Obama: Social Media Makes Global Problems Seem More ‘Messy’

Olivier Douliery/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

President Barack Obama sought to reassure donors Friday that the foreign policy quandaries facing America today are no more challenging than threats the country has faced before.

Speaking at a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee in Purchase, N.Y., the President acknowledged that recent developments in the Middle East and Ukraine are making people feel “anxious,” adding that “if you watch the nightly news, it feels like the world is falling apart.”

“And the truth of the matter is, is that the world has always been messy,” he said, according to a transcript of his remarks. “In part, we’re just noticing now because of social media and our capacity to see in intimate detail the hardships that people are going through.”

Obama’s remarks came a day after he told reporters that his administration did not yet have a strategy for combating Islamic militants in Syria.

Despite the “pretty frightening” barbarities carried out by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and Russia’s renewed incursions into Ukraine, Obama told donors that Americans are much less vulnerable to foreign threats than they were just 10 years ago.

“This is not something that is comparable to the challenges we faced during the Cold War,” he said.