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  • Morning Bell: 5 Ways Obama Disappointed at the United Nations

    President Obama spoke to the United Nations General Assembly in New York yesterday – and what a disappointing speech it was.

    He actually scrapped his original speech outline to focus on the controversial YouTube video that many have suggested sparked recent anti-American attacks in the Middle East, including one in Libya that killed a U.S. Ambassador and other Americans. Making this video the focus of his speech was inappropriate. He should have used the international platform to make an unapologetic case for freedom. The President failed the American people—and America’s allies—in five major ways.

    1. He failed to give a robust defense of free speech.

    In tripping over the YouTube video that was offensive to Muslims, the President seemed to validate other countries’ disregard for freedom of speech:

    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offensive views around the world with the click of a button, the notion that we can control the flow of information is obsolete.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 we respond.

    He also admonished people for offending others, saying, “The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam. Yet to be credible, those who condemn that slander must also condemn the hate we see when the image of Jesus Christ is desecrated, churches are destroyed, or the Holocaust is denied.”

    The President probably thought he was being clever, turning the argument around on those calling for restrictions on free speech. But it would not be surprising if there were a number of nodding heads in the audience agreeing that all such “incitement” should be banned. That comment could, and probably will, be interpreted as a backhand endorsement of efforts to restrict free speech like the “defamation of religions” resolutions offered by the Organization of the Islamic Conference in the U.N. and the Human Rights Council.

    Heritage expert Brett Schaefer responded that:

    President Obama spent less time defending free speech than he did outlining a vague vision for a world with tolerance and diversity as its key ideals. Perhaps this lopsided emphasis sought to reinforce the administration’s dubious claim that only hateful speech is to blame for the attacks on our embassies, but the overall effect was to lend credibility to the notion that governments should be policing speech.

    Instead of free speech, the Obama Administration has had a policy of apologetic speech. The Administration supported a U.N. “anti-blasphemy” resolution last year that threatens freedom of speech by condemning any expression that could be deemed “defamation of religion.” The President’s words yesterday continued this weak, apologetic stance.

    2. He tiptoed around Iran.

    Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will speak to the U.N. today, but he’s already made his positions quite clear. This week, Iran has escalated threats against Israel and the United States, and Ahmadinejad has said that Israel should be “eliminated” and that a “new order” should emerge, without the U.S. as a superpower.

    In response, the President made a “milquetoast statement,” said Heritage’s Nile Gardiner, projecting “a dangerous leading-from-behind mentality at a time when the free world needs bold U.S. leadership.” The President continues to pay lip service to diplomacy with Iran, when the time has clearly passed for this approach.

    3. He failed to give Israel strong backing.

    Heritage’s Gardiner lamented that “Yet again, Obama drew moral equivalence between the Israelis and the Palestinians, a theme he has frequently expounded upon since taking office.” Palestine continues to edge its way into U.N. organizations, pursuing statehood without negotiating with Israel. The President should have taken a hard line against this. Instead, he made U.S. support for Israel—America’s steadfast ally in the Middle East—a mere footnote in his speech.

    4. He did not promote economic freedom.

    Heritage experts said ahead of the speech that President Obama should call for “a new era of economic liberalization to expand economic freedom around the globe and ensure that the opportunities of a globalized and interdependent world economy are available to all citizens.” This is the key to raising people out of poverty and giving them alternatives to joining radicalized groups. However, the Obama Administration has failed to increase economic freedom at home or to promote it vigorously abroad.

    5. He failed to project American strength.

    The United Nations General Assembly is an odd place where oppressive dictators are given the same platform as free nations. It is a unique opportunity to remind the world why people risk their lives to come to America, and to recommit to protecting the freedoms that make that risk worthwhile. As Heritage’s Kim Holmes has said:

    We should never allow the U.N. or anyone to abuse the mantra of human rights to undermine our sovereign constitutional system which not only protects our God-given rights and the liberty to govern ourselves but also offers the best model for others to do the same.

    No American should speak apologetically about America. Especially not the President.

    Heritage and The Hoover Institution will examine Obama’s speech and America’s relationship with the United Nations today at noon ET. Click here to watch it live online.

    Quick Hits:

    • President Obama is not meeting with any other world leaders during his time at the U.N., though he found time to put in appearances on David Letterman’s show and “The View.”
    • Today at the U.N. General Assembly, Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will speak, followed by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and British Prime Minister David Cameron. See today’s schedule.
    • The president of Libya says that the YouTube movie trailer for Innocence of Muslims had nothing to do with the September 11 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi.
    • Theft of Apple products such as iPhones and iPads is up 40 percent in New York City since last year.
    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    31 Responses to Morning Bell: 5 Ways Obama Disappointed at the United Nations

    1. WatchingTheWorld2012 says:

      I agree with everything written in the article.

      However, I think America has reached the tipping point. I’m not sure enough sane, rational, intelligent people exist to elect Romney come November. I think the media and the radical-left politicians have succeeded in dumbing down Americans, and turning them against the GOP and anyone who is successful in business.

      Even if Romney manages to squeak by, the media and nearly half of America will attack him mercilessly, making his job 100% harder than it should have been.

      We are a nation severely divided. There is no going back from that. Only a very, very strong, charismatic leader — a la Reagan — could unite us, or has the hope to. Romney is no Reagan. And the media today is far worse than in Reagan’s day.

    2. toledofan says:

      Good article and I think these five points have been the same since Obama took office. Let's face it our foriegn policy is a disaster and the more time Obama has in office the worse thing will get. There is no doubt that his lack of determination to take on the Muslim extremeists is obvious, so, the solution again becomes his being voted out of office. Isn't it just a shame, that in these turbulant times that is our hour of weakness. Again, the blame fits squarely on the shoulders of those who voted for this hope and change and got short changed in the process.

    3. Brassia says:

      Obama is still sticking to the lie about the video , in the same time as Libyan president in the interview said that attacks had absolutely nothing to do with the video who nobody saw! How embarrassing!!!
      Imagine what would media do the the president if his name was G.W. Bush

      • Bill T Smith says:

        havent ya learned by now he doesnt know the truth from a lie so he selling it as a truth just like he doesnt know we all know he has been attending intel breifings he think the USA is stupid since they believe so many of his lies

    4. sdfultz says:

      What happened to Humility? Speak softly, but carry a Big Stick!

    5. Anon says:

      I watched it. I am a Republican and will be voting for
      Romney. It was a good speech, IMO.

      • usluv says:

        Full of lies and rhetoric. The man couldn't tell the truth if his life depended on it. He just came off a tv show the night before, admitting the video was nothing…it was an act of terrorism. Something the world already knew.

    6. Gary says:

      The President talked well about free speech but what about chaplains in our military not being allowed to use the name of Jesus? His actions make his words a lie!

    7. Pete Houston says:

      The president only represents himself and the minority of this country. Time for the "On the Job Training" to end. The student needs to go back to being a community agitator.

    8. Curt Krehbiel says:

      "He should have used the international platform to make an unapologetic case for freedom."
      Ha Ha Ha Ha! There is no freedom in his plans for these United States of America if re-elected.

    9. M. Lee Gallion says:

      I did not watch it and will not watch Obama, except when I have to when Romney trounces him in the debates. I trust Heritage, not Anon

    10. It's way beyond me how anyone can vote for Obama with all the dumb things he does. America needs a leader, not another movie star!

    11. RHert says:

      So what else is new-Obama is a Muslim. He has proven this fact by his verbalizations, by his associations and actions; and their referrals to Obama as a leader of the Muslim faith.

    12. D,Gar says:

      Obama is disappointing,period!!!!

    13. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Obama is an Obummer.

    14. KHM says:

      That phrase about the future should not belong to those who demean the prophet of Islam was chilling. The whole speech showed how little this man values America and its freedoms.

    15. Jerome Bigge says:

      Mitt Romney is no more a "friend of freedom" than Barak Obama is. Both serve their own "special interests", not the American people as a whole. Voting for freedom means you have to vote for Gary Johnson or write in Ron Paul's name. I've been a member of the Libertarian Party since 1983 because if you want government "off your back", you have to vote for someone who will actually do that! Neither Obama or Romney will do that. Look up Romney's voting record when he was Governor of Massachusetts. Obama's of course is an open book. Both of them are "statists" who want to "grow government" and will do so if given the chance.

    16. Sarah Conner says:

      Incredible…….the u.n. [which the U.S.A pays for ] obama lets the iranian dictator hitler jr ,come to the US and act like he's going to give a speech and in the same breath threaten both Israel AND the US while standing on American soil .What an insult ….that little thug threatens our country and our spineless leader actually seems to be just fine with that .Lil'hitler should have been detained and charged with terroism , and obama should be impeached as a traitor .

    17. E.S.Shridhar says:

      Islam curbs not only free speech, but also curbs free , healthy and logical THINKING

    18. Brassia says:

      Terrorists may hate USA, however they still respect strength and the weakness this president is showing to the world as well as his overwhelming desire to appease Muslims and Muslim Brotherhood only makes them strike even harder and bolder! They know very well they don't have to fear retaliation fore their crimes.

    19. R.H. Davidson says:

      Obama was like your big brother trying to explain to the gang why they should not beat up on you. After he spoke, I wanted to run away to my mothers protection because I felt like my big brother just joined the gang to beat up on me. The trouble with that is my mother passed away 12 years ago so she won't be much help. Guess I'll finally have just have to man up!

    20. Grace M Alvarez says:

      The reference to Jesus Christ, etc. was a clear "throw-away line." If he meant to satisfy the silent Christian/Judeo believers – he missed the mark big time! We don't rise up in violence toward those who blaspheme against our faith. Obama and his "handlers" are light years away from the realities of people of faith.

    21. AD-RtR/OS! says:

      "… He failed to give a robust defense of free speech…"

      Why would he defend that which he doesn't agree with?

    22. kafantaris says:

      The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution itself are both utopian, and both over 200 years old. But unlike other utopias, the one our forefathers embraced works.
      It has an ingenious mechanism to revitalize its institutions: Freedom of speech.
      As John Stuart Mill explained, when a society allows its citizens to question its government, its values and its most sacred beliefs, the examination finds errors and things for improvement.
      But even when no correction at all is needed, the challenge in itself works miracles — it forces us to defend them.
      If things prove fine after such "stress test," we learn that we are on the right track. Merely knowing this wipes away uncertainty and replaces it with life and vigor.
      Such is the hidden benefit of open debate — and the reason why institutions elsewhere stagnate and die.
      And no one rushes to save them because people have forgotten long before why they are there in the first place. This is the grave danger John Mill warned us about.
      The fathers of this country gave heed to his words.
      Perhaps the fathers of new democracies should do the same.

    23. Lorraine says:

      I think the president is a self serving, conceited , person. He thinks he can do anything he wants to. He has disgraced the United States so many times, I do not understand why he has not been impeached.. Lord help us if he makes it to a second term. I know he has all that mysteries money that never seems to fun out

      • CalifGirl says:

        I agree with your perception. His debate performance gives insight as to why this country is disrespected by our enemies, he allows us to be walked all over, he projects weakness, ineffectual leadership, lack of definite focus, fuzzy on facts. Apparently his presentation at the UN was consistent with his debate skills.
        I believe impeachment hasn't been pursued as there is still a Democrat majority in the Senate.

    24. Munawar Baseer Ahmad says:

      I fully agree that Humility is a virtue and pays dividends when there is a need. However, as a American Pakistani and a Muslim that has full respect for all the Prophets of the Book such as Moses, Abraham, Issac, Ishmael, Jesus, and Muhammad, may God's peace be with all of them and their followers, it makes no sense for any God fearing religious person to indulge in Blasphemy. Freedom of speech is certainly not a right to abuse or make derogatory remarks, or print profrain cartons whether it be against a Prophet, a leader, a neighbour, a traveller, or a ordinary person that we meet on the road, in the groccery store, in the park, the train, a plain or the tube etc. Certainly our constitution provides equal rights and freedom of speech to everyone but within the ambit of civility, common good and acceptable behavior.

      Obama was indeed also of track and continues to make a mess of everything he indulges in. My vote is for Romney.

      Munawar Baseer

    25. J E Houser says:

      Can you name anything in which he has succeeded for the good of America?

    26. Stirling says:

      On #1 – He wants to squash Free Speach (in siding with the muslim brotherhood's stand).
      On #2 – He thinks Iran would equalize the mid east power status (marginalizing Isreal's power)
      On #3 – His administration beilives on a pro-palistine policy, not Israel..
      On #4 – Anti-Colonialist policy (bring US economy to level of everyone else).
      On #5 – "Leading from behind" policy would never promote us, has World view on USA, not Pro American view.

    27. CalPaul says:

      Everytime Obama goes off of the telepromter he stumbles. He isn't very good at thinking up something intelligent to say on his own.

    28. kadie says:

      The president cannot run on his record. He is going to convince the stupid voters that Mr.Romney is rich and out of tuoch with the poor. I hope the American people will vote him out for the sake of this great nation.

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