“We cannot let ourselves be prisoners of past disagreements”

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President Obma said those words in a speech at the Trinidad meeting of 34 leaders.

He also said, “I think it is important to recognize that the United States policy should not be interference in other countries.”

“But that also means that we can’t blame the United States for every problem that arises in the hemisphere … That is the old way, we need a new way,” he added.

I respect this intelligent leader, this man of diplomacy, these actions of getting along! What do you think?

fnord

24 Comments

Filed under Diplomacy, World Politics

24 responses to ““We cannot let ourselves be prisoners of past disagreements”

  1. Judging from the response the quoted comments received from others in attendance, there was a certain “unpeaceful, uneasy feeling” cast upon the crowd. I don’t know what they were expecting, other than something different from remarks made by Pres. Obama’s predecessor at other OAS meetings (I don’t recall how many he attended, BTW). There was a hint of an iron fist within a velvet glove running throughout the speech, as I heard it.

    Oh, well, the translators surely had an easier time of it.

  2. prairiepond

    We cant be bound by past disagreements, but we also shouldnt be so tied to ideology that we cant fully participate in the foreign policy arena.

  3. wicked

    I think we should pick our battles and not get involved in so many things in such grand ways. We can’t afford to be the Empire. We learned in Iraq that the World isn’t willing to jump into the fire so quickly, after all. Obama will have to earn back the trust that Dubya so callously insulted.

    We’ve spent decades buying the “respect” of other countries, then sometimes turning around to slap them. I’m a peacenik, who thinks we should concentrate on us first, and them when asked or if there’s some real danger afoot.

    Please pass the aspirin.

  4. Bad Biker

    Ah……………………………………… we have a PRESIDENT worthy of the title. I think back (or have read about) FDR, Truman, Kennedy, etc.

    Barack Obama makes me proud, and I TRUST him to represent me on the world stage.

    Call me starry-eyed or naive or just plain stupid (I answer to all of the previous) but this is MY president and I am damned glad that he holds the highest office in the greatest country in history.

    By the way, Michelle would make a great president herself.

  5. lilacluvr

    I like the idea that Obama is willing to acknowledge our faults as a nation but on the other hand, we are not defined by them. If we are not able to acknowledge our faults, then how could we possibly learn from our past mistakes?

    I think Obama sees the road ahead (where Bush and Gang were always wanting to bomb the road) and Obama knows how we need to get there from here.

    He has a big job of getting our economy stabilized but the really enormous job is getting Americans to think beyond themselves and their instant gratification in order to prepare ourselves to be self independent. We have, for too long, been willing to sell our birthright for the short-term goal of more profits. We need to get away from the ‘me first for the money’ attitude.

    I hope Obama succeeds in the transformation that we, as a country, need to do in order to secure our future in the global landscape.

    I also like Obama’s strong, silent, reassurance that he exudes. He doesn’t fly off the handle or looks like he is ruffled and that is a good quality to have in these difficult times.

    Obama needs that strong backbone when dealing with foreign enemies – as well as the spoiled-brat , whiney domestic Republican political enemies he has had from the beginning of the campaign.

  6. I shouldn’t have been so surprised at the 26percenters immediate hate. But, I was. I didn’t understand they had made their decision to hate if the election didn’t go their way.

  7. lilacluvr

    I always knew there would be a certain degree of hate on the Republican side just because Obama is the first black president.

    But what I really think their hatred is about is the fact that Obama’s popularity extends to people of all ethnic backgrounds, all economic classes, both males and females.

    The Republicans (especially the Evangelical Christians) are watching their power slipping through their hands and they don’t like it.

    I know of several Republicans who are good people and they were embarrassed by the ugliness, scary and downright nasty tactics of the McCain and Palin rallies in the last few days of the campaign. This is what brought alot of Republicans to vote for Obama in the last few days.

    I keep thinking that at some point all this hate speech will calm down, but it has only seemed to escalate since Inauguration Day with the help of Rush and Fox talking heads. At some point the GOP will either come together as one focused group or they will implode.

    But if Obama can successfully steer the country into an economic recovery, then I think the GOP will cement their fate if they continue on their current path of obstruction and hate of everything Obama.

  8. I would like to think most Republicans want what is best for our country. I want to live among those kinds of people! I want a strong two party system because I think that keeps our elected officials more accountable, more honest.

    I don’t find any fault with those who question the massive spending, because I question it too! Most financial experts said spending was necessary to get us out of this deep recession. Then they began the arguments about where and how the money would be most effective.

    I’m not an expert! I don’t have answers or alternate plans and solutions. Neither does the Republican Party!

    I find fault with those who have decided in such a short time and with no logical reasons that President Obama has done nothing good, nothing positive. And yet they still support bush. President Obama got us into this mess in a few weeks? I’m lost at that kind of unreasonable thinking.

    I’ve heard and read where many Conservatives (why do call themselves that? I’ve never seen that on any ballot! Have you noticed they seldom ever refer to themselves as Republicans?) think they lost the election because they weren’t conservative enough! And when they begin talking about how much more conservative they need to be, money isn’t part of the conversation. It always comes back to the social issues. Yet these same people who don’t mention money are teabagging.

    Makes my head spin. They don’t even see the hypocrisy.

  9. lilacluvr

    Hypocrits never do see the hypocrisy.

    I question the amount of spending we are doing also; but I would rather spend it on our country than giving it to Iraq to rebuild their infrastructure, new schools, free healthcare, stabilizing their economy, etc.

    If we need to go into debt, at least I want to be able to see something productive in my own city and for my fellow Americans to get through these difficult times with at least a hope of brighter days ahead.

    As things were going, all we had to look forward to was more war and more no-bid contracts going to the warmongers. Who needs that?

  10. lilacluvr

    What do you think if a third party comes into the picture in the next few years?

    Perhaps if Ross Perot had handled his presidential bid better then we would have more of a choice in our political leaders? I think Perot made some valid points but he came across as a little on the wacky side. And then his choice for vice president brought no points for his side.

    But, I look at the process of campaigning for political office and I would not want to jump into that media frenzy – would you?

    Are we scaring the best talent out of even trying to get into the political arena by encouraging our society’s insatiable desire to destroy a person just because we can?

  11. djr4488

    Lilacluvr,

    I do not know that a third party will make an appearance or not. But I do think that the best talent avoids political life for a reason you may have mentioned, the destruction of the person. At the same time, I think it is digging too much to try to find something ‘wrong’ with them instead of trying to portray what the person has done right. Why be so negative? Tell me what good the person has done as well don’t focus everything on just that one bad act the person did.

    L in da,

    So, I fall into the 26% that supported Bush(though not his war I really hoped he would have ended it in his second term), but I don’t fall into that same category that just hates Obama, I don’t hate the man, I don’t hate anybody. Reality is, I disagree with him but I don’t want him to fail. Don’t want him to win in four years either, but he has my support while he is in office to fix our economy, but not on other issues.

    I guess, what it is I don’t look to the news or the newspapers to tell me what to believe, I look it up for myself and may be one of the few citizens who reads and learns exactly what it is our representatives do and do not do. Yes, I’ve read bills, looked at voting records, and learned about the men and women who represent us directly from their websites and their voting records.

    So I come to this conclusion about our current situation that to blame this crisis entirely on Bush is probably disingenuous, but to not blame him for doing nothing to remedy the financial problem sooner is just as disingenuous. The reality, as I understand it, is two bills passed in 1999 and in 2000(sponsored by only Republicans I believe, I’ll need to research that again) and passed by overwhelming support of both Democrats and Republicans and signed into law by then President Clinton probably helped to lead to the problem we face now. Both bills provided for less oversight of the financial services markets, and both provided for some of that backdoor dealing that was seen to be going on.

    I’m not really certain that Reaganesque policies are really the core cause of this problem, but I’m not saying that these policies didn’t possibly make us more bold as to almost completely remove government from the free market. I think some regulation with teeth that levels the playing field, or sets the ground rules to be followed is probably needed. So some combination of Reagan policies and, for lack of a better term, progressive policies is probably needed.

    • Would appreciate it if you would use my nic, fnord, please.

      btw, there is no one who posts here who isn’t well informed! You may toot your horn all you want, but to make it seem that you or your opinion are superior because you’re better informed won’t cut it! That you drew a different conclusion from your research may be a fact, but that you did superior research simply isn’t factual, and it belittles others to make the statement that you did.

      Differing opinions are part of humanity, diversity is our goal. Respect for everyone will be the way we reach our goal.

  12. I think there is a great chance for a third party. Mainly because the so-called social conservatives must be marginalized in order for the Republican Party to regain footing. Those who are thinking beyond single issues know that religious belief systems belong in the churches, that all religions must be respected but no religion should be allowed to support public policy. But then I refer you back to the thread about the five factions of today’s Republican Party — they have a long row to hoe!

    Funny you should bring up Perot — I voted for him! Yes, I agree he was a strange one, on the lines of Ron Paul last election. Both major political parties have lost any rights to brag about fiscal responsibility! So far so good with President Obama, much too early to make judgments, but he is sure working hard!

  13. And, back to the thread topic —

    Hugo Chavez said Saturday that he is restoring Venezuela’s ambassador in Washington, voicing hopes for a “new era” in U.S. relations.

    Diplomacy! So much better than war! It is a new era — one of integrity, one of dignity. America has the chance of taking a place of respect back again.

  14. djr4488

    Fnord,

    Sorry about that. I’m more used to your name, LOL. If you didn’t see, I got the link from you on Tracy’s blog. This is Danny from there.

    I wasn’t meaning to come off superior, rather different from what I’ve seen at most other places, like WE, where it seems to be cut and paste.

  15. I’m more used to my name too! 😉 Everybody here probably knows my name, but this haven of a safe place to discuss, exchange and learn is worth protecting so the nics serve the purpose of making the google searches less effective. I’m probably just paranoid but the experiences at that blogthatshallnotbenamed make me over protective of this place.

    I’m sorry if I misunderstood your post! It is easier without the tone and expression to hear something not there, internet communication does limit us to just the words typed. The good thing here at PrairiePP is we are going to talk it out with respect and dignity, not angry words that escalate into silliness.

    We do our fair share of cutting and pasting in an effort to bring what we found to the blogging community for discussion. There is so much information available and just so many hours in the day. We’re all news junkies and appreciate the efforts of everyone here — I’m glad that includes you now!

  16. djr4488

    Fnord,

    I’m certainly much more against war. I mean I guess I can see it being an evil necessity to have to defend oneself, about the only just war I can see, but at the same time I’m still much against it. So I’d be happy to just see diplomacy, even when that diplomacy may involve someone I don’t necessarily like much.

  17. I am a pacifist — I understand that is as big a fault as being a warmonger. My mind understands there is a time and a place. But, I still am a pacifist. I should never be in any position that requires any decisions regarding whether to go to war or not, because it would be impossible for me to be without prejudice. I admit this fault, I see no way of changing as I don’t want to, and I think a person needs to want to change before it can happen.

  18. wicked

    fnord,

    I’m a pacifist, too, with no hope for change. True, I sometimes get really, really angry and have a knee-jerk reaction like “let’s get ’em!”, but it doesn’t last long and sanity (peaceful sanity) wins out.

    I have a close friend who’s been involved with politics since she was 12. Imagine, at the age of 12 she was attending war protests. I was just outgrowing my Barbie doll. I doubt my friend would have been doing what she was if it hadn’t been for her older sister. BTW, these are Texas ladies, and they’re still fighting the fight.

    djr,

    I worry about the money being spent, too, but I try to stay positive about it. I had and still retain hope that Obama would surround himself with the brightest and the best. I’m not completey convinced that’s true, but I have to believe he will change that if it needs changing. We’re only 3 months into his term. As big as the economic mess is, it isn’t going to turn around immediately.

  19. War is the necessary result of the failure of diplomacy. The existence of the potential of a war is necessary so that diplomacy may be encouraged and as an incentive to the success of such diplomacy.

    djr, good to “see” you. I, too, worry about the spending; but from perhaps a different perspective than others. I worry it is not enough, in total, but too much of it is directed in ways that help ensure the reelection of the congresscritter whose district benefits therefrom, but does little to nothing to alleviate the overall national economy’s problems.

    This economic mess isn’t going to be solved any time soon; I’ll go ahead and reiterate what I’ve posted and said many times, this mess won’t be totally resolved until the thorny issue of the outstanding derivatives, the CDOs, the CMOs, the collateralized debt swaps, etc., is finally handled in a way that does not benefit only those who issued the same, but also provides a market for those derivatives that allows the holders thereof to limit their losses.

  20. tosmarttobegop

    There are these immoral words, “all it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing!”. That is mindful for a nation to live by in their domestic affairs. As to foreign affair is something to weight heavily. We can not afford to be the Policemen of the world. But then if we are the ones with the power to stop the inhuman actions that occur to the helpless. How can we stand by and allow it to happen?

    Moral questions are often the hardest to answer and not the easiest to live with.
    Had we not became involved in WWII would the numbers of Jews killed been greater then six million? Wouldn’t the Nazis continue and expend their murderous solution to those they saw as sub-human?

    We stopped Saddam from killing any more of his own people. But we have not handled that in an intelligent way. And of course it brings up the old question of who do we stop or defend? There are so many that deserves to be stopped.

    Edie Almena of Uganda was far worst then Saddam the stories of his eating human babies are true. But we are one nation no matter how large and powerful and our own defend is our major concern.

  21. djr4488

    6(if I may for short typing),

    War is one of those things that where people are so certain that they are right to the point of unwillingness to at least listen to another is going to happen.

    I like how you speak/type. 😀

  22. lilacluvr

    War is sometimes a necessary evil, in my opinion. Such as WWII when the Nazis were exterminating the Jews. But didn’t it take awhile before the US was dragged into that one?

    In WWII there was a coalition of countries that made victory possible.

    In the Iraq War, George W. Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld were hellbent on invading Iraq and there was nothing left to do but to ‘market’ it to Americans. But there never was this great ‘coalition’ of other countries in Iraq. Bush made it quite clear to everyone that the US would go it alone and in Bush’s own words ‘bring it on’.

    Another factor in the Iraq War, in my opinion, was that somehow our Christian God was going to bring us to victory. We were fighting Muslims who were fighting a Holy War and the mere mention of God’s name by Bush and the Conservative Republicans made it sound like it was a Holy War – and nobody comes out a winner in any Holy War. History has proven that many times.

    What bothered me during the run-up to the Iraq War was how we were all gung-ho on bombing those Muslims but yet our own borders were severely unguarded. Of course, we were very good at strip searching the grandmothers at the airports. (ha,ha)

    • lilacluvr

      One last point – it was also a big mistake during all this war talk to even propose letting a Saudi Arabia company take over the security of our ports. Remember that fiasco? How many of our elected Congressional leaders were all for that. It just felt like we were signing our birthright away to the highest bidder.