ANALYSIS: Trump avoids phrase 'radical Islamic terrorism' in 1st Middle East speech

The image of Trump speaking to Muslim leader was striking and so were his words.

— -- The images were striking, and so were the words, including the words that were not said.

“Terrorists do not worship God. They worship death,” he said. “This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects or different civilizations. This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life and decent people all in the name of religion. People that want to protect life and want to protect their religion.”

“America is prepared to stand with you,” Trump said, “but the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their countries, and for their children.”

“A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and drive out the extremists,” Trump said, his voicing rising in the most impassioned part of the speech. “Drive them out. Drive them out of your places of worship. Drive them out of your communities. Drive them out of your holy land. And drive them out of this Earth.”

During the campaign, Trump mocked President Obama for refusing to say the words “radical Islamic terrorism.” In this speech, he didn’t say those words either, although he did make a passing reference at one point to “Islamic terror.” And here he slightly diverged from his prepared text, which said “Islamist terror.”

This is not just semantics. During the campaign, Trump (along with Ted Cruz and others) portrayed Obama’s refusal to say “radical Islamic terrorism” as central to a failure to defeat terrorism. If you can’t properly label the enemy, the argument went, you cannot defeat it.

“Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate it,” Trump said, “and pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and righteous government they so richly deserve.”