While it's not surprising many would desire an ox-goring the speech was essentially what was required. Bush simply reinforced his 2001 view of why we fight the GWoT, which says we're not there to kick Muslim butt, we're there to kick extremist butt. But, in order to win we need to pit moderate Islam against the extremists:
The greatest challenge facing people of conscience is to help the forces of moderation win the great struggle against extremism that is now playing out across the broader Middle East. We've seen the expansion of the concept of religious freedom and individual rights in every region of the world -- except one. In the Middle East, we have seen instead the rise of a group of extremists who seek to use religion as a path to power and a means of domination.Look closely and you'll see a theme developing (admittedly this was a bridge too far--Ladies, if you ain't Muslim, you don't need headgear, k?).
Why speak? Every once in awhile it's necessary to define the mission and remind our adversaries, including the good guys. Our military endeavors are aptly named "Enduring Freedom" and "Iraqi Freedom", both kind of melodramatic but still pertinent because the jury is still out on whether people will choose a free and open society (and its permissiveness) or opt for a repressive, theocratic breeder swamp of terrorism and hate.
You're not gonna hear ole Tex say something like, "your head-choppin' religion is in dire need of a reformation just like Christianity; you need to stop treating your women like cattle and by the way, what's that Cube thing all about? Now, when I said 'Religion of peace' it was just a slogan to keep the violence down, but in truth we've got a finger on the button". No, there's a proper way to say things:
Men and women of conscience have a duty to speak out and condemn this murderous movement before it finds its path to power. We must help millions of Muslims as they rescue a proud and historic religion from murderers and beheaders who seek to soil the name of Islam. And in this effort, moderate Muslim leaders have the most powerful and influential voice.Look closely at the speech and you'll even see a jab about the conditions in Darfur, caused by Muslims.
He simply must be diplomatic when speaking but it's also clear Bush truly believes in this strategic concept. Pitting the west against the entirety of Islam is what bin Laden wants to do and it's a war we cannot win. As many have pointed out, hearts and minds are the reason we fight. Look at it as a good kind of outsourcing.
Hey, nobody wants a 30 year fight but it doesn't have to take that long if we put our hearts and minds to it. Pretending it doesn't exist and hoping it goes away has shown depressing results so far and actually might extend the fight many more years, or end it altogether and in a way we would not enjoy. Losing, in other words. Just like them, we've got a clear choice.