Barack Obama talks tough on terror as Iran raises nuclear stakes
Guardian UK / Paul Harris

President Barack Obama took on his Republican critics over national security by declaring that the United States remained at war with terrorists and vowing to strike at those behind the Christmas Day airplane bomb attempt.

The move marked a dramatic shift in tone from the White House, which has endured a week of withering attacks from Republicans who said it had mismanaged the response to the failed attack.

Obama used his weekly radio address to respond to comments by former Vice-President Dick Cheney, accusing him of pretending America was not at war. Obama insisted he had said America was at war from his first day in office: "On that day, I also made it very clear that our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred, and that we will do whatever it takes to defeat them and defend our country."

To back up his hard line, Obama also laid the blame for the Christmas Day attack at the lap of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. He said the group had equipped and sent out the Nigerian-bomb bomber Umar Abdulmutallab and would now be brought to justice. "All those involved in the attempted act of terrorism on Christmas must know: you too will be held to account," Obama said.

It is unlikely, however, that Obama's stance will do much to appease his Repu... >>>

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