Two critiques of Bush’s recent speech I commented on a few days ago. The first is relatively succinct:
Defining The Enemy
Over and over, President Bush called the terrorists “Islamic radicals.” It was a stunning departure from his usual rhetoric marginalizing the religious aspect of the long-term threat America faces. In past speeches, Bush has described an otherwise amorphous enemy of “evil-doers” motivated by a rather nebulous thing called “evil ideology.”
With Thursday’s speech, he also abandoned his mantra that Islam is a “religion of peace.” He called it a “noble faith,” and left it at that.
The president could have gone even further to explain what motivates the terrorists. He left the impression they are all heretics distorting the idea of jihad and defiling their scripture. He said they were “driven by ambition.”
Yet self-immolation is the antithesis of earthly ambition. Suicide bombers are inspired not by earthly gain, but by the Quranic promise of endless carnal delights in paradise — rewards that are reserved for jihadists who “slay and are slain” battling the infidels in the name of Allah. No fewer than 26 chapters of the Quran deal with holy war and the rewards for martyrs, or shaheeds.
The unpleasant truth is, Muslim terrorists are getting all these terrible ideas — from violent jihad to self-immolation to even the beheadings we’ve seen in Pakistan and Iraq — straight out of the text of their holy book.
The second is a point by point rebuttal of Bush peppered with Iraq War skepticism far more rational than anything I’ve ever heard from anti-war leftists:
News & Views
by Srdja Trifkovic
Friday, October 07, 2005
These extremists distort the idea of jihad into a call for terrorist murder against Christians and Jews and Hindus—and also against Muslims from other traditions, who they regard as heretics.
Contrary to what Mr. Bush seems to be suggesting, “the idea of jihad” does call for terrorist murder against Christians and Jews and Hindus and it is a distortion of that idea to suggest otherwise. “The idea of jihad” is a highly developed doctrine, theology, and legal system of mandatory violence against non-believers. It made Islam the first political ideology, already in Muhammad’s lifetime, to adopt terrorism as a systemic tool of policy, not as a temporary and unwelcome expedient.
Both via Jihad Watch.