President Barack Obama addressed the Nation on Sunday evening in his third ever Oval Office Address. He addressed Wednesday’s shooting in San Bernardino, CA and the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS). President Obama’s address reaffirmed his commitment in fighting ISIS and his confidence in the mission to do so.
In his address, Obama highlighted four ways that we, the U.S., plan to overcome the threat of terrorism. These four points set forth by Obama held that the U.S. would: continue its current strategies of airstrikes and training Iraqi and Syrian ground forces, hunting down terrorists, and disrupting ISIS plots in cooperation with authorities in the Middle East and those in Europe. Obama made it clear that the U.S. will continue to pursue a political resolution to the ongoing civil war in Syria.
Obama announced, “I am confident that we will succeed in this mission, because we are on the right side of history. Freedom is more powerful than fear.”
During the address, Obama also implored Congress to vote to authorize military force against ISIS. In addition to this request, the President also requested that Congress vote on measures such as reforming the visa waiver program and making sure to close a loophole that allows someone on a no-fly list to be able to buy a gun.
He said, “What could possibly be the argument for allowing a terrorist suspect to buy a semiautomatic weapon? This is a matter of national security.”
This statement of gun control issues is a response to the mass shooting in San Bernardino, which killed 14 people and injured 21. This has been the deadliest shooting in the U.S. since the elementary school shooting in CT in 2012. Currently, the FBI is investing the CA shooting as a possible cause of terrorism, but so far, there has been no evidence that the two alleged attackers were directed by oversea terrorist organizations.
The speech specifically addressed the growing concerns in America about threats from ISIS and Obama used this as a platform to denounce Islamophobia. He asked Americans to not equate ISIS will all Muslim people or Muslim countries. Obama implored U.S. citizens to not “turn against one another by letting this fight be defined as a war between America and Islam.” He also added that turning against one another is what groups like ISIL (ISIS) want.
President Obama ended his thirteen-minute address to the nation by reminding Americans of our common goals and basic beliefs.
He said, “Let’s not forget that freedom is more powerful than fear, that we have always met challenges, whether war or depression, natural disasters or terrorist attacks, by coming together around our common ideals as one nation, as one people.”