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Obama Delivers Speech to United Nations General Assembly

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On Tuesday, President Barack Obama made a speech to the United Nations General Assembly. He said:

“True democracy — real freedom — is hard work. Those in power have to resist the temptation to crack down on dissent. In hard economic times, countries may be tempted to rally the people around perceived enemies, at home and abroad, rather than focusing on the painstaking work of reform.”

“The attacks of the last two weeks are not simply an assault on America,” Obama said. “They are also an assault on the very ideals upon which the United Nations was founded — the notion that people can resolve their differences peacefully; that diplomacy can take the place of war; and that in an interdependent world, all of us have a stake in working towards greater opportunity and security for our citizens.”

“Today, we must affirm that our future will be determined by people like Chris Stevens, and not by his killers. Today, we must declare that this violence and intolerance has no place among our United Nations.”

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Obama, in his speech, denounced the video that sparked the outrage against the United States in the Middle East.

“I know that not all countries in this body share this understanding of the protection of free speech. Yet in 2012, at a time when anyone with a cell phone can spread offensive views around the world with the click of a button, the notion that we can control the flow of information is obsolete. The question, then, is how we respond. And on this we must agree: There is no speech that justifies mindless violence.”

“Make no mistake: A nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained,” Obama said. “It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations and the stability of the global economy. It risks triggering a nuclear arms race in the region and the unraveling of the Non-Proliferation Treaty. That is why a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable. And that is why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.”

Obama recently said that Egypt might not be an ally of the United States after the country’s newly elected president, Mohammed Morsi, stood idly by while the U.S. Embassy in Cairo was attacked on September 11. Obama’s aides also said that the president conducted a conference call to let the new Egyptian leader know what was expected of him.

  • kafantaris

    The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution itself are both utopian, and both over 200 years old. But unlike other utopias, the one our forefathers embraced works.
    It has an ingenious mechanism to revitalize its institutions: Freedom of speech.
    As John Stuart Mill explained, when a society allows its citizens to question its government, its values and its most sacred beliefs, the examination finds errors and things for improvement.
    But even when no correction at all is needed, the challenge in itself works miracles — it forces us to defend them.
    If things prove fine after such “stress test,” we learn that we are on the right track. Merely knowing this wipes away uncertainty and replaces it with life and vigor.
    Such is the hidden benefit of open debate — and the reason why institutions elsewhere stagnate and die.
    And no one rushes to save them because people have forgotten long before why they are there in the first place. This is the grave danger John Mill warned us about.
    The fathers of this country gave heed to his words.
    Perhaps the fathers of new democracies should do the same.

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Posted by on September 26, 2012. Filed under Breaking News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

 

 

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