The phrase “Islamic fascists” has drawn the ire of the American Muslim community. We use “Islamic ethics” to mean ethics based on Islamic teachings that guide our behavior. Similarly, Islamic art draws its inspiration from Islamic teachings that discourage certain types of art (immodest imagery or certain life forms). When the president uses “Islamic fascists,” it conveys that fascism is rooted in or inspired by Islam. This is the way the Muslims see it, regardless of what Bush may claim he really means.
It’s one of those anniversaries like the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that everyone would just as soon not observe — two massive hurricanes within days of one another bearing down on the lowlands of Louisiana and Mississippi, hundred-year storms bringing death and destruction and misery to nearly 2 million Americans.
Bush denies that his administration is in any way culpable for the scandalous abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib, the denial of legal rights to those held at Guantanamo or the overstepping of constitutional rights of American citizens. In his mind, that has nothing to do with the contempt by millions who see the U.S. presence in Iraq not as a liberation force, but as an invasion by an occupying army.
At last count, there were at least 785 criminal fraud cases under investigation by the Hurricane Katrina Task Force, a joint effort of 19 federal agencies, including the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Postal Service, the Defense Department and even the Environmental Protection Agency. State prosecutors in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas are similarly swamped. And scores more cases wait in the wings.
In a series of screwups that have come to define the inabilities of the administration of President George W. Bush, the failures of the federal government to respond to the Hurricane Katrina one year ago stand as a monument to incompetence.