq, which is the central front in our fight against terrorism.” (Italics throughout are mine.)

That’s twice in one sentence that he said it’s a war on terror.

He also kept describing our enemy as a terrorist movement rather than an Islamic Fascist movement:

“The terrorist movement multiplied in strength, and resentment that had simmered for years boiled over into violence across the world.”

Again: “Instead, the lack of freedom in the Middle East made the region an incubator for terrorist movements.”

Again: “Over the same period, Iraq has seen a rise of terrorist and insurgent movements that use brutal and indiscriminate violence to frustrate the desire of the Iraqi people for freedom and peace.”

That’s a new one! Insurgent movements! Not only are we fighting a Global War against Terror, we’re fighting a Global War against Insurgency!

Also, at the White House website, a fact sheet at the top of the president’s speech is entitled:

“Winning the Struggle Between Freedom and Terror in the Middle East.”

Not only does Bush repeatedly describe the war as a struggle against terror, the very concept you congratulated him for leaving behind, but he uses the words “terror,” “terrorist,” and “terrorism” a total of 45 times in the speech.

Now, what about the word that got all you guys so elated a few weeks ago, “Islamic”? Well, he uses it once in the speech, but only to say that the terrorists have a twisted view of the true Islam:

“And the unifying feature of this movement, the link that spans sectarian divisions and local grievances, is the rigid conviction that free societies are a threat to their twisted view of Islam.” (See discussion of this below.)

What about “Muslim”? He uses it once, in connection with the good Muslims:

“We will support the voices of tolerance and moderation in the Muslim world.”

Finally, what about the other word you-all got so excited about, “Fascist”? He uses it once in the speech, and pointedly NOT in conjunction with the word “Islamic”:

“As veterans, you have seen this kind of enemy before. They’re successors to Fascists, to Nazis, to Communists, and other totalitarians of the 20th century.”

So, are you going to take back your congratulations to Bush that he’s stopped talking about a war on “terror” and is now bravely calling our enemies what they “really” are, “Islamic Fascists”? When liberals attack Bush for saying “Islamic Fascist,” will you, instead of rushing to defend him, politely point out to the liberals that, uh, Bush is not saying it anymore?


He plays you mainstream conservatives as if he were playing on a pipe, and it’s so easy, because you want so much to be played.

- end of initial entry -

LA writes:

Bush said:

“And the unifying feature of this movement, the link that spans sectarian divisions and local grievances, is the rigid conviction that free societies are a threat to their twisted view of Islam.”

This is Bush’s primal intellectual folly. With more truthfulnesss than Bush we could turn his words around and say:

“And the unifying feature of the Bush-Blair movement, the link that spans divisions between liberal and conservative and between pro-Bush intellectuals in America, Britain, Canada, Israel, and Australia, is the ludicrous conviction that what drives our Islamic foes is the fear and hatred of freedom.”

No. What drives our foes is not hatred of freedom, but love of Islam. As long as Jorge W. Busherón and his supporters get this central point so absurdly wrong, as long as they look at our foes as primarily reacting against us rather than as pursuing their own religion, all his notions about Islam will be wrong and distorted. For example, if the insurgents in Iraq are hitting us with more frequency, he will have to interpret this as, “Our enemies are growing more desperate as they see democracy advancing, triggering their fear and hatred of democracy. That’s why they’re striking out more often.” In other words, the fact that our enemies are successfully attacking us more often is proof to the Bushites that our enemies are losing and that we are winning.

Thus the view that our enemies’ main motive is negative hatred of our freedoms rather than positive devotion to Islam (which of course means submission) leads to a complete divorce from reality.

LA writes:

The few times I’ve seen Sen. Jack Reed, D. RI, speak over the years he has not been very impressive, but based on his answer to a question this week about “IslamoFascism, Reed seems to have a better understanding of the nature of our enemies and the problem of how to name them anyone on the president’s side.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at August 31, 2006 09:54 PM | Send

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