Last night [Sunday, December 6] the President of the United States, Barack Obama, took to national airwaves in a prime-time Oval Office address to speak to the American people (and the world) on a broad range of ISIS-related issues and to announce ISIS will be defeated.
In a passionate speech White House staffers claim Obama penned himself, the President vowed to “destroy” ISIS in a “relentless, strong and smart campaign consistent with the nation’s values.” Nation values? Of course, that statement and others raised eyebrows and questions, however, Obama was focused on trying to reassure the American public that they/we should not be fearful but vigilant against the radicalization of Islam.
Obama also used his Presidential platform to further address his campaign of gun control, as well as seeking cooperation between law enforcement and technology companies that have maintained the need to protect user privacy.
The President’s political speech clearly sought to reassure the public he has a strategy and organizing efforts against ISIS comes on the heels of the recent attacks in Paris as well as the mass shootings in San Bernadino, California by a husband and wife team of Islamic extremists radicalized here in America. The President declared the shootings and murders in California were “terrorist acts” inspired by ISIS and a growing by a “cult of death.”
While Obama was clear and firm on his opposition to such Islamic extremists, he was also cautious and equally clear the need to be vigilant is “not a war by America against Islam” and he stated ISIS does “not speak for Islam” and the “vast majority of the victims are Muslim.” It was a very important point the President made sure to not unfairly target American Muslims and followers of Islam. This was especially important with the recent anti-Islamic speech and the offensive commentary from Republican Presidential candidates.
Critics of the President called his Oval Office address short on specifics and lacking details. Republicans remarked he essentially stated nothing and reiterated his policy on gun control. They further assert he refuses to call the current state of affairs a “war with radical Islam.”
Donald Trump tweeted the following last night: “Is that all there is? We need a new president, FAST!” Senator Hillary Clinton has yet to speak on the President’s address and as the former Secretary of State under President Obama, she is no doubt working on how she will address ISIS and the President’s political address.