"Don’t fool yourselves" about the motives of Al Qaeda. That was one of the messages President Barack Obama sent today at a town hall meeting in Strasbourg, France. Obama said thatthe terrorist group isn’t motivated by U.S. policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but by a "twisted, distorted ideology" — but reitereated that he still planned to "work very hard" for Palestinian-Israeli peace. Here’s an excerpt of his remarks:
It is going to be a very difficult challenge. Al Qaeda is still bent on carrying out terrorist activity. It is — don’t fool yourselves — because some people say, well, you know, if we changed our policies with respect to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or if we were more respectful towards the Muslim world, suddenly these organizations would stop threatening us. That’s just not the case.
It is true that we have to change our behavior in showing the Muslim world greater respect, and changing our language and changing our tone. It is true that we have to work very hard for Israeli-Palestinian peace. But what is also true is that these organizations are willing to kill innocent people because of a twisted, distorted ideology. And we, as democracies and as people who value human life, can’t allow those organizations to operate.