Comment: President Obama's Address to the UN General Assembly

President Obama before the UNGA (Source: Google Images)
Last week, President Obama addressed the UNGA. His speech's main message is that the US puts diplomacy in first place, however if it sees it fail America will not hesitate to resort to military force (under any shape or form). Furthermore, the POTUS sent some specific messages that I would like to comment upon: 

"Now, there must be a strong Security Council Resolution to verify that the Assad regime is keeping its commitments, and there must be consequences if they fail to do so. If we cannot agree even on this, then it will show that the U.N. is incapable of enforcing the most basic of international laws." 

Comment: President Obama practically questioned the relevance of the UN, in this day and age - why does it seem to slowly sway from its original goal? This statement is also a warning to Bashar al-Assad: if the UN doesn't act, the US will. 

"We are no longer in a Cold War. There’s no Great Game to be won, nor does America have any interest in Syria beyond the well-being of its people, the stability of its neighbors, the elimination of chemical weapons, and ensuring it does not become a safe-haven for terrorists."

Comment: a direct message to Russia: the US is not a direct threat to Russian interests in the country; however, it will not allow Syria to violate international law & agreements and gas its own people. If Russia doesn't care, the US does. The POTUS also reminds President Putin that if Syria becomes a safe haven for terrorists, Russia's national security will also be at risk. 

Regarding US policy towards the MENA:
A. "(..) military force, to secure these core interests in the region. (..) We will confront external aggression against our allies and partners, as we did in the Gulf War."

Comment: double message. 1- Syria and Lebanon (through Hezbollah) must not try to involve Israel in their internal problems. Doing so will prompt the US to support Israel (in unexpected ways). 2- Iran must not try to interfere with the free flow of energy in the Strait of Hormuz; it must not represent a direct threat to Israel (even if through proxies) and it must tread carefully when it comes to the Gulf Nations, in its Sunni Vs Shiite feud - otherwise, military force should be expected. 

B. "We will dismantle terrorist networks that threaten our people (..) work to address the root causes of terror. But when it's necessary to defend the United States against terrorist attacks, we will take direct action. (..) And finally, we will not tolerate the development or use of weapons of mass destruction (..) we reject the development of nuclear weapons that could trigger a nuclear arms race in the region, (..) After all, it is the Iranian government’s choices that have led to the comprehensive sanctions that are currently in place"

Comment: another message to Iran, despite the recent rapprochement. Iran should take this opportunity to re-evaluate its proclivity to sponsor terrorism, for all options remain on the table (mainly if Persia insists on pursuing nuclear weapons: overt or covertly). The sanctions imposed against Iran are a direct consequence of Iran's ambiguous behaviour. The ball is on their court: how will they decide to play...with or against us? 

"In the near term, America’s diplomatic efforts will focus on two particular issues: Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. While these issues are not the cause of all the region’s problems"
"Arab states – and those who have supported the Palestinians – must recognize that stability will only be served through a two-state solution with a secure Israel. "

Comment: the use of the expression "Arab-Israeli" is of a huge importance because, for the first time, the POTUS has acknowledged before the whole world that the problem isn't quite a "Palestinian-Israeli conflict" but actually an Arab-Israeli issue. Arabs do not recognise Israel as a Jewish State (because they have been deceiving their people and re-writing history for decades now) and, on top of everything, sponsor multidimensional wars against Israel - hindering, thus, any progress towards peace. The POTUS also wanted to speak directly to the Arab League...and this blog is already digging for that unuttered message. 
 
"But the children of Israel have the right to live in a world where the nations assembled in this body fully recognize their country, and unequivocally reject those who fire rockets at their homes or incite others to hate them."

Comment: a historical statement. For the first time, the President of the United States addresses the bias, practised by the international community, against Israel. It must be said though that UN Ambassador, Samantha Power, had already accused the UN of "unacceptable bias and attacks against the state of Israel."; but for a president to do it, is actually remarkable. PA incites others to hate Jews: the president is aware of it. I hope the Jewish Right, and other conservative elements, are honest enough to admit this deed. 

"But sovereignty cannot be a shield for tyrants to commit wanton murder, or an excuse for the international community to turn a blind eye to slaughter." 

Comment: a direct message to Russia, China, Iran and all those who like to use the sovereignty and the "non-interference in internal affairs" cards to forge relationships with countries that commit atrocities against their citizens; and expect the rest of the world to just watch and shut it. 

"(...) leaving behind the old ideological battles of the past. That’s what’s happening in Asia and Africa; in Europe and the Americas. That’s the future that the people of the Middle East and North Africa deserve – one where they can focus on opportunity, instead of whether they’ll be killed or repressed because of who they are or what they believe."

Comment: in summa, the Middle East and North Africa are being left behind when it comes to human, societal and economic development - for all the reasons that are becoming too obvious to ignore (i.e. theocracy, political Islam and Global Jihad) 

Many will disagree, however this speech was one of the best UNGA speeches President Obama has thus far given: it was direct, strong and announced a new US stance before the world.  

Comments

  1. Olá Max!

    Great, today I am the first to comment :-)!

    This speech has so many goodies that I wouldn't know where to start: first, many messages to Russia (triggered by Putin's open letter in NYTimes); second, many messages to Iran (like President Clinton says "we don't need to trust Iran, we just need to seize the opportunity. Do your best, prepare for the worst"). My favorite part was the "Arab-Israeli" part...now, that was historical! Like you said the problem is really an Arab-Israeli one because the Arabs do not recognise Israel and they really sponsor the Palestinians to launch attacks against it.
    This subject makes me question the whole purpose of the peace talks: is it real or is it being used as a weapon against the Jewish State?

    Excellent comment, Max...congratulations, darling!
    Did you watch PM Netanyahu's speech? Super super great! I am very excited about it, to tell you the truth!

    Tchau

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    1. Olá Celeste :D!

      It does, doesn't it? President Clinton said some wise words there.
      We just need the world to open its eyes - it has been listening the Arab campaign for so long that it was actually starting to believe the lies and deception.

      That is a wonderful question: is it real or is it a simple instrument of attack? Hmmm...I will have to think about it, my darling.

      Thank you *bowing*. I am glad you liked it.
      Would I miss it? It was superb. I may pen down a few words about it....

      Celeste, thank you ever so much for your outstanding comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  2. "a historical statement. For the first time, the President of the United States addresses the bias, practised by the international community, against Israel."

    I couldn't believe my ears when he said it. I was actually impressed!

    What happened at the UNGA this year? Abbas was completed in the shadows this year. I didn't see the media covering his address, did you? Major developments...I am not an Obama fan but I agree his speech was very good.

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    1. Hi Anonymous :D!

      It was impressive indeed.
      I don't know what happened...nobody spoke about Abbas. I already have the transcript of his speech, so let's see what he said that turned off people so much.
      Nobody has to be president Obama's fan but it is honest to admit when he is right or when he does something well.

      Anonymous, thank you so much for your great comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  3. Obama seems to be doing better in foreign policy than in domestic policy.

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    1. Hi Anonymous :D!

      He is doing great in FP. In domestic policy...could it all be a strategy? I don't know, I'll let you tell me.

      Thanks for your much appreciated comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  4. "But the children of Israel have the right to live in a world where the nations assembled in this body fully recognize their country, and unequivocally reject those who fire rockets at their homes or incite others to hate them." - I think Obama was also talking to the European Union, don't you agree? I think he is also telling them to quite the bias bullshit and think about their detrimental guidelines. But yeah, he is also talking to the UN, MERCOSUR and all that bunch.
    About your thought of the week: I saw the Qatar Emir talking at the UN...he thinks we don't know he funds terrorism. Yeah, his foundations may help feeding children and all but they also convert kids to Islam in exchange for food and fund terror activities. We are not fools!

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    1. Hello Joseph :D!

      Talking to the European Union as well? Yes, maybe he was. The EU, right now, is taking some odd positions regarding Israel, regarding the Jewish and Muslim communities...very anti-Semitic atmosphere right now.
      Ah MERCOSUR...good point - thanks.

      You know? And let's not forget Qatar is fuelling the Syrian crisis as well.

      Joseph, thank you so much for your outstanding comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
    2. What to expect from the European council, Max? They are a bunch of radical leftists and far right insane people who on one side fight against religion and any religious expression and on the other side what to kick those who piss them off most...the Jews, cause they believe are all rich, and the Muslims cause they all want to occupy Europe. And we are paying these clowns' wages!
      Is Europe repeating history, Max?

      Delete
    3. Joseph,

      You have a point. This is not the first time they target Jews and Muslims with nonsensical guidelines and resolutions.
      I think many in Europe are trying to repeat history, yes. And they are in the right places too.

      Delete
  5. Once upon a time, our slogan was "speak softly, and carry a big stick". Now we are good at eloquently admonishing those with whom we are at variance with regarding ideological propositions, but there is some doubt regarding our aptitude for manipulating instruments of disciplinary action.

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    1. Hi Looney :D!

      Times are changing and so is the way of doing diplomacy - thank God.
      Are you referring to president Obama's apparent reluctance to strike Syria and Iran? I have been observing your president for a long time and one thing I noticed: nothing is what seems to be with him; the end is more important than the process.

      Looney, thank you so much for your great comment :D. You were missed.

      Cheers

      Delete
    2. Nice to be missed!

      Let's just say that I think Obama is good at delivering speeches that he didn't write, then afterwards he figures out what he is going to do. Hopefully someone sensible will help him think through the consequences.

      I am curious about what you mean with "the end is more important than the process".

      Delete
    3. :D

      President Obama participates in the writing process, as most US presidents do. From my observations, I'd say he figures out pretty well what he wants to do...he just doesn't talk about it, he doesn't announce it.
      I take this opportunity to congratulate your country for the ops over the weekend: it is good to see the US acting in Africa.
      He has a few sensible people surrounding him...

      I was too obscure, I apologise: I meant to say that the political process, the negotiations period, the planning etc, have too many nuances, too many layers, that are put in place to deflect the opponent's attention...what counts the most is the end, the result - which is the only thing we should judge, not the process.

      Delete
  6. Well I appreciate the US presidents speech which is very righteous in its intentions, but on a lighter note, I really smirk when he won the Nobel peace prize in the beginning of his innings just on the virtue of a few speeches, well an irony and maybe a lot a changed man now that he has also shutdown US after more than a decade. And for all the other nations, I would hardly believe at today's date they would really dare their might against the US, but maybe a little tantalisingly provocative to fish in a bit of trouble waters. US is in a position, like the fables story when you peddle too many lies, even when you tell the truth nobody believes you and the Russia and China for all its venom has passed its sell by date for obvious reasons. Its a interesting world when we see Russia trying to come out of its hibernation and china in its quest to match the prowess of the US just make a laughing stock of themselves in the International fora and for the other small fishes it better not to comment, when they can be swept away by a strong gush of wind.

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    1. Hi Kalyan :D!

      You are not the first person to mention the Nobel Prize...a prize President Obama didn't ask for and said he wasn't worthy of (so much so, he didn't keep the money - unlike so many undeserving prize winners). Many people are disappointed because they think that an individual who gives inspirational speeches has necessarily to be a pacifist; and thought that because president Obama was against the war in Iraq he was against all wars...well, they didn't pay attention, because he was for the War in Afghanistan.

      A minority of Tea Party elements think they can blackmail the president and take the House hostage because they are bitter about a president they do not like since day one. I wouldn't allow small fish to blackmail me either...hell, I wouldn't allow big fish to blackmail me; so neither should the POTUS. This is not about the Affordable Healthcare Act...this is about muscling up at the expense of the people.

      You are right about Russia and China.
      Meanwhile, in the midst of turbulence the US has carried out one more outstanding operation in Africa...

      Kalyan, thank you so much for your outstanding comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete
  7. Yeah, Obama spoke well but I would like to see him being more forceful on the Palestinian issue: the facts are out there, the US doesn't need the Middle Eastern oil that much anymore so what is he waiting for to tell them, and those supporting them, "you blow the negotiations all the time"? And why does he keep using delegitimizing terms like "occupation" when he, as a lwayer, knows the proper term is "disputed territories"?
    It was a good speech but we need more from America!

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    1. Hi Ana :D!

      How do you know he hasn't? Have you noticed the snub the Palestinians received last week....no one spoke of them in the media, no one gave them a time of day? Compare this year to last year's UNGA meeting.
      I agree with you: it is disappointing that he still uses delegitimising words. Perhaps, someone sensible should advise him on this issue...

      Indeed, we need more from America...as soon as America positions itself better.

      Ana, thank you so much for your excellent comment :D.

      Cheers

      Delete

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