Obama Tries to Soothe Tension Between U.S., Middle East in U.N. Speech
In a speech delivered Tuesday to the United Nations General Assembly, President Obama condemned the anti-American protests in the Middle East and North Africa that led to the death of Ambassador Chris Stevens, while also attempting to “reset U.S. relations” with the region.
“[I]n 2012, at a time when anyone with a cellphone 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offensive views around the world with the click of a button, the notion that we can control the flow of information is obsolete.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. And on this we must agree: There is no speech that justifies mindless violence,” the president said.
Obama also touched on Iran and Syria during the speech, which is expected to be his last foreign policy address before the November election.
In a landmark speech in Cairo three years ago, Obama promised a “new beginning” in the relationship between his country and the Islamic world, but that relationship is now at its lowest point since the start of the Arab spring as a result of a YouTube video clip made by an Egyptian American insulting the prophet Muhammad.
…Obama balanced condemnation of the “crude and disgusting” video, with a denunciation of the violence that it sparked and a demand for the new Arab governments to do more to defend American diplomats.
“I have made it clear that the US government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity,” Obama said. ” It is an insult not only to Muslims, but to America as well. We are home to Muslims who worship across our country.”