OBAMA CALLS FOR DIPLOMACY
By Franck Felix Gutenberg, US Africa News. Updated 2015-09-30
Just after Brazil’s turn at the opening of the of the UN General Assembly’s general debate on Monday September 28, 2015 in New York, the President of the United States, Barack Obama stressed that he favors diplomacy and affirmed that he was ready to work on a solution to the Syrian conflict with Russia and Iran, while denouncing Moscow's support to the "tyrant" Bashar Assad. "As president of the United States, I am mindful of the dangers that we face," Obama said in his speech. "I lead the strongest military that the world has ever known. And I will never hesitate to protect my country or our allies — unilaterally and by force — when necessary."
In a speech centered on the virtues of diplomacy, the examples of Iran and Cuba were highlighted: “But we must recognize that after so much bloodshed and carnage, there may be a return to the status quo before the war" he added.
The American head of state also recognized although the US is very powerful, it cannot solve the world's problems alone, recalling the intervention in Iraq in 2003, while stressing his conviction that the nations of the world cannot return to old ways, marked by conflict and force. "We live in an integrated world, one in which we all have a stake in each other's success… No nation in this assembly can insulate itself from the threat of terrorism, or the risk of financial contagion; the flow of migrants, or the danger of a warming planet," he added. "I believe that in today’s world, the measure of strength is no longer defined by the control of territory. Lasting prosperity does not come solely from the ability to access and extract raw materials. The strength of nations depends on the success of their people," he continued.
Obama recognized that diplomacy is difficult and not always popular but considered it necessary that the leaders of major nations take risks and knowingly admit what does not work, using the example of American policy in relation to Cuba, which for fifty years failed to improve the lives of the Cuban people. He recently changed that policy--despite the fact that there continue to be differences between the two governments (Cuban and American)--but promised to continue to defend human rights.
Obama said that in his opinion military intervention was not sufficient to resolve the conflict situation in Syria, and that lasting stability could take root only when the Syrians were able to forge an agreement to live together in peace. Realism means that a compromise is needed to end the fighting and eventually eradicate the Islamic State in Iraq. But this realism also requires a transition government that would be led, not by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but by a new leader; by an inclusive government that recognizes the need to end the chaos so that the Syrian people can rebuild their country.