President Barack Obama attended a town hall event on Wednesday night. CNN hosted the town hall that took place at Fort Lee. The president answered difficult questions from Jake Tapper about a certain aspect of his job. The topic was his role as Commander in Chief. So the president spoke about national security and the military. Although he wouldn’t mention any names, Obama also took the opportunity to talk about the election and what it means to be president. He underlined what a great responsibility it is and that a president has to use careful language.
Barack Obama on Presidential Language
President Barack Obama answered questions from the audience. One question was from the mother of a Gold Star recipient, Tina Houchins. She asked the president why he will not use the term “radical Islamic terrorist”. Mrs. Houchins was referring to the Islamic state, to Al-Qaeda and to other terrorist organizations that have perpetrated attacks against America.
Barack Obama replied by saying that the issue is a manufactured one. He said that he objects to using the term because he doesn’t want to put “murderers” and billions of Muslims that are peaceful in the same basket. Obama continued by describing terrorists as people who kill children, kill other Muslims. He said that there can be no religious rationale to justify the things they do.
Political opponents of the president have criticized him for not using the term “radical Islamic terrorist”. Among them, Donald Trump has used this to imply that the president is soft on terrorism.
Aware of that, Barack Obama made a reference to the Republican candidate in his answer. He did not name Donald Trump, but talked about “people aspiring to become president”. He said that there is a need for caution when talking about such a difficult topic. That you can’t just start talking about administering religious tests and the Bill of Rights.
The president added that these people should be called what they are, killers and terrorists. He continued by appealing to out better nature. “The way we’re going to win this battle is not by betraying our ideals,” he said.
The President on National Security
Talking about terrorism, the president said that, in fact, the number of terrorist attacks has not increased substantially. Although, he did acknowledge the fact that there appears to be a surge in terrorist incidents. Barack Obama reassured viewers that now it is more difficult for a terrorist organization to carry out a large scale attack. He said that the current dangers that are facing us right now are “lone wolf” attacks. These single actor terrorist attacks are difficult to anticipate.
Barack Obama talked about ISIS as well and how it is critical to dismantle it. He spoke of the organization as feeding people poison, people that sometimes suffer from mental illness or are already troubled somehow. It’s important to reduce the appeal of their radical message, in order to minimize harmful effects.
The president talked about the level of national security and said that the country is much safer than it was at the time of 9/11.
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