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Weekly Address: The Fight Against Al Qaeda

January 3rd, 2010, 04:01 am admin Leave a comment Go to comments

National security is the focus of President Obama’s first weekly address of 2010, with him citing his “responsibility to protect the safety and security of the American people,” while at the same time vowing that the intelligence community will “have the tools and resources they need to keep America safe.”

Speaking of the state of the investigation into the attempted terrorist attack on Christmas Day and the suspect’s ties to a Yemeni affiliate of al Qaeda, the President says:

This is not the first time this group has targeted us.  In recent years, they have bombed Yemeni government facilities and Western hotels, restaurants and embassies-including our embassy in 2008, killing one American.  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.

And in a nice one-two punch at his Republican critics and the former administration (read that: Dick Cheney), the President reminds us of what he said at his inauguration:

On that day I also made it very clear-our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred, and that we 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.

… and the actions he has taken since that day:

And make no mistake, that’s exactly what we’ve been doing.  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.  It’s why I’ve set a clear and achievable mission-to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda and its extremist allies and prevent their return to either country.

The President finishes with a (too gentle) slap at the ugly politicization that we’ve seen since the near tragedy on Christmas Day:

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.

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.

Sadly, that isn’t a resolution that Republicans would even consider, let alone keep.

The complete transcript is below the fold.

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