Obama says force is necessary against Islamic State ‘killers’

AP_UN_General_Assembly_Obama.2“The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force,” Obama told the United Nations General Assembly in his annual address.

Words from your Nobel Peace Prize winner.

USA Today – by David Jackson

UNITED NATIONS — U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria and Iraq are necessary to stop the terrorist threats of the Islamic State and others, President Obama told world leaders Wednesday.  

“The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force,” Obama told the United Nations General Assembly in his annual address.

The president also called on the world’s nations and religions — including Islam — to confront violent extremism among their citizens and adherents, calling it “a cancer” that threatens all people.

While there is a “pervasive unease” over a variety of global problems — from the spread of Ebola in West Africa to Russian aggression in eastern Ukraine — Obama told the U.N. delegates they are making progress in addressing them.

“As we look to the future, one issue risks a cycle of conflict that could derail such progress,” Obama said. “And that is the cancer of violent extremism that has ravaged so many parts of the Muslim world.”

In a hopeful vein, Obama cited creation of a new, diverse government in Iraq and Afghanistan, a cease-fire in Ukraine, and revamped programs to halt the spread of Ebola.

The president said the United States will continue to pursue a nuclear agreement with Iran, seeking to dissuade it from seeking the means to make nuclear weapons.

As he did during a special climate change summit Tuesday, Obama urged all nations to sign a global agreement by the end of next year on how to restrict carbon emissions and curb global warming.

Obama called for more international cooperation on counter-terrorism.

The United States will not carry on the fight alone, Obama said, citing the ongoing airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. He cited plans to train ground forces in Iraq and Syria and praised Arab allies who participated in the airstrikes in Syria that started this week. “We will neither tolerate terrorist safe havens, nor act as an occupying power,” he said.

In describing the Islamic State, also known as ISIL, Obama condemned the beheadings of hostages. He used words like “fanaticism,” “hate,” and “evil,” and said the group must be “destroyed.”

“The United States of America will work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death,” Obama said.

The president called on all nations to fight violent extremists within their borders, whether it’s the Islamic State, al-Qaeda, or Boko Haram, a radical Islamic group in Nigeria. The Muslim community must also address violent extremists who are perverting their religion, Obama said.

Obama acknowledged that the United States has often fallen short of its ideals, citing the summer police shooting in Ferguson, Mo.

Quoting the leader of a new peace movement, Obama said that “‘we must declare war on war, so the outcome will be peace upon peace.'”

Discussing specific issues, Obama criticized Russian support for violent separatists in eastern Ukraine, calling it a direct challenge to the “post-war order” built after World War II. He asked for global support of economic sanctions that have been slapped on Russia.

“Bigger nations should not be able to bully smaller ones,” he said.

The annual address to the UN General Assembly began a crowded schedule of meetings and events for Obama, on the second of three days in New York City.

In the afternoon, Obama chairs a special meeting of the U.N. Security Council devoted to the problem of foreign terrorist fighters. The United States is pushing for a U.N. resolution demanding that countries crack down on the movements of these fighters across international borders.

“Next year, we should all be prepared to announce the concrete steps that we have taken to counter extremist ideologies,” Obama said during his General Assembly speech.

Late in the afternoon, Obama attends a meeting of an organization called the Open Government Partnership.

The president’s meetings include a session with Haider al-Abadi, the new prime minister of Iraq.

Obama also meets with Sam Kutesa, president of the United Nations General Assembly, and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon.

Offering a hopeful vision during his General Assembly speech, Obama said, “I often tell young people in the United States that this is the best time in human history to be born.”




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