- Posted September 24, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
President Lectures UN - Right Approach?
- hhanks, CNN iReport producer
Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly this morning, US President Barack Obama laid down the gauntlet to the world body. The President in essence proclaimed the US will do whatever necessary to fight terrorism and eliminate weapons of mass destruction while honoring other nation's sovereignty whenever possible.
This laid open the reality that the US would act whether the rest of the world agreed or opposed such action or whether the sovereignty of other nations was violated. The speech made clear that in the opinion of the President, the US could act on its own whenever, as Commander-in-Chief of US military might, there was a perception of either a threat to the US or a violation of international law.
The President did offer a small sprig of peace and hope to Iran, directing Secretary of State John Kerry to begin talking to the Iranian goverment. The President also, however, made clear the US would squash any chance of fulfillment of Iran's desire for nuclear weapons capability.
The speech, as viewed here in the Cornfield, seemed to be the speech of the schoolyard bully who runs roughshod over the more puny classmates simply because the bully is bigger and stronger.
The question is did other nations also perceive the speech in the same light?
The President did point out that the US was in a position where action or inaction by our nation would result in resentment by other people and other nations. The US is in a position, the President indicated, that must go it alone when necessary because world reaction will be negative no matter what the US does or does not do.
With our nation facing a government shutdown, a lack of funds to meet our own pressing financial needs, the President promised another $340 million in aid to the Syrian opposition to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad. While understanding the humanitarian aim, from where are the funds coming?
The President stated today that with or without the approval of the UN Security Council, the US will act to ensure complaince of Syria in destroying and handing over its chemical weapons stockpile. The President stated that if the Security Council refused to act on Syria, the UN proves it cannot support and enforce basic international law.
When the American people have signaled that they are tired of being the world's police force, the President today made clear that the US will continue to provide that role and will do so with or without the support of the United Nations.
The President seemed to tell the world that the US can and will do what it believes is in the US interest whether the rest of the world agrees or disagrees. In essence, the US will act because the US can and no one can do anything about it.
Does this attitude foster cooperation with other nations?
Is this not the same approach the President has taken with Congress, Republican legislators in particular, of proclaiming no compromise, no discussion, this is the way it will be like it or not, while denigrating and chasting the opposition?
How has the approach worked with the opposition party in Congress?
Has it not led in part to the gridlock that threatens a government shutdown?
Will not world leaders react the same way to this same strategy?
Is it any wonder the US cannot form a coalition to address the Syrian crisis?
From the Cornfield, I am not sure the President did the US any favors or improved the US position in the world or in the eyes of other world leaders with his speech to the UN today.
The speech with its "us against them" theme, I believe, will only position the rest of the world more solidly against cooperation with the US when it is needed. It may win elections in the US of A, but I believe it fell flat on the international body today.