Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Thursday, June 05, 2003  

Religious Language (Again)

President Bush spoke in Qatar this morning, giving a pep rally in his Texas Kick-Ass persona. He was in Qatar, rather than Baghdad, because he was concerned a visit to Iraq might appear like triumphalism. But perhaps this distance encouraged him to voice the triumph, anyway. In particular, I cringed when he got to the requisite mention of God--characterizing the victory of American troops as nothing less than the will of God.

"We believe that liberty is God's gift to every individual on the face of the earth. We believe people have the right to think and speak and worship in freedom. That's what we believe in America. And that's what you showed the world.

"No, our military fights for the security, American people. And we fight for freedom. And we sacrifice for freedom and we have lost some of our finest. And this nation will never forget and will always honor their memories for the sacrifices they made. And it's not only serving our nation, but serving a cause greater than themselves. May God rest their souls. . . .

"It is our tremendous honor to be here today with you. Keep doing what you're doing. You're making a huge difference in the peace and security and freedom in this world. May God bless you. May God bless your families. And may God continue to bless America. Thank you."

I think we've had plenty of discussion on this site about whether this is rah-rah banter or indication that the President views this as a holy war. At this point, it doesn't matter too much what we think--this rhetoric's here to stay. What bothers me is how the language will be intepreted throughout the Muslim world.

posted by Jeff | 10:46 AM |
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