President Obama: Overcoming Fear ‘Most Powerful Tool’ to Fight ISIS – ABC News
President Obama said Sunday that the “most powerful tool” to fight ISIS is to prevent their recent terror attacks from injecting fear in communities or governments around the world.
“We do not succumb to fear,” Obama said during a news conference closing out the final leg of his nine-day, three nation trip overseas. “The most powerful tool we have to fight ISIL is to say that we’re not afraid. To not elevate them and to somehow buy into their fantasy that they’re doing something important.”
Speaking on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the president sought to reassure allies that the U.S. will continue as an effective leader of the global coalition to destroy ISIS.
“Destroying ISIL is not only a realistic goal,” Obama said, using a preferred acronym for the terror group. “We’re going to get it done and we’re going to pursue it. It’s going to get done.”
Obama, who is set to visit Paris at the end of the month for a major climate conference, said that world leaders would be sending an important message by not letting the devastating terror attack just over a week ago prevent them from attending.
“I think it is absolutely vital for every country, every leader to send a signal that the viciousness of a handful of killers does not stop the world from doing vital business,” he said.
The president also decried news headlines that sought to label the recently-deceased ringleader of the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, as a “mastermind.”
“He’s not a mastermind,” Obama said. “He found a few other vicious people, got hands on some fairly conventional weapons, and sadly, it turns out if you’re willing to die you can kill a lot of people.”
The president further urged the media not to overplay the threat of ISIS to the U.S. homeland, saying assertively that ISIS “cannot strike a mortal blow” to the U.S. or France, or even Malaysia.
“They’re a bunch of killers with good social media,” Obama said. “Our way of life is stronger. We have more to offer. We represent 99.9 percent of humanity and that’s why we should be confident that we will win.”