UK PM Cameron versus President Obama on Radical Islamic Terror Threat

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Contrast UK PM Cameron and President Obama on Radical Islamic Extremist Threat In Joint Press Conference

 

Watch UK PM David Cameron and President Obama respond to  question by BBC reporter Nick Robinson on contending with Radical Islamic threats both domestically and in the Middle East. Note the preview of President Obama’s mid-February summit on “Violent Extremism”.

Watch the C-SPAN video clip  we created of yesterday’s  Joint Press Conference:

 

Note the bolded text fro the transcript of this C-SPAN video clip.

NICK ROBINSON, BBC: IMMINENT? MR. PRESIDENT, YOU HAVE SPOKEN OF THE THREAT POSED BY FIGHTERS COMING BACK FROM SYRIA. DO YOU EVER WORRY THAT THIS IS A LEGACY OF THE DECISION OF THE UNITED KINGDOM TO STAND ON THE SIDELINES DURING SYRIA’S CIVIL WAR?

PM CAMERON:  WE DO FACE A VERY SERIOUS ISLAMIST EXTREMIST THREAT IN EUROPE, AMERICA, ACROSS THE WORLD. IT HAVE TO BE INCREDIBLY VIGILANT IN TERMS OF THAT THREAT. WE’VE GOT TO STRENGTHEN POLICE AND SECURITY. WE’VE GOT TO DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO KEEP OUR COUNTRY SAFE. THAT INVOLVES LONG-TERM, PATIENT, DISCIPLINED APPROACH. THERE IS NO SINGLE SIMPLE THING THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE. IT MEANS CLOSING DOWN THE UNGOVERNED SPACES THAT TERRORISTS OPERATE IN. IT MEANS WORKING AGAINST ISIL IN IRAQ AND SYRIA, COUNTERING THIS DEATH CULT OF A NARRATIVE THAT IS PERVERTING THE RELIGION OF ISLAM. IT MEANS WORKING TOGETHER WITH OUR OLDEST AND BEST EARNERS SO THAT WE SHARE INTELLIGENCE AND SECURITY AND TRY TO PREVENT TERRORIST ATROCITIES FROM TAKING PLACE. IT IS GOING TO BE A LONG, PATIENT, AND HARD STRUGGLE. I’M CONVINCED WE WILL OVERCOME IT. IN THE END, THE VALUES WE HOLD TO OUR FREEDOM OF DEMOCRACY, OF HAVING OPEN AND TOLERANT SOCIETIES. THESE ARE THE STRONGEST VALUES THERE CAN BE. IN THE END WE WILL COME THROUGH. LIKE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES OUR COUNTRIES HAVE FACED TOGETHER IN THE PAST, IT WILL TAKE GREAT DISCIPLINE AND PATIENCE AND HARD WORK. YOU ASK A QUESTION ABOUT IMMINENCE. WE HAVE A SYSTEM IN THE UNITED KINGDOM WHERE SET LEVELS — LEVELS ARE SET BY THE JOINT TERRORISM CENTER. THEY JUDGE THE THREAT WE FACED IS SEVERE. THAT MEANS IN THEIR WORDS, AN ATTACK IS HIGHLY LIKELY. IF EVER THERE IS AN IMMINENT THREAT OF ATTACK, IT GOES TO THE NEXT LEVEL UP, WHICH IS CRITICAL, BUT IT IS THEIR DECISION, NOT MINE. MY RESPONSIBILITY IS TO MAKE SURE WE MARSHAL EVERYTHING WE HAVE AS A COUNTRY TO DEFEAT THE THREAT. ON THE JEWISH COMMUNITIES, IT IS GOOD THAT THEY METRO POLICE HAVE ANNOUNCED THEY WILL STEP UP PATROLS. I MET WITH THE JEWISH LEADERSHIP COUNCIL EARLIER THIS WEEK. WE ALREADY PROVIDE THROUGH THEIR SECURITY ORGANIZATION THE COMMUNITY SECURITY TRUST TO HELP PROTECT JEWISH SCHOOLS. YOU CANNOT SIMPLY RELY ON POLICING SECURITY. THIS IS A JOB FOR EVERYONE. THIS IS A ROLE WE WILL ALL HAVE TO PLAY IN THE VIGILANCE AND MAKING SURE THAT WE KEEP OUR COMMUNITIES SAFE.

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  WITH RESPECT TO SYRIA AND THE CONNECTION TO FOREIGN FIGHTERS, THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT IN THE CHAOS, IN THE VACUUM CREATED IN BIG CHUNKS OF SYRIA, THE THAT IS GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY FOR FOREIGN FIGHTERS TO BOTH COME IN AND COME BACK OUT. I CHAIRED A U.N. SECURITY COUNCIL MEETING, AND WE ARE NOW BUSY WORKING WITH OUR PARTNERS TO IMPLEMENT A SERIES OF ACTIONS , TO IDENTIFY WHO MAY BE TRAVELING TO SYRIA IN ORDER TO GET TRAINED TO FIGHT FOR, TO HATCH PLOTS THAT WOULD BE ACTIVATED UPON RETURN TO THEIR HOME COUNTRIES. IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM. THE NOTION THAT THIS IS OCCURRING BECAUSE THE U.S. OR GREAT BRITAIN OR OTHER COUNTRIES STOOD ON THE SIDELINES IS — IT MISCHARACTERIZES OUR POSITION. WE HAVEN’T BEEN STANDING ON THE SIDELINES. IT IS TRUE WE DID NOT INVADE SYRIA. HAD WE INVADED SYRIA, WE WOULD BE LESS PRONE TO TERRORIST ATTACKS. I WILL LEAVE IT TO YOU TO PLAY OUT THAT SCENARIO AND WHETHER THAT SOUNDS ACCURATE. WE HAVE BEEN VERY ACTIVE IN TRYING TO RESOLVE A TRAGIC SITUATION IN SYRIA. DIPLOMATICALLY, TO HUMANITARIAN EFFORTS, THROUGH THE REMOVAL OF CHEMICAL WEAPONS FROM SYRIA THAT HAD BEEN SO DEADLY. AND NOW, AS ISIL HAS MOVED FORWARD — WE HAVE BEEN VERY ACTIVE INTEGRATING THEIR CAPABILITIES INSIDE OF SYRIA, EVEN AS WE ARE WORKING WITH PARTNERS TO MAKE SURE THE FOREIGN FIGHTERS SITUATION IS RESOLVED. DAVID’S POINT IS THE KEY ONE. THIS PHENOMENON OF VIOLENT EXTREMISM — THE IDEOLOGY, THE NETWORKS, THE CAPACITY TO RECRUIT YOUNG PEOPLE — THIS HAS METASTASIZED, AND IT IS WIDESPREAD, AND IT HAS PENETRATED COMMUNITIES AROUND THE WORLD. I DO NOT CONSIDER IT A NEXUS TO SHOW THREAT – IT IS NOT AN EXISTENTIAL THREAT. WE ARE STRONGER, WE ARE REPRESENTING VALUES THAT THE VAST MAJORITY OF MUSLIMS BELIEVE IN, INTOLERANCE GREAT HEARTACHE AND TRAGEDY AND DESTRUCTION. IT IS ONE THAT ULTIMATELY WE ARE GOING TO DEFEAT. WE CAN’T JUST DEFEAT IT THROUGH WEAPONS. WHAT OF THE THINGS WE SPOKE ABOUT IS HOW DO WE LIFT UP THOSE VOICES THAT REPRESENT THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE MUSLIM WORLD SO THAT COUNTER NARRATIVE AGAINST THIS NIHILISM IS PUT OUT THERE AS AGGRESSIVELY AND NIMBLY AS THE MESSAGES COMING OUT FROM THESE FANATICS. HOW DO WE MAKE SURE WE ARE WORKING WITH LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND FAITH LEADERS AND FAMILIES, WHETHER IN A NEIGHBORHOOD IN LONDON OR A NEIGHBORHOOD IN DETROIT, MICHIGAN SO THAT WE ARE INOCULATING OURSELVES AGAINST THIS KIND OF IDEOLOGY? THAT WILL BE SLOW, PLODDING, SYSTEMATIC WORK. BUT IT’S WORK THAT I’M CONFIDENT WE ARE GOING TO BE ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH, PARTICULARLY WHEN WE HAVE STRONG PARTNERS LIKE THE UNITED KINGDOM.

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