The AP is reporting that the Republicans and the Bush Administration are finally acknowledging publicly that the war on terror is actually a war on Islamic Fascism:
President Bush in recent days has recast the global war on terror into a “war against Islamic fascism.” Fascism, in fact, seems to be the new buzz word for Republicans in an election season dominated by an unpopular war in Iraq.
Bush used the term earlier this month in talking about the arrest of suspected terrorists in Britain, and spoke of “Islamic fascists” in a later speech in Green Bay, Wis. Spokesman Tony Snow has used variations on the phrase at White House press briefings.
Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., in a tough re-election fight, drew parallels on Monday between World War II and the current war against “Islamic fascism,” saying they both require fighting a common foe in multiple countries. It’s a phrase Santorum has been using for months.
And Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Tuesday took it a step further in a speech to an American Legion convention in Salt Lake City, accusing critics of the administration’s Iraq and anti-terrorism policies of trying to appease “a new type of fascism.”
White House aides and outside Republican strategists said the new description is an attempt to more clearly identify the ideology that motivates many organized terrorist groups, representing a shift in emphasis from the general to the specific.
The White House on Wednesday announced Bush would elaborate on this theme in a series of speeches beginning Thursday at the American Legion convention in Salt Lake City and running through his address to the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 19.
Good. It’s about time the US says out loud who the enemy really is. Enough with the PC bunk.
Dennis Ross says he would have chosen the term Radical Islam or something along those lines:
Dennis Ross, a Mideast adviser to both the first Bush and Clinton administrations and now the director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said he would have chosen different words.
“The `war on terror’ has always been a misnomer, because terrorism is an instrument, it’s not an ideology. So I would always have preferred it to be called the `war with radical Islam,’ not with Islam but with `radical Islam,'” Ross said.
Why even mention the religion? “Because that’s who they are,” Ross said. “Fascism had a certain definition. Whether they meet this or not, one thing is clear: They’re radical. They represent a completely radical and intolerant interpretation of Islam.”
The term Islamic Fascism connotes radicalism. Charles Black explains:
Charles Black, a longtime GOP consultant with close ties to both the first Bush administration and the current White House, said branding Islamic extremists as fascists is apt.
“It helps dramatize what we’re up against. They are not just some ragtag terrorists. They are people with a plan to take over the world and eliminate everybody except them,” Black said.
Update: Mary Katharine has a post about Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig’s appearance on Greta’s show last night. Centanni and Wiig report that Islamic fascists bristle at being called Islamic fascists.
They talked about the terrorists wanting them to write a letter to President Bush, requesting various things. Among the things the Islamic fascists wanted in the letter:
Wiig: “Don’t say things like Islamic fascists. That had obviously struck a chord, there.”
Centanni: “Yeah, they were very angry about that.”