US President Bush and Iran's President Ahmadinejad both spoke at the UN today.
Bush said (directed toward the people of the Middle East):
"My country desires peace. Extremists in your midst spread propaganda claiming that the West is engaged in a war against Islam. This propaganda is false.
"We respect Islam, but we will protect our people from those who pervert Islam to sow death and destruction."
... Bush told Iranians their greatest obstacle "is that your rulers have chosen to deny you liberty and to use your nation's resources to fund terrorism and fuel extremism and pursue nuclear weapons".
Last week Bush said, "This struggle has been called a clash of civilizations. In truth, it is a struggle for civilization. We are fighting to maintain the way of life enjoyed by free nations."
"We are in a war that will set the course for this new century and determine the destiny of millions across the world.""Today we are safer, but we are not yet safe . . . We face an enemy determined to bring death and suffering into our homes."
"If we do not defeat these enemies now, we will leave our children to face a Middle East overrun by terrorist states and radical dictators armed with nuclear weapons."
"They will not leave us alone. They will follow us. The safety of America depends on the outcome of the battle in the streets of Baghdad.""
"Where can the people of Iraq seek refuge, and from whom can the people of Iraq seek justice?" How can the Security Council act "when the occupiers themselves are permanent members of the council?"
"Apparently, the Security Council can only be trusted to secure the rights and security of certain big powers."
Addressing allegations that Iran wants nuclear weaponry, Ahmadinejad said his country's program was conducted "under the watchful eye of [International Atomic Energy Agency] inspectors," while the Iranian program is opposed by "governments that themselves benefit from nuclear energy."
He also took issue with the United States' claim that Iran wants nuclear missiles, saying the U.S. has "a bleak record of using them against humanity."
"What do they need these weapons for?" he asked. "How long should the people of the world live with the nightmare of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons?"
Well - you can see where Muslims might think "the West is engaged in a war against Islam" - since Bush very nearly said that last week - and has talked of it all being a "crusade" other times. (Plus he has supporters like Pipes out there saying such things).
The big "question" that media people go on and on about is whether Iran will "give up" it's nuclear ambitions. First - it is an assumption - not a fact - that Iran has "nuclear ambitions". And second there is the hyprocritical aspect that the US (and others) have weapons coming out the wazoo. And third there is the precedent where Iraq got rid of it's weapons and the US invaded it anyway.
But the media people discuss it ad infinitum as if it is a given that Iran MUST give up anything that the US govt says that they must give up or that the US has a right to invade. It could all be intimidation. At the same time - I don't know what I would think if I were Iran. I would probably think that US military was going to invade if that is what they decided to do and that there wasn't anything that I could do about it anyway.