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. Eden Delgado

    There is no doubt our President is searching for peace for every human been in this world.
    All my respect goes to you sir!!.....Wow,
    How nice of a World will be with few more Obamas around the world.

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

      thank you I needed a really good laugh... was thinking it was going to be something stupid obama said, but got to you first.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joseph of Jerusalem

      Scoundrels like Danita should be tortured with poop

      September 25, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jenna

      Thank ou Mr. President. Very nice speech.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • macbil

      As the son and grandson of US diplomats I can tell with certainty that President Obama and Sec. Clinton are managing our foreign policy very well despite what the Republicans say to score political points. I honestly don't hear Romney say anything details about what he would do that are substantially different than what Obama is doing....except he wants the President's job so needs to criticize everything he does.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • FLIndependent

      Our President is a TRUE human being with a soul & heart and, like the majority of us who share this one planet, his greatest hope is to see peace realized. This was a very inspirational speech and I believe he is again finding his voice. I can't imagine Romney ever giving us or the world so much hope. Please vote for this man for 4 more!

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

      @danita – the laugh should be on you.

      He does not ignore half of the world and half of his own country like the Republicans.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Why?

      Yes – we need more Obama's so we can wipe out more innocent civilians with Drone attacks. More deception too, that's what I want in a Leader. While I'm at it why take any responsibility for your own actions Mr. Obama – after 4 more years are you going to tell us how you cut the debt in half, oh wait, that was the first four years of "Change". But don't fire your speech writer, he is very good. It's your follow through Mr Obama that lacks respect.

      September 25, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joe1

    Why is he always struggling with excuses to foreign nations, but shows to accountability at home? Examples: the Lybia war was illegal, since he only asked UN permission but did so without the consent of US Congress. Obama re-writing our immigration code without the consent of our law-makers is also illegal, but he doesn't seem to respect our laws. Just the laws of other countries. This traitor needs to go!

    September 25, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      agreed.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wrong

      It wasn't a war, it was a NATO mission...google it if you DON'T know the difference.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • mb2010a

      The Libya operation was a NATO operation, not a unilateral one by the US only. He didn't need Congress' approval first.
      You really need to do a little research before spouting your tea bagger nonsense...

      September 25, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joseph of Jerusalem

      No need to hurt the feelings of Scoundrel Joe1!

      September 25, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • saganhill

      Joe, you listen to much to idio7s like rush limbaugh and other Fox news clowns. It was a NATO mission. What part of that don't you understand? The only traitors are people like YOU spreading fear and BS through out the nation.

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

      Man, for once can stop with your ignorance, please...is that the only thing you have to say about this speach

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

      Nice Speech Mr. Pres. I would have liked to see Romney and Ryan give such an eloquent speech.

      We need this man for 4 more years. Mitt the Twit and Lying Ryan will lead us to more wars like Bush/Cheney.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • JK

      Right. Let's ask Congress, the most dysfunctional body of government ever, thanks to the Republican party who's only goal is to defeat Obama, and who's been hijacked by the Tea Party. When's the last time a president asked Congress permission for military action? Before the action that is.

      September 25, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • mark

      Look at the military make-up of NATO. Most of the hardware used is American made. NATO missions are US missions with a different name.

      September 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Why?

      Joe – Obama's actions speak louder than his teleprompter. He was POTUS while a border agent was killed, while an embassy was attacked that ended American lives, His middle name is Drone Baby Killer, and his main achievement in this Presidency is "Blame it on Bush" policy.

      September 25, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joe1

    *shows NO accountability at home

    Eden Delgado, are you crazy? Obama has used more drones than Bush did to kill people without trial, including Americans. He also obviously doesn't want peace in the middle east, and he seems to be the first U.S. president to take that stance, so congratulations on that big failure!

    September 25, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • 4bammy

      I'd have to concur with the fact Americans are targeted here at home by government run microwave telcom wire attack on the domestic residence–it has induced the unexplained suicides of thousands with torturous sleep deprivation.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joseph of Jerusalem

      Please dont type when you are taking a poop Joe1. The smell is making you type satanic verses.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thinke23

      Joe... On this planet people are frequently being killed during a war... Most of the time it happens without a trial.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lionel

      Really Joe. Obama is a good and honest man.

      He represents ALL Americans and does not ignore half of the country like Mitt the Twit.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. kendallpeak

    That'll show them. Attack our embassies, kill our people, and we'll give a pretty "we love everybody" speech at the UN. This man is not talented enough to lead a boy scout troop.

    September 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joseph of Jerusalem

      We must not forget who killed first. Or you are just another dum b qss

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

      Actually Joey, Cain killed first. But that isn't the topic here. An American President should always represent America first, not who historically has some weakling's gripe. Thinking differently leads to weakling Presidents like obama, and weak sissy men like yourself.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • JK

      There are peace loving people everywhere in the world, you just don't see them on CNN.

      September 25, 2012 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • kendallpeak

      An idiots definition of peace. They kill ours, we do nothing. Peace. IDIOTS and TRAITORS

      September 25, 2012 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. oakville1958

    excellent speech, is absolutely right! This is what got him elected the last time – but what good came out of it? He needs to put his money where his mouth is!

    September 25, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lionel

      This man has done a great job. He's ended the war in Iraq and is on the path to ending another in Afghanistan.

      The Bush / Cheney left us with an economy in ruins and two wars and now they are complaining that he did not clean it up fast enough.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Hasso

    Great speech, from Egypt i say that you nailed it. no one agrees on violence and certainly no one approves what happened here in egypt and benigazi.

    September 25, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Michael

    I believe the United States and its Allies should predate Iran from the Pleistocene or an earlier epoch. They're attempting to do that to us. We are already in their future. Predating their culture will leave them with a choice of being opposed to both the future and the past, or yielding.

    September 25, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Hoped for more from my President

    The President seems to have neglected to mention that Stevens would still be alive if the State Department and CIA had acted on credible intel that the embassy was considered a target, as well as on Stevens's own fears, which he had notified the Administration of, regarding things in Benghazi.

    September 25, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. 4bammy

    Hate speech is exercised openly every time that mockery of justice in Ft. Hood is put on display. Hasan is being used for an effigy of our system's dismantling and undermining by an enemy within. The point is to make the Muslim in society at large supposedly appear to have no control over their emotions, or automatically want to react violently to crass commercial exploits with cartoons in tabloid journalism. That kind of war department planning reflects a serious threat to our national security it harbors that low a mentality stuck on tired out juvenile delinquency. Throw those bums out.

    September 25, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. tom

    "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." I think that statement is clear enough...justice is what we are going to seek for our fellow Americans.....

    September 25, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Please look at his actions. Words are just words. Plus I think his ears are too big to be presidential.

      September 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ed

    He is going to be reelected. Everyone needs to just get over it. The news media loves him. Then I bet he will run amuck without worries of offending possible voters.

    September 25, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. korke aika

    Obama is on the right side of history, the right side of government involvment, the right side of social issues, the right side of racial issues, the right side of the tax reform issue, right side of health care reform. If he only could have doubled down on the 2009 Stimulus plan, instead of cooperating with republicans who turned 300billion of our stimulus into 'tax cuts', we would have more jobs today. I hope Obama wins in November, and has learned he needs to communicate over the heads of congress--both dems and reps--and sell his plans to us, so congress has no choice but to follow them. We'll be back on track soon, and the tea party and other radicals will be marginalised. This is the way forward -- not backwards -– OBAMA for America 2012

    September 25, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Why?

      Sorry – but I can't tell he has done anything for the Economy, Jobs, ending war, or pretty much anything.

      September 25, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jeannie

    Great speech!

    Obama 4 more years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 25, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dave Scoven

    All America has to do is – the right thing. Do the right thing by the people of Palestine, and the world will be measurably better off. And, bonus – it's the morally right thing to do. Join with the rest of the world and accept, support and abide by the 65 UN continuing resolutions against the actions of Israel. Israel has the right to exist, of course. Israel does not have the right to be a rogue, terrorist state.

    September 25, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
  15. usa

    Our economy is in the gutter, our flags are being burned, our ambassadors and service men are being tortured and murdered, our national security is at risk – and people commenting here are impressed with a speech??? God help us.

    September 25, 2012 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Uh, no

      What would be your lan of action, usa?

      September 25, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Uh, no

      What would be your plan of action, usa?

      September 25, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • JK

      Ya, things were so great under Bush and Cheney. Took over a good economy from Clinton and ruined it to the point of nearly a Great Depression.

      September 25, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Why?

      I think after 4 years the Blame Bush policy has been beaten to death

      September 25, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
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