Monday afternoon President Obama held a press conference on the threat of ISIS after meeting with military leaders at the Pentagon. He said the United States “will never be at war with Islam” and that “ideologies are not defeated with guns.”
The President’s remarks:
This broader challenge of countering violent extremism is not simply a military effort. Ideologies are not defeated with guns, they are defeated by better ideas and more attractive and more compelling vision. So the United States will continue to do our part by continuing to counter ISIL’s hateful propaganda, especially online. We’ll constantly reaffirm through words and deeds that we will never be at war with Islam. We are fighting terrorists who distort islam and its victims are mostly Muslims.
We’re also going to partner with Muslim communities as they seek the prosperity and dignity they observe. And we’re going to expect those communities to step up in terms of pushing back as hard as they can in conjunction with other people of good will against these hateful ideologies, particularly when it comes to what we’re teaching young people.
Republican presidential candidates criticized President Obama for an apparent lack of a strategy.
“President Obama is the most clueless president of my lifetime. President Obama actually suggested you can talk about ‘ideas’ with terrorists who execute those who don’t agree with them,” Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said Tuesday morning.
““It is astonishing to hear President Obama say that ISIS won’t be defeated by guns, rather by changing ‘hearts and minds.’ Well, Mr. President, guns help,” Jindal stated while campaigning in New Hampshire.
“President Obama won’t call a spade a spade, which is why he has no strategy to defeat ISIS. The result is that his new timeline to defeat ISIS is a generation. This is not acceptable. The United States needs a president who will identify our enemy and rid the world of them and their ideas,” Jindal added.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said that the Obama is in denial about ISIS.
“President Obama is still in denial about the threat we face from ISIS. The President admitted that ISIS is filling a ‘void’ in the region, but failed to mention why the void exists in the first place: The Obama Administration refused to leave a residual force in Iraq and then dismissed ISIS as a ‘JV’ team,” Huckabee said.
“President Obama again compared all ‘violent extremists’ without acknowledging the ideology of radical Islam. This is about as intellectually dishonest as it gets from Washington. Jihadists are slaughtering civilians by the tens of thousands and would kill millions if they could,” Huckabee added.
“There was nothing new in President Obama’s glorified photo-op at the Pentagon. The Obama Administration promised to train 5,400 moderate rebels per year to fight ISIS. Yet less than 100 are being trained. What will it take for President Obama to abandon his weak, incremental escalation in the Middle East and finally take the fight to ISIS?” Huckabee said.