News / USA

Obama, Halfway Around the World, Has Message for Washington

President Barack Obama speaks at the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Soweto near Johannesburg, Dec. 10, 2013.
President Barack Obama speaks at the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela at the FNB Stadium in Soweto near Johannesburg, Dec. 10, 2013.
President Barack Obama traveled halfway around the world on Tuesday to deliver a message he hoped would be heard by his political opponents back home, and some U.S. rivals abroad.
Obama's speech at a rain-soaked soccer stadium in Johannesburg was perhaps the most electrifying moment of a day of remembrances about the life of Nelson Mandela, who died last Thursday at age 95.
Throughout his speech, Obama sprinkled references to his determination to work to reduce income inequality in the United States.
His appeal to people who embrace Mandela's life mission to actually live by it may have been directed toward his Republican opponents, who have sought to stymie his agenda on many fronts.
“There are too many of us who happily embrace Madiba's legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality,” Obama said, using Mandela's clan name.
Obama's brief trip to South Africa offered a respite from partisan battles in Washington over spending and, more recently, the botched rollout of his signature healthcare plan.
The troubles have weighed heavily on his presidency and contributed to a decline in his popularity among Americans, who now give him a 38 percent job approval rating, among the lowest of his five years in office.
While the U.S. economy is showing some signs of strength, the improvements are not trickling through to the middle class.
Obama wants the U.S. Congress to improve the plight of middle-class Americans by approving a higher minimum wage, more spending on education for children and an overhaul of immigration laws as ways to boost the American economy.
His appeals, however, are not gaining much traction among Republicans, who see his proposals as another way to increase the tax burden on Americans.
Obama also preached a broader message at the Mandela memorial.
Delivered before both Cuban President Raul Castro and Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao, his remarks could easily be construed as being directed at their governments and others with whom the United States has differences over human rights.
“Around the world today, men and women are still in prison for their political beliefs and are still persecuted for what they look like and how they worship and who they love. That is happening today,” he said.
“There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba's struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people.”
Promoting freedom and human rights and ending wars are difficult, he argued, but “South Africa shows us we can choose.”
“We can choose a world defined not by conflict, but by peace and justice and opportunity,” Obama said.

Watch the entire speech:

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Comment Sorting
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
December 10, 2013 9:37 PM
Despite I can understand less than half of his address due to my listenning capacity, it sounds like for me encouraging himself to determine again and to be able to carry out his policies as VOA implys. Equal opportunity, freedom, generousity, helping each other, no unilateral domination, seaking ideals. Good luck Obama !

by: Whistleblower from: District of Criminals
December 10, 2013 5:27 PM
Obama and his predecessor have flown on your dime to South Africa to attend the funeral of the former communist Nelson Mandela.

“President Barack Obama brought former President George W. Bush with him to Africa on Monday to attend a memorial for Nelson Mandela in a high-profile show of American respect for the man who vanquished white-minority rule in South Africa,” Reuters reports.

All part of the globalist club: Obama shakes hands with Raul Castro during the memorial service for Nelson Mandela.

Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter went along for the ride, but on separate flights.

“Obama kept his usual quarters in the front of the plane, while the medical unit cabin was transformed into the Bushes’ quarters for the flight. Clinton stayed in the senior staff cabin.”

Henri Le Riche estimates “Obama’s expected 10-minute speech at Nelson Mandela’s memorial will cost taxpayers at least $500,000 per minute.”

That’s not counting any cakes and coffee he and his inner circle consume aboard Air Force One during the 18,000-mile round trip to Johannesburg, via Dakar, in Senegal.

The 28-hour two-way flight will cost $5 million because the four-engined Boeing 747 costs roughly $180,000 an hour to operate, according to a May 2012 report by the Congressional Research Service.

The cost includes jet fuel and subsequent maintenance of the aircraft’s engines, electronics and hotel-class facilities.

Obama has been accompanied by the First Lady, Attorney General Eric Holder, national security advisor Susan Rice and confidante Valerie Jarrett.

In addition to Obama and his entourage aboard Air Force One, the government sent along the presidential security detail – armed guards, bullet-proof limos, and other equipment – on a far less luxurious C-17 cargo lifters based out of Andrews Air Force base. Cost: $23,811 per hour.

Obama’s trip is not merely ceremonial. The high profile event serves as a spectacular propaganda piece to highlight multiculturalism, the latest political control tool exploited by the establishment.

Incidentally, the ideological heirs to Mandela’s communism do not support Obama’s presence in South Africa.

A statement issued by the National Unions of Metalworkers of South Africa, the South African Communist Party, the Young Communist League of South Africa, the South African Students’ Congress, the Muslim Students’ Association, the National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union, the Congress of South African Trade Unions, the Friends of Cuba Society, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel in South Africa, and the World Federation of Trade Unions condemn the U.S. Public relations stunt.

“Our rejection is based the US’s arrogant, selfish and oppressive foreign policies, treatment of workers and international trade relations that are rooted in war-mongering, neo-liberal super-exploitation, colonial racism and the disregard and destruction of the environment, thus making the realization of a just and peaceful world impossible,” the statement declares.

The rejection is interesting considering the United States was instrumental in the effort to dismantle apartheid. The Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986, enacted by Congress, imposed sanctions that ultimately led to the release of Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners and the end of apartheid.

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