Obama’s Oval Office Address: ‘We Will Succeed’ In Mission To Destroy Terrorists


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Credit: Saul Loeb/Pool/Getty Images

Credit: Saul Loeb/Pool/Getty Images

On Sunday night, for just the third time, President Barack Obama delivered an Oval Office address to speak to Americans directly on the issue of ISIL – or ISIS/Daesh – following the tragic San Bernardino terrorist attack that left 14 dead and another 21 injured this past Wednesday.

After a deadly attack in Paris, France, just three weeks ago, and following the incident in California last week, many are questioning what is being done to stop the threat that ISIL poses, both abroad and here at home.


On Sunday, the President defended his handling of U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria and in the Middle East, which some are saying have not done enough to stop ISIL’s advances through the region.

The President added, “I have authorized U.S. forces to take out terrorists abroad precisely because I know how real the danger is. … The threat from terrorism is real, we will overcome it. We will destroy ISIL and any other organization that tries to harm us.”

The President, speaking about the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, addressed the issue of “home-grown terrorism” and gun control, and specific measures lawmakers should take to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of potential killers.

Obama continued, “What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semi-automatic weapon? This is a matter of national security.”

“We also need to make it harder for people to buy powerful assault weapons like the ones that were used in San Bernardino,” Obama continued. “I know there are some who reject any gun safety measures, but the fact is that our intelligence and law enforcement agencies, no matter how effective they are, cannot identify every would-be mass shooter, whether that individual was motivated by ISIL or some other hateful ideology. What we can do and must do is make it harder for them to kill.”

The President finished his speech by addressing the uptick of hateful rhetoric and Islamophobia since the Paris terrorist attacks just weeks ago and made worse by the attack on Wednesday.

“We cannot turn against one another by letting this fight be defined as a war between America and Islam. That, too, is what groups like ISIL want. ISIL does not speak for Islam. They are thugs and killers. Part of a cult of death. And they account for a tiny fraction of a 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. 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.

“My fellow Americans, I am confident we will succeed in this mission because we are on the right side of history. We were founded upon a belief in human dignity that no matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or what religion you practice, you are equal in the eyes of God and equal in the eyes of the law.”

For the full text of the President’s speech, click here.


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