Friday, December 11, 2009

A Powerful Excerpt From Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize Speech and the subtle political rebukes that appear to be intertwined.

A very strong rebuke of Ron Paul's world political view can be found in the excerpt below from Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize Speech. A more subtle rebuke of George Bush, John McCain and Hillary Clinton's position that we don't negotiate with rogue nations can be found as well.

However, earlier in the speech, Barack Obama also acknowledges that speech making is never enough (which kind of reminds me of the Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign quote about Barack Obama's political experience amounting to a speech he wrote...)

------------------excerpt from Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize Speech--------------------

...."The same principle applies to those who violate international laws by brutalizing their own people. When there is genocide in Darfur, systematic rape in Congo, repression in Burma -- there must be consequences. Yes, there will be engagement; yes, there will be diplomacy -- but there must be consequences when those things fail. And the closer we stand together, the less likely we will be faced with the choice between armed intervention and complicity in oppression.

This brings me to a second point -- the nature of the peace that we seek. For peace is not merely the absence of visible conflict. Only a just peace based on the inherent rights and dignity of every individual can truly be lasting.

It was this insight that drove drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights after the Second World War. In the wake of devastation, they recognized that if human rights are not protected, peace is a hollow promise.

And yet too often, these words are ignored.

For some countries, the failure to uphold human rights is excused by the false suggestion that these are somehow Western principles, foreign to local cultures or stages of a nation's development. And within America, there has long been a tension between those who describe themselves as realists or idealists -- a tension that suggests a stark choice between the narrow pursuit of interests or an endless campaign to impose our values around the world.

So even as we respect the unique culture and traditions of different countries, America will always be a voice for those aspirations that are universal. We will bear witness to the quiet dignity of reformers like Aung Sang Suu Kyi; to the bravery of Zimbabweans who cast their ballots in the face of beatings; to the hundreds of thousands who have marched silently through the streets of Iran. It is telling that the leaders of these governments fear the aspirations of their own people more than the power of any other nation. And it is the responsibility of all free people and free nations to make clear that these movements -- these movements of hope and history -- they have us on their side.I reject these choices. I believe that peace is unstable where citizens are denied the right to speak freely or worship as they please; choose their own leaders or assemble without fear. Pent-up grievances fester, and the suppression of tribal and religious identity can lead to violence. We also know that the opposite is true. Only when Europe became free did it finally find peace. America has never fought a war against a democracy, and our closest friends are governments that protect the rights of their citizens. No matter how callously defined, neither America's interests -- nor the world's -- are served by the denial of human aspirations.

Let me also say this: The promotion of human rights cannot be about exhortation alone. At times, it must be coupled with painstaking diplomacy. I know that engagement with repressive regimes lacks the satisfying purity of indignation. But I also know that sanctions without outreach -- condemnation without discussion -- can carry forward only a crippling status quo. No repressive regime can move down a new path unless it has the choice of an open door...."

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5 comments:

Publius said...

For some countries, the failure to uphold human rights is excused by the false suggestion that these are somehow Western principles, foreign to local cultures or stages of a nation's development. And within America, there has long been a tension between those who describe themselves as realists or idealists -- a tension that suggests a stark choice between the narrow pursuit of interests or an endless campaign to impose our values around the world.
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Well we are doing just this by war. I am unable to fathom how DU and predator drones uphold human rights. If you moral morons realized that 65 billion was spent to murder other human beings in a different sociological context in the name of American ideals you would blush at your swallowing the propaganda line. Afghans are not abstractions to be morally judged by Americans. If you idiots wanted to help Afghan people why do you kill them? Why not buy plane tickets for any Afghan who wants to get out of Dodge? Bring them here. Educate them in English. Give them room and board and pin money. Once you have liberated Afghanistan this way you can build your pipeline with hearts and minds.

Alessandro Machi said...

Avoiding the absolutely unacceptable punishing of Afhgan women and Gays is the only way you can make your case. That makes you a bigger part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

Okay. Does DU discriminate? Do our predator drones? Do our soldiers? Is Afghanistan our responsibility and if it is, when did become a responsibility?
Please explain why our troops ought not liberate every country on Earth that discriminates against women and gays?
The policy since our invasion of this country has been to secure land for an oil pipeline. It has not been to nation build and frankly it is not the role of the Armed Forces to nation build. This is an imperial war of choice.

War is expensive. It kills and maims. War does not solve problems but creates many more. Your continuedsupport of Imperialsm by any other name is a fig leaf. You are as far right as any Republican.

Alessandro Machi said...

My philosophy is different from the United States. I believe we should always have been a leader in energy efficiency and alternative energy research.
Then whenever we went to war, we could not be accused of doing it for imperialist reasons.

However, our own civil war cannot be called imperialism, can it?

If we almost destroyed our own country, dying for fairer terms for our own people, then it does not become as far fetched to do it elsewhere.

However, our lack of emphasis on alternative energy goals is something I don't agree with as it can lead to double dipping our war efforts.

We do run the risk of invisibly linking trying to help regions of the world where we can also get much needed resources.

Too bad other countries so hate their own females and gays to the point where they give us an excuse.
You would think it would be worth it to them to not be so stupid towards how they treat their own just to avoid giving the United States an excuse to meddle.

The fact that these countries appear be incapable of playing nice to anyone in their own country that they see as weaker than themselves is cause for alarm.

Alessandro Machi said...

I suppose the line "worship as they please" becomes oxymoronic. Many Religions espouse the very condition that creates the reason to intercede.

A religion that dictates that both sexes are not equal, or that gays should be punished, creates the foundation for present or future wars.

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