At a Rose Garden press conference this morning, President Bush had harsh words to say about “these people.”
These people attacked us before we were in Iraq. They viciously attacked us before we were in Iraq. And they’ve been attacking ever since.
Who are “these people”…? Muslims, I guess. And does that make President Bush an anti-Muslim racist? Rick Perlstein of Campaign for America’s Future seems to think so:
The President of the United States is a racist. Or at the very least, an anti-Muslim bigot.
In Iraq, Shi’ites and Sunni are fighting each other to the death. Under what possible logic can they be joined by a common identity?
There is no “these people” except in their common Middle East-ness.
Iran and Iraq fought a decade-long war – Shia against Sunni. They are, to our president, “these people.” “They” attacked us. “They” continue to attack us. Iran, Iraq: all the same.
The people who attacked us on September 11 were from a group called “al Qaeda.” According to U.S. intelligence, Iraq was one of the few countries in the Middle East where Al Qaeda did not have a beachhead.
If by “these people,” Bush was referring to Arabs or Muslims, then I suppose it is fair to characterize him as a racist, or at the very least, one who uses racist rhetoric.
If on the other hand, he was referring specifically to al Qaeda, it is fair to characterize Bush as dishonest for once again implying a connection between 9/11 and Iraq.