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WBEN NewsRadio 930>Audio & Video on Demand>>President Obama on Ferguson and Iraq

President Obama on Ferguson and Iraq

Aug 18, 2014|

The president addresses issues in both Ferguson, MO and Iraq.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Earlier today I received an update for my team on two separate issues that I've been following closely. Our ongoing operation in Iraq and the situation and Ferguson -- -- With the respect to Iraq. We continue to see important progress across different parts of our strategy to support the Iraqi Government. And combat the threat from the terrorist group myself. First our military operations are effectively protecting our personnel and facilities in Iraq. Over the last eleven days American airstrikes have stopped the Beisel events throughout the city of mobile and push back the terrorists. Meanwhile we have urgently provide additional arms and assistance to Iraqi forces. Including Kurdish and Iraqi Security Forces were fighting on the front lines. Today with our support. Iraqi and Kurdish forces took a major step forward by recapturing the largest -- in Iraq near the city of Mosul. The -- that -- fell under terrorist control earlier this month and his directly tied to our objective of protecting Americans in Iraq. If that dam was breached it could have proven catastrophic with -- that would threaten the lives of thousands of civilians. And endanger our embassy compound. In Baghdad. Iraqi and Kurdish forces took the lead on the ground and performed with courage and determination. So this operation demonstrates that Iraqi and Kurdish forces are capable of working together. And taking the fight to -- If they continue to -- so there will have the strong support. The United States of America. Second we're building an international coalition to address the humanitarian crisis in Northern Iraq. Even as we've worked to help many thousands these CDs escape procedures bouncing jar. Hundreds of thousands of rockets have been displaced by Parcells violence and many more are still at risk. Going forward the United States will work with the Iraqi Government as well as partners like the United Kingdom Canada France Italy and Australia. To get food and water to people in need and to bring -- long term relief to people who have been driven from their homes. -- We will continue to pursue a long term strategy to turn the tide against Neitzel. By supporting the new Iraqi Government and working with key partners in the region and beyond. Over the last week we saw this sort progress as Iraqis named a new prime minister designate. Fighter all body and Iraq's outgoing for a prime minister of Maliki agreed to step down. As peaceful transition of power will mark a major milestone. In Iraq's political development but as I think world where the work is not yet done. Over the next few weeks doctor of body needs to complete the work performing in new. Broad based inclusive Iraqi Government. One that developed a national program to address the interests of all Iraqis. Without that progress. Extremists like ISO can continue to prey upon Iraq's divisions. We have that new government in place Iraqis will be able that unite the country. Against the threat for myself and there will be able to look forward to increase support. I just from the United States but from other countries in the region and around the world. Let's remember. I suppose as a threat to all Iraqis. And to the entire region. They claim represented -- grievances but based water Sunni men women and children. They claim to oppose foreign forces but they actively recruit foreign fighters to advance their hateful ideology. -- of the Iraqi People made reject them and unite to begin to push them out of Lance that they've occupied as we're seeing at -- -- And is gonna take time. They're going to be many challenges. Ahead. But meanwhile there should be no doubt that the united states military will continue to carry out the limited missions that I populous. Protecting our personnel and facilities in Iraq -- Erbil and Baghdad. And providing humanitarian support as we did on -- syndrome. My administration has consulted closely with congress about our strategy in Iraq and we are gonna continue to do so. In the weeks to come because when it comes to the security of our people and our efforts against terrorist group like I sold we need to be united in our results. I also want to address the situation in Ferguson was our. Earlier this afternoon I spoke with governor Nixon as well senators were blunt Claire McCaskill. Also met with attorney general Eric Holder. The Justice Department has opened an independent. Federal civil rights investigation into the death of Michael Brown. They are on the ground and along with the FBI they are devoting substantial resources to that investigation. The attorney general himself will be traveling to Ferguson on Wednesday to meet. We have the FBI agents and DOJ personnel conducting the federal criminal investigation. And he wolf receive an update from them on their progress. You'll also be meeting with other leaders in the community support is so critical to bringing about peace and home in Fergus. Ronald Davis the director of the DOJ's office of Community Oriented Policing Services or cops. Is also -- traveling to Ferguson tomorrow to work with police officials on the ground. We've also had experts from the DOJ's community relations service working in Ferguson says the days after the shooting. To Foster conversations among local stakeholders and reduce tensions among the community. -- close to sing a few words about the tensions there. We have all seen images of protesters and law enforcement in the streets. It's clear that the vast majority of people are peacefully protest. What's also clear is that a small minority. Of individuals are not. Well I understand the passions in the anger. Arise over the death of Michael Brown. Giving in to vent anger by alluding. Or carrying guns. And even attacking the police. Only serves to raise tensions and stir chaos. It undermines. Rather than advancing. Justice. And also be clear that our constitutional rights to speak freely. To assemble and to report in the press must be vigilant -- -- especially in moments like these. There's no excuse for excessive force by police or any action that denies. People the right to protest peacefully. -- nation lost. Citizens who live under them and for the citizens would force them. So to a community and Ferguson that is right -- hurting and looking for answers. Let me call once again for -- to six some understanding rather than. Simply. Followed each other. Let's seek to -- Rather than to warm to each other. As Americans we got to use this moment to seek out our shared humanity. That's been laid bare by this moment. Potential of a young man and the -- of parents. The frustrations of a community. The ideals that we hold as one united American family. I've said this before. -- too many communities around the country golf. Of mistrust exists between local residents. And law enforcement. Into many communities. Too many young men of color left behind and seen only as objects of fear. Through initiatives like my brother's keeper I personally committed to changing both perception. And reality. And already were making. Some significant progress as people of goodwill of all races -- rated ship that but that requires that we build. And not tear down. That requires we listen. And not dish out. That's how we're gonna move forward together. But trying to unite each other and understand each other or not. Simply. Divide ourselves from one another. We're gonna have to hold -- to those values. In the days ahead. That's how we bring about justice. And that's how we bring about peace.

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