Silent No More: George W. Bush Rips Barack Obama on Middle East Foreign Policy … Says Obama is Naïve on Iran & Nuclear Deal and is Losing the War against the ISIS
IT IS ABOUT TIME THE COWBOY SAID SOMETHING, GWB RIPS BARACK OBAMA’S DISASTROUS AND NAIVE FOREIGN POLICY IN THE MIDDLE EAST
At a Republican Jewish Coalition session, held at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas with owner Sheldon Adelson, former President George W. Bush blasted Barack Obama for his disastrous and naive foreign policy in the Middle East. GWB said that Obama was being naive when it came to Iran and the so-called framework nuclear deal and said that Obama was losing the war against ISIS. Bush further went on to say that Obama was placing the United States in “retreat” around the world. GWB, the cowboy that we have been longing for let loose with the following, “In order to be an effective president, when you say something you have to mean it. You gotta kill em.” Maybe the most reflective comment GWB made while blasting Obama’s vision-less and dangerous foreign policy was when he said of the foolish Iran nuclear deal, “You think the Middle East is chaotic now? Imagine what it looks like for our grandchildren. That’s how Americans should view the deal.”
Hey America, who’s the IDIOT again?
In a closed-door meeting with Jewish Donors Saturday night, former President George W. Bush delivered his harshest public criticisms to date against his successor on foreign policy, saying that President Barack Obama is being naïve about Iran and the pending nuclear deal and losing the war against the Islamic State.
One attendee at the Republican Jewish Coalition session, held at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas with owner Sheldon Adelson in attendance, transcribed large portions of Bush’s remarks. The former president, who rarely ever criticizes Obama in public, at first remarked that the idea of re-entering the political arena was something he didn’t want to do. He then proceeded to explain why Obama, in his view, was placing the U.S. in “retreat” around the world. He also said Obama was misreading Iran’s intentions while relaxing sanctions on Tehran too easily.
According to the attendee’s transcription, Bush noted that Iran has a new president, Hassan Rouhani. “He’s smooth,” Bush said. “And you’ve got to ask yourself, is there a new policy or did they just change the spokesman?”
Bush said that Obama’s plan to lift sanctions on Iran with a promise that they could snap back in place at any time was not plausible. He also said the deal would be bad for American national security in the long term: “You think the Middle East is chaotic now? Imagine what it looks like for our grandchildren. That’s how Americans should view the deal.”
Bush then went into a detailed criticism of Obama’s policies in fighting the Islamic State and dealing with the chaos in Iraq. On Obama’s decision to withdraw all U.S. troops in Iraq at the end of 2011, he quoted Senator Lindsey Graham calling it a “strategic blunder.” Bush signed an agreement with the Iraqi government to withdraw those troops, but the idea had been to negotiate a new status of forces agreement to keep U.S. forces there past 2011. The Obama administration tried and failed to negotiate such an agreement.
Bush said he views the rise of the Islamic State as al-Qaeda’s “second act” and that they may have changed the name but that murdering innocents is still the favored tactic. He defended his own administration’s handling of terrorism, noting that the terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who confessed to killing Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, was captured on his watch: “Just remember the guy who slit Danny Pearl’s throat is in Gitmo, and now they’re doing it on TV.”
Obama promised to degrade and destroy Islamic State’s forces but then didn’t develop a strategy to complete the mission, Bush said. He said that if you have a military goal and you mean it, “you call in your military and say ‘What’s your plan?’ ” He indirectly touted his own decision to surge troops to Iraq in 2007, by saying, “When the plan wasn’t working in Iraq, we changed.”
“In order to be an effective president … when you say something you have to mean it,” he said. “You gotta kill em.”
Did President Barack Hussein Obama Really Threaten to Shoot Down Israeli Jets if IAF Targeted Iranian Nuclear Sites
Please note the below news story is from the Israeli National News; however, with this administration and the treatment of US allies, anything is possible …
There was a time in this country when no one would have ever thought that a US President would ever think of let alone threaten to shoot down Israeli jets that targeted Iranian nuclear sites. In fact, one would have thought that US presidents would have wanted Israel to take care of the problem. That was BBHO, before Before Barack Hussein Obama. The Obama presidency has been one of the most anti-Israeli, anti-Semitic administrations in US history. As Pamela Gellar opines, “He doesn’t even pretend anymore, the Democrats have become the anti-Israel party with the anti-Semite-in-chief.”
The Bethlehem-based news agency Ma’an has cited a Kuwaiti newspaper report Saturday, that US President Barack Obama thwarted an Israeli military attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2014 by threatening to shoot down Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.
Following Obama’s threat, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was reportedly forced to abort the planned Iran attack.
According to Al-Jarida, the Netanyahu government took the decision to strike Iran some time in 2014 soon after Israel had discovered the United States and Iran had been involved in secret talks over Iran’s nuclear program and were about to sign an agreement in that regard behind Israel’s back.
The report claimed that an unnamed Israeli minister who has good ties with the US administration revealed the attack plan to Secretary of State John Kerry, and that Obama then threatened to shoot down the Israeli jets before they could reach their targets in Iran.
Former US diplomat Zbigniew Brzezinski, who enthusiastically campaigned for Obama in 2008, called on him to shoot down Israeli planes if they attack Iran. “They have to fly over our airspace in Iraq. Are we just going to sit there and watch?” said the former national security advisor to former President Jimmy Carter in an interview with the Daily Beast.
“We have to be serious about denying them that right,” he said. “If they fly over, you go up and confront them. They have the choice of turning back or not. No one wishes for this but it could be a ‘Liberty’ in reverse.’”
Too bad that Obama could not get tough like this with ISIS and terrorism.
REALLY, 40% OF AMERICANS ARE SO DISHONEST AND CLUELESS THAT THEY CANNOT ANSWER THIS QUESTION TRUTHFULLY?
According to a recent CNN poll, 57% of Americans disapprove of how Barack Obama is handling ISIS. Just 57%, seriously? 40% of the American public are actually so clueless and out to lunch that they approve of how Obama is handing ISIS and the brutal beheadings and burning people alive. What are the odds that this 40% even are aware of these barbaric acts or even what ISIS is. It is disgustingly pathetic that so many people cannot just be honest and actually admit that Obama can actually do something poorly.
Full poll results can be read HERE.
40% of polled approve of Obama’s handling of ISIS, as innocents are burned to death.
Americans are increasingly unhappy with President Barack Obama’s handling of ISIS, and a growing share of the nation believes that fight is going badly, according to a new CNN/ORC survey released Monday.
The CNN/ORC poll found 57% of Americans disapprove of how Obama is handling the threat posed by ISIS, a significant decline in support for the President over the past few months. In late September, that number was 49%.
Fifty-seven percent disapprove of his handling of foreign affairs more broadly, and 54% disapprove of how the President is handling terrorism. Another 60% rate Obama negatively on his handling of electronic national security.
EXIT QUESTION: I wonder how the 21 Coptic Christians that were beheaded by ISIS in Triopli, Libya would have answered this question? Maybe we could also ask Kayla Mueller, British aid worker Alan Henning, 47 year old Kenji Goto, Haruna Yukawa, or Peter Kassig. We would love to get their opinions; however, they have all been killed by ISIS.
Code Pink Chants Arrest Kissinger for War Crimes at Senate Armed Services Committee: Sen John McCain (R-AZ) Tells Them “Get Out of Here You Low-life Scum”
Finally, Code Pink called out for what they truly are … ‘Low-Life Scum.”
Yesterday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing with former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright, and George Shultz. was interrupted by protesters from “Code Pink”. The protesters wanted to arrest the 91 year old, former Secretary of State for War crime. Finally, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) had enough and lashed out at the protesters disrupting the hearing and called them “low-life scum.” McCain apologized to Dr. Henry Kissinger for the protesters actions to a man who served his country with the greatest distinction.
I’ve been a member of this committee for many years, and I have never seen anything as disgraceful and outrageous and despicable as the last demonstration that just took place. You know, you’re going to have to shut up, or I’m going to have you arrested. If we can’t get the Capital Hill Police in here immediately. Get out of here, you low-life scum.
The niceties of Washington went out the window Thursday when protesters disrupted a hearing with Henry Kissinger — and Sen. John McCain went ballistic.
“Get out of here you low-life scum,” proclaimed the Arizona Republican.
The demonstrators were at the Senate Armed Services Committee to go after Kissinger.
“Arrest Henry Kissinger for war crimes!” they screamed, some carrying signs spelling out their hatred of the former secretary of state.
McCain quickly called over Capitol police officers to “instill order.”
“You’re going to have to shut up or I’m going to have you arrested,” McCain told the demonstrators after they disrupted his press conference.
Full Video below, protest starts at the beginning of the video
CSPAN – Former Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger, Madeleine Albright, and George Shultz testified at a a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing
UPDATE I: Code Pink Tries to Arrest 91-Year-Old Kissinger for ‘War Crimes,’ Get Smacked Down by 94-Year-Old George Shultz.
Later, when Kissinger began his opening statement, more protesters popped up in the room, screaming about Vietnam and rattling off his “war crimes.”
“Vietnam! From 1969 to 1973, Kissinger, working for Richard Nixon, oversaw the slaughter in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, that led to the deaths of millions — millions of people. Many thousands more died from the effects of massive doses of agent orange and from unexploded bombs that covered the countryside!” a protester shouted. “Chile! Henry Kissinger was one of the principle architects of the coup in Chile on September 11th, 1973…”
Shultz then stood up to verbally battle the protesters, saying, “I salute Henry Kissinger for his many contributions to peace and security.” That led to a standing ovation from the committee members and audience that drowned out Code Pink.
Um, At a Loss for Words … Sec. of State John Kerry Goes to Paris to Give the French a “Big Hug” and Brings James Taylor to Play ‘You’ve Got A Friend’ (VIDEO)
WELCOME TO THE JV PRESIDENCY OF BARACK OBAMA … JAMES TAYLOR APOLOGY FOREIGN POLICY FOR THE FRENCH? SNL WILL NOT EVEN BE ABLE TO OUTDO THE REALTY OF THIS CLUSTERF*UCK THAT IS THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AND A JOHN KERRY FOREIGN POLICY EMBARRASSMENT.
When I first heard this story, I thought it was a spoof from the Onion. Sadly, it was not.
The Obama administration got hammered from the RIGHT and the LEFT after they failed to send anyone of any importance to last Sunday’s “Unity” march in Paris, France against radical Islam, so they decided to make up for it today. What was the stroke of brilliance that Barack Obama, John Kerry and their minions came up with … why to send Secretary of State John “why the long face” Kerry to give the French a “Big Hug” and, wait for it, wait for it, also to send James Taylor and his acoustic guitar as well to sing, ‘You Got a Friend’. WTF, you got to be kidding! This is stunning, embarrassingly, awkwardly and ridiculously stunning.
Is this how low we have sunk in America under Barack Obama? The United States of America is the laughing stock of the world. Under the Obama administration the US went from being feared to playing the fool. Who in the hell signed off on this that it would be a good idea? Obama’s administration was reportedly caught by surprise at the size and the interest of last weeks march in Paris and those very same people sat around a frigging table and came up with this idea to make it right. REALLY?
I agree with Twitchy 100%, ‘No way this really happened.’
Warning … heavy sarcasm because that is all this embarrassing episode deserves.
Rumor has it, James Taylor was not first on the list. According to an anonymous source, the cast of ‘Friends’ was supposed to go to Paris and sing their theme song; however, Joey and Phoebe could not be reached in time. That and the Rembrandt’s were reportedly too busy.
I’ll be there for you
When the rain starts to pour
I’ll be there for you
Like I’ve been there before
I’ll be there for you
‘Cause you’re there for me too
Actually, the first idea from the Obama minions was to have Casey Casem provide a long distance dedication to France using the Dionne Warwick song, ‘That’s What Friends Are For.’ But it turns out that the Solid Gold dancer were no where to be found and could not fit into their 1980′s spandex outfits. Also, it seems that Dionne Warwick with Elton John, Gladys Knight & Stevie Wonder are no longer speaking to each other. That and John Kerry did not realize that Casey Kasem was dead.
Their second plan was to reunite the Jackson 5 so that they could sing, I’ll Be There’. However, even Barack Obama had enough sense to know that no one, not even the Obamamessiah could reunite the Jackson’s with all their dysfunction. For some reason Barack did know that Michael Jackson was dead, go figure.
You and I must make a pact, we must bring salvation back
Where there is love, I’ll be there
I’ll reach out my hand to you, I’ll have faith in all you do
Just call my name and I’ll be there
Third, it appears that Barack Obama, John Kerry and the State Department tried to get the Beatles back together for one final appearance and perform in Paris France their song, “With a Little Help From My Friends.” What better way to say I am sorry, than to reunite the Beatles. However, they ran into a couple of strategic roadblocks, no sarcasm intended, they really were not speaking to each other. Also, they appeared not to realize that John Lennon and George Harrison had passed..
What would you think if I sang out of tune
Would you stand up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song
And I’ll try not to sing out of key
Oh I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm going to try with a little help from my friends
What do I do when my love is away?
(Does it worry you to be alone?)
How do I feel by the end of the day?
(Are you sad because you’re on your own?)
No I get by with a little help from my friends
Mm I get high with a little help from my friends
Mm going to try with a little help from my friends
Then John Kerry thought, wait a minute, we can get Joe Cocker to sing the Beatles song, he remembered Cocker had done a fantastic job sing it at Woodstock. However, upon further review Kerry learned that Joe Cocker had recently passed as well.
The Obama administration then thought, hey let’s call Queen, they can sing, ‘You’re My Best Friend’. Nothing sucks up better and says I am sorry than telling someone they are your best friend, even if you don’t mean it. Once again Kerry and Obama had to be informed that Freddie Mercury died in 1991.
You’re the best friend
That I ever had
I’ve been with you such a long time
You’re my sunshine
And I want you to know
That my feelings are true
I really love you
You’re my best friend
Ooh, you make me live
North Korea Releases Two American Citizens, Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller … On Their Way Home to the United States
FOX News is reporting that North Korea has released two American citizens, Todd Miller and Kenneth Bae. They are on their way home to the United States. Miller was serving a six-year jail term on charges of espionage, while Bae was serving a 15 year sentence for alleged anti-government activities. Bae and Miller were being accompanied home by James Clapper, the director of national intelligence. Their release comes less than three weeks after another American, 56 year old Jeffrey Fowle was freed by Pyongyang.
North Korea has released two American citizens, Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said Saturday.
The agency said the men have been allowed to leave North Korea and are on their way home, accompanied by agency Director James Clapper.
Bae and Miller were the last Americans held by North Korea following the release last month of Jeffrey Fowle.
Miller, who’s from California, was serving a six-year jail term on charges of espionage, after he allegedly ripped his tourist visa at Pyongyang’s airport in April and demanded asylum.
Bae, who’s from Washington state, is a Korean-American missionary with health problems. He was serving a 15-year sentence for alleged anti-government activities.izens, Kenneth Bae and Matthew Todd Miller.
CNN: Free At Last.
In a statement Saturday, Clapper’s office said the U.S. government is facilitating the two men’s return home, though it was not immediately clear when they would arrive back in the United States.
“We welcome (North Korea’s decision to release both Mr. Bae and Mr. Miller,” the office said. “We want to thank our international partners, especially … the government of Sweden, for their tireless efforts to help secure their release.”
The U.S. State Department issued its own statement, saying, “We join their families and friends in welcoming them home.”
Military operations have begun in Syria against ISIS.
As reported at FOX News, the United States and five Arab allies, Jordan, Saudia Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qater, have begun military operations in Syria against ISIS. The bombing campaign consisted of airstrikes, bombings and Tomahawk cruise-missile attacks against the Islamic State. The airstrikes focused on the city of Raqqa, the declared capital of ISIS’ self-proclaimed Islamic State, but also about 20 to 25 targets have been struck.
The United States, joined by five Arab allies, launched an intense campaign of airstrikes, bombings and cruise-missile attacks against the Islamic State and another militant group in Syria Monday night – marking the first U.S. military intervention in Syria since the start of that country’s civil war in 2011.
U.S. Central Command (Centcom) said in a statement released early Tuesday that 14 Islamic State targets were hit, including the group’s fighters, training camps, headquarters and command-and-control facilities, and armed vehicles. The operation involved a combination of fighter jets, Predator drones and Tomahawk missiles launched from the Red Sea and Persian Gulf.
VIDEO – AP: The U.S. Navy released video early Tuesday of missile launches from sea toward Islamic State militant group targets in Syria. (Sept. 23)
The strikes “destroyed or damaged” multiple targets, according to the U.S. military, which reported “all aircraft safely exited the strike areas.”
The mission was not limited to hitting Islamic State positions. Centcom said that U.S. aircraft also struck eight targets associated with another terrorist group called the Khorasan Group, made of up Al Qaeda veterans. Those strikes, near the northwestern Syrian city of Aleppo, targeted training camps, a munitions production facility, a communication building and command-and-control facilities.
Centcom said the Khorasan Group was involved in “imminent attack plotting against the United States and Western interests.”
American jets began bombing ISIS targets in Syria early Tuesday, raising U.S. involvement in the war-torn country and sending a forceful message to the terror group.
The airstrikes focused on the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa, a U.S. official told CNN, though other locations were hit as well.
At least 20 targets in an around Raqqa were hit, the opposition group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
They’re the first strikes against the terror group inside the country since President Barack Obama’s announcement this month that he was prepared to expand the American efforts beyond targets in Iraq.
All foreign partners participating in the strikes with the United States are Arab countries, a senior U.S. military official told CNN. Those nations are Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.
Diplomatic sources told CNN that Qatar was also involved, though it was not clear whether Qatar actually conducted airstrikes itself.
BBC News - US begins air strikes on Islamic State in Syria
JOHN KERRY SAYS WE ARE AT WAR WITH ISIS, BEFORE WE WERE NOT AT WAR WITH THEM … HEY KERRY, WANT SOME SYRUP WITH THOSE WAFFLES?
In an interview this morning on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation’ Secretary of State Kerry backtracked on the language he had used to describe the fight against ISIS and finally said that, “we are at war” with the terrorist group. Kerry said that he thought there was a kind of tortured debate going on about terminology of war and it was a waste of time to focus on that. Of course it was John Kerry who started the tortured debate by saying that we were were not at war with ISIS. But the backlash was such that now he is forced to flip-flop on the comment. Try getting other countries to commit assets in a war on terror against ISIS if you are not even willing to say it.
Secretary of State John Kerry backtracked on the language he had used to describe the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, also known as ISIL), saying in an interview on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday that, “we are at war” with the group.
“I think there’s frankly a kind of tortured debate going on about terminology,” said Kerry, who rejected the word “war” in an interview with CBS News State Department correspondent Margaret Brennan last week and warned that people shouldn’t get “war fever.”
“In terms of al Qaeda, which we have used the word ‘war’ with, yeah…we are at war with al Qaeda and it’s affiliates. And in the same context if you want to use it, yes, we are at war with ISIL in that sense,” Kerry said. “But I think it’s waste of time to focus on that. Frankly, lets consider what we have to do to degrade and defeat ISIL.”
NBC/WSJ Poll: Large Majority of Americans Support Barack Obama Mission to Destroy ISIS, But Have No Confidence That He Can Do So
THIS IS WHY YOU NEVER ELECT, LET ALONE REELECT A COMMUNITY AGITATOR TO BE PRESIDENT AND COMMANDER IN CHIEF … A VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE.
It is a sad state of affairs in the White House these days and the people have lost confidence in President Barack Obama. In the most recent NBC/WSJ poll, although 62% of voters say that they support Obama’s decision to take action against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, however, even more, 68%, say they have little to some confidence that he can reach his goals of degrading and eliminating ISIS. Sadly, that seems to be Obama’s own opinion as well with his mixed messages and a plan that counts on premises that he was against just months ago.
It is hard to win a war on terror when you cannot even bring yourself to say it.
Nearly 70 percent of Americans say they lack confidence that the U.S. will achieve its goals in fighting the terrorist group ISIS, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Annenberg poll. The findings come in the wake of President Barack Obama’s national address announcing new measures to combat the Sunni militants.
Pressure is mounting on the U.S. and its allies to cripple the militants, who have waged a brutal campaign across Syria and Iraq. ISIS already has beheaded two American journalists and on Saturday released a video showing the execution of a third Westerner, British aid worker David Haines.
The poll – conducted before the latest execution emerged – showed that a combined 68 percent of Americans say they have “very little” or “just some” confidence that Obama’s goals of degrading and eliminating the threat posed by ISIS will be achieved. Just 28 percent said they had “a great deal” or “quite a bit” of confidence. Still, 62 percent of voters say they support Obama’s decision to take action against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, while 22 percent oppose it.
The NBC/WSJ poll also shows that just 38% of voters approve of Obama’s job in handling foreign policy.Which is actually higher than the most recent FOX News poll that has Obama’s approval rating in dealing with foreign police at 34% approve and 59% disapprove.
Posted September 14, 2014 by Scared Monkeys
America - United States, Barack Obama, Bystander in Chief, Community Agitator, Epic Fail, Foreign Policy, ISIS, Islam/Muslims, Islamist, Islamofascist, Jihad, Leading from Behind, Misleader, NBC/WSJ Poll, Polls, Radical Islam, Terrorism, War on Terror | 8 comments
Barack Obama’s 9-10-14 Full Speech on ISIS … Wrong President at the Wrong Time: From the Jayvee Team to America’s Greatest Terror Threat
SORRY, OBAMA LOST ME AT AS COMMANDER IN CHIEF MY HIGHEST PRIORITY IS THE SECURITY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, OKAY REALLY IT WAS AT MY FELLOW AMERICANS
Lying to the American people and playing politics with healthcare, the IRS and jobs is bad enough, but lies and playing politics with terrorism kills.
Barack Hussein Obama is the wrong president at the wrong time with a speech that many feel are just more words. Let’s get serious folks, it was WE THE PEOPLE who forced Barack Obama, kicking and screaming, to speak to the American people with regards to the terror threats of ISIS. The only reason why Obama addressed the American people was because of his sinking poll numbers of terrorism and foreign policy. In gaffe after gaffe, or in Obama’s case, how he really felt, Obama claimed that ISIS offered no threat, they were just the jayvee. As ISIS ravaged innocent men, women and children he stood back and did nothing. As ISIS created a caliphate and took over lands in Syria and Iraq, Obama did nothing. Isis beheads an American journalist and Obama says bad things have always happened, its just the media and social media that make more out of it today. Then when Obama first presents what he will do to ISIS he admits he has no strategy and then when he comes up with one it is to make ISIS a “manageable problem”. WTF!!!
So now Barack Obama provides us with more words, little details and a 180 on so many of his own words, policies and principles, it makes anyone’s head spin, even Democrats and liberals. Just curious, since when has the core principle of Obama’s presidency been, if you threaten America, you will find no safe haven. REALLY? Did Obama also provide Yemen and Somalia as examples of successes against terrorism? Hold the phone, did Obama just say that ISIL poses a threat to the people of Iraq and Syria, and the broader Middle East, including American citizens, personnel and facilities? Mr. President, you said ISIS was the jayvee. You dismissed them as not a threat and not on par with Al-Qaeda and now they are a threat to all, including America? Then what might be the flip-flops of all times, Obama states that there will be no American boots on the ground, but instead we will reply on Syrian opposition fighters. The very people that President Barack Obama once derided as “former doctors, farmers, pharmacists and so forth” are now form a key pillar of the U.S. leader’s strategy to beat back the militant insurgency known as Islamic State. ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!
The White House (CNN) — My fellow Americans — tonight, I want to speak to you about what the United States will do with our friends and allies to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL.
As Commander-in-Chief, my highest priority is the security of the American people. Over the last several years, we have consistently taken the fight to terrorists who threaten our country. We took out Osama bin Laden and much of al Qaeda’s leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan. We’ve targeted al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, and recently eliminated the top commander of its affiliate in Somalia. We’ve done so while bringing more than 140,000 American troops home from Iraq, and drawing down our forces in Afghanistan, where our combat mission will end later this year. Thanks to our military and counter-terrorism professionals, America is safer.
Still, we continue to face a terrorist threat. We cannot erase every trace of evil from the world, and small groups of killers have the capacity to do great harm. That was the case before 9/11, and that remains true today. That’s why we must remain vigilant as threats emerge. At this moment, the greatest threats come from the Middle East and North Africa, where radical groups exploit grievances for their own gain. And one of those groups is ISIL — which calls itself the “Islamic State.”
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 the people it subjugates. ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple. And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way.
In a region that has known so much bloodshed, these terrorists are unique in their brutality. They execute captured prisoners. They kill children. They enslave, rape, and force women into marriage. They threatened a religious minority with genocide. In acts of barbarism, they took the lives of two American journalists — Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff.
So ISIL poses a threat to the people of Iraq and Syria, and the broader Middle East — including American citizens, personnel and facilities. If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond that region — including to the United States. While we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland, ISIL leaders have threatened America and our allies. Our intelligence community believes that thousands of foreigners — including Europeans and some Americans — have joined them in Syria and Iraq. Trained and battle-hardened, these fighters could try to return to their home countries and carry out deadly attacks.
I know many Americans are concerned about these threats. Tonight, I want you to know that the United States of America is meeting them with strength and resolve. Last month, I ordered our military to take targeted action against ISIL to stop its advances. Since then, we have conducted more than 150 successful airstrikes in Iraq. These strikes have protected American personnel and facilities, killed ISIL fighters, destroyed weapons, and given space for Iraqi and Kurdish forces to reclaim key territory. These strikes have helped save the lives of thousands of innocent men, women and children.