UPDATE: During his national address, President Obama outlined a series of steps he, the United States military and our international allies are taking to minimize further instances of terrorism.
Here are some of the key points from Obama’s plan of action: “In Iraq and Syria, airstrikes are taking out ISIL leaders, heavy weapons, oil tankers, infrastructure. And since the attacks in Paris, our closest allies — including France, Germany, and the United Kingdom — have ramped up their contributions to our military campaign, which will help us accelerate our effort to destroy ISIL.”
The President also said, “We’re working with friends and allies to stop ISIL’s operations — to disrupt plots, cut off their financing, and prevent them from recruiting more fighters…We’re working with Turkey to seal its border with Syria. And we are cooperating with Muslim-majority countries — and with our Muslim communities here at home — to counter the vicious ideology that ISIL promotes online.”
One of the most impactful statements made by Obama was the importance of not prejudging and assuming all Muslims are terrorists.
“ISIL does not speak for Islam,” POTUS said with conviction. “They are thugs and killers, part of a cult of death, and they account for a tiny fraction of more than a billion Muslims around the world — including millions of patriotic Muslim Americans who reject their hateful ideology.”
“Moreover, the vast majority of terrorist victims around the world are Muslim,” Obama continued. “If we’re to succeed in defeating terrorism we must enlist Muslim communities as some of our strongest allies, rather than push them away through suspicion and hate.”
While Republican Presidential candidates clamored together to denounce the effectiveness of Obama’s plan, Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders‘ response to the speech was far less critical. The Vermont Senator is showing a more united front amongst their party.
“President Obama is right. ISIS will be destroyed with an international coalition in which Muslim troops on the ground are supported by the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia and other leading powers,” said Sanders in a statement.
“We must learn the lesson of Iraq. American troops should not be engaged in perpetual warfare in the Middle East. Further, as we destroy ISIS, it is essential that we do not allow fear and division to undermine the constitutional rights that make us a free people,” he added.
Click here to read the full transcript of President Obama’s address to the nation.
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According to The White House Facebook page, “The President will provide an update on the ongoing investigation into the tragic attack in San Bernardino. The President will also discuss the broader threat of terrorism, including the nature of the threat, how it has evolved, and how we will defeat it.”
“He will reiterate his firm conviction that ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) will be destroyed and that the United States must draw upon our values – our unwavering commitment to justice, equality and freedom – to prevail over terrorist groups that use violence to advance a destructive ideology,” read the statement.