Here is a list of some major points and possible breakthroughs from President Obama’s remarks to the U.N. moments ago.
1. We must be committed to the “universal declaration of human rights”.
2. We must work to put down mistrust between the U.S. (West) and Iran.
3. America is “exceptional” by standing up to matters that are outside narrow self-interests.
Now, there are a host of details that emanated from the speech including an expression of willingness to meet with Iran’s new President Rouani. The President directed Secretary Kerry to meet with Iran’s ministers to discuss its nuclear program and the broader issues about improving communications between Iran and the U.S.
As for the Middle East, the President spoke about the difficulties encountered by governments that are trying to stand up democratic republics, and offered continued assistance.
He emphasized that the will of the people must drive the determination of leadership in those countries, and not the U.S.
He provided an example that when governments support democracy, the U.S. provides assistance, but if the fallback, assistance may be denied.
In this sense, the President was being educator-in-chief about American foreign policy. That is how Wolf Blitzer described it at CNN.
The mention of Americans being exceptional was a retort to Russian President Putin. Russia and U.S. continue to work on dismantling Syria’s chemical weapons under supervision of the U.N. Security Council.
The President appeared commanding and helpful on the world stage today, and that is a contrast to his having to deal with an recalcitrant Congress.
Here is a sample from the speech. See the full remarks at the link below.
"In Kenya, we’ve seen terrorists target innocent civilians in a crowded shopping mall. In Pakistan, nearly 100 people were recently killed by suicide bombers outside a church. In Iraq, killings and car bombs continue to be a horrific part of life. Meanwhile, al Qaeda has splintered into regional networks and militias, which has not carried out an attack like 9/11, but does pose serious threats to governments, diplomats, businesses and civilians across the globe.
Just as significantly, the convulsions in the Middle East and North Africa have laid bare deep divisions within societies, as an old order is upended, and people grapple with what comes next. Peaceful movements have been answered by violence – from those resisting change, and from extremists trying to hijack change. Sectarian conflict has reemerged. And the potential spread of weapons of mass destruction casts a shadow over the pursuit of peace.
Nowhere have we seen these trends converge more powerfully than in Syria. There, peaceful protests against an authoritarian regime were met with repression and slaughter."