Bill Clinton: Obama's multilaterism & the power of example

In a stirring and magnanimous speach at the Democratic Convention, Bill Clinton praised senator Obama and explained why he and Hilary are now supporting him, in spite of the hard fought primary (which, Bill quipped, had created so much heat it added to global warming). Almost a third of his speach focused on foreign policy, emphasising that Obama will move America away from the unilateral bully-boy attiudes of the Bush Adminstration. He painted a picture of an America that could lead the world not by its economic and military might, but by good example, generousity and cooperation. That is the kind of America that The World Wants Obama Coalition is looking towards.

"Our position in the world has been weakened by too much unilateralism and too little cooperation; a perilous dependence on imported oil; a refusal to lead on global warming; a growing indebtedness and a dependence on foreign lenders; a severely burdened military; a backsliding on global non-proliferation and arms control agreements; and a failure to consistently use the power of diplomacy, from the Middle East to Africa to Latin America to Central and Eastern Europe. Clearly, the job of the next President is to rebuild the American Dream and restore America’s standing in the world.

Everything I learned in my eight years as President and in the work I’ve done since, in America and across the globe, has convinced me that Barack Obama is the man for this job. He will work for an America with more partners and fewer adversaries. He will rebuild our frayed alliances and revitalize the international institutions which help to share the costs of the world’s problems and to leverage our power and influence. He will put us back in the forefront of the world’s fight to reduce nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and to stop global warming. He will continue and enhance our nation’s global leadership in an area in which I am deeply involved, the fight against AIDS, TB and malaria, including a renewal of the battle against HIV/AIDS here at home. He will choose diplomacy first and military force as a last resort. But in a world troubled by terror; by trafficking in weapons, drugs and people; by human rights abuses; by other threats to our security, our interests, and our values, when he cannot convert adversaries into partners, he will stand up to them.

Barack Obama also will not allow the world’s problems to obscure its opportunities. Everywhere, in rich and poor countries alike, hardworking people need good jobs; secure, affordable healthcare, food, and energy; quality education for their children; and economically beneficial ways to fight global warming. These challenges cry out for American ideas and American innovation. When Barack Obama unleashes them, America will save lives, win new allies, open new markets, and create new jobs for our people. Most important, Barack Obama knows that America cannot be strong abroad unless we are strong at home. People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power." (Full text, Youtube video)

Joe Biden, accepting the vice-presidential nomination, added: "Folks, remember when the world used to trust us? When they looked to us for leadership? With Barack Obama as our president, they'll look to us again, they'll trust us again."

John Kerry, the 2004 Democrat presidential candidate, said: "Our mission is to restore America’s influence and position in the world. We must use all the weapons in our arsenal, above all, our values. President Obama and Vice President Biden will shut down Guantanamo, respect the Constitution, and make clear once and for all, the United States of America does not torture, not now, not ever. We must listen and lead by example because even a nation as powerful as the United States needs some friends in this world. We need a leader who understands all our security challenges, not just bombs and guns, but global warming, global terror and global AIDS. And Barack Obama understands there is no way for America to be secure until we create clean energy here at home."


dano said...

I wonder why 40 countries are in Afghanistan where we "go at it alone" at the taliban?

Why are 20 countries involved in Iraq where we disposed a viscious dictator, his two crazy sons and an evil regime?

We have lost less men in battle during Bush's eight years than Clinton lost during his two terms!!!

The unemployment rate is LOWER now (including this economic slowdown) than in the last 40 year average!!!

Homeownership at an all time high including ALL minorities!!!

Bring on eight more years of prosperity.

Do bring up the DEMOCRAT's CONGRESSIONAL (9% approval rating, Bush at 29%approval)spending spree to 5 trillion dollars.

McCain/Palin in 2008 NOBAMA.