News24

Obama: No war unless absolutely necessary

2012-05-28 22:07

Washington - President Barack Obama honoured veterans on Monday by noting "the light of a new day" of having US troops home from Iraq and returning soon from Afghanistan, while promising not to send soldiers back to war without a clear need.

Obama did not mention tension with Iran and Syria in his remarks to veterans and military families at a hot, sunny Memorial Day ceremony, focusing instead on the wars started by his predecessor, George W Bush, that he wound down as president.

"After a decade under the dark cloud of war, we can see the light of a new day on the horizon," he said at Arlington National Cemetery, drawing applause when he noted the "milestone" of it being the first Memorial Day in nine years without Americans fighting and dying in Iraq.

"As commander in chief, I can tell you that sending our troops into harm's way is the most wrenching decision that I have to make," Obama said shortly after laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

"I can promise you I will never do so unless it is absolutely necessary and that when we do, we must give our troops a clear mission and the full support of a grateful nation."

Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, introducing Obama at the Arlington military cemetery, said that 58 000 Americans died in the Vietnam War. More than 4 000 Americans died in Iraq from 2003 to 2011, and nearly 2 000 have died in Afghanistan from the war's start in 2001 to date.

Comments
  • James - 2012-05-29 00:06

    Iran has not attacked another Country in 250 years. The US and Israel ......

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-29 01:01

      The Iranian regime is the biggest funder of international terrorism on the planet today. It funds Jihadists who have killed and maimed HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of innocent civilians, mostly Muslim. It supports Basahr Assad who has killed more than ten thousand innocent Syrians wanting nothing more than the right to vote, detained, tortured and raped tens of thousands more, and is destroying Syria. It openly calls for the destruction of Israel, and denies the Holocaust which was the single biggest attempt at human genocide in the history of humankind: six million Jewish people exterminated. The Iranian regime is different from the Iranian people. The regime has adjusted elections to hold onto power, effectively stealing the government from the Iranian people. And it supports the stoning to death of women. This is who you are supporting. Why?!

      Riette - 2012-05-29 08:35

      They may not have attacked another country in 250 years, but just renewed their pledge to \r\nannihilate Israel. Must Israel sit back and wait for it to happen? Be very aware of what you are saying, because Israel is being protected by a Greater Force.

      Abrie - 2012-05-29 09:23

      Who still believes the United Snakes of America's propaganda? http://americanforeignpolicy.org/iran-key-myths/iran-has-vowed-to-annihilate-israel

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-29 12:40

      Abrie, your prejudice is blinding you to your own reference. I recommend re-reading it.

  • afroduckk - 2012-05-29 00:56

    And yet Obama is readying the 'War Machine' for its next phase in the Far East , by signing an agreement with Australia to use the Australian air-bases for a possible threat coming from China / Indonesia and/or North Korea .. The question is .. WHO IS FOOLING WHO ....

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-29 01:02

      Simple and faulty thinking. Imagine the works with a weak US. Just imagine what would happen.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-29 01:03

      Simple and faulty thinking. Imagine the world with a weak US. Just imagine what would happen.

  • Fidel - 2012-05-29 09:44

    The US has been at war since the end of WW11. The Military Industrial Complex (MIC)demands it. The Pentagon has a budget of +-$700 billion, do we think that this is to pay for soldiers' salaries only. The war industry and lobby call the shots in the US. War is a Racket!

      ludlowdj - 2012-05-29 11:00

      spot on, War serves two purposes; 1) POPULATION CONTROL, with the added benefit of weakening civilian bloodlines by sending the strongest to die while keeping the weakest to continue the race. 2) FINANCIAL GAIN' Countries have long known that their populations will accept almost any form of control as long as it is War related. The US has fairly much survived on a false economy of war. 3) World DOMINATION' The US has made it perfectly clear that its aim is to create a one government world, at any cost, the choice of peaceful acceptance or all out war the only choices being given to the leaders of the world.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-29 12:42

      Ludlow, you're a disgusting genocidal racist. You're on record stating that the Nazis "should have finished the job". You have ZERO legitimacy on ANYTHING relating to human rights. Your words are empty.

  • ludlowdj - 2012-05-29 10:53

    The US has about a 338 year history, it has been involved in one war or the other for 309 of those years, We should believe anything Obama says.....I think not. The US is a warmongering nation that doesn't seem happy unless its out meeting new and interesting people ....and killing them.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-05-29 12:44

      Ditto the above. The warmonger is you, and you're an ignorant heartless racist to boot.

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