If anyone wonders why I voted for President Obama to lead the nation the answer was found in the speech he delivered concerning military action in Libya. Obama’s advancing of a larger parameter from which to lead the world was powerful, and essential.
I am glad that President Obama made it clear that there is a difference between values and interests.
And that values in foreign affairs matter.
It is essential for America to be engaged in putting pressure on Col. Moammar Gadhafi, and protecting the Libyan people. Obama also made the case I have argued for concerning the larger role our nation needs to play in the world.
Operating from a moral perspective even when there is not a direct threat to the United States is one that matches our ideals, along with the expectations of those who want our deeds to match our words.
Bottom line is I am not ashamed of our power or the wise use of it.
The reason we are now engaged with our international partners in Libya is to make sure the historic moment of democratic uprisings is not undone by the ruthless hand of Gadhafi. It would send a horrible message to the people in the Middle East and northern Africa if America did not put our resolve where out mouth is.
President Obama said it perfectly.
To brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and — more profoundly — our responsibilities to our fellow human beings under such circumstances would have been a betrayal of who we are. Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States of America is different. And as President, I refused to wait for the images of slaughter and mass graves before taking action
I almost jumped to my feet several times to applaud certain sections of the speech. He stated what I firmly have believed for a long time about the use of force for the betterment of others.
Sadly, we do not always employ this framework as evidenced by the slaughter that took place in Darfur. International politics and human nature never allows for perfection.
I am very pleased with these sections of the speech tonight which I post.
I am one who strongly supports these thoughts having been put into action in Libya.
Thank you, Mr. President.
There will be times, though, when our safety is not directly threatened, but our interests and values are. Sometimes, the course of history poses challenges that threaten our common humanity and common security — responding to natural disasters, for example; or preventing genocide and keeping the peace; ensuring regional security, and maintaining the flow of commerce. These may not be America’s problems alone, but they are important to us, and they are problems worth solving. And in these circumstances, we know that the United States, as the world’s most powerful nation, will often be called upon to help.
In such cases, we should not be afraid to act — but the burden of action should not be America’s alone. As we have in Libya, our task is instead to mobilize the international community for collective action. Because contrary to the claims of some, American leadership is not simply a matter of going it alone and bearing all of the burden ourselves. Real leadership creates the conditions and coalitions for others to step up as well; to work with allies and partners so that they bear their share of the burden and pay their share of the costs; and to see that the principles of justice and human dignity are upheld by all.
Born, as we are, out of a revolution by those who longed to be free, we welcome the fact that history is on the move in the Middle East and North Africa, and that young people are leading the way. Because wherever people long to be free, they will find a friend in the United States. Ultimately, it is that faith — those ideals — that are the true measure of American leadership.
My fellow Americans, I know that at a time of upheaval overseas — when the news is filled with conflict and change — it can be tempting to turn away from the world. And as I have said before, our strength abroad is anchored in our strength at home. That must always be our North Star — the ability of our people to reach their potential, to make wise choices with our resources, to enlarge the prosperity that serves as a wellspring of our power, and to live the values that we hold so dear.