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▶ Barack Obama Speech on the U.S. Counterterrorism Strategy – YouTube – 59:42 minute video – Posted 5/25/2013

Alternative source: Digital Report: President Obama Delivers National Security Speech | Video – ABC News –  1:10:00 minute video – 5/23/2013.

Location: Fort McNair, National Defense University (5/23/2013).

For the serious (aided by coffee, perhaps), I’d advise watching the more complete ABC News presentation, but, at a glance, they’re close to parity.  The applause and heckler interruption takes place at about 49 minutes, and while it seems that portion has made the rounds, the complete video tells a much, much greater and more thoughtful story.

After the heckler, at around 56 minutes, Obama notes, “We face down dangers far greater than Al Qaeda.  By staying true to the values of our founding, and by using our constitutional compass, we have overcome slavery and civil war and fascism and communism.”

Obama’s not only right on that score, but one would have to watch with hate in the heart and a fair dose of internally-generated paranoia to demonize him as some kind of remote international socialist Muslim.  All of that just isn’t there in the breadth, depth, and expanse of the national security presentation.

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The ABC News page supporting the one hour and ten minute clip reports seven tweets and 84 Facebook shares, a pathetically low number for a remarkably candid and comprehensive speech by President Obama on national security, related legal practices, and the drone program that has been in the news recently with the assassination of Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud.

At about 38 minutes, Obama sums up basic concepts in his foreign policy:

  • Target actions against terrorists;
  • Effective partnerships;
  • Diplomatic engagement and assistance.

Notably, while speaking of terrorism generically, Obama goes on to address the American relationship with its Muslim complement.

“As we guard against dangers from abroad, we cannot neglect the daunting challenge of terrorism from within our borders . . . today a person can consume hateful propaganda, commit themselves to a violent agenda, and learn how to kill without leaving their home . . . the best way to prevent violent extremism is to work with the Muslim community, which has consistently rejected  terrorism . . . .  These partnerships can only work when we recognize that Muslims are an integral part of the American family . . . .   In fact, the success of American Muslims and our determination to guard against any encroachments on their civil liberties is the ultimate rebuke to those who say that we are at war with Islam.”

Related Reference

Pakistan on high alert after Taliban leader killed by US drone strike | World news | theguardian.com – 11/2/2013.

Two U.S.-Born Terrorists Killed in CIA-Led Drone Strike | Fox News – 9/30/2011.

Drone Wars Pakistan: Analysis | The National Security Studies Program (New America Foundation) – current.

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