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. Joe Plumber 2

    Romney/Ryan "Let them eat war!"

    September 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Harley91

    "I know there are some who ask why we don’t just ban such a video. The answer is enshrined in our laws:" oddly he forgot to mention that he tried to ban the video but Google and YouTube refused to give up their 1st amendment rights or the rights of the people that posted it. he also forgot to mention the one religion that does not play well with others and is the prime cause for all of this. But hey other than that great speech – your doin a heckuva job Barry.

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

      You can be sure he will ban it if reelected. He's not going to let a little thing like the law hold him back. Just like he did with GM.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wrong

      No, he didn't, and believe me, I searched for some time to see if there was any truth to your statement. There isn't and you are a liar. I also believe Harley is your name, and not a motorcycle you're pretending to ride.

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

      My Goodness. The level of ignorance on this blog is sometimes unbelievable. No, he did not try to ban the video. Did you even take a few minutes to read the speech above? Here is a thought: don't just make stuff up and post things that are true and make sense. There are people here who believe in carrying on a respectful conversation despite our varying views. Hate is not just in other countries; it unfortunately is right here and too many of the real haters have computers and, like you, hide behind them. Grow up for heaven's sake.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harley91

      Well certainly the admin is not going admit they tried to get video killed and the MSM is not going to investigate their boy anymore then they wanted to do a background check on him or investigate a number of other illegal activities this administration has done so I will give you that one simply because I cannot prove it. The biggest problem is the fact that he continues to demagoge the video as a prime source of this very coordinated , well planned attack against US property and personel. he continues to stonewall legitiment questions about security and intel both before and after the attacks but then we have been seeing that for a while now with Fast and Furious – give him a few days and he will find a way to blame this on Bush as well.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • coy4one

      I wonder where you get your information....YouTube voluntarily took the video down after the violence started. They have the right to do so, and they made the decision to do so. You must be watching a sheltered or censored news report.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wrong

      LOL. In othe words, it's a rumor. This here is the internet, where one can find conspiract theory websites in abundance. I found NOTHING. Gimme a break.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wrong

      Uh, it's still on youtube. I watched it yesterday. It's not been taken off. And it's the stupidest thing I've ever seen.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Harley91

      OMG they left the video up ??? It's almost like they want to light the ME on fire, invite people to kill our FSO's and destroy our ambassies , did they not hear The One's speech today what the heck is worng with these people.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  3. topden

    when a man in the mid east set himself on fire ,,america and europe responded ,but when more than 50 monks set themselves on fire in TIBET , THE WORLD STANDS MUTE. SUCH HYPOCRISY.........
    CHINA THE NEW MASTER ... HAIL CHINA ,HAIL CHINA ,HAIL CHINA
    I HOPE THIS MAIL WONT GET DELETED...

    September 25, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. TheOBAMAnation

    We Mock the FOOL that is OBAMA

    We sit in DISGUST at the sight and sound of OBAMA

    We know him as the LIAR OBAMA
    The Great FAILURE OBAMA

    Let the world know the disgust we have for him
    and the sick OBAMAnation he stands for.

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

      By far your the biggest idiot.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      Best post on here. Obamanation sounds educated on the facts.

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

      Your hate is destroying your soul (if you had any). Try to see the goods in someone else and maybe your state of mind will show some improvement.

      September 25, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
  5. omar

    wow..a beautiful speech everyone should hear.

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

      2nd that Omar!

      September 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Yeah just Nuke Them

    The "extremeists" will NEVER become rational. You have to treat them like a CANCER.....and get rid of them. Show me ONE terrorist that turned his thoughts around..........ONE.

    September 25, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  7. KLF

    I love the Prez!

    September 25, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • KatieG

      Because he has done so well the past 4 years? We have a great economy? He remembered to secure the Embassies on 911 so no one would get murdered and dragged into the streets? Because he lied to the US for two weeks about this being over a video and not a 911 terrorist attack? What is it exactly that you love about him???

      September 25, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Edmund K

    Good speech. Possibly, it could have been more focused on those muslim leaders who spoke up against the violence.

    September 25, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      And that is all he is good for.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Hoped for more from my President

    I was actually starting to hope maybe a second Obama term would be a step in the right direction prior to the embassy attacks.
    Failure to act on leigitimate intel
    Failure to secure our facilities and people
    Failure to identify this as a terrorist attack when it was obvious from day 1
    Failure to utterly condemn the attacks as a terrorist act before the UN Assembly

    This is on top of the painfully and absurdly slow economy and the constant lying about and then "correcting" key economic stats well after claiming the original numbers trumpeted success....

    I'm done. No more.
    One term and one term only, Mr. President. Thank you for your service, but you're no longer needed.

    September 25, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • shushe

      I am with you.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yeah just Nuke Them

      Well said........

      September 25, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • KatieG

      Very. Well. Said.

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

      But Romney will do so much better, right? Good luck with that...WWIII here we come! We won't need to worry about jobs or our economy as the world will be flattened. You people that keep condemning President Obama for the embassy attack seem to forget that this was our 11th 9/11. Yes, security should have been tightened, but how does that one incident overshadow the killing of Osama Bin Laden and most of the top Al Queda leaders? :President Obama has kept our country safe, more than can be said for President Bush. Please get over yourselves. You weren't planning on voting for Obama again, so don't fool us.

      September 25, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Nick

    " 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." Too bad a few already own and run the world and dictate its resources.

    September 25, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • dd of al

      our economic system allows one with nothing to become one of those you are railing about. no other country has this oportunity[ others that have made it as you stated has done so by being cahoots with gov. officials ] there are only two countries working against us with the ability to challege us –. how can you think russia or china [putin is taking russia back to authorian rule – china is not increasing defense spending @ 18+% annually for nothing ] with their civil rights record is a good thing. how can you feel the socialists states of europe while bankrupting themselves are any better? what example do you offer as model for anything better–??

      September 25, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  11. dd of al

    with the ineptness of this adm. is there any wonder why clinton hasn't been fired? the only reason for the outrage at state over cnn's use of the amb.'s diary was the potentially damning exposure of state's complete incompetence. given time iran will attempt to destroy israel as well as us! don't forget the un was tarnished in the iraq sanctions deal. they helped saddam to get around the un's own prohibitions [un officials even profited ]. the un has similar problem with tech sales to n. korea now. the abysmal track record the un is racking up will we find that the un has been playing middleman broker [publicly for sanctions -privatly working to skirt ] in collusion again with the country whose is the subject of?

    September 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Obama's brother

    The real cowards were Dick Cheney and Bush. President Obama has killed more terrorists than George Bush can count. Stop being a ignorant racist partisan. Why don't you look at facts and figures for change. Obama 2012 Four More years!!!

    September 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hoped for more from my President

      You only get to run against your predecessor once. Sorry.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • KatieG

      Four more years? I wonder what our national debt will be then..

      September 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • dd of al

      jfk got credit for putting a man on the moon. nixion was president when it happened. bush set the plan to get binladen. obama was pres. when accomplished. why, then does bush not get credit for it as jfk did for the plannig[ read yrs of info gathering before obama was elected]? our tech got better over time [smart munitions used in gulf war -iraq -afghan.] drone capablity was increasing as bush left office. obama has to his cerdit made good use of this asset. however i have seen no figures backing your statement obama has gotten more terrorists than bush-under bush ifeel more were probably done in due to the amout of combat -battles fought. reminer- the wars were winding down [starting to ] as bush was leaving office.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  13. ron tompkins

    sbu, how stupid are you. He has never apologized for the video, there is a big difference between denouncing and apologizing but then judging from the rest of your rant your not likely to know that. Free speech doesn't give anyone the right to be offensive, nor does anyone have the right to react the way the muslim world has however when people like you get involved it is easy to see how things get out of hand. As for your right to say what you want, of course you can but do you have the guts to face the people you are belittling, some how i doubt that very much, you are more the long distance type, say it from a mile away and then cry foul when someone decides to call you on it, bet you'd want your president to bail you out then.

    September 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • sbu

      Do I have to point out the obvious flaw in your argument? Rom Tompkins: "sbu, how stupid are you." (later) Ron Tompkins: " Free speech doesn't give anyone the right to be offensive..."

      Interesting. I guess your argument doesn't apply to the words you use yourself?

      Actually, free speech does give EVERYONE the right to be offensive. I'm offended by things people say everyday, but it is their right to say those things. I'm offended by your personal attack and your offensive assumptions though you know nothing about me. Should you be allowed to offend me? In your world, no. In my world, yes.

      In my opinion, and thank god I have the RIGHT to have one, an apology can be inferred. You don't have to say "I am sorry" to infer apology. When a country "denounces" something as a third party, then I believe you are correct. However, when a government "denounces" something that has come out of it's country, that is an inference of apology for that thing.

      Notice I can make an argument as an adult without calling you "stupid" or making rash assumptions about your background. I believe you owe me an apology if you believe what you said in your argument at all.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Uh, no

      The definition of condemn, denounce, and apologize are three completely different definitions. One can infer anything they want: that doesn't mean that is what the word actually means. Semantics.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • sbu

      Short sighted to believe that words are absolute reflections of meaning and exist separately from actions, innuendo, inference.

      September 25, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  14. usa

    One of our ambassadors was tortured, murdered and dragged through the streets, in addition to our flag being burned in 20 plus countries – and this president did not even address our nation directly in response to those horrific acts. This is not partisan or political. Our fallen deserve our respect and dignity in response, and especially from the president! This is a disgrace on every level.

    September 25, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wrong

      Since you obviously didn't watch the same speech, and cannot comprehend the written word, I will spell it out for you: he spoke eloquently on the deaths of our ambassador and the other three, but what you didn't hear was the words you apparently think is the appropriate response: "KILL ALL MUSLIMS." That's why HE'S President, and not some bloodthirsty dolt. We got rid of that one the last election, and that's why Obama will win a second term. Might DOESN'T make right.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • KatieG

      ditto. We need a President who will ACTUALLY have some guts and act like the leader of the free world.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      What Ambassador was that? It certainly was not Chris Stevens...

      September 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • FLIndependent

      He addressed the nation along with Secretary of State Clinton when they brought the diplomats bodies home. Why do you people ALWAYS have to be so negative? President Obama is very measured and I'm sure he is working behind the scenes to get the perpetrators of the attacks. What did you expect him to say that you didn't hear?

      September 25, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. tom

    the president has done a good job, both in foreign and domestic policy. for those who want America to up and go into another senseless war, I think they need to re-examine the iraq false WMD...!!!

    September 25, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • KatieG

      "the president has done a good job" ??? Um, I want whatever you are smoking.

      He missed the meeting with the UN yesterday to go on THE VIEW. He has yet to admit an attack on 911 is an act of terror and not about a video that came out six months ago. He has yet to address US citizens on this topic (not just a UN meeting). He has yet to admit he kind of forgot to get extra protection on 911 for our US Embassies in the Middle East. He failed at Foreign Policy 101. Time to fire Obama.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
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