A great speech tonight from President Trump. It is astonishing that the President of the United States vowing to protect and defend the American people would be remotely controversial, and meet with stony silence and angry stares from one of the nation’s two major political parties (and probably inwardly from a good many establishment Republicans as well), but that is the degenerated state of affairs today.
In any case, one significant aspect of this address was that President Trump reiterated his determination to combat “radical Islamic terrorism” — a formulation is new national security adviser, H. R. McMaster, has explicitly rejected. Questions about whether Trump was retreating from his previously stated determination to discuss honestly the motivating ideology of the enemy, which is an indispensable prerequisite to defeating that enemy, were put to rest for the moment.
From President Trump’s speech before Congress tonight:
Our obligation is to serve, protect and defend the citizens of the United States. We are also taking strong measures to protect our nation from radical Islamic terrorism.
According to data provided by the Department of Justice, the vast majority of individuals convicted of terrorism and terrorism-related offenses since 9/11 came here from outside of our country. We have seen the attacks at home, from Boston to San Bernardino to the Pentagon and, yes, even the World Trade Center. We have seen the attacks in France, in Belgium, in Germany and all over the world.
It is not compassionate, but reckless to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur.
Those given the high honor of admission to the United States should support this country and love its people and its values. We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America, and we cannot allow our nation to become a sanctuary for extremists.
(APPLAUSE) That is why my administration has been working on improved vetting procedures, and we will shortly take new steps to keep our nation safe, and to keep those out who will do us harm.
As promised, I directed the Department of Defense to develop a plan to demolish and destroy ISIS, a network of lawless savages that have slaughtered Muslims and Christians, and men, women and children of all faiths and all beliefs. We will work with our allies, including our friends and allies in the Muslim world, to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet.
I have also imposed new sanctions on entities and individuals who support Iran’s ballistic missile program, and reaffirmed our unbreakable alliance with the state of Israel.