Trump slams Obama over mas­sacre

Lesotho Times - - International -

don­ald Trump de­manded on Sun­day that Pres­i­dent Obama “fi­nally men­tion the words rad­i­cal Is­lamic ter­ror­ism” in con­nec­tion to the mas­sacre in Or­lando or “im­me­di­ately re­sign in dis­grace.”

Obama didn’t use that lan­guage, and al­most cer­tainly won’t in the fu­ture.

Obama called the slaugh­ter “an act of ter­ror and an act of hate” but said au­thor­i­ties have “reached no de­fin­i­tive judg­ment on the pre­cise mo­ti­va­tions of the kil­ler.”

“I’ve di­rected that we must spare no ef­fort to de­ter­mine what — if any — in­spi­ra­tion or as­so­ci­a­tion this kil­ler may have had with ter­ror­ist groups,” he said Sun­day af­ter­noon from the podium of the White House.

Trump re­sponded to Obama’s speech with a lengthy state­ment that, among other things, again called for the pres­i­dent’s res­ig­na­tion. “In his re­marks to­day, Pres­i­dent Obama dis­grace­fully re­fused to even say the words ‘rad­i­cal Is­lam,’” Trump wrote.

“For that rea­son alone, he should step down. If Hil­lary Clin­ton, af­ter this at­tack, still can­not say the two words ‘ rad­i­cal Is­lam’ she should get out of this race for the Pres­i­dency.”

amid news re­ports in­di­cat­ing that the al­leged shooter pledged loy­alty to ISIS, as the ter­ror­ist army is also known, in a 911 call, Obama’s re­marks sounded like au­thor­i­ties were look­ing into whether the group in­spired or di­rected the at­tack — even though the pres­i­dent did not men­tion it by name or as “ISIL,” as the US gov­ern­ment tends to call it.

a close look at Obama’s rhetoric shows he has not re­ferred to the “Is­lamic State” by that name since he plunged the US mil­i­tary into an un­de­clared but es­ca­lat­ing war against the group two years ago.

Obama, who tends to stick with “ISIL,” ex­plained his think­ing roughly one month af­ter the first U.S. airstrikes against the group.

“ISIL is not ‘Is­lamic.’ no re­li­gion con­dones the killing of in­no­cents.

“and the vast ma­jor­ity of ISIL’S vic­tims have been Mus­lim,” he said on Sept. 10, 2014. “And ISIL is cer­tainly not a state. “

Obama went on: “It is rec­og­nized by no gov­ern­ment, nor by the peo­ple it sub­ju­gates. ISIL is a ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion, pure and sim­ple. and it has no vision other than the slaugh­ter of all who stand in its way.”

Se­nior ad­min­is­tra­tion of­fi­cials say the pres­i­dent’s rea­son­ing has not changed: Why need­lessly alien­ate Mus­lim part­ners in the war on ISIS?

Why lend any cre­dence to the group’s claim to up­hold Is­lamic tenets, help­ing it cloak vi­o­lence in re­li­gion?

Obama’s crit­ics — mostly repub­li­cans, but also some democrats — have charged that his re­fusal to de­scribe the threat as orig­i­nat­ing in ex­trem­ist Is­lam re­flects po­lit­i­cally cor­rect naiveté that risks ham­per­ing the war ef­fort. There’s a po­lit­i­cal di­men­sion too. In the af­ter­math of the Brus­sels at­tacks, Trump sug­gested on NBC’S “To­day” in March that his own rhetoric on ter­ror­ism, in­clud­ing his call for a halt to Mus­lim im­mi­gra­tion and tourism to the United States, was “why I’m prob­a­bly num­ber One in the polls.”

He may not have been wrong. a Fe­bru­ary 2016 poll by the non­par­ti­san Pew Re­search Cen­ter found that 65 per­cent of Repub­li­cans and in­de­pen­dents who lean to­ward the GOP wanted the next pres­i­dent to “speak bluntly even if crit­i­cal of Is­lam as a whole.”

For democrats and in­de­pen­dents who lean left, it was just 22 per­cent.

Demo­cratic nom­i­nee Hil­lary Clin­ton’s re­ac­tion to the at­tack in Or­lando roughly tracked with Obama’s: She called it an act of ter­ror but stopped short of ex­plic­itly di­ag­nos­ing a di­rect con­nec­tion to ISIS.

Still, the for­mer sec­re­tary of state said in a writ­ten state­ment, keep­ing amer­ica safe “means de­feat­ing in­ter­na­tional ter­ror groups, work­ing with al­lies and part­ners to go af­ter them wher­ever they are, coun­ter­ing their at­tempts to re­cruit peo­ple here and ev­ery­where, and hard­en­ing our de­fenses at home.”

— abc­

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