President Obama took Trump apart Trump and took aim at the Muslim ban proposal while debunking the Republican distraction technique of making the fight against terror about the phrase radical Islam.
The President said:
And let me make a final point. For a while now, the main contribution of some of my friends on the other side of the aisle have made in the fight against ISIL is to criticize the administration and me for not using the phrase “radical Islam.” That’s the key, they tell us. We cannot beat ISIL unless we call them radical Islamists.
What exactly would using this label would accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIL less committed to try to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this?
The answer is none of the above. Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction.
If the implication is that those of us up here and the thousands of people around the country and around world who are working to defeat ISIL aren’t taking the fight seriously? That would come as a surprise to those who spent these last 7.5 years dismantling Al Qaida in the FATA, for example — including the men and women in uniform who put their lives at risk, and the special forces that I ordered to get bin Laden and are now on the ground in Iraq and in Syria.
They know full well who the enemy is. So do the intelligence and law enforcement officers who spend countless hours disrupting plots and protecting all Americans — including politicians who tweet and appears on cable news shows.
They know who the nature of the enemy is. So, there is no magic to the phrase “radical Islam.” It is a political talking point. It is not a strategy.
We now have proposals from the presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States to bar all Muslims from immigrating into America. And you hear language that singles out immigrants and suggests entire religious communities are complacent in violence.
Where does this stop? The Orlando killer, one of the San Bernardino killers, the Fort Hood killer — they were all U.S. citizens. Are we going to start treating all Muslim-Americans differently? Are we going to start subjecting them to special surveillance? Are we going to start discriminate them, because of their faith?
We heard these suggestions during the course of this campaign. Do Republican officials actually agree with this?
Because that’s not the America we want. It does not reflect our Democratic ideals. It won’t make us more safe, it will make us less safe, fueling ISIL’s notion that the West hates Muslims, making Muslims in this country and around the world feel like, no matter what they do, they’re going to be under suspicion and under attack.
Obama targeted the fact that Trump and his Republican Party have no anti-terror policies. Trump is pushing tough talk over real action. A Muslim ban would not improve the safety of the American people. What Trump is proposing is a gimmick that would only radicalize more Muslims against the United States.
President Obama showed the world that Donald Trump is nothing more than a bigoted fraud with a xenophobic sales pitch. Banning Muslims is a fundamentally un-American proposal that would accomplish nothing.
Obama is a real president, who in the months to come will expose Trump as nothing more than a tough tweeting empty suit.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association