Dienstag, 25. September 2012

US-President Barack Obama ´s speech to the UN General Assembly | The White House

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Remarks by the President to the UN General Assembly

United Nations Headquarters
New York, New York 

10:22 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentleman:  I would like to begin today by telling you about an American named Chris Stevens.

Chris was born in a town called Grass Valley, California, the son of a lawyer and a musician.  As a young man, Chris joined the Peace Corps, and taught English in Morocco.  And he came to love and respect the people of North Africa and the Middle East. He would carry that commitment throughout his life.  As a diplomat, he worked from Egypt to Syria, from Saudi Arabia to Libya.  He was known for walking the streets of the cities where he worked -- tasting the local food, meeting as many people as he could, speaking Arabic, listening with a broad smile. 

Chris went to Benghazi in the early days of the Libyan revolution, arriving on a cargo ship.  As America’s representative, he helped the Libyan people as they coped with violent conflict, cared for the wounded, and crafted a vision for the future in which the rights of all Libyans would be respected. And after the revolution, he supported the birth of a new democracy, as Libyans held elections, and built new institutions, and began to move forward after decades of dictatorship.

Chris Stevens loved his work.  He took pride in the country he served, and he saw dignity in the people that he met.  And two weeks ago, he traveled to Benghazi to review plans to establish a new cultural center and modernize a hospital.  That’s when America’s compound came under attack.  Along with three of his colleagues, Chris was killed in the city that he helped to save. He was 52 years old. 

I tell you this story because Chris Stevens embodied the best of America.  Like his fellow Foreign Service officers, he built bridges across oceans and cultures, and was deeply invested in the international cooperation that the United Nations represents.  He acted with humility, but he also stood up for a set of principles -- a belief that individuals should be free to determine their own destiny, and live with liberty, dignity, justice, and opportunity. 

The attacks on the civilians in Benghazi were attacks on America.  We are grateful for the assistance we received from the Libyan government and from the Libyan people.  There should be no doubt that we will be relentless in tracking down the killers and bringing them to justice.  And I also appreciate that in recent days, the leaders of other countries in the region -- including Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen -- have taken steps to secure our diplomatic facilities, and called for calm.  And so have religious authorities around the globe.

But understand, the attacks of the last two weeks are not simply an assault on America.  They are also an assault on the very ideals upon which the United Nations was founded -- the notion that people can resolve their differences peacefully; that diplomacy can take the place of war; that in an interdependent world, all of us have a stake in working towards greater opportunity and security for our citizens.

If we are serious about upholding these ideals, it will not be enough to put more guards in front of an embassy, or to put out statements of regret and wait for the outrage to pass.  If we are serious about these ideals, we must speak honestly about the deeper causes of the crisis -- because we face a choice between the forces that would drive us apart and the hopes that we hold in common.

Today, we must reaffirm that our future will be determined by people like Chris Stevens -- and not by his killers.  Today, we must declare that this violence and intolerance has no place among our United Nations.

It has been less than two years since a vendor in Tunisia set himself on fire to protest the oppressive corruption in his country, and sparked what became known as the Arab Spring.  And since then, the world has been captivated by the transformation that’s taken place, and the United States has supported the forces of change.

We were inspired by the Tunisian protests that toppled a dictator, because we recognized our own beliefs in the aspiration of men and women who took to the streets.

We insisted on change in Egypt, because our support for democracy ultimately put us on the side of the people. 

We supported a transition of leadership in Yemen, because the interests of the people were no longer being served by a corrupt status quo.

We intervened in Libya alongside a broad coalition, and with the mandate of the United Nations Security Council, because we had the ability to stop the slaughter of innocents, and because we believed that the aspirations of the people were more powerful than a tyrant.

And as we meet here, we again declare that the regime of Bashar al-Assad must come to an end so that the suffering of the Syrian people can stop and a new dawn can begin.

We have taken these positions because we believe that freedom and self-determination are not unique to one culture.  These are not simply American values or Western values -- they are universal values.  And even as there will be huge challenges to come with a transition to democracy, I am convinced that ultimately government of the people, by the people, and for the people is more likely to bring about the stability, prosperity, and individual opportunity that serve as a basis for peace in our world.

So let us remember that this is a season of progress.  For the first time in decades, Tunisians, Egyptians and Libyans voted for new leaders in elections that were credible, competitive, and fair.  This democratic spirit has not been restricted to the Arab world.  Over the past year, we’ve seen peaceful transitions of power in Malawi and Senegal, and a new President in Somalia.  In Burma, a President has freed political prisoners and opened a closed society, a courageous dissident has been elected to parliament, and people look forward to further reform.  Around the globe, people are making their voices heard, insisting on their innate dignity, and the right to determine their future.

And yet the turmoil of recent weeks reminds us that the path to democracy does not end with the casting of a ballot.  Nelson Mandela once said:  "To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."  (Applause.) 

True democracy demands that citizens cannot be thrown in jail because of what they believe, and that businesses can be opened without paying a bribe.  It depends on the freedom of citizens to speak their minds and assemble without fear, and on the rule of law and due process that guarantees the rights of all people.

In other words, true democracy -- real freedom -- is hard work.  Those in power have to resist the temptation to crack down on dissidents.  In hard economic times, countries must be tempted -- may be tempted to rally the people around perceived enemies, at home and abroad, rather than focusing on the painstaking work of reform.

Moreover, there will always be those that reject human progress -- dictators who cling to power, corrupt interests that depend on the status quo, and extremists who fan the flames of hate and division.  From Northern Ireland to South Asia, from Africa to the Americas, from the Balkans to the Pacific Rim, we’ve witnessed convulsions that can accompany transitions to a new political order. 

At time, the conflicts arise along the fault lines of race or tribe.  And often they arise from the difficulties of reconciling tradition and faith with the diversity and interdependence of the modern world.  In every country, there are those who find different religious beliefs threatening; in every culture, those who love freedom for themselves must ask themselves how much they’re willing to tolerate freedom for others.

That is what we saw play out in the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world.  Now, I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity.

It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well -- for as the city outside these walls makes clear, we are a country that has welcomed people of every race and every faith.  We are home to Muslims who worship across our country.  We not only respect the freedom of religion, we have laws that protect individuals from being harmed because of how they look or what they believe.  We understand why people take offense to this video because millions of our citizens are among them.

I know there are some who ask why we don’t just ban such a video.  And the answer is enshrined in our laws:  Our Constitution protects the right to practice free speech. 

Here in the United States, countless publications provoke offense.  Like me, the majority of Americans are Christian, and yet we do not ban blasphemy against our most sacred beliefs.  As President of our country and Commander-in-Chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day -- (laughter) -- and I will always defend their right to do so.  (Applause.) 

Americans have fought and died around the globe to protect the right of all people to express their views, even views that we profoundly disagree with.  We do not do so because we support hateful speech, but because our founders understood that without such protections, the capacity of each individual to express their own views and practice their own faith may be threatened.  We do so because in a diverse society, efforts to restrict speech can quickly become a tool to silence critics and oppress minorities. 

We do so because given the power of faith in our lives, and the passion that religious differences can inflame, the strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression; it is more speech -- the voices of tolerance that rally against bigotry and blasphemy, and lift up the values of understanding and mutual respect.

Now, I know that not all countries in this body share this particular understanding of the protection of free speech.  We recognize that.  But in 2012, at a time when anyone with a cell phone can spread offensive views around the world with the click of a button, the notion that we can control the flow of information is obsolete.  The question, then, is how do we respond? 

And on this we must agree:  There is no speech that justifies mindless violence.  (Applause.)  There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents.  There's no video that justifies an attack on an embassy.  There's 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. 

In this modern world with modern technologies, for us to respond in that way to hateful speech empowers any individual who engages in such speech to create chaos around the world.  We empower the worst of us if that’s how we respond. 

More broadly, the events of the last two weeks also speak to the need for all of us to honestly address the tensions between the West and the Arab world that is moving towards democracy. 
Now, let me be clear:  Just as we cannot solve every problem in the world, the United States has not and will not seek to dictate the outcome of democratic transitions abroad.  We do not expect other nations to agree with us on every issue, nor do we assume that the violence of the past weeks or the hateful speech by some individuals represent the views of the overwhelming majority of Muslims, any more than the views of the people who produced this video represents those of Americans.  However, I do believe that it is the obligation of all leaders in all countries to speak out forcefully against violence and extremism.  (Applause.) 

It is time to marginalize those who -- even when not directly resorting to violence -- use hatred of America, or the West, or Israel, as the central organizing principle of politics. For that only gives cover, and sometimes makes an excuse, for those who do resort to violence.

That brand of politics -- one that pits East against West, and South against North, Muslims against Christians and Hindu and Jews -- can’t deliver on the promise of freedom.  To the youth, it offers only false hope.  Burning an American flag does nothing to provide a child an education.  Smashing apart a restaurant does not fill an empty stomach.  Attacking an embassy won’t create a single job.  That brand of politics only makes it harder to achieve what we must do together:  educating our children, and creating the opportunities that they deserve; protecting human rights, and extending democracy’s promise.

Understand America will never retreat from the world.  We will bring justice to those who harm our citizens and our friends, and we will stand with our allies.  We are willing to partner with countries around the world to deepen ties of trade and investment, and science and technology, energy and development -- all efforts that can spark economic growth for all our people and stabilize democratic change. 

But such efforts depend on a spirit of mutual interest and mutual respect.  No government or company, no school or NGO will be confident working in a country where its people are endangered.  For partnerships to be effective our citizens must be secure and our efforts must be welcomed.

A politics based only on anger -- one based on dividing the world between "us" and "them" -- not only sets back international cooperation, it ultimately undermines those who tolerate it.  All of us have an interest in standing up to these forces. 

Let us remember that Muslims have suffered the most at the hands of extremism.  On the same day our civilians were killed in Benghazi, a Turkish police officer was murdered in Istanbul only days before his wedding; more than 10 Yemenis were killed in a car bomb in Sana’a; several Afghan children were mourned by their parents just days after they were killed by a suicide bomber in Kabul.

The impulse towards intolerance and violence may initially be focused on the West, but over time it cannot be contained.  The same impulses toward extremism are used to justify war between Sunni and Shia, between tribes and clans.  It leads not to strength and prosperity but to chaos.  In less than two years, we have seen largely peaceful protests bring more change to Muslim-majority countries than a decade of violence.  And extremists understand this.  Because they have nothing to offer to improve the lives of people, violence is their only way to stay relevant.  They don’t build; they only destroy.

It is time to leave the call of violence and the politics of division behind.  On so many issues, we face a choice between the promise of the future, or the prisons of the past.  And we cannot afford to get it wrong.  We must seize this moment.  And America stands ready to work with all who are willing to embrace a better future.

The future must not belong to those who target Coptic Christians in Egypt -- it must be claimed by those in Tahrir Square who chanted, "Muslims, Christians, we are one."  The future must not belong to those who bully women -- it must be shaped by girls who go to school, and those who stand for a world where our daughters can live their dreams just like our sons.  (Applause.) 

The future must not belong to those corrupt few who steal a country’s resources -- it must be won by the students and entrepreneurs, the workers and business owners who seek a broader prosperity for all people.  Those are the women and men that America stands with; theirs is the vision we will support.

The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam.  But to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see in the images of Jesus Christ that are desecrated, or churches that are destroyed, or the Holocaust that is denied.  (Applause.)

Let us condemn incitement against Sufi Muslims and Shiite pilgrims.  It’s time to heed the words of Gandhi:  "Intolerance is itself a form of violence and an obstacle to the growth of a true democratic spirit."  (Applause.)  Together, we must work towards a world where we are strengthened by our differences, and not defined by them.  That is what America embodies, that’s the vision we will support.

Among Israelis and Palestinians, the future must not belong to those who turn their backs on a prospect of peace.  Let us leave behind those who thrive on conflict, those who reject the right of Israel to exist.  The road is hard, but the destination is clear -- a secure, Jewish state of Israel and an independent, prosperous Palestine.  (Applause.)  Understanding that such a peace must come through a just agreement between the parties, America will walk alongside all who are prepared to make that journey.

In Syria, the future must not belong to a dictator who massacres his people.  If there is a cause that cries out for protest in the world today, peaceful protest, it is a regime that tortures children and shoots rockets at apartment buildings.  And we must remain engaged to assure that what began with citizens demanding their rights does not end in a cycle of sectarian violence. 

Together, we must stand with those Syrians who believe in a different vision -- a Syria that is united and inclusive, where children don’t need to fear their own government, and all Syrians have a say in how they are governed -- Sunnis and Alawites, Kurds and Christians.  That’s what America stands for.  That is the outcome that we will work for -- with sanctions and consequences for those who persecute, and assistance and support for those who work for this common good.  Because we believe that the Syrians who embrace this vision will have the strength and the legitimacy to lead.

In Iran, we see where the path of a violent and unaccountable ideology leads.  The Iranian people have a remarkable and ancient history, and many Iranians wish to enjoy peace and prosperity alongside their neighbors.  But just as it restricts the rights of its own people, the Iranian government continues to prop up a dictator in Damascus and supports terrorist groups abroad.  Time and again, it has failed to take the opportunity to demonstrate that its nuclear program is peaceful, and to meet its obligations to the United Nations.

So let me be clear.  America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy, and we believe that there is still time and space to do so.  But that time is not unlimited.  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.  And make no mistake, a nuclear-armed Iran is not a challenge that can be contained.  It would threaten the elimination of Israel, the security of Gulf nations, and the stability of the global economy.  It risks triggering a nuclear-arms race in the region, and the unraveling of the non-proliferation treaty.  That’s why a coalition of countries is holding the Iranian government accountable.  And that’s why the United States will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

We know from painful experience that the path to security and prosperity does not lie outside the boundaries of international law and respect for human rights.  That’s why this institution was established from the rubble of conflict.  That is why liberty triumphed over tyranny in the Cold War.  And that is the lesson of the last two decades as well. 

History shows that peace and progress come to those who make the right choices.  Nations in every part of the world have traveled this difficult path.  Europe, the bloodiest battlefield of the 20th century, is united, free and at peace.  From Brazil to South Africa, from Turkey to South Korea, from India to Indonesia, people of different races, religions, and traditions have lifted millions out of poverty, while respecting the rights of their citizens and meeting their responsibilities as nations.

And it is because of the progress that I’ve witnessed in my own lifetime, the progress that I’ve witnessed after nearly four years as President, that I remain ever hopeful about the world that we live in.  The war in Iraq is over.  American troops have come home.  We’ve begun a transition in Afghanistan, and America and our allies will end our war on schedule in 2014.  Al Qaeda has been weakened, and Osama bin Laden is no more.  Nations have come together to lock down nuclear materials, and America and Russia are reducing our arsenals.  We have seen hard choices made -- from Naypyidaw to Cairo to Abidjan -- to put more power in the hands of citizens.

At a time of economic challenge, the world has come together to broaden prosperity.  Through the G20, we have partnered with emerging countries to keep the world on the path of recovery.  America has pursued a development agenda that fuels growth and breaks dependency, and worked with African leaders to help them feed their nations.  New partnerships have been forged to combat corruption and promote government that is open and transparent, and new commitments have been made through the Equal Futures Partnership to ensure that women and girls can fully participate in politics and pursue opportunity.  And later today, I will discuss our efforts to combat the scourge of human trafficking.

All these things give me hope.  But what gives me the most hope is not the actions of us, not the actions of leaders -- it is the people that I’ve seen.  The American troops who have risked their lives and sacrificed their limbs for strangers half a world away; the students in Jakarta or Seoul who are eager to use their knowledge to benefit mankind; the faces in a square in Prague or a parliament in Ghana who see democracy giving voice to their aspirations; the young people in the favelas of Rio and the schools of Mumbai whose eyes shine with promise.  These men, women, and children of every race and every faith remind me that for every angry mob that gets shown on television, there are billions around the world who share similar hopes and dreams.  They tell us that there is a common heartbeat to humanity.

So much attention in our world turns to what divides us.  That’s what we see on the news.  That's what consumes our political debates.  But when you strip it all away, people everywhere long for the freedom to determine their destiny; the dignity that comes with work; the comfort that comes with faith; and the justice that exists when governments serve their people  -- and not the other way around.

The United States of America will always stand up for these aspirations, for our own people and for people all across the world.  That was our founding purpose.  That is what our history shows.  That is what Chris Stevens worked for throughout his life.

And I promise you this:  Long after the killers are brought to justice, Chris Stevens’s legacy will live on in the lives that he touched -- in the tens of thousands who marched against violence through the streets of Benghazi; in the Libyans who changed their Facebook photo to one of Chris; in the signs that read, simply, "Chris Stevens was a friend to all Libyans."

They should give us hope.  They should remind us that so long as we work for it, justice will be done, that history is on our side, and that a rising tide of liberty will never be reversed.

Thank you very much.  (Applause.)


10:16 A.M. EDT

See the Video with  US-President Barack Obama ´s  speech to the UN General Assembly | The White House  here

Freitag, 14. September 2012

Speech from US-President Barack Obama in Golden, Colorado CO | The White House

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Remarks by the President in Golden, CO

Lions Park
Golden, Colorado

11:03 A.M. MDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, Golden!  (Applause.)  Thank you!  (Applause.) 

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you!

THE PRESIDENT:  I love you back.  (Applause.)

You know, this is just too pretty.  (Laughter.)  I don't know how you guys get any work done around here.  (Laughter.)  It is spectacular today.  (Applause.)  Spectacular.  And I notice there's kind of like a water slide in there -- I wanted to try it out, but -- (laughter) -- Secret Service said no.  (Laughter.)  They would not let me do it.   

It is great to be back in Colorado.  Can everybody please give Lisa a big round of applause for that great introduction?  (Applause.)  Not only does she deserve a great introduction -- or applause because of the introduction, but also having three kids and one more coming -- (laughter) -- that deserves some applause. (Applause.)  To all the moms out there.  (Applause.)  That is some work.  And once you get to three, then you've got to play zone defense -- (laughter) -- I don't even know what to do with four.  (Laughter.)   

I am so grateful to be here, and I'm so grateful that Lisa took the time to do this.  I've got a couple other friends who are here -- first of all, your former senator and outstanding Secretary of the Interior, looking after the natural resources of America -- Ken Salazar is in the house.  (Applause.)  Your Mayor, Marjorie Sloan, is here.  (Applause.)  

Marjorie, she could not be sweeter.  I mean, she gave me such a nice welcome hug, and informed me that I am the first President to visit this county since Ulysses S. Grant.  Is that correct?  (Applause.)  Now, that's pretty impressive.  That's a long time ago, Ulysses S. Grant.  (Laughter.)  Back then you couldn't even vote.  You guys were still a territory.  (Laughter.)  So I'm glad to put down my marker here.  (Applause.) Absolutely. 

Let me say at the outset that obviously our hearts are heavy this week -- we had a tough day a couple of days ago, for four Americans were killed in an attack on our diplomatic post in Libya.  Yesterday I had a chance to go over to the State Department to talk to friends and colleagues of those who were killed.  And these were Americans who, like so many others, both in uniform and civilians, who serve in difficult and dangerous places all around the world to advance the interests and the values that we hold dear as Americans. 

And a lot of times their work goes unheralded, doesn’t get a lot of attention, but it is vitally important.  We enjoy our security and our liberty because of the sacrifices that they make.  And they do an outstanding job every single day without a lot of fanfare.  (Applause.) 

So what I want all of you to know is that we are going to bring those who killed our fellow Americans to justice.  (Applause.) 

I want people around the world to hear me:  

To all those who would do us harm, no act of terror will go unpunished. It will not dim the light of the values that we proudly present to the rest of the world.  No act of violence shakes the resolve of the United States of America.  (Applause.) 

And I’ve directed my administration to do whatever is necessary to protect all Americans who are serving abroad.  It’s one of my highest priorities as President.  And we’re also in contact with other governments to underscore that they’ve got an obligation to cooperate with us to protect our citizens.  That’s part of their job. 

Now, I know that it’s difficult sometimes seeing these disturbing images on television, because our world is filled with serious challenges.  This is a tumultuous time that we’re in.  But we can, and we will, meet those challenges if we stay true to who we are, and if we would remind ourselves that we’re different from other nations.  We’re different not only because of the incredible landscape that God has given us; we’re different because we’re a nation that’s bound together by a creed.  We’re not made up of a single tribe or a single religion or a single race.  We’re a collection of people from all around the world who came here because of a certain set of principles -- the idea that all men and women are created equal; that we are all endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights.  (Applause.)  That’s what binds us together.  That’s what our flag means.

But we also believe that these are not just American rights. We believe these are universal aspirations, and they’re held by people who live in tiny villages in Libya, prosperous cities in Europe.  That’s our light to the world.  And our task, as the most powerful nation on Earth, is to defend and protect and advance our people, but also to defend and protect and advance those values at home and around the world.  That’s what our troops do.  That’s what our diplomats do.  That’s what our intelligence officers do.  That’s what our citizens do.  That’s what we believe.  Those are the values that we hold to.  (Applause.) 

And here in America, there is no more fundamental part of our democracy than the fact that all of you get a say in the decisions that are made about our country’s future.  (Applause.) And that’s why we’re here today. 

Over the past few weeks, Colorado, you’ve been offered two very different paths for our future.  You’ve seen their convention, you’ve seen ours, and now you face one big choice.

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We’re with you!  (Laughter and applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Our vision, our fight is to restore the basic bargain that built the largest middle class and the strongest economy the world has ever known  -- (applause) -- the promise that says hard work will pay off; if you work hard you can make it; that responsibility will be rewarded; that in this country of ours, everybody gets a fair shot and everybody does their fair share and everybody plays by the same rules -- from Wall Street to Main Street to Washington, D.C.  (Applause.)

And that basic bargain is why I ran for President in the first place -- because I had watched a decade in which too many jobs were being shipped overseas; in which too many families were struggling with costs that kept on going up but paychecks that didn’t; people having to try to cover basic expenses with credit cards and home equity loans just to pay tuition for college or put gas in the car or food on the table.  And then we saw that house of cards that had been built up collapse in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and millions of innocent Americans, including folks here in Colorado, lost their homes and their jobs, their life savings.  And for the last three and a half years, we’ve been fighting to recover from the body blow that we took. 

And we’ve made progress.  We’ve made progress.  (Applause.) We were losing 800,000 jobs a month; we’ve created jobs now for the past 30 months.  (Applause.)  We saved an American auto industry on the brink of going under.  (Applause.)  Manufacturing is starting to come back here in the United States.  (Applause.) But we’ve got so much more work to do, because there’s still a lot of folks out there hurting. 

And here’s the thing.  I don’t think the best answer for today’s new challenges are the same old sales pitches.  And frankly, that’s what you heard mostly in Tampa.  You heard a long litany of what folks thought was wrong with America, but they didn’t tell you much about what they’d do to make it right.  They wanted your vote, but they didn’t tell you their plan.  (Applause.)  Because basically their plan was one that you had heard before:  If we cut more taxes, everybody is going to be okay -- especially if we cut taxes at the top.  Tax cuts in good times.  Tax cuts in bad times.  Tax cuts when we’re at peace.  Tax cuts when we’re at war.  You need to make a restaurant reservation, you don’t need the new iPhone -- here’s a tax cut for that.  (Laughter.)  You want to learn a new language?  Try a tax cut.  Tax cut to lose a few extra pounds.  (Laughter.)  Whatever ails you.

Now, I’ve cut taxes for folks who need it -- middle-class families, small business owners.  (Applause.)  That’s who needs them.  The typical family has seen their federal income taxes go down -- their income tax burden go down by $3,600 since I came into office, because it was important to provide folks who need it relief.  (Applause.)  Small businesses -- we cut their taxes 18 times.  (Applause.) 

So I want to give tax relief to folks who need it, but I don’t believe another round of tax cuts for millionaires are going to bring good jobs back to our shores.  They’re not going to bring down our deficits.  Just like I don’t believe that firing teachers or kicking students off of financial aid is going to grow our economy, especially when we’ve got to compete with the scientists and engineers that are coming out of China. 

And I’ve got to say, Colorado, after all we’ve been through, the idea that we would roll back regulations that we finally put in place on Wall Street to make sure they don’t act recklessly again and bring the economy back to its knees -- I don’t think rolling back regulations are going to help the small businesswoman in Jefferson Country, or laid-off construction workers that are trying to get back to work.

Golden, we have been there, we’ve tried that, it didn’t work.  We’re not going back.  We are not going back.  (Applause.) We don’t believe in a top-down, trickle-down economy that says to everybody, "you’re on your own."  We believe that we’re all in this together.  (Applause.)  We believe that the economy grows from the middle class out, from the bottom up.  (Applause.)  That’s how we move forward. 

And I won’t pretend that the path I’m offering is easy.  Bill Clinton reminded us last week, it's going to take a few more years to deal with all the challenges that we built up over decades.  But when I hear some folks, I guess just for political reasons, saying how America is in decline, they are wrong.  (Applause.)  We still have the world’s best workers in the world. (Applause.)  We've got the best researchers and scientists in the world.  We've got the best colleges and universities in the world.  (Applause.)  We've got the best entrepreneurs in the world.  We've got the best democracy in the world.  There is not a country on Earth that wouldn’t trade places with the United States of America.  (Applause.)  

Our problems can be solved, and our challenges can be met.  And the path I offer may be harder, but it leads to a better place.  (Applause.)  I’m asking -- (sneezes) -- I'm getting all choked up.  (Laughter.)  I'm getting all choked up here. 

I'm asking you to choose that future.  I am asking you, Colorado, to rally around a set of goals -- concrete, achievable goals -- to create new manufacturing jobs and new energy sources, to improve education, to bring down our deficit in a balanced, responsible way, to turn a page on a decade of war.  That’s what we can do in the next four years.  (Applause.)  That’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States of America.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!  Four more years!  Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT:  Now, let me talk about this plan, because you need to know what you're voting for.  Number one, I've got a plan to export more products and outsource fewer jobs.  (Applause.)  After a decade of decline, this country has created over half a million new manufacturing jobs in the last two and a half years.  We reinvented a dying auto industry that’s back on top of the world. 

So now you've got a choice.  You can follow the other side's advice and keep giving more tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas, or we can start rewarding companies that open new plants and train new workers and create new jobs right here in America.  (Applause.)  We can help big factories and small businesses double their exports.  We can create a million new manufacturing jobs in the next four years.  We can continue to invest in basic science and research so that we maintain our technological edge and commercialize those advances. 

That's how we stay on top.  That's how we stay number one.  You can make that happen.  That's what we're fighting for.  (Applause.)  That's why I want a second term.  (Applause.)  

I've got a plan to control more of our own energy.  After 30 years of inaction, we raised fuel standards so that by the middle of the next decade, your cars and trucks will go twice as far on a gallon of gas.  (Applause.)  That saves you money.  It helps our national security.  And it helps to preserve this incredible, beautiful landscape that we've got.  (Applause.)

We’ve doubled the amount of renewable energy that we generate from sources like wind and solar power.  Thousands of Americans here in Colorado and all across the country have jobs today building wind turbines and long-lasting batteries, solar panels.  And today, the United States of America is less dependent on foreign oil than any time in nearly two decades.  (Applause.)  That's what we've done.  

So now you've got a choice.  We can reverse this progress, like the other side has talked about, or we can build on it.  (Applause.)  Now, unlike my opponent, I'm not going to let the oil companies write our energy plan.  (Applause.)  I'm not going to get rid of the wind energy tax credit that is helping to spur this incredibly dynamic sector of our economy.  We're going to build on this progress.  We need to keep investing in wind and solar -- (applause) -- and make sure our farmers and scientists are harnessing new biofuels. 

Let's put our construction workers back to work building energy-efficient homes and factories.  (Applause.)  Let's develop a hundred-year supply of natural gas that’s right beneath our feet.  We can cut our oil imports in half by 2020 and create hundreds of thousands of new jobs all across this country.  That's the path forward.  That's why I'm running for a second term.  (Applause.)

I've got a plan to give Americans a greater chance to gain the skills they need to compete.  Education was a gateway of opportunity for me.  Let's face it, a mixed kid from Hawaii born to a single mom is not likely to become President of the United States.  (Applause.)  But in America it can happen because of education, because somebody gave me opportunity.  (Applause.)

You know, a little black girl from the South Side of Chicago, whose mom is a secretary and dad is a blue-collar worker -- not likely to become First Lady of the United States.  (Applause.)  But it happens because she got a great education, even though her folks didn’t have a lot of money. 

It's the gateway of opportunity for middle-class families, for those who are willing to work hard to get into the middle class and stay there.  And because of the work we've done over the last three and a half years, millions of students are paying less for college today because we took out billions of dollars that was being wasted using banks and lenders as middlemen; we started giving these loans directly to students.  (Applause.)  And now millions more are qualified to get help.  (Applause.)

We set up a tuition tax credit so that middle-class families can get a $10,000 tuition credit over four years to help their kids go to school. 

Now we've got to build on that progress.  And you've got a choice.  The other side, they're proposing to gut education to pay for more tax breaks for folks like me.

AUDIENCE:  Booo --

THE PRESIDENT:  Don't boo, now -- vote.  (Applause.)  Vote. (Applause.)

I think we've got a better path.  We can decide that in the United States of America, no child should have her dream deferred because of an overcrowded classroom or a crumbling school or outdated textbooks.  And no family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter just because they don’t have the money. No company should have to look for workers in China because they couldn’t find the right skills for folks here in the United States.   

So I'm asking you to help me recruit 100,000 new math and science teachers, and improve early childhood education, and get 2 million more workers the chance to go to community colleges to get the skills they need for the jobs that are out there right now.  (Applause.)  And let's help bring down college and university tuition costs over the next several years.  (Applause.)

We can meet that goal.  You can choose that future for America.  Yes, we can.

AUDIENCE:  Yes, we can. 

THE PRESIDENT:  You remember that.  (Applause.)

Now, we can do all this and we can reduce our deficit without sticking it to the middle class.  So I put forward a plan that will reduce our deficit by $4 trillion.  That's not my opinion; there's independent analysis that's been done, this will reduce the deficit by $4 trillion.  I’ve worked with Republicans in Congress already to cut a trillion dollars' worth of spending, and I’m willing to work with them to do more.  Everybody talks about how partisan everything is.  Listen, I am happy to work with Republicans.  I want their cooperation.  (Applause.)  If they want me, I'll wash the car, I'll walk the dog for them -- (laughter) -- to get a deal done for the American people. 

I want to reform our tax code so that it’s simple and so that it's fair.  There are areas where we should be able to agree.  But here's the thing I can't do.  I can't ask millionaires to do nothing, and then ask everybody else to do a whole lot.  (Applause.) 

So I've asked, under my plan, the wealthiest households to 0pay a slightly higher rate on their 
income taxes after the $250,000 threshold -- so they'd still get a tax cut for the first $250,000.  That would apply to 100 percent of Americans.  But for that dollar after $250,000 you pay a little bit more -- the same rate that you paid under Bill Clinton, the same rate that was in force when our economy created nearly 23 million new jobs, went from deficit to the biggest surplus in history, and we created a lot of millionaires to boot.  (Applause.)

And by the way, I want you to understand why this is important.  If we take that approach where folks like me and Governor Romney are paying a little bit more, then we can keep taxes low for middle-class families -- 98 percent of American families make $250,000 or less.  And so we can keep your tax cuts in place and we can still invest in our future.  And here's the thing -- when you've got some tax relief, when the firefighter or the teacher or the construction worker or the receptionist -- when you guys -- when the small businessperson -- because 97 percent of small businesses make less than $250,000 -- when you have money in your pockets, what do you do?

AUDIENCE:  Spend it.  (Laughter.) 

THE PRESIDENT:  Because you have to -- right?  Your car is 10 years old, and you've got a boiler in the house you got to fix -- right?  So there are things you do with the money.  That means, then, businesses have more customers.  That means businesses make more profits and businesses hire more workers, which means, then, the economy gets that much stronger.  That's how you grow an economy.  Not from the top down; from the bottom up, from the middle out.  That's how we do it.  (Applause.)  That's how we've always done it.

Now, in fairness, the other side does have a plan also.  But as President Clinton pointed out, it doesn’t have arithmetic in it.  (Laughter.)  Now, keep in mind these are folks who say that their biggest priority is reducing the deficit.  This is a generational obligation, we've got to do right by our kids, et cetera.  So what's their first proposal?  They think that we're going to lower our deficit by spending trillions of dollars more on new tax breaks for the wealthy.  That doesn’t add up. 

When you try to pay for $5 trillion in new tax cuts, there are only so many places you can go.  First of all, you can gut education investments, and investments in research and technology, and we can stop rebuilding our infrastructure.  But even if you do all that, you haven't come close to $5 trillion.  So eventually, what independent analysis says is that middle-class families are going to have to pay for it.  Or, alternatively, the deficit blows up.

And if you don't see that math, then you've got to go see your teacher after school.  (Laughter.)  You got to go talk to Lisa and get a tutorial.  (Laughter.) 

And on top of the $5 trillion tax cut they're talking about that would give the average person making $3 million a year a $250,000 tax cut, in addition they want to add $2 trillion in new military spending without increasing -- they say they're not going to increase the deficit.  Well, your calculator is going to go out on you if you try to add all that stuff up.  (Laughter.) 

So listen, Golden, I refuse to ask middle-class families to pay more so that I pay less.  I refuse to ask students to pay more for college, or kick children out of Head Start programs, or eliminate health insurance for millions of Americans who are poor, or elderly, or disabled, just to pay for tax cuts to the wealthy that we cannot afford.  (Applause.)  

And I will not turn Medicare into a voucher just to give tax cuts to the wealthy.  (Applause.)  No American should ever have to spend their golden years at the mercy of insurance companies. They should retire with dignity and respect.  And we're going to reform and strengthen Medicare for the long haul, but we do it by reducing the cost of health care, by making the health care system smarter so that instead of five tests you get one test, and then it's emailed everywhere.  And we reduce all the paperwork because we're enhancing information technologies in the health care system.  And we're doing more preventive care.  Those are the things that are going to reduce the cost of care.
But we don't just shift those costs on to seniors and ask them to pay thousands of dollars more.  
That's not right.

THE PRESIDENT:  And we are certainly going to make sure that we keep the promise of Social Security.  (Applause.)  We'll take responsible steps to strengthen it -- but we're not going to turn it over to Wall Street.  (Applause.)

So we're going to rebuild our economy.  But our prosperity at home is linked to what we do abroad.  And this week’s events remind us of that.  Four years ago, I promised to end the war in Iraq -- and we did.  (Applause.)  I said we’d wind down the war in Afghanistan -- and we are.  (Applause.)  And while a new tower rises above the New York skyline, al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead.  (Applause.)  

But we see on our televisions that there are still threats in the world, and we've got to remain vigilant.  That’s why we have to be relentless in pursuing those who attacked us this week.  That’s also why, so long as I’m Commander-in-Chief, we will sustain the strongest military the world has ever known.  (Applause.)

And that’s why when our troops take off their uniform, we will serve them as well as they’ve served us -- because nobody who has fought for us should have to fight for a job or a roof over their heads when they come home.  That is a solemn oath that we have to keep.  (Applause.)

And we will use the money we’re no longer spending on war to pay down our debt, and to put more people back to work rebuilding roads and bridges, schools and runways, helping local communities hire firefighters and police officers and first responders.  Because after a decade of war, it’s time to do some nation-building right here in Colorado, right here in the United States of America.  Let’s put Americans back to work.  (Applause.) 

We can do all this.  And the power to do it is where it has always been -- in your hands.  I said this at the convention -- the election four years ago wasn’t about me; it was about you.  You were the change.  You’re the ones who made it happen. 

You’re the reason that there’s a teacher and her husband in Pueblo who can now buy their first home with the help of new tax credits.  (Applause.)  You're the reason that a woman outside Durango can get the treatment she needs for her breast cancer, now that there are affordable plans to cover preexisting conditions.  (Applause.) 

You're the reason seniors across Colorado are saving an average of nearly $600 every year on prescription drugs because of Obamacare.  And it’s true, I do care.  That’s why we pushed it.  You care.  That’s why we made it happen.    (Applause.) 

You’re the reason that a young immigrant who grew up here and went to school here and pledged allegiance to our flag will no longer be deported from the only country she’s ever called home.  (Applause.)  You’re the reason why a selfless soldier won’t be kicked out of the military because of who they are or who they love -- we ended "don’t ask, don’t tell."  (Applause.)  You’re the reason why thousands of families have finally been able to say to their loved ones who served us so bravely:  "Welcome home."  You made that happen.  (Applause.) 

And the only way America keeps moving forward is if you don’t stop.  You can’t buy into the cynicism that the other side is selling.  You can’t let them convince you somehow that change isn’t possible.  If you give up on the idea that your voice makes a difference, then other people rush in to fill the void -- the lobbyists, the special interests, the folks who are writing the $10 million checks to run all those negative ads, the folks who are trying to make it harder for you to vote, the Washington politicians who want to decide for you who you can marry or what kind of health care women should get.


THE PRESIDENT:  We can’t let that happen, Colorado.  And that’s why I need your help -- because we’ve come too far to turn back now.  We’ve got more good jobs to create.  We’ve got more clean, homegrown energy to generate.  (Applause.)  We’ve got more good schools to build and more great teachers to hire.  (Applause.)  We’ve got more troops to bring home and more veterans to care for.  (Applause.)  And we’ve got more doors of opportunity to open to everybody who is willing to work hard and walk through them -- everybody, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, young, old, gay, straight, able -- everybody.  That’s what I’m asking -- (applause) -- that you keep going forward. 

That’s why I’m asking for a second term, Colorado.  (Applause.)  And if you’re willing to work  with me, and knock on some doors with me, and make some phone calls for me, and vote for me in November, we will win Colorado.  We will win this election.  We will finish what we started.  And we’ll remind the world why the United States of America is the greatest nation on Earth. 

God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.) 

11:37 A.M. MDT

Mittwoch, 12. September 2012

Speech from US-President Obama at the Pentagon Memorial Service in Remembrance of 9/11 | The White House

Speech from US-President Barack Obama at the Pentagon Memorial Service in Remembrance of 9/11 | The White House

"Al Qaeda's leadership has been devastated and Osama bin Laden will never threaten us again. Our country is safer and our people are resilient." US-President Barack Obama

Pentagon Memorial

Arlington, Virginia

9:49 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Secretary Panetta, General Dempsey, members of our Armed Forces, and most importantly, to the families --survivors and loved ones -- of those we lost, Michelle and I are humbled to join you again on this solemn anniversary.

Today we remember a day that began like so many others.  There were rides to school and commutes to work, early flights and familiar routines, quick hugs and quiet moments.  It was a day like this one -- a clear blue sky, but a sky that would soon be filled with clouds of smoke and prayers of a nation shaken to its core.

Even now, all these years later, it is easy for those of us who lived through that day to close our eyes and to find ourselves back there -- and back here -- back when grief crashed over us like an awful wave, when Americans everywhere held each other tight, seeking the reassurance that the world we knew wasn’t crumbling under our feet.

Eleven times we have marked another September 11th come and gone.  Eleven times, we have paused in remembrance, in reflection, in unity and in purpose.

This is never an easy day.  But it is especially difficult for all of you -- the families of nearly 3,000 innocents who lost their lives -- your mothers and fathers, your husbands and wives, your sons and your daughters. They were taken from us suddenly and far too soon.

To you and your families, the rest of us cannot begin to imagine the pain you've endured these many years.  We will never fully understand how difficult it has been for you to carry on, to summon that strength and to rebuild your lives.

But no matter how many years pass, no matter how many times we come together on this hallowed ground, know this -- that you will never be alone.  Your loved ones will never be forgotten.  They will endure in the hearts of our nation, because through their sacrifice, they helped us make the America we are today -- an America that has emerged even stronger.

Most of the Americans we lost that day had never considered the possibility that a small band of terrorists halfway around the world could do us such harm.  Most had never heard the name al Qaeda.  And yet, it's because of their sacrifice that we've come together and dealt a crippling blow to the organization that brought evil to our shores.  

Al Qaeda's leadership has been devastated and Osama bin Laden will never threaten us again.  Our country is safer and our people are resilient.

It’s true that the majority of those who died on September 11th had never put on our country’s uniform.  And yet, they inspired more than 5 million Americans -- members of the 9/11 Generation -- to wear that uniform over the last decade.  These men and women have done everything that we have asked.

Today, the war in Iraq is over.  In Afghanistan, we’re training Afghan security forces and forging a partnership with the Afghan people.  And by the end of 2014, the longest war in our history will be over.  Meanwhile, countless civilians have opened their hearts to our troops, our military families and our veterans.

Eleven years ago, memorial services were held for Americans of different races and creeds, backgrounds and beliefs.  And yet, instead of turning us against each other, tragedy has brought us together.  I've always said that our fight is with al Qaeda and its affiliates, not with Islam or any other religion.  This country was built as a beacon of freedom and tolerance.  That’s what's made us strong, now and forever.

And, finally, when those innocent souls were taken from us they left behind unfulfilled work and tasks that remain undone.  And that’s why, on a day when others sought to bring this country down, we choose to build it up with a National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Scripture tells us "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."  There's no better way to honor the best in those who died than by discovering the best in ourselves.

This anniversary allows us to renew our faith that even the darkest night gives way to a brighter dawn.  Today, we can come here to the Pentagon, and touch these names and kneel beside a building where a single stone still bears the scars of that fire. We can visit the field of honor in Pennsylvania and remember the heroes who made it sacred.  We can see water cascading into the footprints of the Twin Towers, and gaze up at a new tower rising above the New York skyline.

And even though we may never be able to fully lift the burden carried by those left behind, we know that somewhere, a son is growing up with his father’s eyes, and a daughter has her mother’s laugh -- living reminders that those who died are with us still.

So as painful as this day is and always will be, it leaves us with a lesson that no single event can ever destroy who we are.  No act of terrorism can ever change what we stand for.  Instead, we recommit ourselves to the values that we believe in, holding firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.

That’s the commitment that we reaffirm today.  And that’s why, when the history books are written, the true legacy of 9/11 will not be one of fear or hate or division.  It will be a safer world; a stronger nation; and a people more united than ever before.

God bless the memories of those we lost.  And God bless these United States of America.  (Applause.)


9:58 A.M. EDT

Photo and the speech fromUS-President Barack Obama at the "Pentagon Memorial Service in Remembranceof 9/11 
US-President Barack Obama at the "Pentagon Memorial Service in Remembrance of 9/11"

"Al Qaeda's leadership has been devastated and Osama bin Laden will never threaten us again. Our country is safer and our people are resilient."

US-President Barack Obama at the "Pentagon Memorial Service in Remembrance of 9/11"

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