Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Obama to UN: America sucks, Israel sucks, but I'm great


By BEN FELLER, Associated Press Writer Ben Feller, Associated Press Writer – 6 mins ago

UNITED NATIONS – In a blunt challenge to his nation's critics, President Barack Obama on Wednesday exhorted world leaders who once accused the United States of acting alone to now join with him in solving global crises rather than wait for America to do it on its own.

In his first address to the U.N. General Assembly, Obama sought to set a new tone in U.S. relations, moving away from the unilateralism of his predecessor, George W. Bush. He coupled conciliatory words about a "new era of engagement" with a summons for other nations to shoulder more of the burden.

"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," Obama said.

"Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."

Obama said past policies and a perception of unilateralism by the United States had fed "an almost reflexive anti-Americanism" that too often was used as an excuse for inaction.

"The time has come for the world to move in a new direction," Obama said before a U.N. chamber packed with more than 100 of his global counterparts.

The president offered a litany of policy changes and actions his administration had undertaken during his first nine months in office, with the overarching message that the United States has no interest in a go-it-alone stance and instead wants to act as an equal partner with others on the world stage.

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