terror is a tool, a weapon -- nothing more
To fight "a specific terror threat" is like to fight specific 6-pounder guns in a larger war, being oblivious that there is a larger war. Invading Iraq has been a part of fighting this larger war. There is no switching gears. Now, unfortunately, W can't speak coherently -- and that's why, I suspect, there's an impression of switching gears.
As for the "being charitable" part, now, this is a legit view, I think.