So I was sleeping and missed Bush's speech this morning. Glenn Reynolds thought it was a 'first-rate' speech but notes he 'heard Neal Boortz blasting Bush for "sugarcoating" Islam.'
Well, as Glenn noted, Bush has moved from the generic 'terror' to 'Islamic terror'. I think it's just fine that it has taken Bush four years to get this far. The interim has given the public plenty of time to figure it out for themselves...mostly. Any sooner and the war would have been perceived as a war on Islam from the git go, something bin Laden most assuredly was hoping for. A true clash of civilizations.
And no matter what internal problems Islam may have, this is still a war against those who use violence and intolerance to spread their faith and kill the infidels (with an ever-expanding definition of who an infidel actually is). It is not a war against all muslims.
It is not our responsibility to change Islam. It is not in our interest to verbally assault anything other than the terrorists themselves. It is the terrorists and their uncivilized, brutal, and cruel slaughter who will force change in the muslim world. We can only shine a light on their activities. "See what they're doing in your name!". We can only give muslim societies hope for a better future through freedom and democracy and, yes, capitalism and trade and purchasing power. If you think muslims living in hot climates don't want their own airconditioners, think again.
With a future looking brighter but Islamist terrorists holding them back, it is inevitable that muslim societies will reject terrorism and all it stands for. If that means they must reform Islam, they will. But the point is THEY will. Not us. We can only foster conditions making it more likely they will have the will do to so.
Now consider what would happen if Bush did not 'sugarcoat' Islam? The muslim world would become even more defensive than it tends already to be. That would stop progress in its tracks.
Bush's measured words are exactly what is needed. No more. No less. No earlier.