Obama’s Security Advisor: ‘Promoting Sustainable Development’ Will Help 'Defeat ISIL's Ideology'

By CNSNews.com Staff | April 17, 2016 | 1:16pm EDT
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(CNSNews.com) - Susan Rice, who serves as National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama, told the Air Force Academy on Thursday that the United States is in a “battle for hearts and minds” against ISIL and that to “defeat ISIL’s ideology for good,” the United States must “offer a more compelling vision.”

“Around the world, countries and communities—including the United States—must continue working to offer a better, more compelling vision,” Rice said.  “We must demonstrate, as President Obama has said, that the future belongs to those who build, not those who destroy.  That includes promoting sustainable development and economic opportunities.”

Here is an excerpt from the transcript of Rice’s speech that was posted by the White House:  

Ultimately, this is also a battle for hearts and minds.  As President Obama has said, “Ideologies are not defeated with guns; they’re defeated by better ideas.”  So, we’re working hard to expose ISIL’s twisted interpretation of Islam and underscore that ISIL is not defending Muslims; they are killing many innocent Muslims.  Recognizing that the United States is not necessarily the best messenger, we’re working with partners across the globe, including in Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.  The State Department’s new Global Engagement Center is amplifying anti-ISIL voices internationally, from religious leaders to ISIL defectors. We’ve brought together government and private sector leaders from Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and Madison Avenue to explore innovative ways to counter ISIL’s poisonous propaganda. And, week by week, these voices are eroding ISIL’s appeal. A new poll shows that nearly 80 percent of young Muslims—from Saudi Arabia to Egypt to Tunisia—are now strongly opposed to ISIL.

To defeat ISIL’s ideology for good, however, we must acknowledge the conditions that help draw people to ISIL’s destructive message in the first place.  Around the world, countries and communities—including the United States—must continue working to offer a better, more compelling vision.  We must demonstrate, as President Obama has said, that the future belongs to those who build, not those who destroy.  That includes promoting sustainable development and economic opportunities.  It means letting people express themselves freely and participate in the political process.  It means responsible governance and protecting the dignity and human rights of all people.  Where ISIL offers horror, countries around the world must offer hope.

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