Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Obama Speaks about Fighting Terrorism

The President spoke yesterday after his scheduled meeting with all the government agencies engaged in battling the Islamic State:
And let me make a final point. For a while now, the main contribution of some of my friends on the other side of the aisle have made in the fight against ISIL is to criticize this administration and me for not using the phrase “radical Islam.” That’s the key, they tell us -- we can’t beat ISIL unless we call them “radical Islamists.” What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIL less committed to trying to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is none of the above. Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction. Since before I was President, I’ve been clear about how extremist groups have perverted Islam to justify terrorism. As President, I have repeatedly called on our Muslim friends and allies at home and around the world to work with us to reject this twisted interpretation of one of the world’s great religions. . . .

So there’s no magic to the phrase “radical Islam.” It’s a political talking point; it's not a strategy. And the reason I am careful about how I describe this threat has nothing to do with political correctness and everything to do with actually defeating extremism. Groups like ISIL and al Qaeda want to make this war a war between Islam and America, or between Islam and the West. They want to claim that they are the true leaders of over a billion Muslims around the world who reject their crazy notions. They want us to validate them by implying that they speak for those billion-plus people; that they speak for Islam. That’s their propaganda. That's how they recruit. And if we fall into the trap of painting all Muslims with a broad brush and imply that we are at war with an entire religion -- then we’re doing the terrorists' work for them.

Now, up until this point, this argument about labels has mostly just been partisan rhetoric. And, sadly, we've all become accustomed to that kind of partisanship, even when it involves the fight against these extremist groups. And that kind of yapping has not prevented folks across government from doing their jobs, from sacrificing and working really hard to protect the American people.

But we are now seeing how dangerous this kind of mindset and this kind of thinking can be. We're starting to see where this kind of rhetoric and loose talk and sloppiness about who exactly we're fighting, where this can lead us. We now have proposals from the presumptive Republican nominee for President of the United States to bar all Muslims from emigrating to America. We hear language that singles out immigrants and suggests that entire religious communities are complicit in violence. Where does this stop? The Orlando killer, one of the San Bernardino killers, the Fort Hood killer -- they were all U.S. citizens.

Are we going to start treating all Muslim Americans differently? Are we going to start subjecting them to special surveillance? Are we going to start discriminating against them because of their faith? We’ve heard these suggestions during the course of this campaign. Do Republican officials actually agree with this? Because that's not the America we want. It doesn't reflect our democratic ideals. It won’t make us more safe; it will make us less safe -- fueling ISIL’s notion that the West hates Muslims, making young Muslims in this country and around the world feel like no matter what they do, they're going to be under suspicion and under attack. It makes Muslim Americans feel like they're government is betraying them. It betrays the very values America stands for.

We've gone through moments in our history before when we acted out of fear -- and we came to regret it. We've seen our government mistreat our fellow citizens. And it has been a shameful part of our history.

This is a country founded on basic freedoms, including freedom of religion. We don't have religious tests here. Our Founders, our Constitution, our Bill of Rights are clear about that. And if we ever abandon those values, we would not only make it a lot easier to radicalize people here and around the world, but we would have betrayed the very things we are trying to protect -- the pluralism and the openness, our rule of law, our civil liberties -- the very things that make this country great; the very things that make us exceptional. And then the terrorists would have won. And we cannot let that happen. I will not let that happen.


pootrsox said...

Mr or Ms Pithom--

You seem to get your "news" and "facts" and "information" from decidedly partisan sites, which have about as much connection to actual data, facts, information as planet Earth does to that galaxy long ago and far far away.

Might I suggest you spend some time with Reuters, the Guardian (no lover of America), the BBC, Agence France-Presse? None is American, all are reliable, and none of them push the sorts of nonsense you persist in spouting.

I'd recommend the NYTimes, the WaPost, the LATimes, WSJ, CSM, NPR-- but I am certain you'd respond with a stereotypical screed about the unreliability of MSM.

pithom said...

I listen to NPR every day when I go to work, and I can see why its listenership is so White. I regularly read the New York Times (retch) and, less often, the Washington Post. The NYT commenters (as well as the editorial board) have gone insane on recent articles, blaming a terrorist attack committed by a Muslim and a second-generation Afghan on the NRA, Christians, and Republicans, even as the shooter belonged to precisely none of these groups. This is because most NYT commenters are cucks who hate America, especially its poor Whites, and seem to be in the spirit of Vermont Yes. The Guardian is so laughable and ridiculous, not to mention British, that one would have to be either an idiot or a masochist to read it. And I am neither.

The list of what I read in Feedly is here:

It's not exactly "partisan", though much of it can be described as "far right".

Most of my "facts" come from Wikipedia. I have carefully monitored its Syrian and Libyan war maps for the better part of the last three years. Both are consistent with U.S. support for the Islamic State via NATO. I support Making America Great Again under the leadership of Donald J. Trump, though I think Ron Paul would have made a better POTUS.

Yes, I hate Obama, for obvious reasons, and believe GWB might make a better president than him (he certainly was a much better President than John Kerry would have been between 2005 and 2009, given what we know of his disastrous Secretary of Statehood).

Don't be a cuck. There is only one first-world Black-majority country, and it was made so by White men. There is only one first-world non-oil-based Muslim-majority country, and it was made so by secular Chinese. Did you ever receive that information from your staid establishment lamestream media news sources? I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Wow, pithom, you and I live in utterly different universes, where what is up in one is down in another, what moves in one is stationary in the other, etc. I'm not sure any meaningful or productive communication would ever be possible.

pithom said...

"Wow, pithom, you and I live in utterly different universes, where what is up in one is down in another, what moves in one is stationary in the other, etc."

-It's all relative.

More seriously, I think we both live in the same universe, but you just don't want to admit it.

Anonymous said...

See that's what I mean. Of course I think we live in the same universe, my universe, and you don't want to admit it.

Again, I see no possibility for productive or meaningful communication.