… in many ways, this fight (against Islamic terrorists) 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.”
What Bush is describing is true of any totalitarian regime — whether it be communist, facist, or simply a military junta.
"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."
Nice touch of irony. Bin Laden is hardly the only “man who grew up in wealth and privilege” and who now purports to tell others what is good and what is moral. Bush continued:
"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.”
As brutal as Stalin and other communist rulers were, I don’t recall them using al Qaeda methods: beheadings, suicide-bombers, etc. Again, why the focus on communism per se?
Hitler’s regime not only embraced the view that innocent lives “can be sacrificed” for a political vision — the Nazis believed that certain people had to be sacrificed in order to purify the races.
While we’re at it, isn’t it a basic premise of any war — justified or unjustified — that innocent individuals will be killed in the course of air bombardments and other wartime operations? Any nation that goes to war (including the U.S.) necessarily believes that this sacrifice is worth it “to serve a political vision.”
I’m not sure Bush will find many historians or conservatives who will agree with his analogy. In May of this year, George Will argued a contrary view:
“… our enemy today has no return address in the way that previous adversaries, be it Nazi Germany or Stalin’s Russia, had return addresses. When attacks emanated from Germany or Russia, we could respond militarily or we could put in place a structure of deterrence and containment. Not true with this new lot.”
Bush’s reasons for using the “communism” analogy are quite transparent. Public support for the Iraq war is at a low point. It’s a sign of desperation that Bush and his advisers feel they need to invoke the “c” word in hopes of arousing a “better dead than red” patriotism that lies dormant, deep within Americans’ hearts.
The "Mission Accomplished" banner is soooo 2003. Now, the Bushies seem anxious to unfurl a new banner to rally support for the Iraq war: "It's About Communism, Stupid."