President Obama's remarks at the U.N. General Assembly
September 25th, 2012
10:53 AM ET

President Obama's remarks at the U.N. General Assembly

The following are U.S. President Barack Obama's remarks at the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Tuesday:

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen: I would like to begin today by telling you about an American named Chris Stevens.

Chris was born in a town called Grass Valley, California, the son of a lawyer and a musician. As a young man, Chris joined the Peace Corps, and taught English in Morocco, and he came to love and respect the people of North Africa and the Middle East. He would carry that commitment throughout his life. As a diplomat, he worked from Egypt to Syria; from Saudi Arabia to Libya. He was known for walking the streets of the cities where he worked – tasting the local food, meeting as many people as he could, speaking Arabic and listening with a broad smile.

Chris went to Benghazi in the early days of the Libyan revolution, arriving on a cargo ship. As America’s representative, he helped the Libyan people as they coped with violent conflict, cared for the wounded, and crafted a vision for a future in which the rights of all Libyans would be respected. And after the revolution, he supported the birth of a new democracy, as Libyans held elections and built new institutions, and began to move forward after decades of dictatorship.

Chris Stevens loved his work. He took pride in the country he served, and saw dignity in the people that he met. Two weeks ago, he travelled to Benghazi to review plans to establish a new cultural center and modernize a hospital. That’s when America’s compound came under attack. Along with three of his colleagues, Chris was killed in the city that he helped to save. He was 52 years old.

I tell you this story because Chris Stevens embodied the best of America. Like his fellow Foreign Service officers, he built bridges across oceans and cultures, and was deeply invested in the international cooperation that the United Nations represents. He acted with humility, but he also stood up for a set of principles – a belief that individuals should be free to determine their own destiny, and live with liberty, dignity, justice, and opportunity.

The attacks on the civilians in Benghazi were attacks on America. We are grateful for the assistance we received from the Libyan government and from the Libyan people. There should be no doubt that we will be relentless in tracking down the killers and bringing them to justice. I also appreciate that in recent days, the leaders of other countries in the region – including Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen – have taken steps to secure our diplomatic facilities, and called for calm. And so have religious authorities around the globe.

But understand the attacks of the last two weeks are not simply an assault on America. 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; that in an interdependent world, all of us have a stake in working towards greater opportunity and security for our citizens.

If we are serious about upholding these ideals, it will not be enough to put more guards in front of an Embassy; or to put out statements of regret, and wait for the outrage to pass. If we are serious about those ideals, we must speak honestly about the deeper causes of the crisis. Because we face a choice between the forces that would drive us apart, and the hopes that we hold in common.

Today, we must reaffirm 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.

It has been less than two years since a vendor in Tunisia set himself on fire to protest the oppressive corruption in his country, and sparked what became known as the Arab Spring. And since then, the world has been captivated by the transformation that has taken place, and the United States has supported the forces of change.

We were inspired by the Tunisian protests that toppled a dictator, because we recognized our own beliefs in the aspiration of men and women who took to the streets.

We insisted on change in Egypt, because our support for democracy ultimately put us on the side of the people.

We supported a transition of leadership in Yemen, because the interests of the people were not being served by a corrupt status quo.

We intervened in Libya alongside a broad coalition, and with the mandate of the United Nations Security Council, because we had the ability to stop the slaughter of innocents; and because we believed that the aspirations of the people were more powerful than a tyrant.

And as we meet here, we again declare that the regime of Bashar al-Assad must come to an end so that the suffering of the Syrian people can stop, and a new dawn can begin.

We have taken these positions because we believe that freedom and self-determination are not unique to one culture. These are not simply American values or Western values – they are universal values. And even as there will be huge challenges to come with a transition to democracy, I am convinced that ultimately government of the people, by the people and for the people is more likely to bring about the stability, prosperity, and individual opportunity that serve as a basis for peace in our world.

So let us remember that this is a season of progress. For the first time in decades, Tunisians, Egyptians and Libyans voted for new leaders in elections that were credible, competitive and fair. This democratic spirit has not been restricted to the Arab World. Over the past year, we have seen peaceful transitions of power in Malawi and Senegal, and a new president in Somalia. In Burma, a president has freed political prisoners and opened a closed society; a courageous dissident has been elected to Parliament; and people look forward to further reform. Around the globe, people are making their voices heard, insisting on their innate dignity, and the right to determine their future.

And yet the turmoil of recent weeks reminds us that the path to democracy does not end with the casting of a ballot. Nelson Mandela once said: “To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” True democracy demands that citizens cannot be thrown in jail because of what they believe, and that businesses can be opened without paying a bribe. It depends on the freedom of citizens to speak their minds and assemble without fear; and on the rule of law and due process that guarantees the rights of all people.

In other words, true democracy – real freedom – is hard work. Those in power have to resist the temptation to crack down on dissidents. 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.

Moreover, there will always be those that reject human progress – dictators who cling to power, corrupt interests that depend on the status quo; and extremists who fan the flames of hate and division. From Northern Ireland to South Asia; from Africa to the Americas; from the Balkans to the Pacific Rim, we’ve witnessed convulsions that can accompany transitions to a new political order. At times, the conflicts arise along the fault lines of race or tribe; and often they arise from the difficulties of reconciling tradition and faith with the diversity and interdependence of the modern world. In every country, there are those who find different religious beliefs threatening; in every culture, those who love freedom for themselves must ask themselves how much they are willing to tolerate freedom for others.

That is what we saw play out in the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. Now, I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity. It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well – for as the city outside these walls makes clear, we are a country that has welcomed people of every race and every faith. We are home to Muslims who worship across our country. We not only respect the freedom of religion – we have laws that protect individuals from being harmed because of how they look or what they believe. We understand why people take offense to this video because millions of our citizens are among them.

I know there are some who ask why we don’t just ban such a video. The answer is enshrined in our laws: Our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech. Here in the United States, countless publications provoke offense. Like me, the majority of Americans are Christian, and yet we do not ban blasphemy against our most sacred beliefs. As president of our country, and commander-in-chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day, and I will always defend their right to do so. Americans have fought and died around the globe to protect the right of all people to express their views – even views that we profoundly disagree with.

We do so not because we support hateful speech, but because our founders understood that without such protections, the capacity of each individual to express their own views, and practice their own faith, may be threatened. We do so because in a diverse society, efforts to restrict speech can quickly become a tool to silence critics and oppress minorities. We do so because given the power of faith in our lives, and the passion that religious differences can inflame, the strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech – the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy, and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.

I know that not all countries in this body share this particular understanding of the protection of free speech – we recognize that. But 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 do we respond. And on this we must agree: there is no speech that justifies mindless violence.

There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents. There is no video that justifies an attack on an Embassy. There is no slander that provides an excuse for people to burn a restaurant in Lebanon, or destroy a school in Tunis, or cause death and destruction in Pakistan. In this modern world, with modern technologies, for us to respond in that way to hateful speech empowers any individual who engages in such speech to create chaos around the world. We empower the worst of us, if that’s how we respond.

More broadly, the events of the last two weeks speak to the need for all of us to honestly address the tensions between the West and an Arab World that is moving towards democracy. Now let me be clear: Just as we cannot solve every problem in the world, the United States has not, and will not, seek to dictate the outcome of democratic transitions abroad. We do not expect other nations to agree with us on every issue. Nor do we assume that the violence of the past weeks, or the hateful speech by some individuals, represent the views of the overwhelming majority of Muslims– any more than the views of the people who produced this video represent those of Americans.

However, I do believe that it is the obligation of all leaders, in all countries, to speak out forcefully against violence and extremism. It is time to marginalize those who – even when not directly resorting to violence – use hatred of America, or the West, or Israel as the central organizing principle of politics. For that only gives cover, and sometimes makes an excuse, for those who do resort to violence.

That brand of politics – one that pits East against West; South against North; Muslims against Christians, and Hindus, and Jews – cannot deliver the promise of freedom. To the youth, it offers only false hope. Burning an American flag does nothing to provide a child with an education. Smashing apart a restaurant does not fill an empty stomach. Attacking an Embassy won’t create a single job. That brand of politics only makes it harder to achieve what we must do together: educating our children and creating the opportunities that they deserve; protecting human rights, and extending democracy’s promise.

Understand, America will never retreat from the world. We will bring justice to those who harm our citizens and our friends, and we will stand with our allies. We are willing to partner with countries around the world to deepen ties of trade and investment; in science and technology; energy and development – all efforts that can spark economic growth for all of our people, and stabilize democratic change. But such efforts depend on a spirit of mutual interest and mutual respect. No government or company; no school or NGO will be confident working in a country where its people are endangered. For partnerships to be effective, our citizens must be secure and our efforts must be welcomed.

A politics based only on anger – one based on dividing the world between us and them – not only sets back international cooperation, it ultimately undermines those who tolerate it. All of us have an interest in standing up to these forces. Let us remember that Muslims have suffered the most at the hands of extremism. On the same day our civilians were killed in Benghazi, a Turkish police officer was murdered in Istanbul only days before his wedding; more than 10 Yemenis were killed in a car bomb in Sana’a; several Afghan children were mourned by their parents just days after they were killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul.

The impulse towards intolerance and violence may initially be focused on the West, but over time it cannot be contained. The same impulses towards extremism are used to justify war between Sunni and Shia, between tribes and clans. It leads not to strength and prosperity but to chaos. In less than two years, we have seen largely peaceful protests bring more change to Muslim-majority countries than a decade of violence, and extremists understand this. And because they have nothing to offer to improve the lives of people, violence is their only way to stay relevant. They don’t build, they only destroy.

It is time to leave the call of violence and the politics of division behind. On so many issues, we face a choice between the promise of the future, or the prisons of the past. And we cannot afford to get it wrong. We must seize this moment. And America stands ready to work with all who are willing to embrace a better future.

The future must not belong to those who target Coptic Christians in Egypt – it must be claimed by those in Tahrir Square who chanted “Muslims, Christians, we are one.” The future must not belong to those who bully women – it must be shaped by girls who go to school, and those who stand for a world where our daughters can live their dreams just like our sons. The future must not belong to those corrupt few who steal a country’s resources – it must be won by the students and entrepreneurs; workers and business owners who seek a broader prosperity for all people. Those are the women and men that America stands with; theirs is the vision we will support.

The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied. Let us condemn incitement against Sufi Muslims, and Shia pilgrims. It is time to heed the words of Gandhi: “Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit.” Together, we must work towards a world where we are strengthened by our differences, and not defined by them. That is what America embodies. That’s the vision we will support.

Among Israelis and Palestinians, the future must not belong to those who turn their backs on the prospect of peace. Let us leave behind those who thrive on conflict, those who reject the right of Israel to exist. The road is hard but the destination is clear – a secure, Jewish state of Israel; and an independent, prosperous Palestine. Understanding that such a peace must come through a just agreement between the parties, America will walk alongside all who are prepared to make that journey.

In Syria, the future must not belong to a dictator who massacres his people. If there is a cause that cries out for protest in the world today - peaceful protests - it is a regime that tortures children and shoots rockets at apartment buildings. And we must remain engaged to assure that what began with citizens demanding their rights does not end in a cycle of sectarian violence.

Together, we must stand with those Syrians who believe in a different vision – a Syria that is united and inclusive; where children don’t need to fear their own government, and all Syrians have a say in how they are governed – Sunnis and Alawites; Kurds and Christians. That is what America stands for; that is the outcome that we will work for – with sanctions and consequences for those who persecute; and assistance and support for those who work for this common good. Because we believe that the Syrians who embrace this vision will have the strength and the legitimacy to lead.

In Iran, we see where the path of a violent and unaccountable ideology leads. The Iranian people have a remarkable and ancient history, and many Iranians wish to enjoy peace and prosperity alongside their neighbors. But just as it restricts the rights of its own people, the Iranian government continues to prop up a dictator in Damascus and supports terrorist groups abroad. Time and again, it has failed to take the opportunity to demonstrate that its nuclear program is peaceful, and to meet its obligations to the United Nations.

So let me be clear: America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy, and we believe that there is still time and space to do so. But that time is not unlimited. We respect the right of nations to access peaceful nuclear power, but one of the purposes of the United Nations is to see that we harness that power for peace. Make no mistake: a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained. 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’s why a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable. And that’s why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

We know from painful experience that the path to security and prosperity does not lie outside the boundaries of international law and respect for human rights. That’s why this institution was established from the rubble of conflict; that is why liberty triumphed over tyranny in the Cold War; and that is the lesson of the last two decades as well. History shows that peace and progress come to those who make the right choices.

Nations in every part of the world have travelled this difficult path. Europe – the bloodiest battlefield of the 20th century – is united, free and at peace. From Brazil to South Africa; from Turkey to South Korea; from India to Indonesia; people of different races, religions, and traditions have lifted millions out of poverty, while respecting the rights of their citizens and meeting their responsibilities as nations.

And it is because of the progress that I’ve witnessed in my own lifetime – the progress that I’ve witnessed after nearly four years as president - that I remain ever hopeful about the world that we live in. The war in Iraq is over, American troops have come home. We have begun a transition in Afghanistan, and America and our allies will end our war on schedule in 2014. Al Qaeda has been weakened, Osama bin Laden is no more. Nations have come together to lock down nuclear materials, and America and Russia are reducing our arsenals. We have seen hard choices made – from Naypyidaw to Cairo to Abidjan – to put more power in the hands of citizens.

At a time of economic challenge, the world has come together to broaden prosperity. Through the G-20, we have partnered with emerging countries to keep the world on the path of recovery. America has pursued a development agenda that fuels growth and breaks dependency, and worked with African leaders to help them feed their nations. New partnerships have been forged to combat corruption and promote government that is open and transparent. And new commitments have been made through the Equal Futures Partnership to ensure that women and girls can fully participate in politics and pursue opportunity. And later today, I will discuss our efforts to combat the scourge of human trafficking. All these things give me hope.

But what gives me the most hope is not the actions of us, not the actions of leaders – it is the people that I’ve seen. The American troops who have risked their lives and sacrificed their limbs for strangers half a world away. The students in Jakarta or Seoul who are eager to use their knowledge to benefit mankind. The faces in a square in Prague or a parliament in Ghana who see democracy giving voice to their aspirations. The young people in the favelas of Rio and the schools of Mumbai whose eyes shine with promise. These men, women and children of every race and every faith remind me that for every angry mob that gets shown on television, there are billions around the world who share similar hopes and dreams. They tell us that there is a common heartbeat to humanity.

So much attention in our world turns to what divides us. That’s what we see on the news, that’s what consumes our political debates. But when you strip that all away, people everywhere long for the freedom to determine their destiny; the dignity that comes with work; the comfort that comes with faith; and the justice that exists when governments serve their people and not the other way around.

The United States of America will always stand up for these aspirations, for our own people, and for people all across the world. That was our founding purpose. That is what our history shows. And that is what Chris Stevens worked for throughout his life.

And today I promise you this – long after the killers are brought to justice, Chris Stevens’ legacy will live on in the lives that he touched. In the tens of thousands who marched against violence through the streets of Benghazi; in the Libyans who changed their Facebook photo to one of Chris; in the signs that read, simply, “Chris Stevens was a friend to all Libyans.”

They should give us hope. They should remind us that so long as we work for it justice will be done; that history is on our side; and that a rising tide of liberty will never be reversed. Thank you very much.

A viewer's guide to the U.N. General Assembly


Filed under: Barack Obama • Politics
soundoff (389 Responses)
  1. Chris

    So Ahmadinejad spews hate towards Jews at the UN's high-level meeting on the rule of law and US doesn't walk out? #FAIL

    September 25, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      We don't walk out because we're better than that

      September 25, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • tjbeck

      Walk out? We're not 5th graders, you idiot!

      September 25, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joey

      Ahmadinejad hasn't spoken yet. He speaks tomorrow. You're not smart.

      September 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fernando

      Hey Chris,
      You probably meant a preemptive walkout by our officials as we can anticipate that Ahmadinejad will be saying something inappropriate about Jews – usually something hateful with no redeeming humor value. You could take a stand where Obama refuses to and log off your computer, refusing to post or even participate by reading anything about this UN circus. If I don't see further posts from you, I should tell you while I can that your non-participation is an inspiration.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      Obama's Dream of his Father has become the Nightmare for the World. God help us all...

      September 25, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. duah

    the only problem i see[that is the other word to use instead of the coverup word "issue"] is that this country keeps the UN afloat with our $$$$ as opposed to the other countries trickling pennies into this useless organization. move them and their building out of the states,and let them fund themselves $ per $.

    September 25, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • JayJ7

      Just like our tax dollars are a huge boon to Washington DC the money spent by other countries to maintain their UN representatives add a lot of dollars to the economy. The best part is the money is not from American taxpayers. The cost of security is mostly spent by New York city, so for the rest of the country it is an economic plus.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Obama's brother

    Good job Mr. president! Four more years!!!!!!

    September 25, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Why?

      4 more years of jobless, debt doubling, gitanimo running, more welfare recipients, broke our country leadership.

      September 25, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smell This

      To: Why?
      You MUST mean after 4 more years of trying to crawl out of the mess that the previous pres. Bush left us.

      September 25, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      I agree...this has got to be one of the greatest speeches in the history of the US. Makes one damn proud to be an American.
      Obama 2012...

      September 25, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      Why?:

      I will ask you to consider New Jersey Republican Governor Chris Christie's remarks to a reporter when asked why his state is doing so bad economically.

      His response:

      "Look, I was left with a hell of a mess. You can't clean up a mess this big in just four years"

      He then went on to slam Obama from not cleaning up the mess in four years.

      You can't make this kind of stuff up!

      September 25, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Why?

      You know I am an independent that voted for him. didn't expect miracles, knew we were in a mess. BUT Obama doubled down on the debt, increase welfare, could not lead a puppy to puppy chow, ALL I can see he did was maintain swimming in the cess pool of our economy – and adding to the Cess.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Andy

    Well written speech. He said everything I've been thinking since Ambassafor Stevens was killed. Middle East can't blame America for the lack of opportunity for jobs/education. Too much hate inside tends to kill.

    September 25, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheOBAMAnation

      OBAMA Slept as Brave Men Fought and Died.

      A Nation United in DISGUST.

      The Failure and Coward that is OBAMA.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Why?

      Worse – Obama was out partying and raising cash for his pathetic excuse of a presidency

      September 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • JayJ7

      TheOBAMAnation, Do you feel the same way about "W" who put those brave men in harms way without any plan or leadership, and turned a 2 month operation into a decade of useless war?

      September 25, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Nick

    A bag of cotton balls has alot of mass but no real substance. The same holds true with this speech..... I wonder if the interpreters bothered to translate it all?

    September 25, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Andy

      Don't be overcome with bitterness and hate. Blessed are the peacemakers. Hate when consumed only brings you to al kinds of levels of lows

      September 25, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinke23

      A bag of cotton balls has very little mass, Professor... Try to compare it with a bag of steel balls of the same size.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      Rest assured that they did translate it...and it should be noted that no one walked out during his speech. Everything President Obama said rings true to what we Americans believe in...Obama 2012.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • JayJ7

      Your total lack of science knowledge equals your political understanding.

      September 25, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Glenn Doty

      Nick... A perfect example of a republican:

      So poorly educated that the 5th -grade word "mass" is beyond his grasp, yet he has "opinions" about the diplomacy of a president that is more respected worldwide than all but two other American presidents of the past century (Clinton and FDR).

      Republican – delusional and incorrect about every subject that is brought up.

      September 25, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ug

    You know that the boy couldn't write his own talks...

    September 25, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      What makes you think he didn't???

      September 25, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • RLS

      Oh Ug: Let's see, he graduated from Harvard and led the law review. I bet he writes pretty well himself. He also got elected President of the US. What are you doing these days?

      September 25, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • texcal68

      If you read more history books you would know most Presidents used speech writers. For example, Ronald Reagan had all of his speech written by others. The same holds true for Bush II.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Why?

      He didn't write it and I wonder if they showed the teleprompter.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • FLIndependent

      Using the words "the boy" to refer to the President of the United States says all we need to know about what kind of person you are.

      September 25, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hugo

      It must be difficult to know about all the academic achievements and intellectual matter so far removed from your grasp. You are very welcome to the Palin-Mitt camp, you will be a priceless gift to their team.

      September 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Nobama

    As always, one of the great orators, To bad he was that way as a President. Can not wait till Nov 5th. Remember, If his mouth is open, he must be lying.

    September 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • texcal68

      Whether you like the President or not, he is the superior candidate. On November 6, he will win another term.

      September 25, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Obama's brother

      Nobama, it might actually help if you knew the correct date of the election. How can you vote him out when don't even know the election date? Idiot racist!

      September 25, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheOBAMAnation

      The STUPID Fool that is OBAMA

      September 25, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Fronc

    Excellent speech!!

    Anyone who doesn't think so is part of the problem. No matter what, there are people who try to find the bad in something even when it doesn't exist. Unbelievable.

    September 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      President Obama makes me proud to be an American and I will be just as proud to vote for him on November 6th...

      September 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • FLIndependent

      Totally agree. No matter what this President says or does the haters will never be happy.

      September 25, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Drtechy

    For a country that we say we believe in freedom and the rights of others to do as they please we sure don't follow our own advice. Why do we feel the need to push democracy on the rest of the world. Sure it works for us and we like it, but that doesn't mean others have to. I feel it's very hypocritical of the United States to push our ideals onto any country that doesn't believe it. Is it terrible what these countries have going on sure, in my opinion. But is it our place to step in, I don't believe so. If we believe in freedom as much as we say we do, then we would let countries be and if they have a different set of ideals we should let them be. I'll never understand why we sacrifice American lives for others who obviously just don't want us around or our ideals for that matter.

    September 25, 2012 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • texcal68

      History has shown isolationist policies don't work. They allow tyrants like Hitler to gain power. That said. I understand why people feel as you do. In a perfect world your thinking on foreign policy would work. Unfortunately, we don't live in that world.

      September 25, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. sbu

    I don't understand why Obama keeps apologizing for that stupid video. Has denouncing the video worked so far? No. Instead he should promote unabridged free speech. It is not for the president to say what is and what is not acceptable when it comes to free speech. He should not say what the government of the United States denounces when it comes to free speech, because he is not the government. He is a piece of the pie rather than the whole thing. I find it ridiculous that he presumes to denounce a video (a form of free speech) on behalf of the entire government (ever heard of congress?) and on behalf of the American people. If I want to make fun of the prophet, then it is my right to do so, and my right to do that shall not be abridged by the juvenile feelings of the middle east or the president's apologies. The president should focus on and celebrate Americans' right to free speech rather than apologizing for what that right yields.

    September 25, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • sbu

      Oh, and please quit throwing yourselves at his feet and try to be a little objective and critical. Have some self respect will you?

      September 25, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wrong

      He didn't apologize, he CONDEMNED it. If you don't know the difference between the two words, put down your glass of kool-ade, and go buy yourself a dictionary.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • FLIndependent

      If that is what you got out of his speech you either didn't read all of it or can't comprehend well. He emphasized that we are a country that promotes free speech and that is why that film was made. He also said that we tolerate desecrations of Jesus without violence and that they needed to do the same. You see it is all about tolerance, understanding, and realizing we are all human but with different beliefs. Violence is not the answer which most of us agree with.

      September 25, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Thank you Obama

    You are probably the best president this country will see in the ages to come. You have my support Obama.

    September 25, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      Where is the "Like" button when you need it?

      September 25, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. usa

    The president needed to speak directly to the American people about the horrendous acts in the Middle East against our Ambassador before speaking at the United Nations. He is grandstanding – that's all he knows how to do. He is not a leader – this country, and our service men and women deserve and need a strong leader – it is embarassing and nauseating to hear him speak.

    September 25, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • texcal68

      Your biased political view are blinding you. President Obama is far from perfect, but he is a strong leader and a compassionate man. Stop seeing politics as a team sport and you will see the truth.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wrong

      Your truth is "KILL ALL MUSLINS". Fortunatenly, smarter people than you will prevail.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joe Plumber 2

    It's refreshing to see a president who is strong and considerate. Mitt Romney seems like he would be a foreign policy nightmare for our country,

    September 25, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      Very true...

      September 25, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • FLIndependent

      Besides having absolutely no finesse or diplomatic savvy, Romney would have the same war monger neo-cons that served under Bush and we all know where they got us. WWIII would be imminent under a Romney presidency.

      September 25, 2012 at 2:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Reizinho

    It takes a Real American to say the right thing.
    Real Americans, who defend freedom and support democracy, know this.
    Real Americans with integrity respect this
    Real Americans should be united under a single banner of hope for the rest of the world to emulate

    September 25, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • TheOBAMAnation

      and not follow the Failure of OBAMA
      but stand UNITE AS ONE
      in Disgust with OBAMA
      and call OBAMA out as the FAILURE he is.

      UNITED AS ONE all Americans Chant... OBAMA shut up and RESIGN

      September 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wrong

      The Obama Nation: you are part of the problem, what with you divisive speech and all.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. TheOBAMAnation

    Brave Men Fought and Brave Men Died
    As a President Slept

    For FIVE hours straight they fought the fight
    They knew Marines stood off shore in ships
    so they fought with hope and faith
    but they did not know a President Slept the night away.

    One By One they did Fall
    One By One they did DIE

    All the time a President Slept
    For he did not care he had to go to Las Vegas.

    Now the people know the COWARD's name
    The Name OBAMA is the name of that Coward.

    September 25, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • texcal68

      Having your partisan opinion is your right; however, with that said, you're wrong about the President. You're listening to those that hate the President. Try thinking for yourself.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
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