Thursday, December 10, 2009
President Obama and Michelle leave the event and are embraced and applauded, a moment that we can be proud of...
The event was momentous and I will post more photos later.I was struck that the crowd listened so carefully, and with such silence. The only applause moment was when Obama brought up the importance of the Geneva Conventions, the applause was immediate and forceful and profound. His speech was gracious, humble and amazing. It honored History, he spoke of Leaders that problemsolved and embraced Diplomacy, but he Quoted the great words Community Organizers of Ghandi and Martin Luther King. He also honored the Struggles of Movements of Hope and Change ( Burma and Iran), as well as the bloody struggle of Darfur, the Congo. He spoke of the wars that America is engaged in, not as Bush-speak "Spreading Democracy", but as missions that need resolution ,repair. He did not justify Iraq, he did explain that Afganistan is an unresolved problematic situation. He spoke of Waging Peace, not war, which showed that his goals and values are not carrying forth Bush Warmongering. Perhaps in a way he was setting forth his own Doctrine.
Do read the Speech linked to the Title, some poignant parts are below.
"So even as we respect the unique culture and traditions of different countries, America will always be a voice for those aspirations that are universal. We will bear witness to the quiet dignity of reformers like Aung Sang Suu Kyi; to the bravery of Zimbabweans who cast their ballots in the face of beatings; to the hundreds of thousands who have marched silently through the streets of Iran. It is telling that the leaders of these governments fear the aspirations of their own people more than the power of any other nation. And it is the responsibility of all free people and free nations to make clear to these movements that hope and history are on their side."
"I make this statement mindful of what Martin Luther King said in this same ceremony years ago - "Violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones." As someone who stands here as a direct consequence of Dr. King's life's work, I am living testimony to the moral force of non-violence. I know there is nothing weak nothing passive nothing naïve - in the creed and lives of Gandhi and King."