Have a look and let us know what you think about the "president's" verson of the definition as presented by Tony:
Q Can I ask you about the term, Islamo-fascism, that the President has used quite often in explaining the nature of the threats that we confront --Well, did Tony successfully answer the reporters question? What say you?
MR. SNOW: Right.
Q A little slow day, I was reading a dictionary -- (laughter) -- and I'm looking at the term --
MR. SNOW: Big print, little print? (Laughter.)
Q Small words. The definition of fascism: "A philosophy or system of government that's marked by stringent social and economic control; a strong centralized government, usually headed by a dictator; and often a policy of belligerent nationalism." It doesn't quite seem to fit what we're talking about -- something that exalts the nation above the individual and centralized government? How does that fit?
MR. SNOW: Well, it actually does fit. But let's draw some distinctions here, too, because I want to be clear that the President is not taking broad swipes at Islam. And I know there are sensitivities in the Muslim community. The President quite often has taken pains to say Islam is a religion of peace -- and we're not talking about Islam here. What we're talking about is people who are trying to use the Koran as cover for engaging in this.
Now, listen to what Osama bin Laden has said. He has said that his envisions an "Islamic nation," to reestablish the caliphate -- I don't know if it would still be headquartered in Baghdad, but if you want your pristine historic analogy, that's where it would be, and it would extend from Asia all the way back to Spain, because memories are still raw about 1492 when the Moors were expelled from Andalusia. That's what he's talking about. So in that sense, what you end up having is strict centralized government under repressive conditions, the likes of which we saw with the Taliban. If you look at the interpretation of sharia law that has been championed by bin Laden and others, it fits all of the descriptions you've had. And if you talk about an unbroken government using those kinds of regulations over an extended landmass, which is what he's talking about, that it does fit the description.
Q Just so we understand this, when the President talks about Islamo-fascism and confronting that, he's talking about stopping a movement before it builds an entire nation, a terrorist nation?
MR. SNOW: There are a couple of things. Perhaps -- I don't know if you've heard the references; they've been repeated. He's taking -- what he's doing is saying, yes, you want to fight the efforts of bin Laden and others to establish a caliphate. The history of the caliphate was that you had centralized leadership at that time. It had control over the impressive landmass that was controlled by Muslims during that period. And they want to establish that sort of thing. So the President's notion is absolutely right, you want to preempt that.
Speaking of Iraq, he has said that part of the strategy is to create failed states so that you can go in, you can use their land for training, but also you can make use of their resources. He's spoken a couple of times recently, for instance, of the dangers of such a state that would have access to oil and the ability to bring Western and industrialized nations economically to their knees.