Obama’s New Year’s Resolution for America: End Terror Partisanship, ‘Fear and Cynicism’

January 2, 2010

(ChattahBox)—President Barack Obama used his radio address this week to inform the American public about the ongoing investigation into the attempted terror attack on Christmas day, confirming for the first time since the incident that al-Qaeda forces in Yemen were indeed behind the attack. Obama spoke of his administration’s continuing efforts to “disrupt, dismantle and defeat” al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan and “wherever they plot” around the world. Obama also spoke directly to Republican elected officials and others who would use an attempted terror attack against Americans to score cheap political points that cause division. And he took aim at Dick Cheney’s recent attacks courtesy of his quasi-Facebook billboard Politico, saying that from his first day in office he “made it very clear-our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred.”

Oh and by-the-way, unlike the Bush/Cheney administration that invaded the wrong county, Obama knows where to take the fight against al-Qaeda and it isn’t Iraq, “which had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.”

The President noted that he received preliminary reports that he ordered reviewing our terrorist watchlist system and air travel screening procedures, and that he will continue with the investigation into the events leading up to the Christmas day attack:

“I’ve directed my counterterrorism and homeland security advisor at the White House, John Brennan, to lead these reviews going forward and to present the final results and recommendations to me in the days to come.” …. Obama promised that security agencies would be provided with the tools they need to keep us safe, but also vowed that “people in them-are coordinating effectively and are held accountable at every level.”

Obama confirmed that al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula trained the Christmas bomber, Abdulmutallab and provided him with the explosive device with orders to blow up the plane, as it prepared to land in Detroit:

“It appears that he joined an affiliate of al Qaeda, and that this group—al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula-trained him, equipped him with those explosives and directed him to attack that plane headed for America.”

The President spoke of his administration’s continuing efforts to fight against the spread of al-Qaeda in Yemen, noting that this was not the first time Yemen extremists attacked the United States:

“So, as President, I’ve made it a priority to strengthen our partnership with the Yemeni government-training and equipping their security forces, sharing intelligence and working with them to strike al Qaeda terrorists. And even before Christmas Day, we had seen the results. Training camps have been struck; leaders eliminated; plots disrupted. And all those involved in the attempted act of terrorism on Christmas must know—you too will be held to account.”

Obama reiterated that he knows full well that America is at war with extremist forces that seek to bring down our country, but he also said that we can fight against terrorism without sacrificing our values:

“[W]e will do whatever it takes to defeat them and defend our country, even as we uphold the values that have always distinguished America among nations. …”It’s why I refocused the fight-bringing to a responsible end the war in Iraq, which had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks, and dramatically increasing our resources in the region where al Qaeda is actually based, in Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

And despite the lack of chest beating and ” bellicose rhetoric” on the part of the Obama administration, the government has been successful at disrupting extremist plots around the world to keep us safe:

“And though often out of sight, our progress has been unmistakable. Along with our partners, we’ve disrupted terrorist financing, cut off recruiting chains, inflicted major losses on al Qaeda’s leadership, thwarted plots here in the United States, and saved countless American lives.”

Obama spoke of the recent terrorist attack that killed seven CIA agents in Afghanistan:

“Yet as the Christmas Day attempt illustrates, and as we were reminded this week by the sacrifices of more brave Americans in Afghanistan-including those seven dedicated men and women of the CIA-the hard work of protecting our nation is never done.”

Finally President Obama recognized “…the right and responsibility of every American and every elected official” to “debate the best way to protect the country we all love,” but condemned Republican politicians who would “attack our country” and “each other,” for the sake of “partisanship and division.” And he asked that we not give into fear when terrorists attack. In recent days, Republicans have called for the Christmas bomber to be tortured and held prisoner at Guantanamo.

“But as we go forward, let us remember this—our adversaries are those who would attack our country, not our fellow Americans, not each other. Let’s never forget what has always carried us through times of trial, including those attacks eight Septembers ago.”

Obama challenges the opposition to work together to keep us safe:

“Instead of giving in to fear and cynicism, let’s renew that timeless American spirit of resolve and confidence and optimism. Instead of succumbing to partisanship and division, let’s summon the unity that this moment demands. Let’s work together, with a seriousness of purpose, to do what must be done to keep our country safe.”

“As we begin this New Year, I cannot imagine a more fitting resolution to guide us-as a people and as a nation.”

The entire transcript of Obama’s remarks can be found here.

Photo Source: White House Photo, Pete Souza


3 Responses to “Obama’s New Year’s Resolution for America: End Terror Partisanship, ‘Fear and Cynicism’”

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  3. U.S. Shutters Embassy in Yemen Citing ‘Ongoing Threats’ From al-Qaeda | ChattahBox News Blog on January 3rd, 2010 8:53 am

    […] group al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the attack. And President Obama confirmed in his weekly address on Saturday that al-Qaeda planned and directed the attack on a US […]

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