Islamic Radicalism 'Doomed To Fail,' Bush Says
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
Bush spoke at the Ronald Reagan Library, in Simi Valley, Calif., for the dedication of the new Air Force One Pavilion at the museum, featuring the 707 jet used by Reagan during his presidency.
America prevailed in the 20th-century contest of wills between American freedom and Soviet totalitarianism, Bush noted. In the 21st century, "our freedom is once again being tested by determined enemies," he added. Terrorists like those who attacked America on Sept. 11, 2001, "are followers of a radical and violent ideology," Bush said.
Terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden and others of his ilk "exploit the religion of Islam to serve a violent political vision -- the establishment of a totalitarian empire that denies all political and religious freedom," Bush said.
Islamic extremists distort the concept of jihad, or holy war, to command their followers to murder anyone not in agreement with their principles, including other Muslims, the president said. Like old-style Soviets imbued with the ideology of communism, today's terrorist leaders "presume to speak" for the masses, he added.
The terrorists abhor democracy and embrace totalitarianism's traditional control over people's religious and political beliefs as well as social conduct, Bush said, adding that extremists also believe that "men and women who live in liberty are weak and decadent."
And, like communistic ideology, Islamic radicalism "is doomed to fail," Bush said.
The extremists will fail, Bush said, because their vision "undermines the freedom and creativity that make human progress possible and human society successful."
With beliefs anchored onto archaic, medieval concepts, Bush said, "the only thing modern about our enemies' vision is the weapons they want to use against us."
Bush noted that other political movements that rejected human liberty "condemned themselves to isolation, decline and collapse."
"Because free peoples believe in the future, free peoples will own the future," Bush said.
America and its allies are confronting Islamic radicals "with confidence and a comprehensive strategy," Bush said, while striving to preempt possible new terror attacks. The United States also is working to stop terrorists and the world's outlaw regimes from obtaining weapons of mass destruction, he said.
Efforts also are ongoing to prevent terrorists from using other nations' territory for training, Bush said, or as a base to launch attacks.
The United States and its coalition partners are striving to replace hatred and resentment in the Middle East with "democracy and hope and freedom," Bush said.
"We will prevail in the war on terror," he said, because today's generation of Americans "is determined to meet the threats of our time."
There will be tough moments as the war on global terrorism continues, Bush cautioned. But the president said he's confident of victory, because "we have seen America face down brutal enemies before."
"The power of freedom," Bush said, will triumph over "the dark ideologies of tyranny and terror."
Victory over terrorism is assured because Americans believe, as President Reagan did, "that freedom is one of the deepest and noblest aspirations of the human spirit," Bush said.
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