Thursday, December 31, 2009

To Integrate or Globalize or not? Is there an option?

Global7 the new Millennial Renaissance Vision for the Globe

Our Passion is to reach our individual and collective potential-Always!

Dear Patriotic Global Citizens and Friends of African Union and Ethiopia: the mother of humanity!

Wishing you a blessed season of festivities and European New Year!

It is becoming an integrated world day by day with all the challenges and opportunities it offers!

Good will as well as evil is being integrated across the world, and always! leaving us with a hard choice! To integrate or not to integrate with the rest of the world.

A lot can be said about both sides of the argument. The Shabia terrorists chose to integrate only with evil whereas their neighbors in Ethiopia to integrate with good will and good governance. The results are showing with the recent verdict of the UN Security Council.

What is the role of sovereignty? If the sovereignty does not bring food, shelter, business enterprises or more ideally, the pursuit of happiness, what ever happiness is for each individual and community.

After watching 2012 with my teen daughter over the weekend, I was more convinced that we are more integrated than we think, as the planet is one land mass covered by a huge water body that is threatened from time to time by the molten metals at the core of the earth, which send all the toxic gases, waves and volcanoes and these natural forces like the people who live on them do not have artificial boundaries.

We are all interconnected. The secret is how do we share the resources of the earth at our disposal? The progressives tell us then can distribute it to us evenly so long as we keep them in office and give them the sole right to do so. The conservatives tell us it is individual freedom that matters, and Greed can be a great force for wealth creation, which will trickle down to the poor eventually.

The attached story is a telling reminder of what can happen when you lease land to outsiders without consulting the local population. Remember: We lost Djibouti to the French and now the Americans after the loony Junta forgot to read the 99 year lease and supported by the loony communists did not even bargain the so called independence in 1977.

Then comes another loony group which claimed the whole Red Sea coast is an Arabian Sea and Penninsula and look what we have got. A real living hell and prison of all the population with no recourse to justice!

Now, Gambella is on its way. Can some one share with us the lease documents for 84 years and what it means and whether, India can eventually claim it as its new nations and nationalities of Indo-Gambela?

It is interesting that the world is investing in China for manufacturing, in India for services and Africa for food.

That is exactly what European Industrial Revolutionaries told us, when they thought Africa will be a great place for investment to fuel their upcoming industries.

Remember what transpired, some 600 years of slavery and we just got our first African American President. The pain, degradation and dispossession still continues in the Ghetto culture that emanated. Our own children in Chicago and around the US are victims of this great dehumanizing culture. We are still 3/5 humans in the US Constitution, even though Ardi has prov en without doubt that we are all Ethiopians and Africans.

Let us integrate, but in fairness, in justice and always with Good Governance of Stake holder's transparency and accountability.

Ethiopia has to lead as she has done at the Tekezie Hydro Electric Plant and Global Ecological Summit by demanding good governance in the investment protocol that the BRICs are rushing for.

May we empower every citizen to share in the decision making of its communities in the year 2010! The May 2010 elections should be about such issues of Soverignty where each individual is the Sovereign King and Queen of his neighborhood.

with regards and seeking your alternative perspectives

Dr B


December 30, 2009

Ethiopian Farms Lure Investor Funds as Workers Live in Poverty

Jason McLure

Until last year, people in the Ethiopian settlement of Elliah earned a living by farming their land and fishing. Now, they are employees.

Dozens of women and children pack dirt into bags for palm seedlings along the banks of the Baro River, seedlings whose oil will be exported to India and China. They work for Bangalore- basedKaruturi Global Ltd., which is leasing 300,000 hectares (741,000 acres) of local land, an area larger than Luxembourg.

The jobs pay less than the World Bank’s $1.25-per-day poverty threshold, even as the project has the potential to enrich international investors with annual earnings that the company expects to exceed $100 million by 2013.

“My business is the third wave of outsourcing,” Sai Ramakrishna Karuturi, the 44-year-old managing director of Karuturi Global, said at the company’s dusty office in the western town of Gambella. “Everyone is investing in China for manufacturing; everyone is investing in India for services. Everybody needs to invest in Africa for food.”

Companies and governments are buying or leasing African land after cereals prices almost tripled in the three years ended April 2008. Ghana, Madagascar, Mali and Ethiopia alone have approved 1.4 million hectares of land allocations to foreign investors since 2004, according to the International Institute for Environment and Development in London.

Emergent Asset Management Ltd.’s African Agricultural Land Fund opened last year. On Nov. 23, Moscow-based Pharos Financial Advisors Ltd. and Dubai-based Miro Asset Management Ltd.announced the creation of a $350 million private equity fund to invest in agriculture in developing countries.

‘Last Frontier’

“African agricultural land is cheap relative to similar land elsewhere; it is probably the last frontier,” saidPaul Christie, marketing director at Emergent Asset Management in London. The hedge fund manager has farm holdings in South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

“I am amazed it has taken this long for people to realize the opportunities of investing in African agriculture,” Christie said.

Monsoon Capital of Bethesda, Maryland, and Boston-based Sandstone Capital are among the shareholders of Karuturi Global, Karuturi said. The company is also the world’s largest producer of roses, with flower farms in India, Kenya and Ethiopia.

One advantage to starting a plantation 50 kilometers (31 miles) from the border with war-torn Southern Sudan and a four- day drive to the nearest port: The land is free. Under the agreement with Ethiopia’s government, Karuturi pays no rent for the land for the first six years. After that, it will pay 15 birr (U.S. $1.18) per hectare per year for the next 84 years.

More Elsewhere

Land of similar quality in Malaysia and Indonesia would cost about $350 per hectare per year, and tracts of that size aren’t available in Karuturi Global’s native India, Karuturi said.
Labor costs of less than $50 a month per worker and duty- free treaties with China and India also attracted Karuturi Global, he said. The $100 million projected annual profit will come from the export of food crops, including corn, rice and palm oil, he said. The company also is plowing land on a 10,900- hectare spread near the central Ethiopian town of Bako.
The project will give the government revenue from corporate income taxes and from future leases, as well as from job creation, said Omod Obang Olom, president of Ethiopia’s Gambella region and an ally of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s ruling party.

“This strategy will build up capitalism,” he said in an interview in Gambella. “The message I want to convey is there is room for any investor. We have very fertile land, there is good labor here, we can support them.” The government plans to allot 3 million hectares, or about 4 percent of its arable land, to foreign investors over the next three years.

Surprised Workers
Workers in Elliah say they weren’t consulted on the deal to lease land around the village, and that not much of the money is trickling down.

At a Karuturi site 20 kilometers from Elliah, more than a dozen tractors clear newly burned savannah for a corn crop to be planted in June. Omeud Obank, 50, guards the site 24 hours a day, six days a week. The job helps support his family of 10 on a salary of 600 birr per month, more than the 450 birr he earned monthly as a soldier in the Ethiopian army.

Obank said it isn’t enough to adequately feed and clothe his family.
“These Indians do not have any humanity,” he said, speaking of his employers. “Just because we are poor it doesn’t make us less human.”

One Meal
Obang Moe, a 13-year-old who earns 10 birr per day working part-time in a nursery with 105,000 palm seedlings, calls her work “a tough job.” While the cash income supplements her family’s income from their corn plot, she said that many days they still only have enough food for one meal.

The fact that the project is based on a wage level below the World Bank’s poverty limit is “quite remarkable,” said Lorenzo Cotula, a researcher with the London-based IIED.

Large-scale export-oriented plantations may keep farmers from accessing productive resources in countries such as Ethiopia, where 13.7 million people depend on foreign food aid, according to a June report by Olivier De Schutter, the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to food. It called for ensuring that revenue from land contracts be “sufficient to procure food in volumes equivalent to those which are produced for exports.”

Karuturi said his company pays its workers at least Ethiopia’s minimum wage of 8 birr, and abides by Ethiopia’s labor and environmental laws.

‘Easily Exploitable’

“We have to be very, very cognizant of the fact that we are dealing with people who are easily exploitable,” he said, adding that the company will create up to 20,000 jobs and has plans to build a hospital, a cinema, a school and a day-care center in the settlement. “We’re going to have a very healthy township that we will build. We are creating jobs where there were none.”

The project may help cover part of the $44 billion a year that the UN Food and Agriculture Organization says must be invested in agriculture in poor nations to halve the number of the world’s hungry people by 2015.

“We keep saying the big problem is, you need investment in African agriculture; well here are a load of guys who for whatever reason want to invest,” David Hallam, deputy director of the FAO’s trade and markets division, said in an interview in Rome. “So the question is, is it possible to sort of steer it toward forms of investment that are going to be beneficial?”

Buntin Buli, a 21-year-old supervisor at the nursery who earns 600 birr a month, said he hopes Karuturi will use some of its earnings to improve working conditions and provide housing and food. “Otherwise we would have been better off working on our own lands,” he said. “This is a society that has been very primitive. We want development.”


December 30, 2009

Somali man 'tried to take bomb onto plane'

A Somali man is in custody in Mogadishu, suspected of trying to take explosives onto a plane in November, officials have revealed.

He had chemicals, liquid and a syringe - materials similar to those used by the Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up a plane on Christmas Day.

The Daallo Airlines plane was due to fly to the northern Somali city of Hargeisa, then to Djibouti and Dubai. The airport is in one of the few areas controlled by the Somali government.

Much of the country is in the hands of radical Islamist groups, accused of links to al-Qaeda. 'Red-handed'

But this is the first time that an attempt to blow up a commercial flight in Somalia has been reported.

"We don't know whether he's linked with al-Qaeda or other foreign organisations, but his actions were the acts of a terrorist. We caught him red-handed," police spokesman Abdulahi Hassan Barise told the Associated Press news agency.

Despite the lack of law and order in Somalia, there are daily flights to neighbouring countries such as Djibouti and Kenya. The African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia works with the government on security in the Mogadishu airport.
US officials have learned about the Somali case and are investigating any possible links with the attempted attack in Detroit, AP reports.

Somalia has not had an effective national government for almost 20 years.

December 30, 2009

Complete document, with figures:

ETHIOPIA Food Security Alert December 30, 2009

Food security projected to deteriorate further in 2010

Poor performance of the June to September rains has resulted in below‐normal harvests inmeher‐cropping areas as well as poor water availability and pasture regeneration in northern pastoral zones.

This, combined with two consecutive poor belg cropping seasons (March‐May), high staple food prices, poor livestock production, and reduced agricultural wages, is expected to drive elevated food insecurity over the coming six months (Figures 1 and 2).

This follows high levels of food insecurity in 2009. Areas of particular concern are eastern marginal cropping areas in Tigray, Amhara, and Oromia, pastoral areas of Afar and northern and southeastern Somali region, Gambella region, and most low‐lying areas of southern and central SNNPR.

In most areas of the country, food insecurity during the first half of 2010 is projected to be significantly worse than during the same period in 2009 (Figures 3 and 4).

However, improved food aid distribution and trade flows, along with recent rainfall, will benefit pastoral populations in southern and eastern Somali region. Food security in eastern marginal cropping areas will likely deteriorate even further between July and September 2010. Overall, humanitarian assistance needs are expected to be very high.

Belai Habte-Jesus, MD, MPH
Global Strategic Enterprises, Inc. 4 Peace & Prosperity
Win-win synergestic Partnership 4P&P-focusing on
5Es: Education+Energy+Ecology+Economy+Enterprises;
V: 571.225.5736; C: 703.933.8737; F: 703.531.0545
Our Passion is to reach our Individual and Collective Potential

Monday, December 14, 2009

Peace and Security Speech by President Barack Obama at Oslo, Norway Nobel Peace Award

Global7 the new Millennial Renaissance Vision for the Globe

Dear Patriotic Global Citizens and Friends of African Union and Ethiopia

The Nobel Peace Award Receipient Speech at Oslo, Norway is considered the new Obama Doctrine of Peace and Security for the 21st Century.

A balancing act between War and Peace or a new understanding of the concept of Peace and Security where Peace is a pro-active and pre-emptive strategy of security and well being.

The timing, the audience and at last the perspective is critical for all peace loving people to understand as we are entering a new World Order which is now being cristalized after ten years of the end of the Cold War. In fact, the Cold War ended and a new World Order appears to be emerging.

There will be alternative agenda being drafted with the Global Climate Change and Global Economic Crisis, but the War and Peace efforts in terms of actual battle ground is now clearly defined.

Yet, the Economic and Ecologic battle ground is yet to be defined. The question is will it follow President's Obama unfolding Foreign Policy or will it be more guided by Preventing Poverty, terror and global ciimate change.

Time will tell, and yet we need to proactively seek improving situatioins for all of our where our individual and collective potential is realized always!

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 10, 2009 Remarks by the President at the Acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize
Oslo City Hall
Oslo, Norway

1:44 P.M. CET

THE PRESIDENT: Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses, distinguished members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, citizens of America, and citizens of the world:

I receive this honor with deep gratitude and great humility. It is an award that speaks to our highest aspirations -- that for all the cruelty and hardship of our world, we are not mere prisoners of fate. Our actions matter, and can bend history in the direction of justice.

And yet I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the considerable controversy that your generous decision has generated. (Laughter.) In part, this is because I am at the beginning, and not the end, of my labors on the world stage. Compared to some of the giants of history who've received this prize -- Schweitzer and King; Marshall and Mandela -- my accomplishments are slight.

And then there are the men and women around the world who have been jailed and beaten in the pursuit of justice; those who toil in humanitarian organizations to relieve suffering; the unrecognized millions whose quiet acts of courage and compassion inspire even the most hardened cynics. I cannot argue with those who find these men and women -- some known, some obscure to all but those they help -- to be far more deserving of this honor than I.

But perhaps the most profound issue surrounding my receipt of this prize is the fact that I am the Commander-in-Chief of the military of a nation in the midst of two wars. One of these wars is winding down. The other is a conflict that America did not seek; one in which we are joined by 42 other countries -- including Norway -- in an effort to defend ourselves and all nations from further attacks.

Still, we are at war, and I'm responsible for the deployment of thousands of young Americans to battle in a distant land. Some will kill, and some will be killed. And so I come here with an acute sense of the costs of armed conflict -- filled with difficult questions about the relationship between war and peace, and our effort to replace one with the other.

Now these questions are not new. War, in one form or another, appeared with the first man. At the dawn of history, its morality was not questioned; it was simply a fact, like drought or disease -- the manner in which tribes and then civilizations sought power and settled their differences.

And over time, as codes of law sought to control violence within groups, so did philosophers and clerics and statesmen seek to regulate the destructive power of war. The concept of a "just war" emerged, suggesting that war is justified only when certain conditions were met: if it is waged as a last resort or in self-defense; if the force used is proportional; and if, whenever possible, civilians are spared from violence.

Of course, we know that for most of history, this concept of "just war" was rarely observed. The capacity of human beings to think up new ways to kill one another proved inexhaustible, as did our capacity to exempt from mercy those who look different or pray to a different God.

Wars between armies gave way to wars between nations -- total wars in which the distinction between combatant and civilian became blurred. In the span of 30 years, such carnage would twice engulf this continent. And while it's hard to conceive of a cause more just than the defeat of the Third Reich and the Axis powers, World War II was a conflict in which the total number of civilians who died exceeded the number of soldiers who perished.

In the wake of such destruction, and with the advent of the nuclear age, it became clear to victor and vanquished alike that the world needed institutions to prevent another world war. And so, a quarter century after the United States Senate rejected the League of Nations -- an idea for which Woodrow Wilson received this prize -- America led the world in constructing an architecture to keep the peace: a Marshall Plan and a United Nations, mechanisms to govern the waging of war, treaties to protect human rights, prevent genocide, restrict the most dangerous weapons.

In many ways, these efforts succeeded. Yes, terrible wars have been fought, and atrocities committed. But there has been no Third World War. The Cold War ended with jubilant crowds dismantling a wall. Commerce has stitched much of the world together. Billions have been lifted from poverty. The ideals of liberty and self-determination, equality and the rule of law have haltingly advanced. We are the heirs of the fortitude and foresight of generations past, and it is a legacy for which my own country is rightfully proud.

And yet, a decade into a new century, this old architecture is buckling under the weight of new threats. The world may no longer shudder at the prospect of war between two nuclear superpowers, but proliferation may increase the risk of catastrophe. Terrorism has long been a tactic, but modern technology allows a few small men with outsized rage to murder innocents on a horrific scale.

Moreover, wars between nations have increasingly given way to wars within nations. The resurgence of ethnic or sectarian conflicts; the growth of secessionist movements, insurgencies, and failed states -- all these things have increasingly trapped civilians in unending chaos. In today's wars, many more civilians are killed than soldiers; the seeds of future conflict are sown, economies are wrecked, civil societies torn asunder, refugees amassed, children scarred.

I do not bring with me today a definitive solution to the problems of war. What I do know is that meeting these challenges will require the same vision, hard work, and persistence of those men and women who acted so boldly decades ago. And it will require us to think in new ways about the notions of just war and the imperatives of a just peace.

We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth: We will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations -- acting individually or in concert -- will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.

I make this statement mindful of what Martin Luther King Jr. said in this same ceremony years ago: "Violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones." As someone who stands here as a direct consequence of Dr. King's life work, I am living testimony to the moral force of non-violence. I know there's nothing weak -- nothing passive -- nothing naïve -- in the creed and lives of Gandhi and King.

But as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation, I cannot be guided by their examples alone. I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies.

Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism -- it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.

I raise this point, I begin with this point because in many countries there is a deep ambivalence about military action today, no matter what the cause. And at times, this is joined by a reflexive suspicion of America, the world's sole military superpower.

But the world must remember that it was not simply international institutions -- not just treaties and declarations -- that brought stability to a post-World War II world. Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this: The United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms.

The service and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform has promoted peace and prosperity from Germany to Korea, and enabled democracy to take hold in places like the Balkans. We have borne this burden not because we seek to impose our will. We have done so out of enlightened self-interest -- because we seek a better future for our children and grandchildren, and we believe that their lives will be better if others' children and grandchildren can live in freedom and prosperity.

So yes, the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace. And yet this truth must coexist with another -- that no matter how justified, war promises human tragedy. The soldier's courage and sacrifice is full of glory, expressing devotion to country, to cause, to comrades in arms. But war itself is never glorious, and we must never trumpet it as such.

So part of our challenge is reconciling these two seemingly inreconcilable truths -- that war is sometimes necessary, and war at some level is an expression of human folly. Concretely, we must direct our effort to the task that President Kennedy called for long ago. "Let us focus," he said, "on a more practical, more attainable peace, based not on a sudden revolution in human nature but on a gradual evolution in human institutions." A gradual evolution of human institutions.

What might this evolution look like? What might these practical steps be?

To begin with, I believe that all nations -- strong and weak alike -- must adhere to standards that govern the use of force. I -- like any head of state -- reserve the right to act unilaterally if necessary to defend my nation. Nevertheless, I am convinced that adhering to standards, international standards, strengthens those who do, and isolates and weakens those who don't.

The world rallied around America after the 9/11 attacks, and continues to support our efforts in Afghanistan, because of the horror of those senseless attacks and the recognized principle of self-defense. Likewise, the world recognized the need to confront Saddam Hussein when he invaded Kuwait -- a consensus that sent a clear message to all about the cost of aggression.

Furthermore, America -- in fact, no nation -- can insist that others follow the rules of the road if we refuse to follow them ourselves. For when we don't, our actions appear arbitrary and undercut the legitimacy of future interventions, no matter how justified.

And this becomes particularly important when the purpose of military action extends beyond self-defense or the defense of one nation against an aggressor. More and more, we all confront difficult questions about how to prevent the slaughter of civilians by their own government, or to stop a civil war whose violence and suffering can engulf an entire region.

I believe that force can be justified on humanitarian grounds, as it was in the Balkans, or in other places that have been scarred by war. Inaction tears at our conscience and can lead to more costly intervention later. That's why all responsible nations must embrace the role that militaries with a clear mandate can play to keep the peace.

America's commitment to global security will never waver. But in a world in which threats are more diffuse, and missions more complex, America cannot act alone. America alone cannot secure the peace. This is true in Afghanistan. This is true in failed states like Somalia, where terrorism and piracy is joined by famine and human suffering. And sadly, it will continue to be true in unstable regions for years to come.

The leaders and soldiers of NATO countries, and other friends and allies, demonstrate this truth through the capacity and courage they've shown in Afghanistan. But in many countries, there is a disconnect between the efforts of those who serve and the ambivalence of the broader public.

I understand why war is not popular, but I also know this: The belief that peace is desirable is rarely enough to achieve it. Peace requires responsibility. Peace entails sacrifice. That's why NATO continues to be indispensable. That's why we must strengthen U.N. and regional peacekeeping, and not leave the task to a few countries. That's why we honor those who return home from peacekeeping and training abroad to Oslo and Rome; to Ottawa and Sydney; to Dhaka and Kigali -- we honor them not as makers of war, but of wagers -- but as wagers of peace.

Let me make one final point about the use of force. Even as we make difficult decisions about going to war, we must also think clearly about how we fight it. The Nobel Committee recognized this truth in awarding its first prize for peace to Henry Dunant -- the founder of the Red Cross, and a driving force behind the Geneva Conventions.

Where force is necessary, we have a moral and strategic interest in binding ourselves to certain rules of conduct. And even as we confront a vicious adversary that abides by no rules, I believe the United States of America must remain a standard bearer in the conduct of war. That is what makes us different from those whom we fight. That is a source of our strength.

That is why I prohibited torture. That is why I ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed. And that is why I have reaffirmed America's commitment to abide by the Geneva Conventions. We lose ourselves when we compromise the very ideals that we fight to defend. (Applause.) And we honor -- we honor those ideals by upholding them not when it's easy, but when it is hard.

I have spoken at some length to the question that must weigh on our minds and our hearts as we choose to wage war. But let me now turn to our effort to avoid such tragic choices, and speak of three ways that we can build a just and lasting peace.

First, in dealing with those nations that break rules and laws, I believe that we must develop alternatives to violence that are tough enough to actually change behavior -- for if we want a lasting peace, then the words of the international community must mean something. Those regimes that break the rules must be held accountable. Sanctions must exact a real price. Intransigence must be met with increased pressure -- and such pressure exists only when the world stands together as one.

One urgent example is the effort to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons, and to seek a world without them. In the middle of the last century, nations agreed to be bound by a treaty whose bargain is clear: All will have access to peaceful nuclear power; those without nuclear weapons will forsake them; and those with nuclear weapons will work towards disarmament. I am committed to upholding this treaty. It is a centerpiece of my foreign policy. And I'm working with President Medvedev to reduce America and Russia's nuclear stockpiles.

But it is also incumbent upon all of us to insist that nations like Iran and North Korea do not game the system. Those who claim to respect international law cannot avert their eyes when those laws are flouted. Those who care for their own security cannot ignore the danger of an arms race in the Middle East or East Asia. Those who seek peace cannot stand idly by as nations arm themselves for nuclear war.

The same principle applies to those who violate international laws by brutalizing their own people. When there is genocide in Darfur, systematic rape in Congo, repression in Burma -- there must be consequences. Yes, there will be engagement; yes, there will be diplomacy -- but there must be consequences when those things fail. And the closer we stand together, the less likely we will be faced with the choice between armed intervention and complicity in oppression.

This brings me to a second point -- the nature of the peace that we seek. For peace is not merely the absence of visible conflict. Only a just peace based on the inherent rights and dignity of every individual can truly be lasting.

It was this insight that drove drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights after the Second World War. In the wake of devastation, they recognized that if human rights are not protected, peace is a hollow promise.

And yet too often, these words are ignored. For some countries, the failure to uphold human rights is excused by the false suggestion that these are somehow Western principles, foreign to local cultures or stages of a nation's development. And within America, there has long been a tension between those who describe themselves as realists or idealists -- a tension that suggests a stark choice between the narrow pursuit of interests or an endless campaign to impose our values around the world.

I reject these choices. I believe that peace is unstable where citizens are denied the right to speak freely or worship as they please; choose their own leaders or assemble without fear. Pent-up grievances fester, and the suppression of tribal and religious identity can lead to violence. We also know that the opposite is true. Only when Europe became free did it finally find peace. America has never fought a war against a democracy, and our closest friends are governments that protect the rights of their citizens. No matter how callously defined, neither America's interests -- nor the world's -- are served by the denial of human aspirations.

So even as we respect the unique culture and traditions of different countries, America will always be a voice for those aspirations that are universal. We will bear witness to the quiet dignity of reformers like Aung Sang Suu Kyi; to the bravery of Zimbabweans who cast their ballots in the face of beatings; to the hundreds of thousands who have marched silently through the streets of Iran.

It is telling that the leaders of these governments fear the aspirations of their own people more than the power of any other nation. And it is the responsibility of all free people and free nations to make clear that these movements -- these movements of hope and history -- they have us on their side.

Let me also say this: The promotion of human rights cannot be about exhortation alone. At times, it must be coupled with painstaking diplomacy. I know that engagement with repressive regimes lacks the satisfying purity of indignation. But I also know that sanctions without outreach -- condemnation without discussion -- can carry forward only a crippling status quo. No repressive regime can move down a new path unless it has the choice of an open door.

In light of the Cultural Revolution's horrors, Nixon's meeting with Mao appeared inexcusable -- and yet it surely helped set China on a path where millions of its citizens have been lifted from poverty and connected to open societies. Pope John Paul's engagement with Poland created space not just for the Catholic Church, but for labor leaders like Lech Walesa.

Ronald Reagan's efforts on arms control and embrace of perestroika not only improved relations with the Soviet Union, but empowered dissidents throughout Eastern Europe. There's no simple formula here. But we must try as best we can to balance isolation and engagement, pressure and incentives, so that human rights and dignity are advanced over time.

Third, a just peace includes not only civil and political rights -- it must encompass economic security and opportunity. For true peace is not just freedom from fear, but freedom from want.

It is undoubtedly true that development rarely takes root without security; it is also true that security does not exist where human beings do not have access to enough food, or clean water, or the medicine and shelter they need to survive. It does not exist where children can't aspire to a decent education or a job that supports a family. The absence of hope can rot a society from within.

And that's why helping farmers feed their own people -- or nations educate their children and care for the sick -- is not mere charity. It's also why the world must come together to confront climate change. There is little scientific dispute that if we do nothing, we will face more drought, more famine, more mass displacement -- all of which will fuel more conflict for decades. For this reason, it is not merely scientists and environmental activists who call for swift and forceful action -- it's military leaders in my own country and others who understand our common security hangs in the balance.

Agreements among nations. Strong institutions. Support for human rights. Investments in development. All these are vital ingredients in bringing about the evolution that President Kennedy spoke about. And yet, I do not believe that we will have the will, the determination, the staying power, to complete this work without something more -- and that's the continued expansion of our moral imagination; an insistence that there's something irreducible that we all share.

As the world grows smaller, you might think it would be easier for human beings to recognize how similar we are; to understand that we're all basically seeking the same things; that we all hope for the chance to live out our lives with some measure of happiness and fulfillment for ourselves and our families.

And yet somehow, given the dizzying pace of globalization, the cultural leveling of modernity, it perhaps comes as no surprise that people fear the loss of what they cherish in their particular identities -- their race, their tribe, and perhaps most powerfully their religion. In some places, this fear has led to conflict. At times, it even feels like we're moving backwards. We see it in the Middle East, as the conflict between Arabs and Jews seems to harden. We see it in nations that are torn asunder by tribal lines.

And most dangerously, we see it in the way that religion is used to justify the murder of innocents by those who have distorted and defiled the great religion of Islam, and who attacked my country from Afghanistan. These extremists are not the first to kill in the name of God; the cruelties of the Crusades are amply recorded. But they remind us that no Holy War can ever be a just war.

For if you truly believe that you are carrying out divine will, then there is no need for restraint -- no need to spare the pregnant mother, or the medic, or the Red Cross worker, or even a person of one's own faith. Such a warped view of religion is not just incompatible with the concept of peace, but I believe it's incompatible with the very purpose of faith -- for the one rule that lies at the heart of every major religion is that we do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

Adhering to this law of love has always been the core struggle of human nature. For we are fallible. We make mistakes, and fall victim to the temptations of pride, and power, and sometimes evil. Even those of us with the best of intentions will at times fail to right the wrongs before us.

But we do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected. We do not have to live in an idealized world to still reach for those ideals that will make it a better place. The non-violence practiced by men like Gandhi and King may not have been practical or possible in every circumstance, but the love that they preached -- their fundamental faith in human progress -- that must always be the North Star that guides us on our journey.

For if we lose that faith -- if we dismiss it as silly or naïve; if we divorce it from the decisions that we make on issues of war and peace -- then we lose what's best about humanity. We lose our sense of possibility. We lose our moral compass.

Like generations have before us, we must reject that future. As Dr. King said at this occasion so many years ago, "I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history. I refuse to accept the idea that the 'isness' of man's present condition makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal 'oughtness' that forever confronts him."

Let us reach for the world that ought to be -- that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls. (Applause.)

Somewhere today, in the here and now, in the world as it is, a soldier sees he's outgunned, but stands firm to keep the peace. Somewhere today, in this world, a young protestor awaits the brutality of her government, but has the courage to march on. Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty still takes the time to teach her child, scrapes together what few coins she has to send that child to school -- because she believes that a cruel world still has a place for that child's dreams.

Let us live by their example. We can acknowledge that oppression will always be with us, and still strive for justice. We can admit the intractability of depravation, and still strive for dignity. Clear-eyed, we can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace. We can do that -- for that is the story of human progress; that's the hope of all the world; and at this moment of challenge, that must be our work here on Earth.

Thank you very much. (Applause.)

2:20 P.M. CET
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Thursday, December 10, 2009

President BHO at Oslo Nobel Peace Award 10 Dec 2009

Global7 the new Millennial Renaissance Vision for the Globe,0,3952920.story

Obama accepts Nobel Peace Prize as he defends the need for war
Obama acknowledges the irony of receiving the prize as he orders a troop buildup in Afghanistan.

He lauds past winners' commitment to nonviolence but says he can't follow their examples alone.
By Christi Parsons

7:21 AM PST, December 10, 2009

Reporting from Oslo

President Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize here today, acknowledging the irony of winning it as a wartime president and calling his own accomplishments "slight" in comparison to past winners.

But in his speech to the Nobel Committee, Obama spoke of the concept of a "just war" and the pursuit of a "just peace," which he said sometimes depends on more than simply refraining from violence.

Lauding the commitment of past Nobel laureates to nonviolence, Obama said that, as a head of state and commander-in-chief of a military at war sworn to protect and defend his nation, he cannot follow their examples alone.

"I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people," Obama said. "For make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world. A nonviolent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince Al Qaeda's leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism - it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason."

With his remarks, delivered in the brief sunlight of the Norwegian winter's midday, Obama answered critics who complain that he was receiving the award before he has really done anything to achieve peace.

The award also comes just days after the president announced a military buildup in Afghanistan, a surge of 30,000 U.S. troops which the White House hopes will disable the terrorist headquarters in the region and bring the eight-year war to an end.

In presenting the award to Obama, Nobel Committee Chairman Thorbjorn Jagland argued that Obama has already changed the temperature in the international climate since he was sworn in in January, simply by insisting on negotiations and diplomacy first.

The committee didn't want to wait to voice its support for Obama's ideals, Jagland said, suggesting the award will help the president achieve his goals.

"It is now, today, we have the opportunity to support President Obama's ideas," said Jagland. "This year's prize is a call to action for all of us."

Obama accepted the award on those terms, calling his own accomplishments "slight" in comparison to past winners and others who he said deserve it more than he.

"Perhaps the most profound issue surrounding my receipt of this prize is the fact that I am the commander-in-chief of a nation in the midst of two wars," Obama said.

The war in Iraq is winding down, he said, and the one that he is ramping up in Afghanistan is one which the U.S. did not seek.

"Still, we are at war, and I am responsible for the deployment of thousands of young Americans to battle in a distant land," Obama said. "Some will kill. Some will be killed.

"And so I come here with an acute sense of the cost of armed conflict, filled with difficult questions about the relationship between war and peace, and our effort to replace one with the other," he said in a lecture delivered at Oslo City Hall.

Speaking before a large glass window, with the Oslo fjord visible behind him, the president praised the dignity of Burmese activist Aung Sang Suu Kyi, the bravery of Zimbabweans who insisted on the right to vote despite threat of violence and demonstrators who have marched against recent oppression in Iran.

"It is telling that the leaders of these governments fear the aspirations of their own people more than the power of any other nation," he said. "And it is the responsibility of all free people and free nations to make clear to these movements that hope and history are on their side."

But Obama also described a "just peace" as one that includes not only civil and political rights but also encompasses economic security and opportunity.

"For true peace is not just freedom from fear," he said, "but freedom from want."

Copyright © 2009, The Los Angeles Times