Would it be easier for the president to hop aboard the "let's kill Islamic terrorists" bandwagon? Of course. It would be popular, understandable, and a political rallying cry for a president who could use all the support he can get. That he refuses to take that route in his public comments is, even if you think he is wrong, an example of moral courage.
So -- which side is right? Is Islam essentially violent and intolerant or essentially peaceful and pluralistic? Do the guys with the bloody machetes represent Islam, or are they an aberration? I think that anyone who tries to answer this question simply is doing so deliberately in order to score political points.