Americans in New York comment on President Barack Obama's upcoming speech in which he is expected to lay out plans to fight Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.(No reporter narration).
(NO REPORTER NARRATION) Islamic State poses a threat and U.S. military action against the militant group is warranted, say a diverse group of Americans in New York. The concerns about Islamic State were expressed in interviews with Reuters in Times Square on Wednesday (September 10), just hours ahead of a widely anticipated speech by U.S. President Barack Obama in which he's expected to announce his plan to defeat Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. A newsstand in the heart of Times Square was piled with newspapers that had devoted their main headlines to Obama's upcoming speech. The Wall Street Journal headline read, 'Support grows for military action'. The New York Times' front page blared, 'Obama is ready to order strikes from air in Syria'. Opinions on the bustling streets echoed the headlines. "I think he (Obama) should be dropping bombs in Syria now. We're taking some steps in Iraq but he should be in Syria as well," said Joe Gill, an American visiting New York from Los Angeles. New Yorker Oren Getz said Islamic State needs to be neutralized. "We've got to neutralize the Islamic State. It is a huge threat to the world and the world security and the safety of us and western civilization," said Getz. While another New Yorker, Jim Donnelly, originally from Boston, expressed anger with the president, saying he hadn't done enough to combat the threat from Islamic State. "People are chopping Americans' heads off left and right and what is our President doing? Nothing. He'd rather go golfing. I'd rather be going to the golf course than watching people beheaded. It's pathetic," said Donnelly. The White House has indicated that Obama will discuss direct U.S. military action as well as support for forces fighting the group in both countries. The White House, in a statement ahead of the speech, said the United States "will pursue a comprehensive strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy" the Islamic organization. The speech will be carefully watched for indications of how much Obama is prepared to intervene directly into Syria, riven by civil war and whose leader Washington has sought to dislodge. New Yorker Maureen Osario said the recent beheadings of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff were greatly upsetting. "I am looking forward to President Obama's speech tonight because yes, there was one of our newscasters beheaded and we cannot put up with something like that," Osario said. Obama is schedule to speak at 9 p.m. EDT (0100 GMT Thursday). He also will discuss his administration's effort to build international support for the U.S. plan among allies and others in the region and work with Congress, the statement said.