News / USA

Obama Defends Handling of Gaza, Ukraine Conflicts

President Barack Obama speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Aug. 1, 2014.
President Barack Obama speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Aug. 1, 2014.
Luis Ramirez

President Barack Obama is defending his handling of conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine as fighting in both places shows no signs of letting up, despite intense U.S. diplomatic efforts this week.

At a White House briefing Friday, the president hoped to focus on positive job growth numbers. Instead, he dealt with questions on the failure of U.S. diplomatic efforts to secure a cease-fire in Gaza and stop Russia's intervention in Ukraine, where fighting raged as Russian forces continued their buildup on the border.

In Gaza, a cease-fire brokered with U.S. help collapsed moments after it was announced, when two Israeli soldiers were killed and a third was captured.   

Obama said stopping the fighting is going to be a challenge. “I think it's going to be very hard to put a cease-fire back together again if Israelis and the international community can't feel confident that Hamas can follow through on a cease-fire commitment.”

When a reporter asked the president if he had lost his influence in the world, Obama said U.S. diplomatic efforts will take time, and he pointed to what he said is progress in pressuring Russia to resolve the Ukraine crisis.

European nations joined Obama this week in imposing tougher new sanctions on key Russian sectors, something the U.S. administration had been threatening for months. Short of going to war, he said there are going to be constraints in terms of what the U.S. can do to stop Russian interference in Ukraine.
 
“What we've done is imposed sufficient costs on Russia that objectively speaking, they should -- President Putin should -- want to resolve this diplomatically, get these sanctions lifted, get their economy growing again, and have good relations with Ukraine; but, sometimes people don't act rationally,” he said.

Obama said he called Putin on Friday and reiterated his deep concerns about Russia's increasing support for separatists in Ukraine. Obama said he told the Russian leader he prefers a diplomatic solution, and the two agreed to keep channels of communication open.

 

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
    Next 
by: Jill from: Pennsylvania
August 03, 2014 2:19 PM
The United States should not give one penny nor one weapon to the Ukrainian government. How hypocritical of us! And to top it all off, the Ukrainian parliament has been infiltrated by this SvobodaI .Neo-Nazi National- Social Party!


by: Dave from: USA
August 03, 2014 12:53 PM
Shelling that is going on is by the Ukrainian military, and they are shelling towns and villages, killing innocent people. The elderly, the women, the children, all dead.

Some had their limbs blown off, some had their head severed by shrapnel, some had half of the head blown off. Schools, hospitals, elderly residences and apartments are getting destroyed by Ukrainian military. Yet the US and EU continue to supply weapons to Ukraine to continue their massacre of innocent people.

Here, see it for yourself. Search for "Ukraine death and destruction" and choose youtube or whatever site you get in search results.


by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, Texas
August 03, 2014 2:19 AM
The very objective of a cease-fire would be fulfilled over the Palestine-Israeli sector. But the Hamas must be dealt first as that should be. The efforts of our president, secretary of the state and our friendly states along with the UN would come up successfully. In 2006, the fight between the Hamas and Hezbollah in one side and Israel on the other......... the very objective of Israel had been to smash the combined strength of the two evils. But then, the UN sponsored cease-fire had stopped that. In the current commotion between the Hamas and Israel, the other evil - Hezbollah has been the silent spectator so far. There does remain a great reason for this - the Hezbollah militia are engaged in the Syrian civil war. While president Assad does take the brunts of the civil war....... the internal commotions do move in the fourth year, the Assad regime does not want to deplete the unicus strength of the Hezbollah thereby opening a second front of war with Israel as the Syrian regime fails so far in crushing the rebels. Besides, the ISIL has taken a swath of the Syrian territory for a new state formation along with that of Iraq. So, to restrain the Hezbollah, it's the shrewd policy of the Assad regime. And, most certainly, it's the right opportunity for Israel to give a deadly blow to the bandit Hamas wing at this moment before a cease-fire does come up. Premier Netanyahu, his govt. and the Israeli defense strategists must act now as the current situation warrants with the Hamas. The unequivocal alround supports of our friendly states of Europe, the Middle East and ours do remain favoring Israel. Giving a deathly blow to the Hamas would well foretell the cofirmation of not eliminating the terror threats upon Israel but that to ensure constructive dialouge process between the Palestne govt.led by Abu Mazen and Israel for the complete statehood for the Palestine side adhinc. We Americans and our govt. support and endeavor as Israel does cede the Palestinian occupied territories........ And, that's to remain ahead too.


by: Preston from: wisconsin
August 02, 2014 3:32 PM
To all of you that keep crying about obama, specically those from other countries. Every comment is a contradiction and some are obviously not from those countries. Netherlands didnt have any problem with us intervening in ww2 or during the cold war, but now you wanna chime in on the fact that these barefoot backwater countries are in disarray. Putin is a **** who is 4' 11" and needs to act powerful to his friends to feel like a big boy for once. And israel and palistine have been at war since ww2. If the indians were removed from america and given our country after ww2 we would be fighting them also. But we arent the world police. None of your stupid countries do anything to help but sit and ***** on your computers or badmouth our country when we give everyone money for no reason, we would be far better building an iron dome and closing our borders to all foreign nationals. Though it would be bad for you and good for us we are better than that and listen to your bulls*** for it. You ****** personally send your families into someone elses war or shut up. Enough of ours die to stop the advance of oppression and all you do is talk. Maybe obama is thinking of our people first, I know thats a crime to the world but your ignorance and cowardess hiding behind fake na,es and countries is worse

In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
August 02, 2014 10:53 PM
Obama "quote" said it;... "Bin Laden is dead and the world is a safer place"... (and then Obama "quote" said;)... "Al-Qaeda is on the run, and it's leadership has been decimated"... (how naïve is Obama?).

SOMEBODY PLEASE tell Obama, that Al-Qaeda and it's affiliates are "running" through Iraq, Afghanistan, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Yemen, and now in Asia, Africa, North Africa, the Middle East, and heading for Europe, and then the Americas, (and you'd think), Obama being the leader of the greatest country on earth, with the greatest military in the history of the world, (could do something), too slowdown and stop Al-Qaeda and it's affiliates from overrunning the world, don't you think?..... (or do you think somebody else should do it for him?)


by: musicmaster from: Netherlands
August 02, 2014 11:11 AM
The world is a bigger chaos than it has been in decades: Libya, Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, Mali and Ukraine are all in trouble. And in all cases you can find Obama's finger prints. His policy to overthrow government whereever he wants has turned horribly wrong but he hasn't got the guts (and maybe even the wisdom) to admit it. Instead he keeps creating more chaos.

In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
August 02, 2014 11:48 PM
The whole world is erupting in chaos, violence, destruction and wars on Obama's watch, (and he's so naïve without a clue, on what's going on, or what he should do about it), as the leader of the greatest country on earth, possessing the greatest military in the history of the world, (he just talks), and is helpless in fighting Al-Qaeda and it's affiliates, (and against other countries), he issues threats and imposes sanctions, red-lines, and continues to talk.... (If talking could defeat countries, Obama would conquer the world)..


by: Tibor from: The Netherlands
August 02, 2014 5:25 AM
His masters voice.
Both cases are against the basic human rights.
Nations and ethnicities within have their right for self determination.
The time of dictatorship and open suppression is over.

In Response

by: Jill from: Pennsylvania
August 03, 2014 1:08 AM
Yes, lately I feel as though I am living in a dictatorship ,not a democratic republic and much less a democracy, with our President just carrying out his whims, without consulting Congress or, we the people, and going against the laws and Constitution of our land--very discouraging!


by: habib janjua from: calgary alberta canad
August 02, 2014 1:00 AM
The wanton slaughter in Gaza is unjustified.Israel does not follow any laws or rules except the use of force.Let any middle east country opposed to Israel develop a nuclear equalizer to muzzle the mad dog of middle east.Until then pimping comments are all we have even when they come from the mouth of a President.


by: Jello Beyonce from: Hell
August 01, 2014 11:56 PM
Barack Obama is his own #1 fan, supporter and defender.


by: STJOHNOFGRAFTON from: AUSTRALIA
August 01, 2014 11:47 PM
Why should we trust what BO says. He changed America's laws, without the due process mandated by the Constitution to bypass Congress in order to free islamic terrorists in that ridiculous Bergdahl swap.

In Response

by: Jill from: Pennsylvania
August 02, 2014 5:15 PM
Yes, by law, he was must inform Congress 30 days before releasing any prisoners of war. He told no one and released, not 1 but 5 Taliban leaders for an AWOL soldier, without ever informing Congress.

In Response

by: Charlie468
August 02, 2014 12:45 AM
And then there are those who believe the President broke no laws and acted within the authority of the President. Seems it depends somewhat on ones pre-determined narrative.


by: robertc from: NY
August 01, 2014 11:23 PM
Obama ...The Incompetent One.

He still likes to hear himself speak even though everything he touches becomes a disaster for America.

In Response

by: Charlie468
August 02, 2014 12:46 AM
Ah yes. OBL is dead, the economy is not only back but above 2008 levels, 14 million additional Americans now have health insurance.....that is some disaster.

Comments page of 2
    Next 

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid