In today's Washington Post, the first President Bush warns against extrapolating from Thursday's Inauguration speech
"People want to read a lot into it -- that this means new aggression or newly asserted military forces," former president George H.W. Bush said. "That's not what that speech is about. It's about freedom."
People "certainly ought to not read into [the speech] any arrogance on the part of the United States," the former president said during an impromptu visit to the White House briefing room. White House officials said the president plans to detail the policies that will flow from the inaugural address in the upcoming State of the Union address.
Extrapolation is unnecessary, as the current President Bush has said much of this before, at other times, in other words.
After George W. Bush's second inaugural address, in which he promised to defend those who seek freedom everywhere, there has been confusion overseas and in the United States over whether he was signaling a shift in foreign policy. Some interpreted the speech as presaging a more confrontational relationship with Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other nations that are allies in the war on terrorism but also have records of abusing human rights.
No doubt Pootie Poot and Bandar Bush were relieved to hear it, or their next visits to Crawford and Kennebunkport might have been a scoche tense.
White House officials said in interviews Friday that Bush was not signaling a shift in policy but rather seeking to clarify what administration officials call the "Bush doctrine of liberty" that the president feels should guide policy well after he leaves the White House. The president's father reinforced that message yesterday.
The Bush Doctrine of Liberty was earlier more fully enunciated in his Age of Liberty Speech in 2003, when he said: "From the Fourteen Points to the Four Freedoms, to the Speech at Westminster, America has put our power at the service of principle. We believe that liberty is the design of nature; we believe that liberty is the direction of history.... And as we meet the terror and violence of the world, we can be certain the author of freedom is not indifferent to the fate of freedom."
The problem in the President's formulation is that the "author of freedom" is not the author of the Koran. Misappropriating a phrase from President Reagan's Evil Empire speech, President Bush holds that it is a "cultural condescension" to "assert that the traditions of Islam are inhospitable to the representative government, " and that those who do so are "skeptics of democracy."
No, Mr. President, we are skeptics of Mohammed.
In actual context, President Reagan said: "It would be cultural condescension, or worse, to say that any people prefer dictatorship to democracy." He concluded: "What I am describing now is a plan and a hope for the long term -- the march of freedom and democracy which will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash heap of history as it has left other tyrannies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people."
Marxist-Leninism was the ideological core of the tyrannical culture of communism, just as Mohammed and the Koran are at the ideological core of the tyrannical culture of Islam. It is an objective fact that not all cultures are equal, so it isn't an expression of "cultural condescension" to observe that fact. President Reagan didn't win the Cold War wearing multicultural blinders, and wearing those blinders will not win the War Against Jihad for President Bush.
In his second Inaugural Address, President Bush said that the words of the Koran built edifices of personal character that reaffirm "America's ideal of freedom," disregarding the Historical truth about Mohammed and his successors, who were tyrants from the start, bring enormous stretches of the Earth's surface under the Sharia of Islamic rule. Scanning President Reagan's Evil Empire speech, one doesn't find a similar misunderstanding about the words of Marx or Lenin building personal character and reaffirming "America's ideal of freedom."
Back to today's Washington Post:
In his weekly radio address, Bush returned to the issues that he has signaled will dominate his second term: Iraq, the war on terrorism and restructuring Social Security. "We will strive to keep the world's most dangerous weapons out of the hands of terrorists and tyrants," he said.
"As I stated in my inaugural address, our security at home increasingly depends on the success of liberty abroad. So we will continue to promote freedom, hope and democracy in the broader Middle East -- and by doing so, defeat the despair, hopelessness and resentments that feed terror."
Here the President lapses into a muddled sort of "Root Causes of Terrorism" paradigm, even as he continues to ignore the root cause of Islamic terror, specifically the evil character of Mohammed and the words he wrote in the Koran.
Today at Jihad Watch, Hugh Fitzgerald writes: the greatest Intelligence Failure of the Iraq War was not about WMD.
How can American officers figure out why the Christians are being terrorized, if they know nothing about the 1350 year history of Jihad-conquest and of the imposition of dhimmitude? How?
How can American officers understand what is going on if the inculcated hostility toward them is not understood?
The greatest Intelligence Failure of the Iraq War was not about WMD. It was about Islam, its tenets, its nature, the attitudes and atmospherics it engenders. It was an intelligence failure that continues as long as we prate about how everyone wants freedom (nonsense), that "democracy" will lessen the threat in the Middle East (double-nonsense), that the best way to limit a threat based entirely on the classic ideology of Islam is to say nothing, to learn nothing, to hint at nothing, about Islam itself.
We are in the early stages of the War Against Jihad, and whatever turns it takes it will not end with the Bush Presidency. The President is fighting the war ably, but with a fundamental misunderstanding about Islam that he is not likely to shed before his time in office is over, but that America must shed if our civilization is to prevail. Speaking of the Evil Empire, President Reagan said "if history teaches anything, it teaches self-delusion in the face of unpleasant facts is folly."
The nature and face of Mohammedanism are unpleasant facts; so is the self-delusion of a President who won't face those facts.