Proving he will try any gimmick to sell his failed “war on terror,” President George W. Bush is bringing representatives from countries that have suffered terrorist attacks to populate the audience at his next speech — and effort, the White House says, to emphasize the global nature of the enemy.
Bush often ticks off a list of attacks from recent years, such as those in London, Madrid, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, to try and sell the notion that the world should be united against Islamic militants who he claims share a purpose if not a common network.
In a speech Thursday that launched a new offensive to build support for the Iraq war and for Republicans in the fall elections, Bush said various factions of terrorists belong under the same umbrella, even though many terrorism experts do not agree and some say his new approach is long on hyperbole and short on fact.
The president included under that large tent Sunnis who swear allegiance to al-Qaida, Shiites who support groups such as Hezbollah, and so-called “homegrown” terrorists with more local grievances.
Speaking before an American Legion convention in Salt Lake City, Bush said the global war against these terrorists — whom he said share “the rigid conviction that free societies are a threat to their twisted view of Islam” — is today’s successor to last century’s fights against Nazism, fascism and communism.
On Tuesday, the president plans to expand on this description of the enemy, said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino. The speech is being delivered to the Military Officers Association of America. Members of the diplomatic corps, all representatives of countries that have been attacked, will also be there, she said.
Bush will describe how Islamic militants think, what they have said about their aims and why the world should take them seriously, Perino said.
The speech is to be the second in Bush’s latest round of addresses on Iraq and the war on terror. This round is to culminate in remarks on Sept. 19 before the U.N. General Assembly in New York. All the speeches are part of a Karl Rove-designed political strategy aimed at trying to stem the anger of voters who are fed-up with GOP mismanagement of the American government.
Most political pros consider the strategy a long-shot effort by a scared political party that is trying anything and everything to hold on to power.
Other speeches are expected to focus on successes and setbacks in the war on terror and on the Bush administration’s strategy to win.