Don’t al­low ter­ror­ists to di­vide us, says Obama

The Myanmar Times - - World -

US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama urged Amer­i­cans on the 15th an­niver­sary of the 9/11 at­tacks to em­brace the na­tion’s di­ver­sity and not to al­low “ter­ror­ists” to di­vide the coun­try.

Ex­trem­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions like alQaeda and the Is­lamic State group “know that they will never be able to de­feat a na­tion as great and as strong as Amer­ica”, Mr Obama said at a me­mo­rial ser­vice at the Pen­tagon, one of the sites at­tacked on Septem­ber 11, 2001.

“So in­stead they try to ter­rorise, in the hopes that they can stoke enough fear that we turn on each other,” said Mr Obama, who ob­served a mo­ment of si­lence at the Oval Of­fice in hon­our of the nearly 3000 peo­ple killed that day.

“And that’s why it is so im­por­tant to­day that we reaf­firm our char­ac­ter as a na­tion ... Our di­ver­sity, our patch­work her­itage, is not a weak­ness. It is still and al­ways will be one of our great­est strengths,” he added.

“This is the Amer­ica that was at­tacked that Septem­ber morn­ing. This is the Amer­ica that we must re­main true to.”

In an in­di­rect ref­er­ence to the con­tro­ver­sial anti-Mus­lim, an­ti­im­mi­grant cam­paign rhetoric of Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump, Mr Obama re­called that Amer­i­cans were “a peo­ple drawn from ev­ery cor­ner of the world, ev­ery colour, ev­ery re­li­gion, ev­ery back­ground”.

Mr Obama, who is a Demo­crat, has re­peat­edly crit­i­cised Mr Trump’s state­ments, in­clud­ing the bil­lion­aire’s pro­posal in the wake of last December’s mass shoot­ing in San Bernardino, Cal­i­for­nia, to ban Mus­lims from en­ter­ing the United States.

“In the 15 years since the al-Qaeda sui­cide plane strikes on the Pen­tagon,

New York’s World Trade Cen­ter and in Penn­syl­va­nia, the threat has evolved.

“Ter­ror­ists of­ten at­tempt at­tacks on a smaller but still deadly scale,” Mr Obama added, re­call­ing the Bos­ton marathon bomb­ings, the night­club mas­sacre in Or­lando in June and the car­nage in San Bernardino. –

Photo: AFP

US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, ac­com­pa­nied by De­fence Sec­re­tary Ash Carter (cen­tre) and chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen­eral Joseph Dun­ford, ob­serves a mo­ment of si­lence dur­ing a cer­e­mony to mark the15th an­niver­sary of the 9/11 at­tacks at the Pen­tagon Me­mo­rial in Wash­ing­ton DC on Septem­ber 11.

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