Mr Bush reacted to the alleged resistance movement in Britain to destroy trans-Atlantic commercial aircraft headed from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United States. He referred to the alleged conspirators as "Islamic fascists." I have noted that some of the more virulent supporters of Israel, such as David Horowitz and Daniel Pipes have used the term "Islamo-Fascists." I am pretty sure George Bush was influenced by these individuals who also deploy similar terms to me and other academics who seek a more irenic international order.
Does Mr Bush know the religious orientation of each of the planners? While they are allegedly British-born Muslims, his comment has a certain stereotypical quality to it that does not contribute to reconciliation or constructive engagement with our adversaries. Perhaps he does know each alleged plotter's religion, but why refer to them by religious affiliation? If he believed they were heirs of Hitler then why not call them "fascists" without linking them to Allah and the Q'uran?
Also Mr Bush repeats the accusation that these individuals, in planning this violent and certainly horrific action, wanted to deny Americans their liberty and democracy. That is a rather simplistic if not a deliberate distortion of reality. The adversaries of America, of whom some indeed are Islamic, are not motivated by desires to emulate National Socialism or to alter American democracy and replace it with a theocratic Islamic Sharia. Their goals are the following:
1) Revenge for American and Israeli mass murder in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon.
2) They desire an independent homeland for the Palestinians with sovereignty and secure borders. Israel apparently believes only Jews in Palestine are entitled to independence as they continue to suppress legitimate Palestinian aspirations for national independence. Israel believes Jews living anywhere in the world have a right of return but the 400,000 Palestinians displaced when Israel was created in 1948 in the middle of an Arab land do not (or their ancestors who have been confined to refugee camps for THREE generations).
3) They want the release of 1000s of prisoners in Israel and the freeing of Hamas government officials kidnapped by Israel. The U.S. and Israel believe that Palestinians in an open and fair election, are not entitled to democracy if the outcome runs counter to "national security interests" of America and Israel. Mr Bush's desire for a "new Middle East" apparently is confined to democratic elections with outcomes acceptable to the U.S. Shades of President Eisenhower in preventing an election in Vietnam in 1956 that would have elected the heroic Ho Chi Minh as president of that widowed land.
4) It is essential that American citizens understand that this is a war that the U.S. created: Our biased and non-reflective support of Israel's colonisation of Palestine and southern Lebanon and the Golan Heights in Syria. Our "fascist" style invasion of a weak, non-threatening Iraq for no reason other than sport and malicious, brutal imperialism have galvanised Islamic resistance fighters in many areas of the world.
We need to eliminate the Homeland Security Administration, demilitarise the country with its $550 billion defence and intelligence expenditures, break up the power of the Israel lobby, move toward diplomacy with Syria, Iran and Hezbollah, stop the ruthless support of conquest and colonisation of Islamic peoples and exercise some courage in engaging our weaker adversaries in broad-based continuous diplomatic negotiations.
Let's stop using the "terrorism" and "fascism" words to dehumanise those who resist an American hegemonic imperium and understand that, generally speaking, their only tools of military resistance are to strike at soft targets like commercial aircraft or urban targets with suicide bombers. Our military strength is our weakness. Since they have no armies, air forces, navies etc., resistance fighters for the most part have to strike where our military is least visible. That is not terrorism, anymore than Qana, Falluja or Abu Ghraib are terrorism, but asymmetrical warfare due to a disproportionate correlation of forces.