"We will prevail by being strong and smart, resilient and relentless," Obama said. “Our success won’t depend on tough talk or abandoning our values, or giving into fear. That’s what groups like ISIL are hoping for.”
(Talk Media News) — In a rare address from the Oval Office Sunday night, President Obama sought to calm the fears of Americans whose worries have risen since the deadly attacks earlier this week that killed 14 people at the hands of a radicalized couple who supported ISIS.
“The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it,” Obama said. “We will destroy ISIL and every other organization that tries to harm us.”
Obama spent his speech doubling down on his previous strategy, and was quick to rule out ground troops in the ongoing fight against the terrorist organization, saying that it would only lead to another drawn out ground war as well as fuel for more radicalization in the Middle East.
What did take precedence, however, was Obama’s commitment to continuing the air campaign in both Iraq and Syria and the broader support of the international coalition in the area, saying that the Arab countries must take the lead on the ground.
Pivoting to domestic issues, Obama sought to comfort concerns in the aftermath of what appeared to be a coordinated effort to conduct terrorist attacks on soft targets in California from self-radicalized individuals.
“It is clear that both of them had gone down the dark path to radicalization,” Obama said. “This was an act of terrorism designed to kill innocent people.”
Obama stressed that there was no indication that the duo had been directly involved with a terrorist organization, saying that the goal of such organizations is to “turn to less complicated acts of violence like the mass shootings that are all too common in our society” to deal damage from afar.
The rifles used in the attacks were purchased legally, and prompted a debate on an existing law that doesn’t bar suspected terrorists on the no-fly list from purchasing firearms. The president used the speech to double down on his calls for new gun laws, saying that law enforcement and intelligence agencies can’t predict and thwart every single would-be mass shooter.
“Congress should act to make sure that no-one on the no-fly list is allowed to buy a gun,” Obama said, arguing that it’s a common sense law that both parties should be able to come together on.
Congressional Republicans defeated efforts to close that loophole earlier this week out of what they called concerns for the Second Amendment of law abiding Americans.
Obama went on to call on Congress to authorize the use of military force in the ongoing battle against the terrorist organization, a topic that has proven divisive on Capitol Hill, and among Americans, after more than a decade of war in the Middle East.
Before concluding, Obama inserted himself into another national debate — the treatment of Muslim-Americans and calls for ‘religious tests” for would be refugees hoping to flee violence in the deteriorating Middle East.
“We cannot turn against one another. ISIL does not speak for Islam,” Obama said, echoing what former President George Bush said in the immediate aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks when he said that the United States was not at war with Islam.
“We will prevail by being strong and smart, resilient and relentless,” Obama said. “Our success won’t depend on tough talk or abandoning our values, or giving into fear. That’s what groups like ISIL are hoping for.”