Obama / Romney Key Foreign Policy Speeches Today

Big day in New York for two competing visions of US foreign affairs.  First, President Obama addressed the UN General Assembly:

Mr. Obama took on a number of issues at play between America and the Muslim world, vowing that the “United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon” and warning that time to diplomatically resolve the Iranian nuclear issue “is not unlimited.”

But he refused to go further than what he has said in the past, that “a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained,” despite pleas from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to establish a new red line.

“America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy, and we believe there is still time and space to do so,” Mr. Obama said. “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.”

via Obama’s Address to United Nations – NYTimes.com.


Meanwhile, uptown at the Clinton Global Initiative, U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney talked about giving aid–but with strings attatched:

Referring in his remarks to a hypothetical program he called “Prosperity Pacts,” Mr. Romney talked about his desire to use aid initiatives, like the ones President Clinton’s group supports, to encourage lasting change in the Middle East and other developing regions.

“Working with the private sector, the program will identify the barriers to investment and trade and entrepreneurialism in developing nations,” he said. “In exchange for removing those barriers and opening their markets to U.S. investment and trade, developing nations will receive U.S. assistance packages focused on developing the institutions of liberty, the rule of law, and property rights.”

He added: “The aim of a much larger share of our aid must be the promotion of work and the fostering of free enterprise. Nothing we can do as a nation will change lives and nations more effectively and permanently than sharing the insight that lies at the foundation of America’s own economy — and that is that free people pursuing happiness in their own ways build a strong and prosperous nation.”

via Romney Urges Attaching Certain Strings to Foreign Aid



7 thoughts on “Obama / Romney Key Foreign Policy Speeches Today”

  1. I had never heard of the CGI until i read these two articles after a little research the idea is very interesting from the CGI website we read, “CGI convenes a community of global leaders to forge solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media.” This to me sounds like a great organization that has to tools and the right people to actually make a difference. I felt that both President Obama and Mr. Romney gave two important speeches addressing issues that matter for the world today. It will be interesting to see what procedures the CGI takes to put their ideas into action.


  2. I wish I could have heard Obama’s speech. It sounds like it was extremely well put. He condemns both sides that are at fault, both the hate video and the killings. I especially like his statement on the killings, “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.” I believe this is exactly the attitude everybody needs to have if we are to be able to cooperate globally. It will be extremely interesting to see how the Middle East responds to what the President has said.
    In regards to the Arab world, here is an article that discusses how most of the Arab community does not support the violent reaction to the film.

  3. I really enjoyed Mitt Romney’s quote, “The aim of a much larger share of our aid must be the promotion of work and the fostering of free enterprise. Nothing we can do as a nation will change lives and nations more effectively and permanently than sharing the insight that lies at the foundation of America’s own economy — and that is that free people pursuing happiness in their own ways build a strong and prosperous nation.” Incentives for individuals change large groups of people I believe. It is good for the United States to work internationally like this. It promotes trade through business both there and here. What would stabilize Iran more than an economic alliance?
    I love how Pres. Obama redefined human trafficking. I think that the very small step of redefining it will help people build convictions to stop it, here in the US and outside of our country.

  4. President Obama spoke today about the importance of ending human trafficking around the world. I haven’t read his entire speech yet, but it’s good to see that first of all, businesses, religious groups, and the government have secured new measures to fight the problem. The President said of the crisis, “Everyone has a responsibility. Every nation can take action.” I just like to see that in the midst of many major problems around the world, the U.S. is still prioritizing solutions to solvent problems regardless of their political importance.

  5. One thing is for sure. America needs both Republican and Democratic values to go forward and succeed with its goals. I have found Republicans more inclined towards America’s economic prosperity and military might. On the other hand, Democrats seem more sympathetic to the international community and are exquisitely good at whipping capitalists when they cross their lines. Business and entrepreneurship are the basic foundation in America’s success as a nation but on the other hand, humble moral ideals and goodwill towards other nations are needed for justifying America’s legitimacy for power, winning more allies and moving the world into the new age.

  6. Sorry I didn’t post this last night. I believe my TA Tyler sent an email that I would be posting this last night (after class) as one of my two blog posts for last week. I ended up getting home late last night and wasn’t feeling well, so I just went to bed, but I hope this may still count for last week’s blog post (I’ll do two more blog posts for this week as well).

    I was impressed by Obama’s speech; at how he took the middle ground in condemning both the attacks on the embassy while also denouncing the bigotry portrayed by the anti-Muslim video. Yet at the same time he upheld the democratic value of free speech and insisted that this freedom should be had in all democracies, encouraging all democracies to have this civil liberty. He explained that while yes, this value of free speech allowed for such portrayals of bigotry and prejudice, at the same time it is this same value of free speech that enable citizens to denounce such acts of bigotry. It is this same value of free speech that protects citizens from government censorship and which allows citizens to protest against unjust governmental practices. I thought that this was an excellent thing to say because the peoples of less democratic nations which don’t enjoy the liberties of free speech quite extensively as we do, don’t understand how American values of free speech not only protect citizens from injustice but also allow citizens to express their opinions on any subject, even if those opinions are biased and disrespectful.

  7. Sometimes during the fighting and the bantering that goes on during presidential elections we forget what matters most. It’s easy to look at the minute differences between candidates and judge them based on small policy differences, when in reality both Romney and Obama have promoted American values.
    The President’s speech at the UN laid down the law as far as freedom of speech goes. Although other leaders have rejected his views as not understanding the values of their cultures, Obama’s message stands strong and unapologetic. He not only spoke of the importance of free speech, but promoted it as necessary for countries in the developing world. At times we become so worried about offending people and making sure we respect differences that we forget that by sharing our values we can help a lot of people out. Obama tries to spread the importance of free speech to the rest of the world and does so in a very diplomatic but firm manner.
    I appreciated the way Obama was able to be sensitive to the beliefs of other cultures without giving in at all on our country’s personal stance. His grasp of the first amendment made it clear that the US would not be apologizing for its values. Without compromising, Obama was able to present our views at such a critical time in a way that promoted their importance for the rest of the world. Hopefully someday other nations will learn to accept freedom of speech not as an outlet for inappropriate material, but as a means of expression that should never be stopped. Without free speech, other freedoms get tossed to the side. It is not free speech, but oppression that causes violence like what we’ve seen around the world lately.


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