The murderous ideology of the Islamic radicals is the great challenge of our new century. Yet, in many ways, this fight resembles the struggle against communism in the last century. Like the ideology of communism, Islamic radicalism is elitist, led by a self-appointed vanguard that presumes to speak for the Muslim masses. Bin Laden says his own role is to tell Muslims, quote, "what is good for them and what is not." And what this man who grew up in wealth and privilege considers good for poor Muslims is that they become killers and suicide bombers. He assures them that his -- that this is the road to paradise -- though he never offers to go along for the ride.
Like the ideology of communism, our new enemy teaches that innocent individuals can be sacrificed to serve a political vision. And this explains their cold-blooded contempt for human life. We've seen it in the murders of Daniel Pearl, Nicholas Berg, and Margaret Hassan, and many others. In a courtroom in the Netherlands, the killer of Theo Van Gogh turned to the victim's grieving mother and said, "I do not feel your pain -- because I believe you are an infidel." And in spite of this veneer of religious rhetoric, most of the victims claimed by the militants are fellow Muslims.
When 25 Iraqi children are killed in a bombing, or Iraqi teachers are executed at their school, or hospital workers are killed caring for the wounded, this is murder, pure and simple -- the total rejection of justice and honor and morality and religion. These militants are not just the enemies of America, or the enemies of Iraq, they are the enemies of Islam and the enemies of humanity. (Applause.) We have seen this kind of shameless cruelty before, in the heartless zealotry that led to the gulags, and the Cultural Revolution, and the killing fields.
Bush has brilliantly made the important connection between the Islamists of this century and the Communists of the last. Is it any wonder that groups like ANSWER and thier ilk are primarily supported by communists and quasi-communists? They understand fully what they are supporting. I'm sorry to say that the lesser intellects who rabidly hate Bush and America seem to be incapable of making this connection. Or, maybe they have made the connection and see in Bin Laden and Zarqawi the saviors of their own despicable ideology?
UPDATE II: Here is the text of the speach. The news article quoted below did not capture its best parts, so read it all! (hat tip: yelnoc)
I was extremely impressed with President Bush's speech this morning before the National Endowment for Democracy. It was a powerful and moving speech and in it Bush has finally identified the real enemy in the GWOT. As soon as there is a link available, I will include it and some excerpts that I found particularly good.
My only concern is that the speech was presented in the mid-morning, and should have been in prime time to maximize the audience. This was Bush at his absolute best, and it reminds me why I really like the man and will continue to support him and the GWOT.
Like Bush, I believe this Islamofascist ideology is indeed a "mortal danger to all humanity" as it tries to establish a "totalitarian empire" and enslave humanity to its grim vision of the future.
UPDATE: Here is the news story on the speech. (no transcipt available that I can find yet)
"We are facing a radical ideology with immeasurable objectives to enslave whole nations and intimidate the world," Bush said.
Bush said the terrorists are aided by corrupt charities that direct money to terrorist activities and nations, such as Syria and Iran, calling them "allies of convenience" that back terrorists.
Countering claims that the U.S. military presence in Iraq is fueling radicalism, Bush noted that American troops were not there on Sept. 11, 2001. He said Russia did not support the military action in Iraq, yet a terrorist attack in Beslan, Russia, left more than 300 schoolchildren dead in 2004.
"The terrorists regard Iraq as the central front in the war against humanity. And we must recognize Iraq as the central front in our war on terror," he said.
"Our commitment is clear — we will not relent until the organized international terror networks are exposed and broken and their leaders held to account for their acts of murder," Bush said.
The president said that no one should underestimate the difficulties ahead, nor should anyone be pessimistic about U.S. efforts to battle terrorism.
"With every random bombing, and with every funeral of a child, it becomes more clear that the extremists are not patriots, or resistance fighters," Bush said. "They are murderers at war with the Iraqi people themselves."
Bush vowed not to retreat from Iraq or from the broader war on terrorism. "We will keep our nerve and we will win that victory," he said.