tv President Obama Holds News Conference on ISIS CSPAN August 7, 2016 11:51am-12:58pm EDT
not that they support the confederate cause, neither one bit. on thursday, president obama was at the pentagon meeting with his national security advisers about the military campaign to defeat isis. afterward, he spoke with reporters about the progress being made and challenges that lie ahead. some issuesussed raised by republican presidential nominee donald trump including payments to iran and possible voter fraud in november. this is just over an hour. president obama: good afternoon everybody. i just met again with my national security council on the campaign to destroy isil. i
want to thank secretary carter and chairman dunford who just returned from meetings with our coalition partners in the middle east for hosting us and for their continued leadership of our men and women in uniform.obama: i last updated the american people on our campaign in june shortly after the horrifying attack in orlando. in the weeks since, we've continued to be relentless in our fight against isil. and on the ground in syria and iraq, isil continues to lose territory. tragically, however, we have also seen that isil still has the ability to direct and inspire attacks. so we've seen terrible bombings in iraq and in jordan, in lebanon, saudi arabia, yemen, and afghanistan, attacks on an istanbul airport, a restaurant in bangladesh, bastille day celebrations and a church in france, and a music festival in germany. in fact, the decline of isil in syria and iraq appears to be
causing it to shift to tactics that we've seen before; an even greater emphasis on encouraging high profile terrorist attacks, including in the united states. as always, our military, diplomatic, intelligence, homeland security, and law enforcement professionals are working around the clock, with other countries and with communities here at home, to share information and prevent such attacks, and over the years, they've prevented many. but as we've seen, it is still very difficult to detect and prevent lone actors or small cells of terrorists who are determined to kill the innocent and are willing to die. and that's why, as we discuss today, we're going to keep going after isil aggressively across every front of this campaign.obama: our air campaign continues to hammer isil targets; more than 14,000 strikes so far. more than 100,000 sorties, including those hitting the isil core in raqqah and in mosul. and in stark contrast to isil, which uses civilians as human
shields, america's armed forces will continue to do everything in our power to avoid civilian casualties. with our extraordinary technology, we're conducting the most precise air campaign in history. after all, it is the innocent civilians of syria and iraq who are suffering the most and who need to be saved from isil's terror, and so when there are allegations of civilian casualty we take them very seriously. we work to find the facts, to be transparent, and to hold ourselves accountable for doing better in the future we continue to take out senior isil leaders and commanders. this includes isil's deputy minister of war, basim muhammad al-bajari; the top commander in mosul, hatim talib al-hamduni; and in yet another significant loss for isil is minister of
war, umar al-shishani. none of isil's leaders are safe, and we are going to keep going after them. on the ground in iraq, local forces keep pushing isil back. in a major success, iraqi forces with coalition support finally liberated fallujah. now they're clearing isil fighters from more areas up the euphrates valley and iraqi forces retook the strategic airbase at qayyarah, just 40 miles from mosul, now the last major isil stronghold in iraq. given the success, the additional 560 u.s. support personnel that i ordered to iraq last month will help turn this base into a logistical hub and launch bed for iraqi forces as a push into mosul. meanwhile in syria, a coalition of local forces backed by our special operations forces and airstrikes continues to take the fight to isil as well. the coalition is fighting its way into the town of manbij (ph), a gateway for isil fighters coming in and terrorists heading out to attack europe, which is why isil was fighting hard to hold it.
as isil is beaten back, we're gaining vast amounts of intelligence; thousands of documents, thumb drives, digital files, which we will use to keep destroying isil's networks and stop foreign fighters. we also continue intense fire efforts against al qaida in syria, which, no matter what name it calls itself, cannot be allowed to maintain a safe haven to train and plot attacks against us. i do want to step back and note the broader progress that has been made in this campaign so far. two years ago, isil was racing across iraq to the outskirts of baghdad itself, and to many observers isil looked invincible. since then in iraq, isil has lost at the manja dam (ph), at tikrit, at beiji (ph), at sinjar, at ramadi, at heep (ph), at rubah (ph), and now fallujah. in syria, isil has lost at coubani (ph) and talibaya (ph) and the tishrin dam and
al-shidadi (ph). isil has lost territory across vast stretches of the border with turkey and almost all major transit routes in taraka (ph). and in most of iraq and syria, isil has not been able to reclaim any significant territory that they have lost. so i want to repeat, isil has not had a major successful offensive operation in either syria or iraq in a full ye even isil's leaders know they're going to keep losing. in their message to followers, they're increasingly acknowledging that they may lose mosul and raqqah and isil is right. they will lose them. and we'll keep hitting them and pushing them back and driving them out until they do. obama: in other words, isil turns out not to be invincible. they're, in fact, inevitably going to be defeated, but we do recognize at the same
time that the situation is complex, and this cannot be solved by military force alone. that's why the united states and countries around the world pledged more than 2 billion dollars in new funds to help iraqis stabilize and rebuild their communities. it's why we're working with iraq, so that the military campaign to liberate mosul is matched with humanitarian and political efforts to protect civilians and promote inclusive governance and development, so isil cannot return by exploiting divisions or new grievances. in syria, as i've repeatedly said, defeating isil and al-qaeda requires and end to the civil war, and the assad regime's brutality against the syrian people, which pushes people into the arms of extremists. the regime and its
allies continue to violate the cessation of hostilities, including with vicious attacks on defenseless civilians, medieval sieges against cities like aleppo, and blocking food from reaching families that are starving. it is deplorable, and the depravity of the syrian regime has rightly earned the condemnation of the world. russia's direct involvement in these actions over the last several weeks raises very serious questions about their commitment to pulling the situation back from the brink. the u.s. remains prepared to work with russia to try to reduce the violence and strengthen our efforts against isil and al-qaeda in syria, but so far russia has failed to take the necessary steps. given the deteriorating situation, it is time for russia to show that it is serious about pursuing these objectives. beyond syria and iraq, we'll keep working with allies and partners to go after isil wherever it tries to spread. at the request of libya's government of national accord, we are conducting strikes in support of government aligned forces as they fight to retake sirte from isil, and we will continue to support the government's efforts to secure their country. finally, it should be clear by now, and no one knows this
better than our military leaders, that even as we need to crush isil on the battlefield, their military defeat will not be enough. so long as their twisted ideology persists and drives people to violence, then groups like isil will keep emerging. and the international community will continue to be at risk in getting sucked into the kind of global whack-a-mole, where we're always reacting to the latest threat or a lone actor. and that's why we're also working to counter violent extremism more broadly, including the social, economic and political factors that help fuel groups like isil and al-qaeda in the first place. nothing will do more to discredit isil and its phony claims to being a caliphate, then when it loses its base in raqqa and in mosul. and we're going to keep working with
partners, including muslim countries and communities, especially online, to expose isil for what they are - murderers who kill innocent people, including muslim families and children as they break the ramadan fast, and who set off bombs in medina near the prophet's mosque, one of the holiest sites in islam. moreover, we refuse to let terrorists and voices of division undermine the unity and the values of diversity and pluralism that keep our nation strong. one of the reasons that america's armed forces are the best in the world is because we draw on the skills and the talents of all of our citizens, from all backgrounds and faiths, including patriotic muslim americans who risk and give their lives for our freedom. obama: and i think the entire world was inspired this past sunday when muslims across france joined their catholic neighbors at mass, and in a moving display of solidarity, prayed together. the greeting they extended to each other has to be the message we echo in all
of our countries in all of our communities. peace be with you, and also with you. now, before i take some questions, i also want to say a few words on another topic. as our public health experts have been warning for some time, we are now seeing the first locally transmitted cases of the zika virus, by mosquitoes, in the continental united states. this was predicted and predictable. so far we've seen 15 cases in the miami area. we're taking this extremely seriously. cdc experts are on the ground working shoulder to shoulder with florida health authorities. there's a very aggressive effort underway to control mosquitoes there. and pregnant women have been urged to stay away the particular neighborhood that we're we are focused on. we will keep working as one team; federal, state and local to try to slow and limit the spread of the virus. i do want to be very clear though, our public health experts do not expect to see the widespread outbreak of zika here that we have seen in brazil or
in puerto rico. the kind of mosquitoes that are most likely to carry zika are limited to certain regions of our country. but we cannot be complacent because we do expect to see more zika cases. and even though symptoms for most people are mild, many may never even know that they have it. we have seen that the complications for pregnant women and their babies can be severe. so i again want to encourage every american to learn what they can do to help stop zika by going to cdc.gov. in addition, congress needs to do its job. fighting zika costs money. helping puerto rico deal with the zika crisis costs money. research into new vaccines -- by the way, nih just announced the first clinical trials in humans -- that costs money. that's why my administration proposed more funding back in february. not only did the republican-led congress not pass our request,
they worked to cut it, and then they left for summer recess without passing any new funds for the fight against zika. meanwhile, our experts at the cdc, the folks on the front lines have been doing their best in making due by moving funds from other areas, but now the money we need to fight zika is rapidly running out. the situation is getting critical. for instance, without sufficient funding, nih critical trials -- clinical trials could -- and the possibilities of a vaccine which is well within reach -- could be delayed. so this is not the time for politics. more than 40 u.s. servicemembers have now contracted zika overseas. in 50 u.s. states, we know of more than 1,800 cases of zika connected to travel to infected areas, that includes nearly 500 pregnant women. zika is now present in a most every
part of puerto rico, and now we have the first local transmission in florida, and there will certainly be more. meanwhile, congress is on a summer recess. a lot of folks talk about protecting americans from threats, well, zika is a serious threat to americans, especially babies right now. so once again, i want to urge the american people to call their members in congress and tell them to do their job, deal with this threat, help protect the american people from zika. with that, i am going to take some questions. i'm going to start with someone who just assumed the second most powerful office in the land. jeff mason, the news correspondents' association's president, also from reuters. jeff? >> i'm hardly powerful, and happy birthday. >> thank you very much. >> you and other officials have said is becoming a more official terrorist group you are you satisfied that the united days and its allies have shifted the strategy to address that.
specifically given your comments this week about donald trump's are youty and -- concerned that he will be receiving security briefings about isis and other sensitive national security issues? >> i'm never satisfied with our response because if you are satisfied, that means the problem solved, and it is not. couple hoursent a meeting with my top national security folks to look at what more can be done. fors absolutely necessary to defeat isil in iraq and syria. it is not sufficient, but it is necessary. because so long as they have those bases, they can use their propaganda to suggest that somehow they are still some caliphate being born.
that can insinuate itself in the minds of folks who may be willing to travel there are carry out terrorist attacks heard it's also destabilizing for countries in the region. at a time when the region is already unstable. so i am pleased with the progress that we have made on the ground. of -- far from free most mosul. what we have shown is that when it comes to conventional fights, with partnersaten on the ground, so long as they have the support from coalition forces that we have been providing. in the meantime, you're seeing isil carryout external terrorist attacks. --y have learned something,
and they've tried to plan elaborate attacks. what isil has figured out is that if they convince a handful or even one person to carry out an attack on the subway or at a parade, or some other public venue, and killed scores of people as opposed to thousands of people, it is -- still creates the kind of fear on concerns that elevates a profile. outn some ways, rooting these networks for smaller, less complicated attacks is tougher because it doesn't require as many resources on their part or preparation, but it does mean we to generateven more and to workence
in order totners degrade those networks. the fact of those networks will probably sustain themselves even isil is defeated in rakka and mosul. what we have learned is that our intelligence gets better as we stay on and we adapt as well. eventually we will dismantle these networks also. this is part of the reason might it is so important for us to keep our eye on the ball and not panic, not succumb to fear, because i so can't defeat the united states of america or our nato partners. can defeat ourselves though if we make bad decisions.
we have to understand that is painful and as tragic as these attacks are, that we are going to keep on grinding away, preventing them wherever we can, using a hole government effort to knock down the propaganda, to disrupting networks, to take their key operatives of the battlefield. and that eventually we will win. but if we start making bad decisions, indiscriminately telling civilians -- killing civilians in these areas, instituting offensive religious tests on who can enter the country, those kinds of strategies can end up backfiring. because in order for us to ultimately win this fight, we
cannot frame this as a clash of civilizations between the west and islam. that plays exactly into the perversions and the -- perverse interpretations of islam they are putting forward. as far as mr. trump, we are , whicho go back to the is both tradition and the law, that is if someone is the nominee, the republican nominee for president, they need to get a security briefings so that if they were to win, they are not starting from scratch. detailsgoing to go into or the nature of the security briefings that both candidates received. but i will say is that they have been told these are classified
briefings. presidenty want to be , they have to start acting like president. receivens being able to these briefings and not spread them around. i think i've said that -- enough on that. what is her response to critics who said the $400 million in cash that you center around was a ransom payment. was it a pure cleanse events that a payment that was held up from us for decades was suddenly the exact same time the americans were released. can you and a sure the american people none of that money went -- >> it has been interesting to watch the story surface. some of you may recall we announced these payments in january.
many months ago. there wasn't a secret. we announced to them to all of you. josh to the briefing on them. wasn't some nefarious deal. explained that iran had pressed a claim before an international tribunal about the recovering money of theirs that we had rosen that as a consequence of its working its way through the international tribunal, it was the assessment of our lawyers that we were now -- we could end up costing ourselves billions of dollars. it was their advice and suggestion that we settle. and that is what these payments represent. and it was not a secret.
it was interesting to me how suddenly this became a stir again. we do not pay ransom for hostages. we have a number of americans held all around the world. and i be with their families. it is heartbreaking. we have stood up an entire section of interagency experts to devote their time to working with their families to get these americans out. there's families know we have a policy that we don't pay her -- pay rent. the notion we would somehow start now in his high-profile way and announce it to the world , even as we are looking into the faces of other hostage and say to them we
don't pay ransom. we do not pay ransom. we didn't hear anyone in the future. precisely because if we did then we would start encouraging americans to be targeted, much in the same minute some pet countries that do pay ransom and up having art moore the citizens. three.ber the timing of this was in fact as a fact of a consequence of us negotiating around the nuclear deal, we ask it had diplomatic negotiations in conversations with iran for the first time in several decades.
there were all of these stories about how ironic was going to cheat and this would not work and iran would get 100 $50 billion to finance terrorism in all these kinds of scenarios and and none of them have come to pass. it's not just the assessment of .ur intelligence community -- so what i'm interested in is if there is some news to -- saying that actually work.
that would be a shock. that would be impressive if some of these folks who had so these guys -- said the sky is falling and we are glad that a runner weapons.s of course i was not going to happen. instead what we have is the manufacturing of outrage and a store that we disclosed in january. the only bit of news that is relevant on this is the fact that we paid cash. which means the twilight point. the reason that we had to give them cash is precisely because we are so strict and maintaining sanctions, and we do not have a banking relationship with iran, that he could not send them a check. and we could not wire the money.
it does -- it is not clear to me a check as opposed to or wire transfer has made this some sort of story. the reason caches exchanges because we don't have a banking relationship with iran which is precisely part of the pressure that we were able to apply to ship athat they would whole bunch of nuclear material out in close down a bunch of remembers that as i two years ago, three is ago, five years ago was people's top fear of priority that we make sure iran does not have breakout new capacity. they don't this worked.
-- >> repeatedly note donald trump has said this election will be rigged against in the core democratic foundation of our system. can you promise the american people that this election will .e conducted in a fair way are you worried that comments like this could erode the public's fate in the alchemy the election. if he does run given that you've just declared him unfit, what you have to say to the maccabee buttercup -- the american people? day it isend of the america's decision to live won both your that the same but you do. i have offered my opinion, but ultimately it's the american people decision to make collectively. election,y wins the then my are president,
constitutional responsibility is to peacefully transfer power to the individual and do everything i can to help them succeed. even really know where to start on answering this question. of course the elections will not be rigged. but does that mean? the federal government does not run the election process. states and communities all across the country are the ones who set up the voting systems and the voting booths and if mr. trump is suggesting that there that isspiracy theory being propagated across the country including in places like were typically it is not
ofocrats who are in charge voting bruce, that is ridiculous. now we do take seriously as we always do, our responsibilities to monitor the integrity of the voting process. a voting signs that machine -- let me informed as local authorities were running the elections that they need to that if we see jurisdictions that are violated federal laws in terms of equal and arm providing grants for disabled voters or are discriminating in some fashion are otherwise violating civil rights laws, then the justice department will come in and take care of that.
this will be an election like every other election. i think all of us at some points in our lives that played sports, or maybe just played in a schoolyard or sandbox and sometimes folks if they lose start complaining that they got cheated. somebodynever heard of complain about being cheated before the game is over. or before the scores even tally. be to go out would there and try to win the election. up 10 or 15 is points on election day and ends up losing, then maybe he can raise some questions. that does not seem to be the case at the moment. question of expansion
that you've been talking about, because you see them expanding around the world, because as you see them trying to inspire attacks, what is your current level of -- about the homeland? you talked about the protection measures, but what is your assessment about the possibility your own intelligence advisers to the state possible about the direct isa's threat to americans ? and if i may follow of, what is your assessment that today as you stand here about whether donald trump can be trusted with american nuclear weapons? on your second question, and i was sort of a justice to any additional trump questions. i would ask all of you to just make your own judgment. i've made this point already
multiple times. just listen to what mr. jump has to say and make your own judgment with respect to how confident you feel about his ability to manage things like our nuclear triad. as i recall, i just answered a question about this a couple of days ago and i thought i made myself pretty clear. i don't want to just keep on repeating it or a variation on it. i obviously of a bearish on the two candidates who are running. one is very positive, and one is not so much. i think you will just here any further questions that are directed to the subject, i think you were pretty much variations on the same thing. is this issay
serious business. the person who is in the oval office and who our secretary of defense and our joint chiefs of staff and our outstanding men ,nd women in uniform report to they are counting on somebody who has the temperament and good judgment to be able to make decisions to keep america safe. be very much on the minds of voters when they go to the voting booth in november. in terms of the threat that isis proposes to the homeland, i think it is serious. we take it seriously. as i said earlier, precisely because they are less concerned about it for -- spectacular 9/11 style attacks, because they had
seen the degree of attention they can get with smaller scale attacks using small arms or assault rifles or in the case of nice, france, a truck. possibility of either a loan actor or a pot -- small cell carrying out an attack that killed people. that is why our intelligence and law enforcement and military officials are working around the clock to try anticipate potential tax, to obtain the threads of people vulnerable to brainwashing by isa.
we are constrained here in united states to carry out this work in a way that is consistent with our laws and presumptions of innocence. and the fact that we prevent a lot of these attacks as effectively as we do without a lot of fanfare and abiding by our law is a testament to the incredible work that these votes are doing. they work really hard at it, but it is always a risk. read theou may have article in the new york times today, guess it came out today online about this individual in germany who had confessed and given himself up and then howained his knowledge of isis networks worked, there was a paragraph that some may have for a which we don't know
fact of this is true, but , theding to this reporting individual indicated that iso recognizes it is harder to get its operatives into the united but the fact that we have what he referred to as "meant that anybody as long as they did not have a criminal record can made and buy weapons, that a homegrown extremists strategy more attractive to them. those are the hardest to stop because by definition if somebody does not have a record, if it's not triggering something, it means that anticipating their actions becomes that much more difficult. the military strategy we have in syria and
iraq is necessary, but not sufficient. we have to do a better job of and those networks networks are more active in , bute than they are here we don't know what we don't know so it is conceivable that there are some networks here that could be activated. we also have to get to the that can reach a troubled individual over the internet. and do a better job of disrupting that and what i told my team is that, although he had been working on this now for 5, 6, 7 years, we have to put more resources into it. this can't be an afterthought. it is something that we have to really focus on. this is also why how we work with the muslim american community, the values that we affirm about their patriotism
ourtheir sacrifice and fellow feeling with them so important. one of the reasons that we don't have networks and cells that are as active here as they are in certain parts of europe is because the muslim american ismunity in this country extraordinarily patriotic. largely successful. fights in our military commenters of our doctors and nurses in their communities in which they are raising their and ofth love of country injection to violence. that has to be affirmed consistently. , then we screw that up will bigger problems. yesterday you commuted -- of
214 federal inmates. it was the largest single day grant of commutations in the history of american presidency. i want to ask you a couple of questions about this. one is, you talked about this as drug offenders who got mandatory been on sentences. about a quarter of the connotations also had firearms offenses. philosophy onrall firearms, can you reconcile that for us and given that previously -- senior presidency yet that the memo to the office -- saying there was a sort of predisposition against firearms. why did you change your mind and set? the other side of the ledger's pardon. you've parted more that since calvin coolidge. that? is the focus on commutations taking energy away from pardons? especially since -- you talk
about second chances. then finally one other thing, many of your predecessors in the final days of their presidency have reserve that for their more politically sensitive pardons, should be expected to do that? be questioned because i have not had a chance to talk about this much. this is an effort that i'm proud of you. -- proud of. it is my view shared by democrats and republicans alike that asquarters successful as we have been in ,educing crime in this country the extraordinary rate of incarceration, nonviolent ownnders has created its set of problems that are devastating.
entire communities have been ravaged. , but someely meant women are taken out of those communities, kids are not upwing up -- now growing without parents, it perpetuates a cycle of poverty and disorder in the last. -- their lives. it is disproportionately young men of color that are being arrested at higher rates, charged and convicted at higher rates and imprisoned for longer sentences. ultimately, the fix on this is criminal justice reform. i still hold that the bipartisan effort taking place in congress and we canthe job have a criminal justice system at least at the federal level that is both smart on crime and
effective on crime, but recognizes the need for proportionality and sentencing and the need to rehabilitate those who commit crimes. processn as that slow of criminal justice reform goes forward, what i want to see is if we can reinvigorate the pardon process and commutation process that has become stalled. over the course of several years. partly because it is politically risky. you commute to somebody and they commit a crime, then the politics of it are tough. everybody remembers -- so the bias i think of my predecessors and frankly, of a number of my advisors early my presidency is to be careful about that. but i thought it was important for us to send a clear message
that we believe in the principles behind criminal justice reform even if ultimately be need legislation. so, we have focused more on commutations than we have on pardons. i would argue that by the time i leave office, the number of pardons every grant will be roughly in line with what other presidents have done. but standing up this commutations process has required a lot of effort and a lot of energy, and a sonic we have a new slug of money to do it. limited resources, the primary job of the justice department is to prevent crime and to convict those who have committed crimes and to keep the american people say. that means that you have had and percolatenary effort by a lot of people inside the justice department to go
above and beyond what they are doing to also review these petitions that i've been taking place and we've been able to get bar organizations around the country to participate to kind of screen and help people apply. and the main criteria that i try to set is if under today's laws, because there have been changes and how we charge nonviolent drug offenders, if under today's charges, their sentences would be substantially lower than the charges that they received, if they got a light sentence but a u.s. attorney or justice department indicates that today they would be likely to get 20 years and a barista 25, then what we would try to do is to screen through and find those paid their who have
in that situation, the fact they and20 years earlier enhancement because he had a firearm, is different than a situation where somebody is engaged in armed robbery and shot somebody. in those cases, that is still that i'm concerned about. our focus really has been on people who we think were overcharged and people who did not believe how to propensity towards violence. question,f your last
about last-minute pardons that are granted. the process i put in place is not going to very depending on how close i get to the election. the going to be reviewed by pardon attorney, it will be reviewed by my white house counsel. as best as i can am going to make these decisions based on the merits as opposed to political considerations. finally, jim miller shuts he is retiring after 30 years at nbc. he has done an outstanding job mostly covering the department of defense. this may be my last press conference here. thank jim for the external a that he's had in the great job is done.
he gets the last question. to isis and iraq and syria. your very own national comment -- counterterrorism operation all ofnd that despite the decisive defeat of the coalition has dealt isis on the battlefield, they have expanded toir threat worldwide include as many as 18 operational bases. in the six years you have been feeling of there any personal disappointment there is not been more progress? and any discussions you've had with the u.s. military and intelligence agencies, have you come up with any new ideas on how to deal or defeat isis. every time there's a terrorist attack, i feel disappointment. because i would like to prevent all of them.
that is true not just when the tax and europe or the united intes -- the attacks are europe or the united states. when you read stories about attacks in lebanon or iraq or or distant parts of the world that don't get as much attention, they get my ticket. because that is somebody's kid and that is somebody's mom and that the somebody who was just going about his business. and mindlessly, senselessly this person was murdered. to it it not gotten up bugs me whenever it happens in wherever it happens.
it is important that we recognize terrorism as a tactic has been around for a long time. if you look at the 70's of the 80's of the 90's, there was some terrorist activity summer in the world that was brutal. like to say would during my eight year presidency we could have eliminated i don'tm completely, expect that will happen under the watch of my successes. i do think because of our extranet efforts, the homeland is significantly safer than it
.therwise would be and some items in some ways is arguing the counterfactual. the attack to prevent, i take great satisfaction in and i'm grateful for the extraordinary what that our teams do. i don't think there's any doubt that happy not to destroy al , that more americans would've been killed. and we might have seen more attacks like we saw on 9/11. and we have maintained vigilance, recognizing that those threats still remained, those aspirations and the mind of these folks still remain, but it is much harder for them to carry out large-scale attack like this than it used to be. that thesee seen is lower level attacks carried out by fewer operatives or an
individual with less sophisticated and less expensive weapons, can do real damage. and that, i think, points to the need for us to not just have a military strategy, not just have a traditional counterterrorism strategy, that is designed to bust of networks and catch folks before they carry out their talks, although there is still are necessary and we have to be more and more sophisticated about how we carry this out, it still requires us to have much greater cooperation with our partners around the world. but it points to the fact that we are going to have to do a draining the ideology that is behind these attacks. that right now is emanating largely out of the middle east
and a very small fraction of the muslim world, a perversion of islam that has taken root and has been turbocharged over the appealingand that is to even folks who don't necessarily know anything about islam and argument practicing islam in any serious way. psychosisll kinds of and latch onto this as some way of being important and magnifying themselves. that is tougher, because that changes inth geopolitics and -- in places like syria. changes in cultural regions like the middle east and north africa that are going through generational changes and shifts of the old order collapses.
andequires psychology thinking about how do these messages of hate reach individuals. are there ways in which we can intervene ahead of time.? all of that work is being done. best people at that. each day we are making a difference in saving lives, not just to, but around the world. challenge, precisely because if you're successful 99% of the time, that 1% can still meet heartbreak for families. the can still be difficult because in a country of say 300 million people here in the united states, if 99.9% of the
people are immune from this hateful ideology but 1/10 of 1% are susceptible to it, that is a lot of dangerous people running around. we can always anticipate them had a time. because they may not have a criminal record. so this is going to be a job. i want to end on the point that i made earlier, how we react to as the as important ,fforts we take to destroy isil prevent these networks from penetrating, you can't separate those two things out. the reason it is called terrorism as opposed to just a standard war is that these are weak enemies that can't match us in conventional power, but what they can do is make a scared.
and want to make -- when societies get scared they can react in ways that undermine the fabric of society. it makes us weaker and more vulnerable and creates politics hurtdivide us in ways that us in the long term if we from a study and steadfast are vigilant, but also take the long perspectiventain and remind ourselves of who we are and what we care about most deeply and what we cherish and what we care about in this thetry what is good about international order and civilization that was built in part because of the sacrifices of our men and women after a
20th-century full of world war. if we remember that the movie ok. i'm going to be late for my birthday dinner. you alluded earlier to the negotiations between u.s. and russia over some military cooperation and syria against some of the militant forces there, presumably in exchange influenceer russian could be opposed on the assad regime for a variety of reasons. i'm sure you are not surprise that some of the military are not supportive of that deal. some european allies think it is -- would be a deal with the devil. what makes you so confident that
you can trust the russians and bottom imprudent. >> it includes the end to the kinds of area bombing and civilian death and destruction --t we see carried out russia -- they don't have sufficient influence over us all. -- assad. that's what we can attest. we go into this without any blinders on. we are clear that russia has been willing to support a murderous regime that has -- destroyed his country just to cling on to power. what started with peaceful protest has led to a shattered -- shattering of an entire
pretty advanced society. trying tor you are withr any kind of deal individuals like that for a tontry like that, you have go in there with skepticism. on the other hand, if we are cessationt a genuine of hostilities that prevents indiscriminate bombing, that protects civilians, that allows createsrian access and some sort of pathway to begin the hard work of political negotiations inside of syria, then we have to try. because the alternative is perpetuation of civil war.
i've been wrestling with this thing now for a lot of years. i'm pretty confidence that a big that migrates or comes out of my syria meetings. there is not a meeting that i -- so thaty saying the syrian people can put their lives back together amicably the refugee prices that is taken and the options are limited but you have a civil war like this. when you have a ruler who does not care about people. terroristave got
organizations that are brutal would impose their own kind people.torship on and you have a moderate opposition and ordinary civilians who are often outgunned and outmanned. that is a very difficult situation to deal with. but, we have to give it a chance. there will be some bottom lines that we expect for us to theerate with russia beyond sword of the confliction that we are doing. that means restraint on the part of the regime that so far has not been forthcoming. early on in this version of this the station -- cessation
hostilities we are probably seen some life-saving some lessening of violence. violations of the cessation of grown to the point where just barely exists, particularly up in the northwestern part of the country. so we will test and see "something that is fixed. if not, then russia will have to beitself very clearly an irresponsible actor on the world stage for supporting a murderous regime and will have to be -- have to answer to that on the international stage. thank you very much everybody.
>> this weekend's these bands city store will ask for the history and literary life of port huron michigan. on book tv we talk with author tj gaffney and learn the railroad was played in michigan's subregion. the container movement is particularly the connection us shipping containers moving over from places like china and indonesia and elsewhere. railroads are very part -- much a part of that route. so when you go to long beach california where there is large shipping facilities, the railroads are right there and right alongside the container ships. they are the ones that help get it to the next -- mike connell, former executive editor and columnist for the port huron times herald talks about the richest report ron, its historical importance, and the current state of the economy on the city. 1990's, we were really thriving economy. not just any statewide, but also locally. we were doing pretty well.
things stopped about the year 2000. in 2000, to go by household income, michigan is one of the 15 by the estate. 152008,, we were one of the poor states. >> on american history tv, we visit the train depot where thomas edison worked as a young boy and make a stop at the thomas edison depot museum. we also speak with the museum's manager. >> we have a re-creation of his little chemical laboratory and printing equipment where he was the first person was in no want to print a newspaper on a moving train. he and access to the latest news to the telegraph as the train offices and would get that news right hot off the presses. weekend, --