President Obama’s speech to the United Nations was well-received, at least by the world leaders and ambassadors assembled for the occasion. As The Wall Street Journal reported, Obama “sought to distance his country from the era of his White House predecessor, vowing that “America will live by its values” on human rights even as he said he would take to task the abuses and failures of allies and foes alike.”
“The U.S. president clearly tried to turn the page on the Bush era. He spoke of his decisions to ban the use of torture and close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The U.S., he said, has “moved from a bystander to a leader in international climate negotiations.” He pledged to soon seek the ratification of the Comprehensive nuclear Test Ban Treaty and pursue deep cuts to the U.S. nuclear arsenal…
As he spoke, the dramatics that had greeted some of the addresses of President George W. Bush were nowhere in evidence.
But Mr. Obama did call on the world to give up a “an almost reflexive anti-Americanism, which too often has served as an excuse for our collective inaction.”
“Those who used to chastise America for acting alone in the world cannot now stand by and wait for America to solve the world’s problems alone. We have sought — in word and deed — a new era of engagement with the world,” he said. “Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.”
Over the National Review’s Corner, however, the reviews were not so kind. Words such as “shameful,” “appalling,” “galactic obliviousness” and “staggering naivete” were being bandied about. Former UN Ambassador John Bolton called it “a post-American speech by our first post-American president.”
Here’s the text of the speech. Go read it yourself, and judge for yourself. Personally, I think the folks at the Corner have utterly lost it.