In Libya speech, Obama reminds Americans of their country’s birth by revolution
Americans take great pride in how their country was formed through a spirit of rebellion and revolution that overcame tyranny.
And President Barack Obama managed to tie that ultimate banner of American patriotism to his decision for military action on Libya in one simple sentence, hoping it will resonate with the public and soothe concerns about another intervention in the Middle East.
“Born, as we are, out of a revolution by those who longed to be free, we welcome the fact that history is on the move in the Middle East and North Africa, and that young people are leading the way,” Obama said.
“Because wherever people long to be free, they will find a friend in the United States. Ultimately, it is that faith — those ideals — that are the true measure of American leadership.”
Obama also appealed to other ideals that people like to live by — the desire to make a difference for the good and not to turn a blind eye to atrocities.
“The United States will not be able to dictate the pace and scope of this change. Only the people of the region can do that. But we can make a difference,” he said in a speech at National Defense University.
“In this particular country -– Libya — at this particular moment, we were faced with the prospect of violence on a horrific scale. We had a unique ability to stop that violence,” Obama said.
The speech is unlikely to quiet criticism of his decision on Libya, but wrapping it in the American way may convert some fence-sitters to his side.
Photo credit: Reuters/Larry Downing (Obama giving speech on Libya)