President Bush’s Final State of the Union Address

(Post by LB)

Some thoughts after seeing President Bush’s final State of the Union address tonight-

President Bush did not mention the word “Muslim” or “Islam” once. Though he did not discuss the war on terror, Bin Laden, or Israel during the first half of the speech, the second half featured those topics heavily. I understand why Bush goes out of his way to ensure that America is not seen as fighting Islam, and to prevent an outbreak of anti-Muslim sentiment in America. But regardless of whether or not most Muslims agree with the Jihadists, or whether or not the Jihadists misinterpret their religion, they draw their inspiration and guidance from their religion, and appeal to followers in exclusively Islamic terms. In order to understand the enemy, we must understand the ideology and legal system in which their doctrine is rooted. By pretending the terrorists operate in an irrational vacuum, our government is, intentionally or not, promoting an approach that will never understand our enemy, nor will it predict their next move.

President Bush adamantly defended his foreign policy outlook, the American export of liberty. He referenced democratic developments in Ukraine, Georgia, Iraq, Lebanon, and Afghanistan, saying “These images of liberty have inspired us.” He then turned the focus on terrorism, specifically in Lebanon, Pakistan, Jordan, and London. Bush defined terrorists as extremists who oppose liberty, and called the struggle against them “The defining ideological struggle of the 21st century.”

Bush very briefly referred to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, using the standard lines about two democratic states living side by side in security. He again called for a Palestinian state by the end of the year.

President Bush appealed to the people of Iran, reassuring them that America respects their history and culture, and looks forward to them achieving liberty. His toughest rhetoric toward Iran was -”America will confront those who threaten our troops, we will stand by our allies, and we will defend our interests in the Persian Gulf”.

This year, Bush did not mention Syria or North Korea, and overall his language was somewhat tepid.

One Response to President Bush’s Final State of the Union Address

  1. [...] Augean Stables wrote an interesting post today on President Bushâs Final State of the Union AddressHere’s a quick excerpt (Post by LB) Some thoughts after seeing President Bush’s final State of the Union address tonight- President Bush did not mention the word “Muslim” or “Islam” once. Though he did not discuss the war on terror, Bin Laden, or Israel during the first half of the speech, the second half featured those topics heavily. I understand why Bush goes out of his way to ensure that America is not seen as fighting Islam, and to prevent an outbreak of anti-Muslim sentiment in America. But regardless of whet [...]

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