Sakset/Fra hofta

Barack Obamas tale til FNs hovedforsamling sist uke er et studium verdt. Den sier noe om hvilke tanker verdens mektigste mann gjør seg om verdens tiltstand, og hvilke løsninger han ser for seg.

Obama er en stor retoriker. Han kan mobilisere arven etter Abraham Lincoln og Franklin Roosevelt. Men spranget fra tro på USAs manifest destiny, troen på USA spesielle oppgave og rolle i verden, troen på menneskets grunnleggende godhet og over til en Benetton-verden, er snublende nær. Det er Obamas svakhet. For den som tror at menneskene innerst inne ønsker å leve som i Kardemomme by, kan få store overraskelser.

Det er merkelig at Obama, som en kristen, ikke er mer opptatt av, eller synes å ha sans for det syndefulle mennesket, som vet det rette og likevel gjør det gale.

Obamas tale var imøtesett med spenning, fordi han måtte adressere skyggesiden ved den arabiske våren: islamismens fremmarsj og borgerkrigen i Syria, som bærer bud om økende sekterisk vold, og karikaturkrise II, med utspring i USA. Alt vitner om at den respekt og det samarbeid Obama talte om i sin tale i Kairo i juni 2009, er langt unna.

Obama snakket om angrepene mot konsultatet i Benghazi der ambassadør Christopher Stevens ble drept sammen med tre kolleger. Han åpnet med å beskrive Stevens’ bakgrunn og karriere.

Obama slo fast at det er et angrep på hele verdensordenen, og sier det ikke holder med vakter. Vi må snakke ærlig om de dypere årsaker til krisen, for å forstå kreftene som vil drive oss fra hverandre, og håpene som vi alle deler.

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 these 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.

Universelle verdier

Obama tror at de verdiene USA verdsetter er universelle verdier: alle ønsker å styre over seg selv, og forme sin egen fremtid. De ønsker rettferdig styre, og å kunne tro og mene hva de vil. Men er det sikkert at de vil det på samme måte som i USA? Kan det tenkes at Brorskapets måte å gjøre det på er en helt annen og at denne har stor oppslutning blant egypterne?

Obama vil i tråd med USAs beste tradisjoner støtte folkets aspirasjoner, men hva hvis disse aspirasjoner går i en annen retning enn USAs? På hvilket punkt sier USA stopp?

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.
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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.

Progress

Obama vil gjerne sy sammen det som har skjedd i den arabiske våren med de amerikanske universelle idealene:

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’ve 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.

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Toleranse
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De som vil at andre skal tolerere dem, må også selv vise toleranse.

Obama innrømmer at noen vil:

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 time, 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’re willing to tolerate freedom for others.

 Forsvar for ytringsfriheten
Obama sier svaret på hatefull tale er ikke forbud, men mer tale, å gjendrive ord med ord. At borgeren kan uttrykke sine meninger er selve grunnlaget for all politisk deltakelse. Det er hva amerikanske soldater har kjempet og dødd for. Men Obama vil ikke gå inn på hvor stor «return» USA har hatt, om innsatsen var verdt resultatet.

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 not do so 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.

En åpen grenseløs verden
Obamas påpekte at teknologi gjør ethvert forsøk eller tro på kontroll av meninger fåfengt. (red.s kursiv) Hvis man svarer med voldsomheter vil man legge en enorm makt i hendene på de få som ønsker å provosere. Det er som å gi dem fyrstikker til å starte en brann og det kan utløse en farlig syklus.

Now, 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’s no video that justifies an attack on an embassy. There’s 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.

 

Spenningen mellom Vesten og den arabiske verden

Obama sier USA ikke kan eller vil dikterer utviklingen i disse landene. Han lover at USA gjerne vil bidra til handel og utvikling, men kun hvis visse grunnleggende prinsipper overholdes.

Han gir inntrykk av at det kun er noen få ekstremister som ønsker polarisering og konflikt.

More broadly, the events of the last two weeks also speak to the need for all of us to honestly address the tensions between the West and the 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 represents 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, and South against North, Muslims against Christians and Hindu and Jews — can’t deliver on the promise of freedom. To the youth, it offers only false hope. Burning an American flag does nothing to provide a child 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.

Gjensidighet

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 toward 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. 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, the 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 Shiite pilgrims. It’s 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.

 Progress

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 traveled 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’ve begun a transition in Afghanistan, and America and our allies will end our war on schedule in 2014. Al Qaeda has been weakened, and 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.

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At a time of economic challenge, the world has come together to broaden prosperity. Through the G20, 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.

Hva med miljøet og krisen?

 

Common people

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.

Alle vil det samme

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 it 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.

 Stevens legacy

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.

Obama’s Speech to the United Nations General Assembly — Text

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