"Terms like "Infidels," the notion of cultural and moral superiority, and the assertion to bring down the ungodly lifestyle and ideology of a nation were used."
Precisely, these terms and assertions had nothing to do with race. They had to do with the clash of empires historically and the grinding down of the Middle East after WWI and into the age of Oil. They have nothing to do with race. There is a difference between antimosity between groups that has to do with the power struggles between those groups and racial prejudice.
Since you know the OED inside and out , then you certainly must be familiar with race, noun6 (the first that pertains to the use of the word relating to people):
I. A group of people, animals, or plants, connected by common descent or origin.
In its widest sense the term includes all descendants from an original stock, but may also be limited to a single line of descent or to the group as it exists at a particular period.
a. A group of people belonging to the same family and descended from a common ancestor; a house, family, kindred. Cf. kin n.1 1a.
b. A tribe, nation, or people, regarded as of common stock. In early use freq. with modifying adjective, asBritish race, Roman race, etc.
c. A group of several tribes or peoples, regarded as forming a distinct ethnic set.
d. According to various more or less formal systems of classification: any of the major groupings of mankind, having in common distinct physical features or having a similar ethnic background.
So I suppose I include culture and ethnicity as part of this "ism." I understand it's not pertaining to biological race in the strictest sense, but on the notion of "several groups regarded as forming a distinct ethnic set."
I think calling a group of people "infidels" or "barbarians" or the like based on nationality is racist, as it implies a qualitative judgement on the other. I see what you are saying about this being an issue of a "clash of civilizations/ empires," and don't disagree, but I think there is an ethnic/ racist component to it as well. It wasn't just about oil or the sphere of American influence in the Middle East- it was condemnation of our perceived cultural sins. I think I have to accept this as ethnic/ racial imperialism, just as I accept that "Orientalism" is a racist phenomena.
It seems like you're well read on the subject though. Are there any texts you'd recommend or were influential to you?