By Simon Yel , Kuala-Lumpur-Malaysia
Archive for the ‘World’ Category
Text of Barack Obama’s speech after re-election
President Barack Obama’s speech in Chicago after his re-election Tuesday night, as transcribed by Roll Call:
President Barack Obama’s speech in Chicago after his re-election Tuesday night, as transcribed by Roll Call:
Thank you so much.
Tonight, more than 200 years after a former colony won the right to determine its own destiny, the task of perfecting our union moves forward.
It moves forward because of you. It moves forward because you reaffirmed the spirit that has triumphed over war and depression, the spirit that has lifted this country from the depths of despair to the great heights of hope, the belief that while each of us will pursue our own individual dreams, we are an American family and we rise or fall together as one nation and as one people.
Tonight, in this election, you, the American people, reminded us that while our road has been hard, while our journey has been long, we have picked ourselves up, we have fought our way back, and we know in our hearts that for the United States of America the best is yet to come.
I want to thank every American who participated in this election, whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time. By the way, we have to fix that. Whether you pounded the pavement or picked up the phone, whether you held an Obama sign or a Romney sign, you made your voice heard and you made a difference.
I just spoke with Gov. Romney and I congratulated him and Paul Ryan on a hard-fought campaign. We may have battled fiercely, but it’s only because we love this country deeply and we care so strongly about its future. From George to Lenore to their son Mitt, the Romney family has chosen to give back to America through public service and that is the legacy that we honor and applaud tonight. In the weeks ahead, I also look forward to sitting down with Gov. Romney to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward.
I want to thank my friend and partner of the last four years, America’s happy warrior, the best vice president anybody could ever hope for, Joe Biden.
And I wouldn’t be the man I am today without the woman who agreed to marry me 20 years ago. Let me say this publicly: Michelle, I have never loved you more. I have never been prouder to watch the rest of America fall in love with you, too, as our nation’s first lady. Sasha and Malia, before our very eyes you’re growing up to become two strong, smart beautiful young women, just like your mom. And I’m so proud of you guys. But I will say that for now one dog’s probably enough.
To the best campaign team and volunteers in the history of politics. The best. The best ever. Some of you were new this time around, and some of you have been at my side since the very beginning. But all of you are family. No matter what you do or where you go from here, you will carry the memory of the history we made together and you will have the lifelong appreciation of a grateful president. Thank you for believing all the way, through every hill, through every valley. You lifted me up the whole way and I will always be grateful for everything that you’ve done and all the incredible work that you put in.
I know that political campaigns can sometimes seem small, even silly. And that provides plenty of fodder for the cynics that tell us that politics is nothing more than a contest of egos or the domain of special interests. But if you ever get the chance to talk to folks who turned out at our rallies and crowded along a rope line in a high school gym, or saw folks working late in a campaign office in some tiny county far away from home, you’ll discover something else.
You’ll hear the determination in the voice of a young field organizer who’s working his way through college and wants to make sure every child has that same opportunity. You’ll hear the pride in the voice of a volunteer who’s going door to door because her brother was finally hired when the local auto plant added another shift. You’ll hear the deep patriotism in the voice of a military spouse who’s working the phones late at night to make sure that no one who fights for this country ever has to fight for a job or a roof over their head when they come home.
That’s why we do this. That’s what politics can be. That’s why elections matter. It’s not small, it’s big. It’s important. Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times, when we make big decisions as a country, it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy.
That won’t change after tonight, and it shouldn’t. These arguments we have are a mark of our liberty. We can never forget that as we speak people in distant nations are risking their lives right now just for a chance to argue about the issues that matter, the chance to cast their ballots like we did today.
But despite all our differences, most of us share certain hopes for America’s future. We want our kids to grow up in a country where they have access to the best schools and the best teachers. A country that lives up to its legacy as the global leader in technology and discovery and innovation, with all the good jobs and new businesses that follow.
We want our children to live in an America that isn’t burdened by debt, that isn’t weakened by inequality, that isn’t threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet. We want to pass on a country that’s safe and respected and admired around the world, a nation that is defended by the strongest military on earth and the best troops this – this world has ever known. But also a country that moves with confidence beyond this time of war, to shape a peace that is built on the promise of freedom and dignity for every human being.
We believe in a generous America, in a compassionate America, in a tolerant America, open to the dreams of an immigrant’s daughter who studies in our schools and pledges to our flag. To the young boy on the south side of Chicago who sees a life beyond the nearest street corner. To the furniture worker’s child in North Carolina who wants to become a doctor or a scientist, an engineer or an entrepreneur, a diplomat or even a president – that’s the future we hope for. That’s the vision we share. That’s where we need to go – forward. That’s where we need to go.
Now, we will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how to get there. As it has for more than two centuries, progress will come in fits and starts. It’s not always a straight line. It’s not always a smooth path. By itself, the recognition that we have common hopes and dreams won’t end all the gridlock or solve all our problems or substitute for the painstaking work of building consensus and making the difficult compromises needed to move this country forward. But that common bond is where we must begin.
Our economy is recovering. A decade of war is ending. A long campaign is now over. And whether I earned your vote or not, I have listened to you, I have learned from you, and you’ve made me a better president. And with your stories and your struggles, I return to the White House more determined and more inspired than ever about the work there is to do and the future that lies ahead.
Tonight you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours. And in the coming weeks and months, I am looking forward to reaching out and working with leaders of both parties to meet the challenges we can only solve together. Reducing our deficit. Reforming our tax code. Fixing our immigration system. Freeing ourselves from foreign oil. We’ve got more work to do.
But that doesn’t mean your work is done. The role of citizen in our democracy does not end with your vote. America’s never been about what can be done for us. It’s about what can be done by us together through the hard and frustrating, but necessary work of self-government. That’s the principle we were founded on.
This country has more wealth than any nation, but that’s not what makes us rich. We have the most powerful military in history, but that’s not what makes us strong. Our university, our culture are all the envy of the world, but that’s not what keeps the world coming to our shores.
What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth. The belief that our destiny is shared; that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations. The freedom which so many Americans have fought for and died for come with responsibilities as well as rights. And among those are love and charity and duty and patriotism. That’s what makes America great.
I am hopeful tonight because I’ve seen the spirit at work in America. I’ve seen it in the family business whose owners would rather cut their own pay than lay off their neighbors, and in the workers who would rather cut back their hours than see a friend lose a job. I’ve seen it in the soldiers who reenlist after losing a limb and in those SEALs who charged up the stairs into darkness and danger because they knew there was a buddy behind them watching their back.
I’ve seen it on the shores of New Jersey and New York, where leaders from every party and level of government have swept aside their differences to help a community rebuild from the wreckage of a terrible storm. And I saw just the other day, in Mentor, Ohio, where a father told the story of his 8-year-old daughter, whose long battle with leukemia nearly cost their family everything had it not been for health care reform passing just a few months before the insurance company was about to stop paying for her care.
I had an opportunity to not just talk to the father, but meet this incredible daughter of his. And when he spoke to the crowd listening to that father’s story, every parent in that room had tears in their eyes, because we knew that little girl could be our own. And I know that every American wants her future to be just as bright. That’s who we are. That’s the country I’m so proud to lead as your president.
And tonight, despite all the hardship we’ve been through, despite all the frustrations of Washington, I’ve never been more hopeful about our future. I have never been more hopeful about America. And I ask you to sustain that hope. I’m not talking about blind optimism, the kind of hope that just ignores the enormity of the tasks ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. I’m not talking about the wishful idealism that allows us to just sit on the sidelines or shirk from a fight.
I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting.
America, I believe we can build on the progress we’ve made and continue to fight for new jobs and new opportunity and new security for the middle class. I believe we can keep the promise of our founders, the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from or what you look like or where you love. It doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white or Hispanic or Asian or Native American or young or old or rich or poor, able, disabled, gay or straight, you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.
I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America.
And together with your help and God’s grace we will continue our journey forward and remind the world just why it is that we live in the greatest nation on Earth.
Thank you, America. God bless you. God bless these United States.
Barack Obama wins election for second term as president
Voters returned President Obama to the White House, but he will face a Congress with the same divisions that marked his first term.
What Are They Saying About Obama’s Victory?
By Sam Akaki
Saturday, 27 October 2012 00:00
The upcoming US presidential election will be a de facto international presidential election. Whoever wins will not only become – symbolically and in reality – the chairman of the five-member central committee of the world, which is the UN Security Council, he will also indirectly be in charge of the preeminent global currency, which is the dollar. Crucially, the US president will be the Commander-in-Chief of the supreme army, the nuclear-armed North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Under Article 5, “The parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.” This explains why Syria can only watch, helplessly, as Turkey, a NATO member, closes its air space, trains, arms and sends rebels into Syria.
Moreover, NATO is not only expanding although its main adversary the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) collapsed in 1991 it is also freely choosing and picking which opposition groups are terrorist organizations or pro-democracy fighters, and which country is to be invaded on the spurious excuse of pre-emptive humanitarian intervention to maintain international peace and security.
These realities will present African peoples at home and in the US with a particular dilemma. By instinct, we should vote for Barack Obama. After all, he is “one of us”, his father having been a black Kenyan!
The ‘one of us’ syndrome based on our ethnicity, tribe and clan is central in the African DNA makeup, which invariably determines how we provide public services to our own.
But as Obama’s African policy has shown in the last four years, it will be a monumental self-delusion for any African at home and in the US to believe that his second term in the White House will bring better news to the continent.
The uncomfortable truth is that the difference between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney is only skin deep. Like Romney, Obama is first and last an ambitious US politician, who wants to be president of the last super power of the world.
To achieve that ultimate goal, both men are competing to appear a better US citizen than the other, declaring their uncompromising commitment to pursue not the 1832 Monroe doctrine, but the 1961 President John Kennedy’s doctrine.
The Monroe Doctrine noted that the United States “would neither interfere with existing European colonies (in Africa and elsewhere) nor meddle in the internal concerns of European countries.” That was before John F. Kennedy arrived.
By contrast, in his in January 1961 inauguration speech, Kennedy said “let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of our liberty.” By “our success” Kennedy meant US imperial domination of the world!
Regardless of Obama’s campaign rhetoric, his Africa policy will not be guided by any consideration about is late father’s tribal origin or religion, but by US special interest to maintain political, economic and military dominance of the world.
President Obama or Romney will without hesitation use the USAID to maintain soft control over the continent through politically-motivated humanitarian and development assistance. At the same time, the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) will keep a close military eye and ear on Africa from the ground, air, sea and space. Any African leader or military commander who thinks his or her official and personal secrets are safe is a fool.
President Obama or Romney will use the Bretton Woods institutions, which are the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to manipulate African economies and by extension, social and political conditions, which suits the US.
Whoever wins, the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will not relax the pressure on African countries to introduce legislation to implement the one-way Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS). These, among other things, will potentially allow western technology companies to “own” anything and everything including trees and shrubs anywhere.
The US, which has not ratified the Rome Statue, will continue to selectively use the ICC as a double-edged political weapon not only to punish non-compliant African leaders such as Omar al Bashir and Robert Mugabe, but also to protect leaders of US client states who torture their own people and invade their neighbours.
While some US companies continue to trade with Iran, President Obama or Romney will demand and get the UN Security Council to impose punitive sanctions on any African country that buys oil from Iran.
NATO intervention in Libya may have been its first on African soil, but it is unlikely to be the last whoever wins. Neither Obama nor Romney will lift the sanctions on Eritrea, Sudan or Zimbabwe.
US entry visas will not become any more easily available for African students or old people wishing to visit their grandchildren just because Obama or Romney has become president.
Finally, according to the Census Bureau, 15 percent of Americans, or more than 46 million people, live below the poverty line, defined as an annual income of USD 23,000 for a family with two children.
The vast majority in this group are African-Americans. They will not become better off with well-paid jobs, adequate housing and health-care cover when and if Obama or Romney takes office next January. That is why I say Africa’s unpalatable choice in the 2012 US presidential election is between the devil and the deep blue sea. We are damned if “one of us” Obama, wins and we are damned if he loses on November 6th!
But why criticize Obama for putting America first and last? What a different place would Africa be if our leaders could also put behind their personal interests, clan, tribe and ethnicity – and tackle the population explosion and youth unemployment, which are driving millions of young men and women to die abroad?
Tags: disputes, metering, oil
(Reuters) – Sudan and South Sudan plan to avoid future disputes over oil exports with a metering system, but have failed to end a $1.8 billion row over how much Juba will pay for seizing northern oil facilities after its secession.
On Thursday, the African neighbors signed a deal to restart oil exports from the landlocked South through a Sudanese Red Sea port. In January, Juba had shut down its entire output of 350,000 barrels a day after failing to agree on export fees.
When the row escalated, Juba had accused Sudan and the mainly Chinese oil firms operating in the new republic of publishing incorrect production data to the disadvantage of the South.
Oil facilities in both countries were built before South Sudan became independent from Khartoum in July 2011, putting three quarters of oil production in the south but locating processing, refining and sea export facilities in the north.
To avoid any future arguments over export volumes, both sides plan to “review and ensure…effective metering facilities”, according to the final agreement published by the African Union (AU) late on Thursday.
The agreement did not outline any concrete steps but said each party had the right to ask oil firms to install additional metering systems.
The neighbors also agreed to set up a committee headed by an African Union-appointed official to review payments and technical issues to avoid disputes.
Global Witness, a group campaigning for transparency, said it was disappointing that oil payments and audit reports would not be made public.
“This lack of public accountability is particularly concerning given the allegations of high-level corruption that both governments are facing,” Global Witness campaigner Dana Wilkins said in a statement.
Diplomats had hoped the agreement would settle all disputes but both nations failed to agree on how much South Sudan should pay Sudan in compensation for taking over oil facilities once owned by state firm Sudapet.
Sudan demands $1.8 billion for Sudapet’s assets, said Pagan Amum, Juba’s chief negotiator.
“We are not going to pay this,” he said after the signing ceremony in Ethiopia on Thursday.
The agreement, which was brokered after three weeks of talks in Addis Ababa, only said the parties would try reach a deal within two months. Lengthy international arbitration would then probably follow.
Both sides also agreed that Sudan will have to pay back proceeds from two disputed oil shipments, transported by the Ratna Shradha and ETC ISIS vessels, which Sudan seized as compensation for what it called unpaid transit fees.
Southern officials had previously demanded the return of four oil shipments worth more than 6 million barrels, seized since December by Sudan, which has never confirmed or denied the figures.
Juba will give up claims from southern oil diverted to refineries by Sudan when the row over transit fees escalated. “The Government of South Sudan shall not bring any other claims,” the agreement said.
Under the final deal, South Sudan will pay between $9.10 and $11 a barrel to export its crude through the north. Juba will also pay $3.08 billion to help Sudan overcome the loss of three quarters of oil production due to southern secession.
South Sudan’s government expects resuming oil production will take three to six months after the pipelines were watered and some fields were damaged during fighting between the two nations in April.
South Sudan plans to build pipeline to Kenya but analysts are skeptical as it would be difficult to build across rough terrain hit by tribal violence.
(Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Alison Birrane and Jason Neely)
September 15, 2012 (KHARTOUM) — Sudan has urged UN chief to press South Sudanese government to cease its support to the rebel Sudan people’s Liberation Movement North (SPLM-N) stressing such links hamper the ongoing efforts to settle the unresolved issues.
Ambassador Daffa-Alla Elhag Ali Osman, Permanent Representative of Sudan to the United Nations met on Friday 14 September with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to brief him on the latest developments on the ongoing talks with South Sudan as the UN Security Council prepare to discuss the issue on 22 September.
The parties made progress on the different files except the border demarcation and the disputed areas while the mediation plans to hold a presidential summit on Abyei between Omer Al-Bashir and Salva Kiir on 21 September.
The parallel process with the SPLM-N, on the other hand, is stalled as the parties trade accusations of delay of humanitarian relief, plans to topple the regime with the support of South Sudan and Darfur rebels.
Daffa-Alla said he urged Ban Ki-moon to put pressure on Juba government to disengage politically and militarily with the Sudanese rebel group which fights the government in South Kordofan and Blue Nile. He stressed that such relation breaches the rules of international law.
According to SUNA, the Sudanese diplomat told the UN chief that Khartoum would not hold direct talks with the rebel group until the latter formally disengage politically and militarily with the newly independent South Sudan.
The two parties hold indirect humanitarian and political talks as they meet the mediation separately.
Sudan says the two former divisions of the SPLA in Blue Nile and South Kordofan are still receiving they salaries, weapons and ammunition from Juba. It further says the leaders of the Sudanese rebellion are instructed by the SPLM leader and South Sudan President Salva Kiir.
Juba and SPLM-N denied the accusations. Following the referendum on self determination of January 2011, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) in the north Sudan established an independent structure as their comrades in South Sudan were preparing to proclaim their independent state in July 2011.
But Khartoum speaks about disengagement to highlight the close relations and the continued support they receive from the SPLM in Juba which is the ruling party.
South Sudanese top negotiator Pagan Amum arrived in Addis Ababa after a long stay in Washington for medical reasons.
Also, Princeton Lyman, US envoy for Sudan and South Sudan arrived to the Ethiopian capital where he met with the chief mediator, Thabo Mbeki to discuss the recent development on the talks.
Daffa-Alla told Ki-moon that the Sudanese delegation was keen to be in Addis on the date fixed by the mediation while the rebels belatedly arrived to Addis Ababa and left two days later to Washington obstructing the talks.
SPLM-N leadership is in a visit to the United States for talks with the American officials and to seek the support of members of Congress and civil society groups as the campaign for US presidential election has already started.