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How do you see America's role in the world -- are you surprised to hear Obama say we are not the world's policeman?

Posted by on Sep. 11, 2013 at 8:06 AM
  • 69 Replies

President Obama's Speech on Syria: Vote on Strikes Postponed (VIDEO)

by Adriana Velez

obama syria speechTonight President Obama gave a speech the conflict in Syria in which he announced that we would not be planning any moves any time soon. "I have ... asked the leaders of Congress to postpone a vote to authorize the use of force while we pursue this diplomatic path," he said this evening. Or, if you're cynical and on Twitter, you could put it this way: The war on Syria has been cancelled. For now.

"America is not the world's policeman. Terrible things happen across the globe and it is beyond our means to right every wrong." I think for many of us, this changes how we see America's role in the world. As Obama put it in his speech, "For nearly seven decades, the United States has been the anchor of stability." We've been an anchor of stability, but we haven't been the world's Superman. 

A few of you may be wondering, what just happened? Here's a brief recap of the day.

1. The plan was for Congress to vote on whether or not American should make strategic strikes against Syria. The President had said he would not order boots-on-the-ground action there.

2. Russian diplomats asked Syria to reveal and give up its chemical weapons arsenal and sign a chemical weapons convention. 

3. Syria said YES!

4. This took the pressure off a hot situation.

Back to Obama, who could now back off on his call for strikes: "I have a deeply-held preference for peaceful solutions," he said tonight. But the conflict in Syria isn't over, and strikes against Syria aren't completely off the table. The President said that he has "ordered our military to maintain their current posture to keep the pressure on Assad." 

Russia's diplomatic victory definitely buys us some time to give the idea of intervention the serious thought it deserves, though. Obama made appeals to the right and the left.

To my friends on the right, I ask you to reconcile your commitment to America’s military might with the failure to act when a cause is so plainly just. To my friends on the left, I ask you to reconcile your belief in freedom and dignity for all people with those images of children writhing in pain and going still on a cold hospital floor, for sometimes resolutions and statements of condemnation are simply not enough.

So if we want to be an anchor of stability and not stand by and watch a brutal regime attack its own people, what do we do? Well, as of tonight, we live to debate another day. "The burdens of leadership are often heavy," Obama said tonight, "But the world's a better place because we have borne them." 

Read a transcript of Obama's speech tonight. Learn more about Obama's response to the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons.


How do you see America's role in the world -- are you surprised to hear Obama say we are not the world's policeman?

by on Sep. 11, 2013 at 8:06 AM
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Replies (1-10):
idunno1234
by Silver Member on Sep. 11, 2013 at 8:16 AM
4 moms liked this

We never had the moral authority or the economic ability to be the world's policeman.

Humanity in general needs to reshift our priorities-  our drive to conquer, compete, oppress has only led to unspeakable, perpetual misery around the globe.  We can choose to live in cooperation, to ensure that no child has to starve, that war is some incomprehensible relic from the past but so far, throughout our entire history, we choose to make each other miserable.

cjsbmom
by Lois Lane on Sep. 11, 2013 at 8:17 AM
14 moms liked this

I was glad to hear him say it. I agree. We are NOT the world's police, nor should we be. And I'm tired of it being expected of us. Other countries criticize us for invading sovereign nations, then bitch when we don't intervene in countries like Syria. We're everybody's favorite whipping boy, and it gets old. 

meriana
by Platinum Member on Sep. 11, 2013 at 8:17 AM
2 moms liked this

 I've been saying for years that we are not and shouldn't play the role of the world's police. I'm a bit surprised but glad to hear our President verbalize it since past Presidents have been a bit too willing to play that role.

Lizard_Lina
by Silver Member on Sep. 11, 2013 at 8:20 AM
I don't understand why we are involved at all.
Send aid not bombs.
Someone smack him with his Nobel prize and remind him he's supposed to be the peaceful president. And before anyone flips out, clearly they are open for talks or they wouldn't be talking to the Russians.
Seasidegirl
by Gold Member on Sep. 11, 2013 at 8:37 AM
4 moms liked this

We have not been the world's policemen, anyway. We did not intervene in Rwanda, which was absolutely criminal, imo. We intervene in human rights abuses only when there's something in it for us -- like oil/a need for power in a region.

It has been proven to us over and over that intervention does not work. You know the definition of insanity -- doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Sep. 11, 2013 at 9:27 AM
2 moms liked this

 They are open to talks NOW after being scared into submission. They have been working on a diplomatic solution for the last 2 years and have been in talks and even imposed sanctions....when that failed, they said a military strike was the next step

Assad sh*t his pants and all of the sudden wants to deal.

and The Potus haulted the vote on military action. it seems he is ghoing OUT OF HIS WAY to provide a peaceful solution. even correctly stating he didn't NEED Congress approval (noting recent American history) but thought it was better to get it ...

Quoting Lizard_Lina:

I don't understand why we are involved at all.
Send aid not bombs.
Someone smack him with his Nobel prize and remind him he's supposed to be the peaceful president. And before anyone flips out, clearly they are open for talks or they wouldn't be talking to the Russians.

 

sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Sep. 11, 2013 at 9:29 AM
1 mom liked this

 We are not the world's police, but we have insisted on acting it...and intervening most time violently in others governemnts...even over throwing democratically elected governments

 

Louweezymarie
by on Sep. 11, 2013 at 9:39 AM

Of course they're suddenly not the "world's police" when there's no personal interest to be protected. 

TerraIncognita
by Bronze Member on Sep. 11, 2013 at 10:23 AM
That's what he says but his actions show different.
mommaoftwo
by Bronze Member on Sep. 11, 2013 at 10:58 AM

I completely agree with him.

We are not the police, and while that whole adage of "they took the x and i did nothing,........Finally they came for me and there was no one left to help me." Is true, sometimes we need to let sleeping dogs lie, and/ or talk to those that the dog won't attack in retaliation. 

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