My fellow Americans,
Tonight I speak from the heart. My words are not ghostwritten or focus group tested. This is what I, as leader of the free world, truly believe.
Let me talk about the real nature of terrorism (the kind that most affects us, since many different terrorist groups wreak havoc around the world). And let me call the enemy by its real name.
Violent Muslim attacks on Western countries -- and let's face it, they ARE Muslim, and I apologize for my verbal cowardice...occur for a variety of reasons, one of which is the constant meddling in and invasions of Middle Eastern countries -- by us. For a very long time, your country has interfered, supported dictators, and invaded, to the point where large numbers of people in the Middle East hate us, permanently. The real reason for 9/11 was that Americans were in Saudi Arabia, defiling holy ground.
The other reason for the attacks -- and in my opinion, the one that really shapes and drives terrorism -- is religion. In particular, Islam. But what of all the moderate Muslims who denounce terrorism and insist that theirs is a religion of peace and brotherhood?
This is the problem: they're all reading from the same book. As with any ancient religious text, there are barbaric elements and enlightened elements. Much of the Book of Deuteronomy is about the conduct of warfare and ethnic cleansing. But we've outgrown that.
Muslims have not. They are reading selectively and obeying the passages that urge destruction of the infidel -- and there are plenty (Sam Harris quotes them in one of his books).
We who have been through the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and the Age of Reason are the heirs of a great legacy: the ability to employ reason and critical thinking. And reason tells us that there is no justification for slavish obedience to ancient texts, that much of religion is pure fantasy, and that, certainly, we ought not set upon our brothers and sisters just because they cling to a different belief system -- or, in a profoundly tragic case of ignorance, the Sunni-Shi'ite conflict, to a different flavor of the same religion.
Our ability to think -- that which makes us human -- tells us that all religions are equally false, equally full of insane fantasy.
It is religion that is the true enemy. Let us quit pretending the the fanatics have "hijacked" or "corrupted" Islam. They're reading from the same book.
It is holy books that, as the foundation of religion, are the real problem. Just as Jefferson went through the Bible and clipped out the useful teachings, so could Muslims stop endangering the rest of us by focusing only on the enligtened passages instead of clinging to the ancient conquest fantasies of people long dead.
What does all of this mean for American foreign policy?
As Commander-in-Chief, I hereby revoke ALL American involvement in the Middle East, except for embassies and consulates in countries where they would not be endangered. Let Muslims kill Muslims and let Allah sort it all out.
Today we set Muslims free to solve their own problems. But they had better not try to force their fanaticism on the rest of us. They had better not threaten what has taken us a thousand years to build: a proud Western civilization based on science, liberty, and reason.
I will work with Congress to hasten the arrest and prompt execution of anyone convicted of terrorism. Enemy combatants do not deserve the protection of American law. That is just plain ridiculous.
So to the Muslim murderers and sowers of violence and chaos, who think they're going to Paradise, who have nothing to offer the rest of us but a return to the Middle Ages, I say: yes! -- if you want to be martyrs, we will hasten your journey.
My predecessor saw the violence as "evil" -- but that was because the purity of his thinking allowed for only black and white. He would be surprised to know that the evildoers consider HIM evil and believe they are doing the world a great good. This is where religion leads: follow its fantasies, and they lead you into dark places.
Once again: the real enemy is religion itself, with different people interpreting the same holy book differently. An immature, violent subset of believers, practicing an Islam centuries away from enlightenment, takes the nasty parts of the book seriously. Yet they have an equal claim to the word "Muslim."
I'm sorry, but that's how it is, and that's how it will be until people can put their religious fantasies aside, practice true tolerance, and focus on the teachings that benefit us all. Religion does get some things right.
Finally, a remark from comedian Carlos Mencia. Those of you in Muslim countries where laughter is forbidden will have to Google the word "comedian." Carlos said that the reason Columbus sought an ocean route to India was so that he wouldn't have to deal with the cantankerous, warlike people in between: the Middle East.
I can sympathize. To summarize, our two-part strategy: Now that we have such abundant energy, we can let the Middle East revert to medieval tribalism (it's pretty much there already), and we respond harshly to any attacks on our own countries. If they want a cult of death, we will indulge them.
But until we recognize that the problem is religion itself, conflict will be endless. Our enemies are practicing medieval religious warfare: conversion by the sword.
They are victims of a collective psychosis and must be confined to their sandy hell-holes, there to develop and evolve to where they can join the rest of us.
Thank you for listening to me tonight. May our great country thrive, prosper -- and prevail over its enemies. I intend to do everything in my power to see that it does.