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Obama on Recent Middle East Violence: 'Bumps in the Road'

9:08 PM, Sep 23, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
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This evening on CBS's 60 Minutes, President Barack Obama called the recent violence in the Middle East "bumps in the road."

CBS's Steve Kroft asked, “Have the events that took place in the Middle East, the recent events in the Middle East given you any pause about your support for the governments that have come to power following the Arab Spring?”

President Obama answered, “Well, I'd said even at the time that this is going to be a rocky path. The question presumes that somehow we could have stopped this wave of change. I think it was absolutely the right thing for us to do to align ourselves with democracy, universal rights-- a notion that-- people have- to be able to-- participate-- in-- their own governance. But I was pretty certain and continue to be pretty certain that there are going to be bumps in the road because-- you know, in a lot of these places-- the one organizing principle-- has been Islam. The one part of society that hasn't been controlled completely by the government. There are strains of extremism, and anti-Americanism, and anti-Western sentiment. And you know can be tapped into by demagogues. There will probably be some times where we bump up against some of these countries and have strong disagreements, but I do think that over the long term, we are more likely to get a Middle East and North Africa that is more peaceful, more prosperous and more aligned with our interests.”

Of course, the recent violence in the Middle East resulted in the death of an American ambassador and three other Americans working with the State Department. Additionally, widespread mobs have gathered outside American targets across the Muslim world, including from Egypt to Pakistan.

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