As the Middle East burns, President Obama has only briefly interrupted his campaign and fundraising schedule to make perfunctory remarks regarding the crisis. Where is the president? Will we hear an address like this?
Good evening. I address you tonight during a period of tremendous unrest and violence across the Middle East. As you know, American embassies in a dozen countries have come under continuous assault. In Libya, a mob of Islamic extremists killed our ambassador, Navy SEALS and an American civilian. In Tunis, the mob ripped down our flag and replaced it with the black flag of Al Queda. In Cairo, words in praise of Osama Bin Laden were spray-painted onto our embassy.
Tonight, I speak both to you, my fellow citizens, and to those in the Middle East who would attack sovereign American property and threaten American lives.
As I speak, special teams of United States Marines are on their way to defend our installations in nations across the Middle East. I wish to make clear that the United States will not brook further violence to its property or its citizens. Those who would cause such harm should now know that they will not only reckon with the security forces of their own country, but with the Unites States Marines.
I have authorized the Marines to take whatever steps are necessary to protect and defend American territory and lives.
The Unites States has no wish to restrict the ability of any person to voice his opinion in protest of an offense to his religious beliefs, real or perceived. However, we will not tolerate rampaging mobs attacking our property and our citizens. In short, we do not care where, what or how you protest, so long as you do so in a way that does not threaten American territory or the lives of American citizens.
In addition, I wish to firmly state to the world that the United States will not permit the Iranian government to acquire even the capability to make a nuclear weapon. This country and its allies have been exceedingly patient with the regime in Tehran. Yet the regime has thwarted any and all good faith efforts to compromise on this grave matter.
As such, negotiations are at an impasse and they are finished. The United States will take whatever steps it deems necessary, at the time of its choosing, to protect its interests against a nuclear Iran. And this nation will stand with, and defend, its ally Israel against any Iranian aggression.
The people of the United States do not desire conflict with any nation. Rather, we wish to live in peace and to accord to the peoples of other nations the same precious God-given rights that we here enjoy--including the rights to free speech, public assembly and religious freedom. We do not wish to take any human life, and we respect the dignity of all persons created in the image and likeness of God. In the words so many Americans hold sacred, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God."
Yet, it is also written "Those who live by the sword shall die by the sword." Those who wish to live by the sword should not mistake our desire for peace as a refusal to act in defense of our interests, our sovereign property and lives of our citizens. We will discharge our duty to our people and our allies without hesitation.
So let us stand united and resolved tonight, praying for peace, but warning those who would do us harm that they will suffer a grievous consequence for acts of violence.
God Bless you and our country.