By Shem Mukalo
US president Barrack Obama yesterday gave a solemn speech to the American public from the White House laying out his strategy against ISIS jihadists who have been on the rampage in Iraq and Syria.
The eagerly awaited and nationally televised addressed was generally well received by Republicans and Democrats with house speaker John Boehner hailing it as ”a strong case for action”. Senate majority leader Harry Reid said,”… the speech was a testament to the president’s commitment to the security of all Americans.”
In the 14-minute address,the president authorized the expansion of the military airstrikes on ISIS command and control centers on both sides of the Syria-Iraqi border.
”…I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria,as well as Iraq.This is a core principle of my presidency;if you threaten America you will find no safe haven.”
He tried to qualify his strategy as a major departure from that of his predecessor George W Bush whose campaign in Iraq was widely criticized.America would not go it alone but would push for a partnership with her allies and help build a regional coalition in the restive middle East to destroy the extremist group which he described as ”a cancer.”
Obama also announced that he would be sending an additional 475 military personnel who will help in modernizing the Iraqi military and bolster the military aid to moderate opposition groups in Syria.He added that the US will continue providing humanitarian assistance to threatened Sunni and Shia populations.
Some critics have lambasted the strategy as belated.John McCain criticized him(Obama) for ”dithering” saying that the measures that he intended to take ought to have been taken a long time ago.