- New York 07/07/2015 by Linda Perry (WBAI News)
President Barack Obama, The Pentagon, July 6, 2015
"This is a long term campaign."
President Obama spoke about difficulties in fighting ISIL, the Islamic State Militants during a rare visit to the Pentagon this week.
"ISIL is opportunistic and it is nimble. In many places in Syria and Iraq, including urban areas, it is dug in among innocent civilian populations.”
Obama defended progress combating the extremists in Iraq and Syria, but he warned of the Islamic State's efforts to recruit and inspire vulnerable people in the United States.
“The threat of lone wolves or small cells of terrorists is complex, it’s harder to detect, and harder to prevent. It’s one of the most difficult challenges that we face.”
Obama said ISIL’s twisted thinking, which draws vulnerable people into its ranks, needs to be discredited. He said he seeks the help of Muslim communities in this effort.
“Around the world, we are also going to insist on partnering with Muslim communities as they seek security, prosperity, and the dignity that they deserve. We are going to expect those communities to step up in terms of pushing back as hard as they can, in conjunction with other people of goodwill, against these hateful ideologies in order to discredit them more effectively, particularly when it comes to what we’re teaching young people.”
Phyllis Bennis with the Institute for Policy Studies points out that only when there are terrorist acts by Muslims is the entire Muslim community asked to repudiate the actions.
“When we have Jewish terrorism, Christian terrorism, Jewish terrorists, Christian terrorists, we never ask all Jews, all Christians to repudiate the acts of terrorists - only in the Muslim Community."
But Bennis says globally there is a struggle within Islam, within the Muslim community itself which Obama could help if he were not undermining the process.
“Every bomb that is dropped undermines those in the Muslim community who are challenging ISIS. Every bomb that's dropped encourages ISIS and their followers and convinces them they're right. So saying there is no solution, we need the Muslim Community to step up while bombing is completely an insult to the Muslim Community whose efforts do just that and are being directly undermined by the U.S. military actions."