Transcript of Obama’s General Assembly speech.

"… sovereignty cannot be a shield for tyrants to commit one murder. Or an excuse for the international community to turn a blind eye.
While we need to be modest in our belief that we can remedy every evil, while we need to be mindful that the world is full of unintended consequences, should we really accept the notion that the world is powerless in the face of a Rwanda, or Srebrenica?
If that’s the world that people want to live in, they should say so, and reckon with the cold logic of mass graves.
But I believe we can embrace a different future. And if we don’t want to choose between inaction and war, we must get better, all of us, with policies that prevent the breakdown of basic order; through respect for the responsibilities of nations and the rights of individuals; through meaningful sanctions for those who break the rules; through dogged diplomacy that resolves the root causes of conflict, not merely its aftermath; through development assistance that brings hope to the marginalized.
And, yes, sometimes although this will not be enough, there are gonna be moments where the international community will need to acknowledge that the multilateral use of military force may be required to prevent the very worst from occurring."  Barack Obama


This was basically a hectoring lecture given to the leaders of the world by someone who sees himself as their "daddy."  BHO laid down the law to the rest of the world and asserted that the United States, although slightly chastened by the experiences of the last decade still clings to the notion that it is the "big kid" in the school yard and that what we say "goes."

It was very much an R2P talk.  Looking at Ambassador Powers seated at Kerry's side I wondered if she and Susan Rice wrote this diatribe.  I am struck by the tone of the thing.  I imagine that this is a speech that his mother would have approved.   Rice, Powers and Slaughter seem very like what I imagine Obama's mother to have been.  I wonder if HC would keep them in her first term.  pl

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52 Responses to Transcript of Obama’s General Assembly speech.

  1. Matthew says:

    And: And it was totally insincere. If not, the Bahraini “royals” should be nervous.

  2. In a discussion we had on this blog a bit over a year ago about the sentences on the ‘Pussy Riot’ girls, ‘Basilisk’ quoted – in relation to Putin – some remarks of the dissident Russian writer Felix Svetov about ‘Chekists’: ‘When the snow is falling,’ Svetov said, ‘they will calmly tell you the sun is shining.’
    A quick Google search revealed that Svetov was a Russian Jewish-Christian: an interesting group which includes two of the greatest of modern Russian poets, Osip Mandelstam and Boris Pasternak.
    I do wonder, if one could bring back Svetov from the dead, whether he would think that the true spirit of the Cheka was better represented by what Putin has had to say about Syria, or by this speech by Obama.

  3. North says:

    These people are pervert. They cooked the disaster, they allowed shipment of weaponry to the fanatics, the gave ‘go ahead’ to the false flag operation and now are hiding behind the “care for the children”. Are we going to see more of that bullshit for every public cover up of the insane destructive power games played by the primitives these losers do service?

  4. The beaver says:

    Hilary leaving Powers or Rice in her administration ?
    Colonel, you are funny. She will send them packing in no time.
    Don’t know much about Slaughter to comment.

  5. JohnH says:

    If it turns out that Saudi Arabia, Israel, Qatar…or the United States was behind the chemical weapons attack, who will Obama bomb?
    Oh, I know, chemical weapons use doesn’t count when you bomb other people. It only matters when you gas your own. Now there is a real humanitarian!

  6. confusedponderer says:

    “It was very much an R2P talk. Looking at Ambassador Powers seated at Kerry’s side I wondered if she and Susan Rice wrote this diatribe.”
    Couldn’t help think the same thing.
    It’s insane as far as international politics are concerned. Won’t work if put into action, which, unfortunately, it is not unlikely to be, since Rice, Powers and Slaughter apparently now are in legacy building mode, and their time in office is finite.
    Wrecking Libya and getting Qathafi killed was not enough. They need something grander. Like wrecking Baathist Syria and getting Assad killed. In the name of humanitarianism.
    They’ll be telling Obama that the humanitarian intervention in Syria – and regime change there – will be his legacy. True enough – since he is head of government that will at least factually be correct. He is responsible under command authority.
    I wonder if they’ll succeed persuading Obama beyond talking him into holding that silly speech. To me Obama seemed genuinely reluctant to bomb Syria. Influence of Hagel and Dempsey? Will it last?
    But it’s Rice’s, Powers’ and Slaughter’s thinking put into policy. They are apparently determined to prove they are right with R2P being the model for better, softer and more moral interventions and will try to generate, by hook or by crook, a precedent for their vision of how to engage the world – the Syrians be damned, just like the Libyans before them.
    There is a word for that in German, ‘Selbstverwirklichung’, or self-actualisation.
    The horror. Another lot of murderous loons on a self righteous rampage.

  7. Stephanie says:

    President Obama doesn’t appear to have had an easy relationship with his mother (it’s generally not a good sign when Sonny fails to show up at the deathbed) and he has been chided for not having more women in his inner circle of advisers.
    HRC has many excellent qualities, but she has rarely met a war she didn’t like and she was known to be hawkish on Syria while in the Administration. She also supported the Libya invasion. Rice and Power both owe their present prominence to their closeness to Obama and I expect Clinton will have her own candidates for their current positions, but it’s always possible she might ask one of them to stay on for a bit. Don’t know if Power will want to work for the woman she once called a monster. Slaughter was a Clinton appointee to State and there’s probably a job for her if she wants one.
    Otherwise, yeah, it’s definitely a Power speech, in every sense.
    I have no idea what he means by being “powerless” in the face of Srebenica. NATO bombed the Serbs back into the Stone Age, no?

  8. Always remember it is a second term. But not a brave one IMO. Why not give the nation a choice in the next election. The USA intervenes only when the UN approves or NOT? If the former is the choice then revise the UN Charter to deal with genocide and war crimes. Just remember the shoe may well fit the USA!

  9. steve says:

    I only half-listened, but I seem to recall Obama proclaiming that the future of Syria “of course” was up to the Syrians, yet in the next sentence listing at least a half dozen US qualifications that the Syrians must meet.
    Aren’t Syrian elections scheduled for next year? The jockeying to delay, impede, or postpone those elections should get underway soon.
    About Obama cashing in after he leaves office: If Bill Clinton is his role model–at least in terms of post-presidential wealth creation–he’ll never live up to that standard with, as you say Colonel, his “hectoring” tone. I would add the term “dour”.
    Bubba could charm talk money out of Scrooge. An Obama speech is like a root canal.

  10. Fred says:

    This sounds just like a Hollywood movie script; in that vein here’s a few takes on “The King’s Speech”:
    “The evidence is overwhelming that the Assad regime used such weapons on August 21st.”….. “It’s an insult to human reason and to the legitimacy of this institution…”(the UN) — to continue to keep secret the name of the individual you claim ordered the attack; to keep secret the name of the officer allegedly acknowledging the order to carry out the attack; to keep secret the name of the Syrian Army unit that allegedly carried out the attack; By keeping the signals intelligence and other ‘evidence’ you claim proves Assad’s regime is responsible you, Barrack Obama, are shielding war criminals. Isn’t that against the UN charter?
    “…sovereignty cannot be a shield for tyrants to commit one murder.” Nice CYA on drones, torture, Gitmo and the NSA spying. It’s necessary drone killing, outsourced torture, Gitmo is still a go and spying on Americans is even more necessary that before (Just look at the polling for approval on Obama’s proposed Syrian war). Yet worry not, the sovereignty of the US will still be a shield for Obama when a drone attack kills innocent bystanders, it’s those other members of the UN whose sovereignty will not be respected. Attacks upon them will be based of course on the moral suasion from advisors such as Ambassador Powers or National Security Advisor Rice and the ‘evidence’ they present within the confines of the Star Chamber. Such evidence is far to importance to stand the clear light of day – especially to be seen and thought over by American citizens. (Who can trust those voters anyway. Just look at the polling for approval on Obama’s proposed Syrian war)
    “Peaceful movements have too often been answered by violence from those resisting change and from extremists trying to hijack change. Nowhere have we seen these trends converge more powerfully than in…” {The West Bank and Gaza Strip.} “There, peaceful protests against an authoritarian regime were met with repression and slaughter. In the face of such carnage, many retreated to their sectarian identities….”
    Meanwhile the US uses its position on the UN Security Council to ……? End construction on territory occupied after the 1967 war – in violation of the UN Charter? End the blockade? Show what’s actually going on there on the CBS/NBC/ABC/FOX evening news? Of course we do…..

  11. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Apparently, what “should have been done” was to wipe out the Serbian minority in Bosnia. I don’t speak of this facetiously: among some of the early R2P types I used to know, some were talking seriously about a need for driving out the ethnic Serbs in Bosnia, especially after Srebnica, as a de facto punishment. I don’t think it occurred to them the absurdity of what they were suggesting: ethnic cleansing at gunpoint in the name of human rights. Yet, this would become reality when the Croats reconquered ethnic Serb enclaves in Croatia and indeed did expel their inhabitants, with much loss of life.

  12. mbrenner says:

    Not in 1995 in response to Srbrenica. It was four years later apropos Kosovo.

  13. Jose says:

    Is BSHO becoming irrelevant right before our eyes? Nobody is playing attention to anything he says or does and the madness of the next process to replace him is in full swing. BTW, IMHO, Hillary is making a mistake appearing as a sure thing so early.

  14. Walrus says:

    High school level hypocrisy. Not only that if flies in the face of the reality that for some issues there is no solution. Nor does it deal with the problem of evil.
    Obama and the R2P crowd should meditate on The Brothers Karamazov:
    “’They burn villages, murder, rape women and children, they nail their prisoners to the fences by the ears, leave them so till morning, and in the morning they hang them—all sorts of things you can’t imagine. People talked sometimes of bestial cruelty, but that’s a great injustice and insult to the beast; a beast can never be so cruel as a man, so artistically cruel. The tiger only tears and gnaws, that’s all he can do. He would never think of nailing people by the ears, even if he were able to do it. These (men) took pleasure in torturing children, too; cutting the unborn child from the mother’s womb, and tossing babies up in the air and catching them on the points of their bayonets before their mothers’ eyes. Doing it before the mother’s eyes was what gave zest to the amusement. Here is another scene that I thought very interesting. Imagine a trembling mother with her baby in her arm, a circle of invading (men) around her. They planned a diversion; they pet the baby, laugh to make it laugh. They succeed, the baby laughs. At that moment a (man) points a pistol four inches from the baby’s face. The baby laughs with glee, hold out its little hands to the pistol, and he pulls the trigger in the baby’s face and blows out its brains. Artistic wasn’t it?
    By the way, (these men) are particularly found of sweets, they say.’
    “Brother, what are you driving at?” asked Alyosha.
    “I think if the devil doesn’t exist, but man has created him, he has created him in his own image and likeness.”
    Later Ivan puts the problem of evil more bluntly to his brother.
    “Tell me yourself, I challenge you answer. Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature that little child beating its breast with its fist, for instance—and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me, and tell the truth.”

  15. different clue says:

    I find it hard to read Obama sometimes. Yes . . . he is crafting the appearance of reluctance at wanting to bomb Syria just nowadays. But the ferocious persistence of his and Kerry’s bomb-Syria rhetoric till Russia turned Kerry’s blooper into a negotiating and de-chemweaponizing opportunity makes me think his personal desire to bomb Syria was very heartfelt.
    I read that Obama himself ASKED AIPAC to lobby the House and Senate to vote “yes”. I read in the same article (I can’t remember where) that an “un-named Senate staffer” said this AIPAC lobbying effort was not as heavy and “real” as the efforts are for things AIPAC really wants. If that is true, that would re-inforce that it was Obama himself who wanted, really wanted . . . to bomb Syria; with a blame-sharing yes vote from Congress to provide some cover. (Just as the R2P Ladies would not be in government if Obama did not personally want them there).
    If he doesn’t now want to bomb Syria anymore, then something has changed his mind. If so, good.

  16. Stephanie says:

    Thank you for the correction, I was careless. I tend to think of it as delayed retribution for Srebenica….

  17. JohnH says:

    Meanwhile the top headline at the NY Times web site reads: “At U.N., Obama Emphasizes Diplomacy on Iran and Syria.”
    These folks truly are out to lunch. Or maybe America’s newspaper of record grovels before the big kid in the school yard, too.

  18. Norbert M. Salamon says:

    I missed President Roumani’s speech .. anyone knows if there is a transcript?
    Thank for assistance.
    President Obama’s speech [as I read the transcript] sounds like a lousy fairy tale based on some alternative reality, where Uncle Sam’s land is dream.

  19. MM says:

    Now that the US has admitted to its role in thwarting Iranian democracy in 1953 by fomenting a coup, the Iranians can admit to cutting a deal with the Reagan campaign in 1980 to hold onto the 52 American hostages until after the election thus guaranteeing a defeat for Jimmy Carter.

  20. joe brand says:

    The great thing about an Obama speech is that you can already guess what it will say and how it will be received, which allows anyone with sense to pre-ignore it.

  21. jerseycityjoan says:

    Should we cut our military spending by 1/3 or 1/2 over the next 10 years?
    That would be one way to limit our ability to do things abroad.
    If the other First World countries we’ve been “guarding” for years: Israel, some of the Arab countries of the Middle East, South Korea, Japan, Europe — increase their military in response, wouldn’t that be a good thing for all?
    And if they did not, it would be at their own risk.
    We’d force the kids to grow up and we could retire and spend our money on ourselves.

  22. Alba Etie says:

    There were no clean hands in the former Yugoslavia disintegration in the 1990 ‘s . I wonder if historians can tell us someday if the NATO intervention made matters better or worse.

  23. ISL says:

    Sorry Jersey Joan, I cant see any reason for Obama not to continue to be the world’s policemen – afterall, the Fed still prints money – a trillion per year or 6% of GDP – so where is the 6% growth) to pay for it.
    I was unfortunately subjected to a few minutes at the barber shop on the local news. “The US is not the world’s policemen, but we have to police the world because of our exceptional nature.” Egads.
    Of course the local news did not show Brazil’s speech immediately before: After Rousseff’s bombshell (in essence the US is a rogue nation):
    which the emperor blindly ignored, I suspect Obama’s words of hubris, like morning mist, have already evaporated.
    Has Obama killed the internet? I expect non-US (and US) company’s and other country’s will flee any US internet company / US-based server to protect sensitive information. Add Balkan-azation of the internet to the historical legacy.

  24. Matthew says:

    JohnH, we live in a country where retired politicians rent themselves out to MEK. See
    Consistency and moral clarity are as real as unicorns.

  25. Rd. says:

    Norbert M. Salamon said…
    “I missed President Roumani’s speech .. anyone knows if there is a transcript?”
    the video

  26. Richard Armstrong says:

    That’s pretty definitive insider information you’re providing there North. Your first name wouldn’t be all Olver would it?

  27. Tyler says:

    G-d save us from the idea that female bureaucrats are somehow inherently more peaceful or efficient.

  28. Fred says:

    Of course they are peaceful, why if Ms. Powers, Rice and Slaughter were war-like they’d serve at the tip of the spear rather than face the gauntlet of the fund-raising circuit and sycophantry within the hallowed halls of group think. Verbal pot shots at those without power within the US are so more peaceful than actually fighting on the front line in all those R2P wars they promote.

  29. Charles I says:

    When it is determined that Americans, or Canadians, for that matter, took part in the Nairobi attack, can one expect Nairobi drone attacks on the U. S.?

  30. Charles I says:

    Not to the targets on the Tuesday drone list.

  31. Norbert M Salamon says:

    Thank you

  32. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    I cannot help but quyte Kipling:
    ” WHEN the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
    He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.
    But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.
    For the female of the species is more deadly than the male. ”
    Triply true for the new females.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  33. Mark Logan says:

    Hassan did quite a riff on “hope”. Flashed a bit of ankle for Obama?

  34. kao_hsien_chih says:

    They would be if they were being “female.” These folks want to outmale males, by being ridiculously superaggressive… (incidentally, apparently a very commonly observed pattern among female “diplomats” and heads of state…)

  35. Richard Armstrong says:

    That would only be fair. Nasty dealings need to be seen in the light of day.

  36. It appears that the Obama Administration has now lost any effective and reasoned policy in Syria and events in that war torn country no longer factor in the USA as much of an influence. And arms sales appear to be increasing by the USA to the “rebels”!
    Will the failure of US FP in Syria receive the attention it deserves in future?

  37. robt willmann says:

    More propaganda on tap, this time internal, as today, 26 September, the Senate Intelligence Committee has a public hearing this afternoon at 2 p.m. eastern time in the Hart Office building on new legislation amending the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)–
    The witnesses will be Dir. Nat’l. Intelligence James Clapper, NSA Dir. Keith Alexander, and Deputy Attorney General James Cole, he of the calm, reassuring demeanor. Then the second panel will be Ben Wittes, of the Brookings Institution (a foundation), and Tim Edgar, at the “Watson Institute for International Studies” at Brown University.
    Are we to understand that the Senate “Intelligence” committee is not going to call as witnesses former long-time NSA employees William Binney, Thomas Drake, and Russell Tice? I wonder why not?
    The above PBS interview with Binney and Tice was edited way down for the Newshour story that aired on the public broadcasting network at that time.
    A hat tip to Marcy Wheeler, who accurately entitles her posting, Senate Intelligence Committee Open Hearings: A Platform for Liars, and addresses their lack of usefulness–
    She also links to this article from the Guardian newspaper of yesterday, pointing out the mendacity of some of these folks.
    And to this–
    I wonder if the oath will be administered to the witnesses before they testify today? But not to worry, because at least two of the witnesses, Clapper and Alexander, have their own secret, classified definitions of words; so, you see, they think that if they use their secret definitions, they cannot commit perjury. And since the Department that calls itself Justice will never prosecute them for perjury, their phony theory will never be challenged or tested in the legal system.

  38. Matthew says:

    Chalres I: Sometimes the story proves the opposite of the claim. For example, clearly the Propaganda Organs are worried about the collapsing foreign-funded/organized “rebellion”. See

  39. Medicine Man says:

    More news of divisions within the rebel ranks in Syria:
    It must be getting pretty obvious if the western media is mentioning it.

  40. Tyler says:

    I think the feminzation of bureaucracy by those who have never served at the tip of the spear is responsible for a whole host of ills. The overuse of SWAT teams, the cavalier use of miltary force, and the idea that the US must be the world’s ‘nanny’ can be laid at the feet of women like Rice and Powers and their beta male enablers.

  41. Tyler says:

    Good poem.
    Yes they are female, embodying all the negative traits of the ‘fairer’ sex and distorting the natural order of things. Driven by emotion over logic and unable to look at things in a rational light, imagine a neocon viewpoint with all of its righteous idiocy multiplied tenfold.
    Cass Sunstein (Power’s beta husband), for his part, is one of the bigger fools when it comes to domestic policy (look at his disdain for the First Amendment). I wonder how much of this he’s pushing behind the scenes.

  42. Tyler says:

    Yes, I didn’t make this point but its definitely a documented trend. The idea that women are somehow ‘inherently’ better (see below linked article for leftist inanity/delusion) totally flies in the face of reality, especially in the last 25 years and what we’ve seen.
    For your amusement:
    Huff Paint Post, indeed.

  43. Charles I says:

    Recall Assad’s claim on Charlie Rose that some FSA forces were returning to the govt fold upon jihadi . . .and now we officially have a “good rebels” vs al qaeda/bad rebels civil war w/i the civil war, a new group of 13 calling for an Islamic state just as the weapons start to (officially) covertly flow . . to someone.
    HB has no choice but to fight in Syria, they know they’re high up on the “next” list, did not initiate this kind of Sunni/Shia great game, and have much to lose in Lebanon, where, as your link points out, an uneasy majority seems to abide them, and may support them push comes to shove.
    What does one do when the Saudis and the Jihadis both come to town?
    Fight them over there.

  44. different clue says:

    If British Intelligence (and some European Intelligence groups) spy on the Internet as much as our NSA and other groups do, anyone wanting to flee such oversight would have to avoid interacting with any digital service based in Europe or moving on cables to or through Europe as well, wouldn’t they?
    At least the ” We Spy” countries of Europe?
    So perhaps Brazil and others outside of North America/Europe will have to lay a whole parallel network of cables and digital machines having zero contact with any machine or cable having any contact with North America, Britain, or Europe. They could call it the Third Worldnet.

  45. Fred says:

    A very good point. It works to get them promoted up the EEOC ladder. it doesn’t work too well in promoting American interests abroad or our national values at home.

  46. Fred says:

    My, my you mean those numerous and very capable ‘moderates’ can’t even defeat the ‘few’ jihadis in Syria? Can’t wait to see which of the usual suspects gets blamed for this.

  47. Fred says:

    “If women ruled the country…”
    Amanda should go back to Colgate and return her diploma. Elected representatives are not America’s ‘rulers’. Apparently graduates of Colgate University don’t understand that fact. Neither does the four term incumbent US Senator from the State of Washington Patty Murray. Two decades in the US Senate and now she thinks she’s a ‘ruler’. She must have a copy of the US Constitution John Yoo marked up.

  48. Matthew says:

    Great comment.

  49. Matthew says:

    The US does not want the Lebanese Army to have the means to defend Lebanan from Israel. And yet we wonder why Hezbollah exists.

  50. Medicine Man says:

    Which is why this whole song and dance is so bloody familiar. The proponents of intervention can’t point to a single, likely outcome that is desirable but they are nevertheless “all in”. Crikey.

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