President Obama: 'We Will Degrade and Ultimately Destroy ISIL'

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
September 10, 2014
President Obama Delivers Remarks on the Threat From ISIL

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) poses a clear threat to the people of Iraq and Syria, and to the broader Middle East, as well as U.S. persons, allies, and interests in the region.  Left unchecked, ISIL could pose a growing threat beyond the region, including to the U.S. homeland.

In an address from the State Floor of the White House tonight, President Obama spoke to the nation about ISIL -- and our comprehensive strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group.  The President said:

"Now let’s make two things clear:  ISIL is not 'Islamic.'  No religion condones the killing of innocents.  And the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim.  And ISIL is certainly not a state.  It was formerly al Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq, and has taken advantage of sectarian strife and Syria’s civil war to gain territory on both sides of the Iraq-Syrian border.  It is recognized by no government, nor by the people it subjugates.  ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple."

President Obama continued, "...Tonight, with a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultations with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat.

"Our objective is clear:  We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy.

"First, we will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists.  Working with the Iraqi government, we will expand our efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions, so that we’re hitting ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense.  Moreover, I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are.  That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq.  This is a core principle of my presidency:  If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven. 

"Second, we will increase our support to forces fighting these terrorists on the ground.  In June, I deployed several hundred American servicemembers to Iraq to assess how we can best support Iraqi security forces.  Now that those teams have completed their work –- and Iraq has formed a government –- we will send an additional 475 servicemembers to Iraq.  As I have said before, these American forces will not have a combat mission –- we will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq.  But they are needed to support Iraqi and Kurdish forces with training, intelligence and equipment.  We’ll also support Iraq’s efforts to stand up National Guard Units to help Sunni communities secure their own freedom from ISIL’s control.

"Across the border, in Syria, we have ramped up our military assistance to the Syrian opposition.  Tonight, I call on Congress again to give us additional authorities and resources to train and equip these fighters.  In the fight against ISIL, we cannot rely on an Assad regime that terrorizes its own people -- a regime that will never regain the legitimacy it has lost.  Instead, we must strengthen the opposition as the best counterweight to extremists like ISIL, while pursuing the political solution necessary to solve Syria’s crisis once and for all.

"Third, we will continue to draw on our substantial counterterrorism capabilities to prevent ISIL attacks.  Working with our partners, we will redouble our efforts to cut off its funding; improve our intelligence; strengthen our defenses; counter its warped ideology; and stem the flow of foreign fighters into and out of the Middle East.  And in two weeks, I will chair a meeting of the U.N. Security Council to further mobilize the international community around this effort.

"Fourth, we will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians who have been displaced by this terrorist organization.  This includes Sunni and Shia Muslims who are at grave risk, as well as tens of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities.  We cannot allow these communities to be driven from their ancient homelands.

"So this is our strategy.  And in each of these four parts of our strategy, America will be joined by a broad coalition of partners.  Already, allies are flying planes with us over Iraq; sending arms and assistance to Iraqi security forces and the Syrian opposition; sharing intelligence; and providing billions of dollars in humanitarian aid.  Secretary Kerry was in Iraq today meeting with the new government and supporting their efforts to promote unity.  And in the coming days he will travel across the Middle East and Europe to enlist more partners in this fight, especially Arab nations who can help mobilize Sunni communities in Iraq and Syria, to drive these terrorists from their lands.  This is American leadership at its best:  We stand with people who fight for their own freedom, and we rally other nations on behalf of our common security and common humanity."

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Comments

Mary b.
|
North Dakota, USA
September 11, 2014
Is there a way, everyone can come back safe from Syria? What do you think about yoga, how would it effort the way leaders can continue to achieve a positive way for the ladies and gentlemen
yousry r.
|
Florida, USA
September 11, 2014
The issue is previous experience. the previous experience taught that we can not trust Arab. by giving 500 million for rebel. a lot of that weapons may get in the hand Of ISS. destroying Bashar el Assad will not help to destroy ISIS .Saudi create isis to kill Christian and Shia.
Herman A.
|
United States
September 11, 2014
Your arrogant policy of intervening at your pleasure throughout the region caused this problem in the first place. Now you pompously proclaim that you will solve the problem you caused. Do you not see that every time you do this, the situation becomes worse? The U.N. charter enshrines the principle of national sovereignty, a principle that Tony Blair and his American proteges (Bush and Obama) vowed to extinguish. Now we see the consequences of this imperial policy.
Eric J.
|
New Mexico, USA
September 11, 2014

Mmmm, off-hand I would venture to opine that I believe the President has just answered at least one question I put on this blog awhile back;

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http://blogs.state.gov/stories/2014/06/15/situation-iraq

Eric J. |New Mexico, USA .June 15, 2014
I think next to the "Prime Minister's Question Time" , it's an interesting study into the inner working of a democracy to view the State Dept's "daily briefing", or the White House's for that matter.

But I gotta kind of experiential gut thought over the years that at this moment in history in particular , the public can't rely on the press to properly represent their concerns unless they ask good questions.

I understand we as a country can't mend the rift within Islam between Suni and Shiite, though Americans of the Muslim faith may seek to inspire tolerance and peace..and after removing a dictator who was himself declared by his people to be "our weapon of mass destruction"...and giving Iraq back to it's people, asking only that they grab that brass ring of freedom and make a functioning nation for themselves with a trillion dollars of our help....the folks who paid the ultimate price and those wounded all to give them their day in the sun , while doing their part to serve our national interest and maintain lasting peace and prosperity among all nations.

It's a disapointment to see folks we as a nation tried to help, trained and equpiied, turn tail and run having no leadership to inspire their courage to defend their freedom and those of the people...

A lot of critics out there...I really don't mean to be one....
We suffered a few setbacks on the road to stable nationhood as a democracy too.

We the people invested a lot in Iraq's future, it is not for us to double down on a bad bet...for it is far better to improve the odds that the hand the Iraqi's have delt themselves will ultimate bring them flush with their potential.

That does mean you step in once in awhile to lend a hand up, when folks stumble and lose ground. Because folks will remember who lent them that hand in their need to regain stability.

Whether one considers this "sectarian" in nature, or simply of greed and hunger for power over others being at the heart of it, allowing extremists to gain foothold...

Between Syria and Iraq, there must be upwards of 10 million displaced...and rising....despite all best efforts there still is no unfettered access to bring in humanitarian aid.

I also realize no Western nation has any "intent" nor contemplates putting so called "boots on the ground" in either country to put a stop to armed conflict and protect populations...

So here's my questions to; State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki ;

(If she'd be so kind as to "take" these questions from the gallery as it were...sans peanuts);

How are you'all (the international community, NGO's etc) going to deliver that vital humanitarian aid inside Syria and Iraq if no one is willing to put boots on the ground and carve a path through terrorists and dictator's minions to deliver it safely?

And if not our's, whose boots are willing enough to go there and do that hard thing?

Offhand I'd say the debate about gun control in America pales in comparison to the debate among nations of who who would find it in their national interest...to do right by other nation's citizens, but I suppose that'll depend on whether folks are commited to preserving civilization in the 21st century.

Seriouisly, as I put it on a thread regarding Climate change and carbon polution....if we as an international community can't deal with the social polution of conflicts, and deal with them effectively along with those displaced by them, how are folks ever going to deal with mass migrations and climate instability within nations when it requires a cooperative effort to even arrive at a working solution for any of these things?

The trend lines do not bode well....and I hope there's an answer to my questions.

EJ 6/15/14

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Patrick W.
|
Maryland, USA
September 12, 2014
I like the new objectives our government has set in place to deal with the terrorist treat ISIL posses too our countries. Have a great weekend !
Media P.
|
California, USA
September 12, 2014
Democrats and Republicans are converging on this ISIS Propaganda. FOX, CNN, and MSNBC have successfully manipulated 50% of the population. Poll: 50% of americans do not trust the main stream media.

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