This is the text of the speech. I'm kind of surprised that there hasn't been more discussion of this. I didn't hear the speech, but have gotten snips on the radio in the car. That made me curious to see the whole thing in context.
At the beginning of the speech: (bold emphasis I added)
On my first day in office, I prohibited -- without exception or equivocation -- the use of torture by the United States of America. (Applause.) I ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed, and we are doing the hard work of forging a framework to combat extremism within the rule of law. Every nation must know: America will live its values, and we will lead by example.We have set a clear and focused goal: to work with all members of this body to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al Qaeda and its extremist allies -- a network that has killed thousands of people of many faiths and nations, and that plotted to blow up this very building.The NY Times server is having problems giving me the individual pages, so I can use the quotes from there.In Iraq, we are responsibly ending a war. We have removed American combat brigades from Iraqi cities, and set a deadline of next August to remove all our combat brigades from Iraqi territory. And I have made clear that we will help Iraqis transition to full responsibility for their future, and keep our commitment to remove all American troops by the end of 2011.
The thing I found a bit disturbing ... he states at the outset that the US is prohibiting torture, because it will "live its values." Later he is very strident about Israel's continuing settlement which draws a lot of applause. When he says America will ask the Palestinians to stop inciting the Israelis, there is no applause. He talks of America assuring that there shall be a Palestinian state. Commentary varied from O's statements being tantamount to "putting Israel on the chopping block" to "throwing Israel under the bus."
Has Palestinian leadership taken a stand on not endorsing terrorism, i.e. sacrificing innocent lives to make their political impact? I was under the impression that there was no change there. Does Israel endorse terrorism as a legitimate way to protect itself? While they are surely not above assassinations of leaders, I never got the sense that they endorsed operations for inflicting civilian casualties simply to "make a point". If I've got this wrong, I'm sure there are those who can articulate in what ways.
So, my question becomes if we are to "live our values", how do we reconcile that with Palestinian leadership views that endorse terrorism? Presumably, our values that would prohibit any type of maltreatment of prisoners, would be values that would preclude the endorsement of terrorism as a means of political change.
The fact that Khadafi says such nice things about O, wishing he could remain Pres forever. If I were in O's shoes, I'd feel uneasy that someone capable of such dastardly conduct would like me so much.
I apologize for not being able to set this up through a logical progression of the speech quotes ... can't get the NY Times server to cooperate.