Prince George’s and Southern Maryland Going Out Guide, Sept. 25-Oct. 1, 2014   no comments

Posted at 1:35 am in the places I would like to go

3The Latin music quartet fuses Brazilian rhythms and contemporary jazz, with Leonardo Lucini on bass, Jeff Antoniuk on saxophone, Mauricio Zottarelli, pictured, on drums and César Orozco at the piano. Friday at 8 p.m. Montpelier Arts Center, 9652 Muirkirk Rd., Laurel. 301-377-7800. arts.pgparks.com. $25.

“The World as I See It” An exhibit of works by artists from the Arundel Lodge, a nonprofit organization that specializes in helping people with behavioral health disorders. Proceeds will benefit the artists and Hospice of the Chesapeake. Public reception Oct. 5, 2-4 p.m. Through Jan. 26. Gallery 90, Hospice of the Chesapeake, 90 Ritchie Hwy., Pasadena 443-837-1501, Ext. 1328. jboyer@hospicechesapeake.org. www.hospicechesapeake.org. Free, RSVP by Tuesday for reception.

“Curious George” A children’s musical theater show starring the popular storybook monkey. 10:15 a.m. and noon. Publick Playhouse, 5445 Landover Rd., Cheverly. 301-277-1710. arts.pgparks.com. $8.

The U.S. Air Force Orchestra In celebration of Arlington National Cemetery’s 150th anniversary, the orchestra performs “Courageous,” an original work by Virginia composer Stephen Melillio. Broadway and Metropolitan Opera star David Pittsinger performs the D.C. area premiere of Scott Eyerly’s “Arlington Sons,” which was written for Pittsinger and his son Richard. 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Bowie Center for the Performing Arts, 15200 Annapolis Rd., Bowie. 301-805-9566. www.bowiecenter.org. Free.

“Lend Me a Tenor” New Direction Community Theater presents the Tony Award-winning farce set in 1934 Cleveland. Friday-Saturday at 7 p.m. Long Beach Community Center, 5845 Calvert Blvd. 443-624-4484. www.ndctheater.org. $12; students, teachers and law enforcement $10.

Familiar Faces The go-go band performs an outdoor concert of original music with covers of R. Kelly, Raheem DeVaughn, Marsha Ambrosius and others. 7-9 p.m. National Harbor, 150 National Plaza, National Harbor. 877-628-5427. www.nationalharbor.com. Free.

The Cruisers The U.S. Navy band plays an outdoor concert of jazz, RB, rock and pop music. 7-9 p.m. La Plata Town Hall, 305 Queen Anne St., La Plata. 301-934-8421. www.townoflaplata.org. Free.

“Children of Eden” This biblical-themed children’s musical, staged by 2nd Star Productions, explores the sometimes tumultuous relationship between parent and child. Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m., Sunday at 3 p.m., through Oct. 25. Bowie Playhouse, 16500 White Marsh Park Dr., Bowie. 410-757-5700. www.2ndstarproductions.com. $22, seniors and students $19.

“Hamlet” Off the Quill stages an original spin on Shakespeare’s tragedy as Hamlet investigates the death of his father. Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Through Oct. 12. Greenbelt Arts Center, 123 Centerway, Greenbelt. 301-441-8770. www.greenbeltartscenter.org. $20; seniors, students and military $15; age 12 and younger $12.

Brazil Project The Latin music quartet fuses Brazilian rhythms and contemporary jazz, with Leonardo Lucini on bass, Jeff Antoniuk on saxophone, Mauricio Zottarelli on drums and César Orozco at the piano. 8 p.m. Montpelier Arts Center, 9652 Muirkirk Rd., Laurel. 301-377-7800. arts.pgparks.com. $25.

Hard Swimmin’ Fish The blues quartet blends country, urban, roots and funk music. 8-11 p.m. New Deal Cafe, 113 Centerway, Greenbelt. 301-474-5642. www.newdealcafe.com. Free.

Exploring Estuaries Day Celebrate the outdoors with canoe and pontoon boat rides, hike the boardwalk, learn about wading birds, make toy ducks out of cattails, sample wild rice and more. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, 1361 Wrighton Rd., Lothian. 410-741-9330. www.jugbay.org. $6 per vehicle.

Greenbelt Rhythm Drum Festival The second annual festival features multicultural drum classes and performances representing Japan, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. The daylong event will also feature two parades, stilt-walkers, Hula-Hoopers, jugglers, clowns and more family-friendly activities. 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Roosevelt Center, 113 Centerway, Greenbelt. www.greenbeltrhythmanddrumfestival.org. Free.

College Park Day Highlights of this year’s festival include performances by local musicians, aviation activities, a pet parade, Zumba, food trucks, a group bike ride and an artists’ alley. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. 5000 Paint Branch Pkwy., College Park. www.collegeparkday.org. Free.

RiverFest Visitors can explore waterways by kayak, listen to live music, meet live animals and more at the 10th annual event. In conjunction with the festival, the St. Maries Citty Militia will hold its Militia Muster featuring 17th-century soldier reenactments, practice drills, and mock battle and musket demonstrations. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Historic St. Mary’s City, 18751 Hogaboom Lane, St. Mary’s City. 240-895-4990. www.hsmcdigshistory.org. or smrwa.org/riverfest.html. Free.

Susan Jones Jazz Quartet An outdoor concert featuring Jones on electric violin with Tom Jones on drums, Pete Fields on guitar and Bob Abbott on bass. Noon-2 p.m. Lake Artemesia Natural Area, Berwyn Road and Balew Avenue, Berwyn Heights. 301-474-5000. www.berwyn-heights.com. Free.

Hispanic Heritage Celebration Observe National Hispanic Heritage Month with live music, traditional dance performances, arts and crafts, a health fair, food and other activities that celebrate Latino culture. 1-6 p.m. Mount Rainier Nature and Recreation Center, 4701 31st Pl., Mount Rainier. 301-927-2163. www.pgparks.com. Free.

“Aldo Leopold: A Standard of Change” Jim Pfitzer performs a one-man, one-act show exploring the life of author Aldo Leopold and the influences that led to his popular book “A Sand County Almanac.” For age 12 and older. 2 p.m. National Wildlife Visitor Center, Aldo Leopold Auditorium, 10901 Scarlet Tanager Loop, Laurel. 301-497-5887. patuxent.fws.gov. Free, donations welcome.

“Remembering Dick Cerri: A Celebration in Song” The World Folk Music Association presents this tribute to local radio personality Dick Cerri, who died in October 2013. Performers include Noel Paul Stookey, Tom Paxton, Mack Bailey and Modern Man. 7 p.m. Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Dekelboum Concert Hall, University of Maryland, Route 193 and Stadium Drive, College Park. 866-412-5943. www.wfma.net/con14.htm. $50-$90.

Black Masala The Wammie-winning band performs a mix of New Orleans jazz, Latin grooves and Appalachian twang. 8-11 p.m. New Deal Cafe, 113 Centerway, Greenbelt. 301-474-5642. www.newdealcafe.com. Free.

The Music of Motown The Brencore Allstar Band pays tribute to Motown with hits from top artists such as the Temptations, the Jackson 5, the Supremes and more. 8 p.m. Arts/Harmony Hall Regional Center, 10701 Livingston Rd., Fort Washington. 301-203-6070. arts.pgparks.com. $25, seniors and students $20.

Patsy’s Honky Tonk Torch Twang Patsy Stephens and the Hall Brothers perform a concert of classic country and honky tonk music. 8-11 p.m. American Legion Post 217, 9218 Baltimore Ave., College Park. 301-441-2783. www.blobsparksocialdanceclub.com. $10, cash only.

“Heavy Metal” Sculptor Harold Kyle displays his abstract works made from recycled metal found in local galleries. Reception 1-4 p.m., exhibit runs through Oct. 26. Mattawoman Creek Art Center, Smallwood State Park, Route 224, Marbury. 301-743-5159. www.mattawomanart.org. Free.

“The Mousetrap” Agatha Christie’s mystery follows a newlywed couple who open a guest house in the country that is the scene of a murder. Friday-Saturday at 8 p.m. Closes Sunday at 2 p.m. Laurel Mill Playhouse, 508 Main St., Laurel. 301-617-9906. www.laurelmillplayhouse.org. $20, seniors and students $15.

Riversdale Chamber Music Society Concert Series Live chamber music by University of Maryland faculty and students, as well as military musicians. 2:30 p.m. Riversdale House Museum, 4811 Riverdale Rd., Riverdale Park. 301-864-0420. history.pgparks.com. Free.

“An Evening of Jazz” A performance by the Ephriam Wolfolk Quartet. 4-6 p.m. Christ Episcopal Church, 8710 Old Branch Ave., Clinton. 301-868-1330. www.christchurchclinton.org. $15, age 17 and younger free.

The Nightingale Trio A folk music concert by the women’s vocal arts group. 6-8 p.m. New Deal Cafe, 113 Centerway, Greenbelt. 301-474-5642. www.newdealcafe.com. Free.

“We Are Samurai” A woman and her boyfriend set out to avenge the death of her cats in Daria Marinelli’s Japanese-theater-inspired tragedy. Thursday-Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m. Closes Sunday at 3 p.m. Venus Theatre, 21 C St., Laurel. 202-236-4078. www.venustheatre.org. $20.

“Steven Williams” Using acrylic paint, found objects and images on hardboard, Williams constructs paintings that draw from surrealism, 1950s sci-fi movies, and abstraction. Closes Sunday. Montpelier Arts Center, 9652 Muirkirk Rd., Laurel. 301-377-7800. arts.pgparks.com Free.

“Head Games: The Global Concussion Crisis” A screening of the documentary on head trauma and concussions, followed by a panel discussion with neurologist Harry Kerasidis, football coach Rick Sneade and Prince Frederick Eagle youth sports league President Billy Saunders. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Calvert Library, 850 Costley Way, Prince Frederick. 410-535-0291. 301-855-1862. www.calvert.lib.md.us. Free.

“Blazz: Works on Blues and Jazz by Ulysses Marshall” An exhibit of Marshall’s “paper doll”-style works that explores the historical relationship between blues and jazz as it relates to the African American experience. Closes Tuesday. Prince George’s African American Museum Cultural Center, 4519 Rhode Island Ave., Brentwood. 301-809-0440. www.pgaamcc.org. Free, donations welcome.

FrightFest 2014 The adventure park transforms into a Halloween playground with scary rides, street entertainment and more. Weekends through Nov. 1. Six Flags America, 13710 Central Ave., Upper Marlboro. 301-249-1500. www.sixflags.com. $34.99-$59.99.

Randy “Windtalker” Motz A multimedia concert of classical music on Native American-style flute, piano, cello, guitar, strings and percussion. 7-9 p.m. New Deal Cafe, 113 Centerway, Greenbelt. 301-474-5642. www.newdealcafe.com. Free.

— Compiled by Jillian S. Jarrett
from staff reports

Article source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/prince-georges-and-southern-maryland-going-out-guide-sept-25-oct-1-2014/2014/09/23/54203dca-3ea5-11e4-a430-b82a3e67b762_story.html

Written by enfoquec on September 25th, 2014

Tagged with , ,

Obama at UN to Muslim world: Do more to combat ISIL. Transcript – Chicago Sun   no comments

Posted at 1:35 am in the places I would like to go

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama called on the Muslim world to do more to combat terrorists during a speech before the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday.

Below, transcript from the White House….

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

_________________________________________________________________

For Immediate Release                         September 24, 2014

 

 

REMARKS BY PRESIDENT OBAMA

IN ADDRESS TO THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY

 

United Nations General Assembly Hall

New York City, New York

 

10:13 A.M. EDT

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen:  We come together at a crossroads between war and peace; between disorder and integration; between fear and hope.

 

Around the globe, there are signposts of progress.  The shadow of World War that existed at the founding of this institution has been lifted, and the prospect of war between major powers reduced.  The ranks of member states has more than tripled, and more people live under governments they elected. Hundreds of millions of human beings have been freed from the prison of poverty, with the proportion of those living in extreme poverty cut in half.  And the world economy continues to strengthen after the worst financial crisis of our lives. 

 

Today, whether you live in downtown Manhattan or in my grandmother’s village more than 200 miles from Nairobi, you can hold in your hand more information than the world’s greatest libraries.  Together, we’ve learned how to cure disease and harness the power of the wind and the sun.  The very existence of this institution is a unique achievement — the people of the world committing to resolve their differences peacefully, and to solve their problems together.  I often tell young people in the United States that despite the headlines, this is the best time in human history to be born, for you are more likely than ever before to be literate, to be healthy, to be free to pursue your dreams.

 

And yet there is a pervasive unease in our world — a sense that the very forces that have brought us together have created new dangers and made it difficult for any single nation to insulate itself from global forces.  As we gather here, an outbreak of Ebola overwhelms public health systems in West Africa and threatens to move rapidly across borders.  Russian aggression in Europe recalls the days when large nations trampled small ones in pursuit of territorial ambition.  The brutality of terrorists in Syria and Iraq forces us to look into the heart of darkness.

 

Each of these problems demands urgent attention.  But they are also symptoms of a broader problem — the failure of our international system to keep pace with an interconnected world. We, collectively, have not invested adequately in the public health capacity of developing countries.  Too often, we have failed to enforce international norms when it’s inconvenient to do so.  And we have not confronted forcefully enough the intolerance, sectarianism, and hopelessness that feeds violent extremism in too many parts of the globe.

 

Fellow delegates, we come together as united nations with a choice to make.  We can renew the international system that has enabled so much progress, or we can allow ourselves to be pulled back by an undertow of instability.  We can reaffirm our collective responsibility to confront global problems, or be swamped by more and more outbreaks of instability.  And for America, the choice is clear:  We choose hope over fear.  We see the future not as something out of our control, but as something we can shape for the better through concerted and collective effort.  We reject fatalism or cynicism when it comes to human affairs.  We choose to work for the world as it should be, as our children deserve it to be.

 

There is much that must be done to meet the test of this moment.  But today I’d like to focus on two defining questions at the root of so many of our challenges — whether the nations here today will be able to renew the purpose of the UN’s founding; and whether we will come together to reject the cancer of violent extremism.  

 

First, all of us — big nations and small — must meet our responsibility to observe and enforce international norms.  We are here because others realized that we gain more from cooperation than conquest.  One hundred years ago, a World War claimed the lives of many millions, proving that with the terrible power of modern weaponry, the cause of empire ultimately leads to the graveyard.  It would take another World War to roll back the forces of fascism, the notions of racial supremacy, and form this United Nations to ensure that no nation can subjugate its neighbors and claim their territory. 

 

Recently, Russia’s actions in Ukraine challenge this post-war order.  Here are the facts.  After the people of Ukraine mobilized popular protests and calls for reform, their corrupt president fled.  Against the will of the government in Kyiv, Crimea was annexed.  Russia poured arms into eastern Ukraine, fueling violent separatists and a conflict that has killed thousands.  When a civilian airliner was shot down from areas that these proxies controlled, they refused to allow access to the crash for days.  When Ukraine started to reassert control over its territory, Russia gave up the pretense of merely supporting the separatists, and moved troops across the border.

 

This is a vision of the world in which might makes right — a world in which one nation’s borders can be redrawn by another, and civilized people are not allowed to recover the remains of their loved ones because of the truth that might be revealed. America stands for something different.  We believe that right makes might — that bigger nations should not be able to bully smaller ones, and that people should be able to choose their own future.

 

And these are simple truths, but they must be defended. America and our allies will support the people of Ukraine as they develop their democracy and economy.  We will reinforce our NATO Allies and uphold our commitment to collective self-defense.  We will impose a cost on Russia for aggression, and we will counter falsehoods with the truth.  And we call upon others to join us on the right side of history — for while small gains can be won at the barrel of a gun, they will ultimately be turned back if enough voices support the freedom of nations and peoples to make their own decisions.

 

Moreover, a different path is available — the path of diplomacy and peace, and the ideals this institution is designed to uphold.  The recent cease-fire agreement in Ukraine offers an opening to achieve those objectives.  If Russia takes that path — a path that for stretches of the post-Cold War period resulted in prosperity for the Russian people — then we will lift our sanctions and welcome Russia’s role in addressing common challenges.  After all, that’s what the United States and Russia have been able to do in past years — from reducing our nuclear stockpiles to meeting our obligations under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, to cooperating to remove and destroy Syria’s declared chemical weapons.  And that’s the kind of cooperation we are prepared to pursue again — if Russia changes course. 

 

This speaks to a central question of our global age — whether we will solve our problems together, in a spirit of mutual interest and mutual respect, or whether we descend into the destructive rivalries of the past.  When nations find common ground, not simply based on power, but on principle, then we can make enormous progress.  And I stand before you today committed to investing American strength to working with all nations to address the problems we face in the 21st century.

 

As we speak, America is deploying our doctors and scientists — supported by our military — to help contain the outbreak of Ebola and pursue new treatments.  But we need a broader effort to stop a disease that could kill hundreds of thousands, inflict horrific suffering, destabilize economies, and move rapidly across borders.  It’s easy to see this as a distant problem — until it is not.  And that is why we will continue to mobilize other countries to join us in making concrete commitments, significant commitments to fight this outbreak, and enhance our system of global health security for the long term.

 

America is pursuing a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear issue, as part of our commitment to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and pursue the peace and security of a world without them.  And this can only take place if Iran seizes this historic opportunity.  My message to Iran’s leaders and people has been simple and consistent:  Do not let this opportunity pass.  We can reach a solution that meets your energy needs while assuring the world that your program is peaceful. 

 

America is and will continue to be a Pacific power, promoting peace, stability, and the free flow of commerce among nations.  But we will insist that all nations abide by the rules of the road, and resolve their territorial disputes peacefully, consistent with international law.  That’s how the Asia-Pacific has grown.  And that’s the only way to protect this progress going forward. 

 

America is committed to a development agenda that eradicates extreme poverty by 2030.  We will do our part to help people feed themselves, power their economies, and care for their sick.  If the world acts together, we can make sure that all of our children enjoy lives of opportunity and dignity. 

 

America is pursuing ambitious reductions in our carbon emissions, and we’ve increased our investments in clean energy. We will do our part, and help developing nations do theirs.  But the science tells us we can only succeed in combating climate change if we are joined in this effort by every other nation, by every major power.  That’s how we can protect this planet for our children and our grandchildren.

 

In other words, on issue after issue, we cannot rely on a rule book written for a different century.  If we lift our eyes beyond our borders — if we think globally and if we act cooperatively — we can shape the course of this century, as our predecessors shaped the post-World War II age.  But as we look to the future, one issue risks a cycle of conflict that could derail so much progress, and that is the cancer of violent extremism that has ravaged so many parts of the Muslim world.

 

Of course, terrorism is not new.  Speaking before this Assembly, President Kennedy put it well:  “Terror is not a new weapon,” he said.  “Throughout history it has been used by those who could not prevail, either by persuasion or example.”  In the 20th century, terror was used by all manner of groups who failed to come to power through public support.  But in this century, we have faced a more lethal and ideological brand of terrorists who have perverted one of the world’s great religions.  With access to technology that allows small groups to do great harm, they have embraced a nightmarish vision that would divide the world into adherents and infidels — killing as many innocent civilians as possible, employing the most brutal methods to intimidate people within their communities.

 

I have made it clear that America will not base our entire foreign policy on reacting to terrorism.  Instead, we’ve waged a focused campaign against al Qaeda and its associated forces — taking out their leaders, denying them the safe havens they rely on.  At the same time, we have reaffirmed again and again that the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam.  Islam teaches peace.  Muslims the world over aspire to live with dignity and a sense of justice.  And when it comes to America and Islam, there is no us and them, there is only us — because millions of Muslim Americans are part of the fabric of our country.

 

So we reject any suggestion of a clash of civilizations. Belief in permanent religious war is the misguided refuge of extremists who cannot build or create anything, and therefore peddle only fanaticism and hate.  And it is no exaggeration to say that humanity’s future depends on us uniting against those who would divide us along the fault lines of tribe or sect, race or religion.

 

But this is not simply a matter of words.  Collectively, we must take concrete steps to address the danger posed by religiously motivated fanatics, and the trends that fuel their recruitment.  Moreover, this campaign against extremism goes beyond a narrow security challenge.  For while we’ve degraded methodically core al Qaeda and supported a transition to a sovereign Afghan government, extremist ideology has shifted to other places — particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, where a quarter of young people have no job, where food and water could grow scarce, where corruption is rampant and sectarian conflicts have become increasingly hard to contain.  

 

As an international community, we must meet this challenge with a focus on four areas.  First, the terrorist group known as ISIL must be degraded and ultimately destroyed.

 

This group has terrorized all who they come across in Iraq and Syria.  Mothers, sisters, daughters have been subjected to rape as a weapon of war.  Innocent children have been gunned down.  Bodies have been dumped in mass graves.  Religious minorities have been starved to death.  In the most horrific crimes imaginable, innocent human beings have been beheaded, with videos of the atrocity distributed to shock the conscience of the world.

 

No God condones this terror.  No grievance justifies these actions.  There can be no reasoning — no negotiation — with this brand of evil.  The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force.  So the United States of America will work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death. 

 

In this effort, we do not act alone — nor do we intend to send U.S. troops to occupy foreign lands.  Instead, we will support Iraqis and Syrians fighting to reclaim their communities.  We will use our military might in a campaign of airstrikes to roll back ISIL.  We will train and equip forces fighting against these terrorists on the ground.  We will work to cut off their financing, and to stop the flow of fighters into and out of the region.  And already, over 40 nations have offered to join this coalition. 

 

Today, I ask the world to join in this effort.  Those who have joined ISIL should leave the battlefield while they can.  Those who continue to fight for a hateful cause will find they are increasingly alone.  For we will not succumb to threats, and we will demonstrate that the future belongs to those who build — not those who destroy.  So that’s an immediate challenge, the first challenge that we must meet.

 

The second:  It is time for the world — especially Muslim communities — to explicitly, forcefully, and consistently reject the ideology of organizations like al Qaeda and ISIL.

 

It is one of the tasks of all great religions to accommodate devout faith with a modern, multicultural world.  No children are born hating, and no children — anywhere — should be educated to hate other people.  There should be no more tolerance of so-called clerics who call upon people to harm innocents because they’re Jewish, or because they’re Christian, or because they’re Muslim.  It is time for a new compact among the civilized peoples of this world to eradicate war at its most fundamental source, and that is the corruption of young minds by violent ideology.

 

That means cutting off the funding that fuels this hate.  It’s time to end the hypocrisy of those who accumulate wealth through the global economy and then siphon funds to those who teach children to tear it down.

 

That means contesting the space that terrorists occupy, including the Internet and social media.  Their propaganda has coerced young people to travel abroad to fight their wars, and turned students — young people full of potential — into suicide bombers.  We must offer an alternative vision.

 

That means bringing people of different faiths together.  All religions have been attacked by extremists from within at some point, and all people of faith have a responsibility to lift up the value at the heart of all great religions:  Do unto thy neighbor as you would do — you would have done unto yourself.

 

The ideology of ISIL or al Qaeda or Boko Haram will wilt and die if it is consistently exposed and confronted and refuted in the light of day.  Look at the new Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies — Sheikh bin Bayyah described its purpose:  “We must declare war on war, so the outcome will be peace upon peace.”  Look at the young British Muslims who responded to terrorist propaganda by starting the “NotInMyName” campaign, declaring, “ISIS is hiding behind a false Islam.”  Look at the Christian and Muslim leaders who came together in the Central African Republic to reject violence; listen to the Imam who said, “Politics try to divide the religious in our country, but religion shouldn’t be a cause of hate, war, or strife.”

 

Later today, the Security Council will adopt a resolution that underscores the responsibility of states to counter violent extremism.  But resolutions must be followed by tangible commitments, so we’re accountable when we fall short.  Next year, we should all be prepared to announce the concrete steps that we have taken to counter extremist ideologies in our own countries — by getting intolerance out of schools, stopping radicalization before it spreads, and promoting institutions and programs that build new bridges of understanding.

 

Third, we must address the cycle of conflict — especially sectarian conflict — that creates the conditions that terrorists prey upon.

 

There is nothing new about wars within religions.  Christianity endured centuries of vicious sectarian conflict.  Today, it is violence within Muslim communities that has become the source of so much human misery.  It is time to acknowledge the destruction wrought by proxy wars and terror campaigns between Sunni and Shia across the Middle East.  And it is time that political, civic and religious leaders reject sectarian strife.  So let’s be clear:  This is a fight that no one is winning.  A brutal civil war in Syria has already killed nearly 200,000 people, displaced millions.  Iraq has come perilously close to plunging back into the abyss.  The conflict has created a fertile recruiting ground for terrorists who inevitably export this violence.

 

The good news is we also see signs that this tide could be reversed.  We have a new, inclusive government in Baghdad; a new Iraqi Prime Minister welcomed by his neighbors; Lebanese factions rejecting those who try to provoke war.  And these steps must be followed by a broader truce.  Nowhere is this more necessary than Syria. 

 

Together with our partners, America is training and equipping the Syrian opposition to be a counterweight to the terrorists of ISIL and the brutality of the Assad regime.  But the only lasting solution to Syria’s civil war is political — an inclusive political transition that responds to the legitimate aspirations of all Syrian citizens, regardless of ethnicity, regardless of creed.

 

Cynics may argue that such an outcome can never come to pass.  But there is no other way for this madness to end — whether one year from now or ten.  And it points to the fact that it’s time for a broader negotiation in the region in which major powers address their differences directly, honestly, and peacefully across the table from one another, rather than through gun-wielding proxies.  I can promise you America will remain engaged in the region, and we are prepared to engage in that effort.

 

My fourth and final point is a simple one:  The countries of the Arab and Muslim world must focus on the extraordinary potential of their people — especially the youth.

 

And here I’d like to speak directly to young people across the Muslim world.  You come from a great tradition that stands for education, not ignorance; innovation, not destruction; the dignity of life, not murder.  Those who call you away from this path are betraying this tradition, not defending it.

 

You have demonstrated that when young people have the tools to succeed — good schools, education in math and science, an economy that nurtures creativity and entrepreneurship — then societies will flourish.  So America will partner with those that promote that vision.

 

Where women are full participants in a country’s politics or economy, societies are more likely to succeed.  And that’s why we support the participation of women in parliaments and peace processes, schools and the economy.

 

If young people live in places where the only option is between the dictates of a state, or the lure of an extremist underground, then no counterterrorism strategy can succeed.  But where a genuine civil society is allowed to flourish — where people can express their views, and organize peacefully for a better life — then you dramatically expand the alternatives to terror.

 

And such positive change need not come at the expense of tradition and faith.  We see this in Iraq, where a young man started a library for his peers.  “We link Iraq’s heritage to their hearts,” he said, and “give them a reason to stay.”  We see it in Tunisia, where secular and Islamist parties worked together through a political process to produce a new constitution.  We see it in Senegal, where civil society thrives alongside a strong democratic government.  We see it in Malaysia, where vibrant entrepreneurship is propelling a former colony into the ranks of advanced economies.  And we see it in Indonesia, where what began as a violent transition has evolved into a genuine democracy.  

 

Now, ultimately, the task of rejecting sectarianism and rejecting extremism is a generational task — and a task for the people of the Middle East themselves.   No external power can bring about a transformation of hearts and minds.  But America will be a respectful and constructive partner.  We will neither tolerate terrorist safe havens, nor act as an occupying power.  We will take action against threats to our security and our allies, while building an architecture of counterterrorism cooperation.  We will increase efforts to lift up those who counter extremist ideologies and who seek to resolve sectarian conflict.  And we will expand our programs to support entrepreneurship and civil society, education and youth — because, ultimately, these investments are the best antidote to violence.

 

We recognize as well that leadership will be necessary to address the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis.  As bleak as the landscape appears, America will not give up on the pursuit of peace.  Understand, the situation in Iraq and Syria and Libya should cure anybody of the illusion that the Arab-Israeli conflict is the main source of problems in the region.  For far too long, that’s been used as an excuse to distract people from problems at home.  The violence engulfing the region today has made too many Israelis ready to abandon the hard work of peace.  And that’s something worthy of reflection within Israel.

 

Because let’s be clear:  The status quo in the West Bank and Gaza is not sustainable.  We cannot afford to turn away from this effort — not when rockets are fired at innocent Israelis, or the lives of so many Palestinian children are taken from us in Gaza. So long as I am President, we will stand up for the principle that Israelis, Palestinians, the region and the world will be more just and more safe with two states living side by side, in peace and security.

 

So this is what America is prepared to do:  Taking action against immediate threats, while pursuing a world in which the need for such action is diminished.  The United States will never shy away from defending our interests, but we will also not shy away from the promise of this institution and its Universal Declaration of Human Rights — the notion that peace is not merely the absence of war, but the presence of a better life. 

 

I realize that America’s critics will be quick to point out that at times we too have failed to live up to our ideals; that America has plenty of problems within its own borders.  This is true.  In a summer marked by instability in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, I know the world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri — where a young man was killed, and a community was divided.  So, yes, we have our own racial and ethnic tensions.  And like every country, we continually wrestle with how to reconcile the vast changes wrought by globalization and greater diversity with the traditions that we hold dear.

 

But we welcome the scrutiny of the world — because what you see in America is a country that has steadily worked to address our problems, to make our union more perfect, to bridge the divides that existed at the founding of this nation.  America is not the same as it was 100 years ago, or 50 years ago, or even a decade ago.  Because we fight for our ideals, and we are willing to criticize ourselves when we fall short.  Because we hold our leaders accountable, and insist on a free press and independent judiciary.  Because we address our differences in the open space of democracy — with respect for the rule of law; with a place for people of every race and every religion; and with an unyielding belief in the ability of individual men and women to change their communities and their circumstances and their countries for the better.

 

After nearly six years as President, I believe that this promise can help light the world.  Because I have seen a longing for positive change — for peace and for freedom and for opportunity and for the end to bigotry — in the eyes of young people who I’ve met around the globe.

 

They remind me that no matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, or what God you pray to, or who you love, there is something fundamental that we all share.  Eleanor Roosevelt, a champion of the UN and America’s role in it, once asked, “Where, after all, do universal human rights begin?  In small places,” she said, “close to home — so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world.  Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works.”

 

Around the world, young people are moving forward hungry for a better world.  Around the world, in small places, they’re overcoming hatred and bigotry and sectarianism.  And they’re learning to respect each other, despite differences. 

 

The people of the world now look to us, here, to be as decent, and as dignified, and as courageous as they are trying to be in their daily lives.  And at this crossroads, I can promise you that the United States of America will not be distracted or deterred from what must be done.  We are heirs to a proud legacy of freedom, and we’re prepared to do what is necessary to secure that legacy for generations to come.  I ask that you join us in this common mission, for today’s children and tomorrow’s.

 

Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

 

                                           END                10:52 A.M. EDT

 

 

Above, actual transcript of remarks….

Below, text from the White House…..

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

EMBARGOED FOR DELIVERY

September 24, 2014

 

 

Remarks As Prepared for Delivery by President Barack Obama

Address to the United Nations General Assembly

September 24, 2014

New York City, NY

 

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen: we come together at a crossroads between war and peace; between disorder and integration; between fear and hope.

 

Around the globe, there are signposts of progress. The shadow of World War that existed at the founding of this institution has been lifted; the prospect of war between major powers reduced. The ranks of member states has more than tripled, and more people live under governments they elected. Hundreds of millions of human beings have been freed from the prison of poverty, with the proportion of those living in extreme poverty cut in half.  And the world economy continues to strengthen after the worst financial crisis of our lives. 

 

Today, whether you live in downtown New York or in my grandmother’s village more than two hundred miles from Nairobi, you can hold in your hand more information than the world’s greatest libraries. Together, we have learned how to cure disease, and harness the power of the wind and sun. The very existence of this institution is a unique achievement – the people of the world committing to resolve their differences peacefully, and solve their problems together. I often tell young people in the United States that this is the best time in human history to be born, for you are more likely than ever before to be literate, to be healthy, and to be free to pursue your dreams.

 

And yet there is a pervasive unease in our world – a sense that the very forces that have brought us together have created new dangers, and made it difficult for any single nation to insulate itself from global forces. As we gather here, an outbreak of Ebola overwhelms public health systems in West Africa, and threatens to move rapidly across borders. Russian aggression in Europe recalls the days when large nations trampled small ones in pursuit of territorial ambition. The brutality of terrorists in Syria and Iraq forces us to look into the heart of darkness.

 

Each of these problems demands urgent attention. But they are also symptoms of a broader problem – the failure of our international system to keep pace with an interconnected world. We have not invested adequately in the public health capacity of developing countries. Too often, we have failed to enforce international norms when it’s inconvenient to do so. And we have not confronted forcefully enough the intolerance, sectarianism, and hopelessness that feeds violent extremism in too many parts of the globe.

 

Fellow delegates, we come together as United Nations with a choice to make. We can renew the international system that has enabled so much progress, or allow ourselves to be pulled back by an undertow of instability. We can reaffirm our collective responsibility to confront global problems, or be swamped by more and more outbreaks of instability. For America, the choice is clear. We choose hope over fear. We see the future not as something out of our control, but as something we can shape for the better through concerted and collective effort. We reject fatalism or cynicism when it comes to human affairs; we choose to work for the world as it should be, as our children deserve it to be.

 

There is much that must be done to meet the tests of this moment. But today I’d like to focus on two defining questions at the root of many of our challenges– whether the nations here today will be able to renew the purpose of the UN’s founding; and whether we will come together to reject the cancer of violent extremism.  

 

First, all of us – big nations and small – must meet our responsibility to observe and enforce international norms.

 

We are here because others realized that we gain more from cooperation than conquest. One hundred years ago, a World War claimed the lives of many millions, proving that with the terrible power of modern weaponry, the cause of empire leads to the graveyard. It would take another World War to roll back the forces of fascism and racial supremacy, and form this United Nations to ensure that no nation can subjugate its neighbors and claim their territory. 

 

Russia’s actions in Ukraine challenge this post-war order. Here are the facts. After the people of Ukraine mobilized popular protests and calls for reform, their corrupt President fled.  Against the will of the government in Kiev, Crimea was annexed. Russia poured arms into Eastern Ukraine, fueling violent separatists and a conflict that has killed thousands. When a civilian airliner was shot down from areas that these proxies controlled, they refused to allow access to the crash for days. When Ukraine started to reassert control over its territory, Russia gave up the pretense of merely supporting the separatists, and moved troops across the border.

 

This is a vision of the world in which might makes right – a world in which one nation’s borders can be redrawn by another, and civilized people are not allowed to recover the remains of their loved ones because of the truth that might be revealed. America stands for something different. We believe that right makes might – that bigger nations should not be able to bully smaller ones; that people should be able to choose their own future.

 

These are simple truths, but they must be defended. America and our allies will support the people of Ukraine as they develop their democracy and economy. We will reinforce our NATO allies, and uphold our commitment to collective defense. We will impose a cost on Russia for aggression, and counter falsehoods with the truth. We call upon others to join us on the right side of history – for while small gains can be won at the barrel of a gun, they will ultimately be turned back if enough voices support the freedom of nations and peoples to make their own decisions.

 

Moreover, a different path is available – the path of diplomacy and peace and the ideals this institution is designed to uphold. The recent cease-fire agreement in Ukraine offers an opening to achieve that objective. If Russia takes that path – a path that for stretches of the post-Cold War period resulted in prosperity for the Russian people – then we will lift our sanctions and welcome Russia’s role in addressing common challenges. That’s what the United States and Russia have been able to do in past years – from reducing our nuclear stockpiles to meet our obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, to cooperating to remove and destroy Syria’s declared chemical weapons. And that’s the kind of cooperation we are prepared to pursue again—if Russia changes course. 

 

This speaks to a central question of our global age: whether we will solve our problems together, in a spirit of mutual interests and mutual respect, or whether we descend into destructive rivalries of the past. When nations find common ground, not simply based on power, but on principle, then we can make enormous progress. And I stand before you today committed to investing American strength in working with nations to address the problems we face in the 21st century.

 

As we speak, America is deploying our doctors and scientists – supported by our military – to help contain the outbreak of Ebola and pursue new treatments. But we need a broader effort to stop a disease that could kill hundreds of thousands, inflict horrific suffering, destabilize economies, and move rapidly across borders. It’s easy to see this as a distant problem – until it isn’t. That is why we will continue mobilizing other countries to join us in making concrete commitments to fight this outbreak, and enhance global health security for the long-term.

 

America is pursuing a diplomatic resolution to the Iranian nuclear issue, as part of our commitment to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and pursue the peace and security of a world without them. This can only happen if Iran takes this historic opportunity. My message to Iran’s leaders and people is simple: do not let this opportunity pass. We can reach a solution that meets your energy needs while assuring the world that your program is peaceful. 

 

America is and will continue to be a Pacific power, promoting peace, stability, and the free flow of commerce among nations. But we will insist that all nations abide by the rules of the road, and resolve their territorial disputes peacefully, consistent with international law. That’s how the Asia-Pacific has grown. And that’s the only way to protect this progress going forward. 

 

America is committed to a development agenda that eradicates extreme poverty by 2030. We will do our part – to help people feed themselves; power their economies; and care for their sick. If the world acts together, we can make sure that all of our children can enjoy lives of opportunity and dignity 

 

America is pursuing ambitious reductions in our carbon emissions, and we have increased our investments in clean energy. We will do our part, and help developing nations to do theirs. But we can only succeed in combating climate change if we are joined in this effort by every major power. That’s how we can protect this planet for our children and grandchildren.

 

On issue after issue, we cannot rely on a rule-book written for a different century. If we lift our eyes beyond our borders – if we think globally and act cooperatively – we can shape the course of this century as our predecessors shaped the post-World War II age. But as we look to the future, one issue risks a cycle of conflict that could derail such progress: and that is the cancer of violent extremism that has ravaged so many parts of the Muslim world.

 

Of course, terrorism is not new. Speaking before this Assembly, President Kennedy put it well: “Terror is not a new weapon,” he said. “Throughout history it has been used by those who could not prevail, either by persuasion or example.” In the 20th century, terror was used by all manner of groups who failed to come to power through public support. But in this century, we have faced a more lethal and ideological brand of terrorists who have perverted one of the world’s great religions. With access to technology that allows small groups to do great harm, they have embraced a nightmarish vision that would divide the world into adherents and infidels – killing as many innocent civilians as possible; and employing the most brutal methods to intimidate people within their communities.

 

I have made it clear that America will not base our entire foreign policy on reacting to terrorism. Rather, we have waged a focused campaign against al Qaeda and its associated forces – taking out their leaders, and denying them the safe-havens they rely upon. At the same time, we have reaffirmed that the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam. Islam teaches peace. Muslims the world over aspire to live with dignity and a sense of justice. And when it comes to America and Islam, there is no us and them – there is only us, because millions of Muslim Americans are part of the fabric of our country.

 

So we reject any suggestion of a clash of civilizations. Belief in permanent religious war is the misguided refuge of extremists who cannot build or create anything, and therefore peddle only fanaticism and hate. And it is no exaggeration to say that humanity’s future depends on us uniting against those who would divide us along fault lines of tribe or sect; race or religion. 

 

This is not simply a matter of words. Collectively, we must take concrete steps to address the danger posed by religiously motivated fanatics, and the trends that fuel their recruitment. Moreover, this campaign against extremism goes beyond a narrow security challenge. For while we have methodically degraded core al Qaeda and supported a transition to a sovereign Afghan government, extremist ideology has shifted to other places – particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, where a quarter of young people have no job; food and water could grow scarce; corruption is rampant; and sectarian conflicts have become increasingly hard to contain.  

 

As an international community, we must meet this challenge with a focus on four areas.  First, the terrorist group known as ISIL must be degraded, and ultimately destroyed.

 

This group has terrorized all who they come across in Iraq and Syria. Mothers, sisters and daughters have been subjected to rape as a weapon of war. Innocent children have been gunned down. Bodies have been dumped in mass graves. Religious minorities have been starved to death. In the most horrific crimes imaginable, innocent human beings have been beheaded, with videos of the atrocity distributed to shock the conscience of the world.

 

No God condones this terror. No grievance justifies these actions. There can be no reasoning – no negotiation – with this brand of evil. The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force. So the United States of America will work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death. 

 

In this effort, we do not act alone. Nor do we intend to send U.S. troops to occupy foreign lands.  Instead, we will support Iraqis and Syrians fighting to reclaim their communities. We will use our military might in a campaign of air strikes to roll back ISIL. We will train and equip forces fighting against these terrorists on the ground. We will work to cut off their financing, and to stop the flow of fighters into and out of the region. Already, over 40 nations have offered to join this coalition. Today, I ask the world to join in this effort. Those who have joined ISIL should leave the battlefield while they can. Those who continue to fight for a hateful cause will find they are increasingly alone. For we will not succumb to threats; and we will demonstrate that the future belongs to those who build – not those who destroy. 

 

Second, it is time for the world – especially Muslim communities – to explicitly, forcefully, and consistently reject the ideology of al Qaeda and ISIL.

 

It is the task of all great religions to accommodate devout faith with a modern, multicultural world. No children – anywhere – should be educated to hate other people. There should be no more tolerance of so-called clerics who call upon people to harm innocents because they are Jewish, Christian or Muslim. It is time for a new compact among the civilized peoples of this world to eradicate war at its most fundamental source: the corruption of young minds by violent ideology.

 

That means cutting off the funding that fuels this hate. It’s time to end the hypocrisy of those who accumulate wealth through the global economy, and then siphon funds to those who teach children to tear it down.

 

That means contesting the space that terrorists occupy – including the Internet and social media. Their propaganda has coerced young people to travel abroad to fight their wars, and turned students into suicide bombers. We must offer an alternative vision.

 

That means bringing people of different faiths together. All religions have been attacked by extremists from within at some point, and all people of faith have a responsibility to lift up the value at the heart of all religion: do unto thy neighbor as you would have done unto you.

 

The ideology of ISIL or al Qaeda or Boko Haram will wilt and die if it is consistently exposed, confronted, and refuted in the light of day. Look at the new Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim Societies – Sheikh bin Bayyah described its purpose: “We must declare war on war, so the outcome will be peace upon peace.” Look at the young British Muslims, who responded to terrorist propaganda by starting the “notinmyname” campaign, declaring – “ISIS is hiding behind a false Islam.” Look at the Christian and Muslim leaders who came together in the Central African Republic to reject violence – listen to the Imam who said, “Politics try to divide the religious in our country, but religion shouldn’t be a cause of hate, war, or strife.”

 

Later today, the Security Council will adopt a resolution that underscores the responsibility of states to counter violent extremism. But resolutions must be followed by tangible commitments, so we’re accountable when we fall short.  Next year, we should all be prepared to announce the concrete steps that we have taken to counter extremist ideologies – by getting intolerance out of schools, stopping radicalization before it spreads, and promoting institutions and programs that build new bridges of understanding.

 

Third, we must address the cycle of conflict – especially sectarian conflict – that creates the conditions that terrorists prey upon.

 

There is nothing new about wars within religions. Christianity endured centuries of vicious sectarian conflict. Today, it is violence within Muslim communities that has become the source of so much human misery. It is time to acknowledge the destruction wrought by proxy wars and terror campaigns between Sunni and Shia across the Middle East. And it is time that political, civic and religious leaders reject sectarian strife. Let’s be clear: this is a fight that no one is winning. A brutal civil war in Syria has already killed nearly 200,000 people and displaced millions. Iraq has come perilously close to plunging back into the abyss. The conflict has created a fertile recruiting ground for terrorists who inevitably export this violence.

 

Yet, we also see signs that this tide could be reversed – a new, inclusive government in Baghdad; a new Iraqi Prime Minister welcomed by his neighbors; Lebanese factions rejecting those who try to provoke war. These steps must be followed by a broader truce. Nowhere is this more necessary than Syria. Together with our partners, America is training and equipping the Syrian opposition to be a counterweight to the terrorists of ISIL and the brutality of the Assad regime. But the only lasting solution to Syria’s civil war is political – an inclusive political transition that responds to the legitimate aspirations of all Syrian citizens, regardless of ethnicity or creed.

 

Cynics may argue that such an outcome can never come to pass. But there is no other way for this madness to end – whether one year from now or ten. Indeed, it’s time for a broader negotiation in which major powers address their differences directly, honestly, and peacefully across the table from one another, rather than through gun-wielding proxies. I can promise you America will remain engaged in the region, and we are prepared to engage in that effort.

 

My fourth and final point is a simple one: the countries of the Arab and Muslim world must focus on the extraordinary potential of their people – especially the youth.

 

Here I’d like to speak directly to young people across the Muslim world. You come from a great tradition that stands for education, not ignorance; innovation, not destruction; the dignity of life, not murder. Those who call you away from this path are betraying this tradition, not defending it.

 

You have demonstrated that when young people have the tools to succeed –good schools; education in math and science; an economy that nurtures creativity and entrepreneurship – then societies will flourish. So America will partner with those who promote that vision.

 

Where women are full participants in a country’s politics or economy, societies are more likely to succeed.  That’s why we support the participation of women in parliaments and in peace processes; in schools and the economy.

 

If young people live in places where the only option is between the dictates of a state, or the lure of an extremist underground – no counter-terrorism strategy can succeed. But where a genuine civil society is allowed to flourish – where people can express their views, and organize peacefully for a better life – then you dramatically expand the alternatives to terror.

 

Such positive change need not come at the expense of tradition and faith. We see this in Iraq, where a young man started a library for his peers. “We link Iraq’s heritage to their hearts,” he said, and “give them a reason to stay.” We see it in Tunisia, where secular and Islamist parties worked together through a political process to produce a new constitution. We see it in Senegal, where civil society thrives alongside a strong, democratic government. We see it in Malaysia, where vibrant entrepreneurship is propelling a former colony into the ranks of advanced economies. And we see it in Indonesia, where what began as a violent transition has evolved into a genuine democracy.  

 

Ultimately, the task of rejecting sectarianism and extremism is a generational task – a task for the people of the Middle East themselves. No external power can bring about a transformation of hearts and minds. But America will be a respectful and constructive partner. We will neither tolerate terrorist safe-havens, nor act as an occupying power. Instead, we will take action against threats to our security – and our allies – while building an architecture of counter-terrorism cooperation. We will increase efforts to lift up those who counter extremist ideology, and seek to resolve sectarian conflict. And we will expand our programs to support entrepreneurship, civil society, education and youth – because, ultimately, these investments are the best antidote to violence.

 

Leadership will also be necessary to address the conflict between Palestinians and Israelis. As bleak as the landscape appears, America will never give up the pursuit of peace. The situation in Iraq, Syria and Libya should cure anyone of the illusion that this conflict is the main source of problems in the region; for far too long, it has been used in part as a way to distract people from problems at home. And the violence engulfing the region today has made too many Israelis ready to abandon the hard work of peace. But let’s be clear: the status quo in the West Bank and Gaza is not sustainable. We cannot afford to turn away from this effort – not when rockets are fired at innocent Israelis, or the lives of so many Palestinian children are taken from us in Gaza. So long as I am President, we will stand up for the principle that Israelis, Palestinians, the region, and the world will be more just with two states living side by side, in peace and security.

 

This is what America is prepared to do – taking action against immediate threats, while pursuing a world in which the need for such action is diminished. The United States will never shy away from defending our interests, but nor will we shrink from the promise of this institution and its Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the notion that peace is not merely the absence of war, but the presence of a better life. 

 

I realize that America’s critics will be quick to point out that at times we too have failed to live up to our ideals; that America has plenty of problems within our own borders. This is true. In a summer marked by instability in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, I know the world also took notice of the small American city of Ferguson, Missouri – where a young man was killed, and a community was divided. So yes, we have our own racial and ethnic tensions. And like every country, we continually wrestle with how to reconcile the vast changes wrought by globalization and greater diversity with the traditions that we hold dear.

 

But we welcome the scrutiny of the world – because what you see in America is a country that has steadily worked to address our problems and make our union more perfect. America is not the same as it was 100 years ago, 50 years ago, or even a decade ago. Because we fight for our ideals, and are willing to criticize ourselves when we fall short. Because we hold our leaders accountable, and insist on a free press and independent judiciary.  Because we address our differences in the open space of democracy – with respect for the rule of law; with a place for people of every race and religion; and with an unyielding belief in the ability of individual men and women to change their communities and countries for the better. 

 

After nearly six years as President, I believe that this promise can help light the world. Because I’ve seen a longing for positive change – for peace and freedom and opportunity – in the eyes of young people I’ve met around the globe. They remind me that no matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, or what God you pray to, or who you love, there is something fundamental that we all share. Eleanor Roosevelt, a champion of the UN and America’s role in it, once asked, “Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places,” she said, “close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works.”

 

The people of the world look to us, here, to be as decent, as dignified, and as courageous as they are in their daily lives. And at this crossroads, I can promise you that the United States of America will not be distracted or deterred from what must be done. We are heirs to a proud legacy of freedom, and we are prepared to do what is necessary to secure that legacy for generations to come. Join us in this common mission, for today’s children and tomorrow’s.

 

Article source: http://politics.suntimes.com/article/washington/obama-un-muslim-world-do-more-combat-isil-transcript/wed-09242014-1057am

Written by enfoquec on September 25th, 2014

Tagged with , ,

GONZALEZ: Taxpayer-funded indoctrination a…   no comments

Posted at 1:18 am in the places I would like to go

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Nearly all parents (94 percent) surveyed by Pew Research three years ago said they wanted their children to go to university.



SEE ALSO: Fears mount that the Islamic State is plotting terror strike in Jordan


But they might not be so anxious to send the kids to campus if they knew everything that gets taught on campus. Last week, for example, 10 major Jewish groups released a series of reports which charged that foreign policy programs at many universities are themselves contributing to a rise in anti-Semitism.

You don’t have to fork over tuition to be paying for what passes for foreign affairs instruction at our colleges and universities. Under Title VI of the Higher Education Act, all taxpayers directly subsidize university indoctrination of our children. Title VI includes 10 programs that fund instruction in languages and areas of the world that could one day become hot spots. Most of the $97.5 million that taxpayers spent in 2010 on Title VI programs went to 125 National Resource Centers at universities across the country and to Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships.

What do we get for these various taxpayer investments? College graduates, on average, tend to do better in life than those without a college diploma. The last recession punished people without a diploma far more harshly than those with one, for example. This no doubt accounts for the fact that 86 percent of college graduates told Pew that college had been “a good investment for them personally.”

But are the Title VI programs producing graduates equipped to deal wisely with foreign policy challenges facing America? Consider the present messes in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Russia, Central America, Venezuela and elsewhere. Academics who teach about these areas have become increasingly doctrinaire over the years, and their departments allow little or no dissent from the orthodoxy, which is usually leftist and inimical to U.S. interests.

They influence foreign policy through many ways: by instructing future practitioners, by filling government posts, and as media contributors and political advisers. Many of these professors have become activists on the side. The impact is not always positive.

For example, ahead of the 2009 presidential election in El Salvador, Latin American academics in the U.S. pressured the then-young Obama Administration to not criticize the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, a Marxist guerrilla group turned political party. With Washington on the sidelines, the FMLN’s Mauricio Funes went on to win the presidency.

The FMLN is neither pro-American nor a bunch of nice guys. It has been linked to drug cartels, gangs and even the Italian Mafia. Its present leader, President Salvador Sanchez Ceren, celebrated the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks by leading a mob that torched an American flag.

The FMLN government’s misrule is intricately linked to thousands of Salvadoran and other Central American kids turning up at our border this year seeking asylum. And yes, the academics who rose to their defense were instrumental in getting them elected — at least this was the verdict of the leftist Council on Hemispheric Affairs, which observed at the time that the Obama Administration had caved in to the academics and that “White House support was likely integral to Funes’ victory in a country where U.S. opinion is held in high regard.”

Latin American area specialists at our universities are notoriously left-wing. But they are outshone on that score by Middle East area specialists. The 10 Jewish groups mentioned above argue that Middle East Study centers have fueled anti-Semitism. One study showed that 84 percent of the speakers at UCLA’s Middle East studies center had engaged in anti-Semitic activity.

The groups did not call outright for the elimination of Title VI, only called for the U.S. Congress to exercise adult supervision over these taxpayer-funded programs. But these programs are not serving U.S. interests. Title VI — and the funding that enables these programs — should be eliminated.

Mike Gonzalez, a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation (heritage.org), is the author of the new book “A Race for the Future: How Conservatives Can Break the Liberal Monopoly on Hispanic Americans.”

Article source: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/sep/22/gonzales-taxpayer-funded-indoctrination-at-college/

Written by enfoquec on September 23rd, 2014

Tagged with , ,

Cabinet postpones decision on controversial route of West Bank barrier   no comments

Posted at 1:18 am in the places I would like to go

thank you

Your talkback has been submitted successfully.
If selected for publication, it will appear as soon as possible on Haaretz.com.

Reply again

Article source: http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.617201

Written by enfoquec on September 23rd, 2014

Tagged with , ,

Anthropogenic global warming threatens world cultural heritage   no comments

Posted at 1:18 am in the places I would like to go

In 1972, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) adopted a convention in order to identify and protect sites of exceptional importance to the common heritage of humankind. This initiative went back to the late 1950s when Egypt decided to build the Assouan dam along the Nile River. Such a project would have had the consequence of flooding the Abu Simbel and Philae temples of the ancient Egyptian civilization, a dramatic loss for humanity. Under the auspices of UNESCO, about 50 countries joined together to take apart, move and put back piece by piece the temples in a more secure location. The 1972 UNESCO convention established a number of criteria to protect against damage and destruction sites having archaeological, historical, architectural, environmental or physical interest. Such sites are considered as the common heritage of human beings and reflect the Earth and humanity history. Today, about 980 properties are inscribed on the world heritage list – 760 of which are cultural. The worldwide distribution of cultural sites is far from being random. This is not surprising as most of them are located at places where ancient civilizations started to develop in the beginning of the Holocene. An important concentration of UNESCO sites is observed in the Middle East and all around the Mediterranean Sea. It is indeed in the Middle East that the first permanent settlements of human societies developed during the Bronze and Iron ages, in the 4th millennium BC. Besides, the Mediterranean region was the cradle of Egyptian, Phoenician, Greek and Roman civilizations that left us with so many archaeological masterpieces. Between the 3rd and 2nd millennium BC, highly developed civilizations also developed in Asia, in particular in the Indus Valley and in China where many cultural sites are located.


Figure 1

Considerable interest exists nowadays for these archaeological and historical treasures. These are unique witnesses of humankind cultural history. In recent years, some of these sites have become in danger or were damaged by modern societies, e.g. the Timbuktu cultural site in Mali or the Buddha statues of the Bamiyan Valley in Afghanistan. But other threats hang over sites located in low-lying coastal areas because of future sea-level rise in response to anthropogenic global warming.

In a recent study, Marzeion and Levermann (2014) investigated how many cultural world heritage sites will be affected by sea-level rise over the next 2000 years. Building on a previous study by Levermann et al. (2013), they computed the sea-level elevation expected as a function of global mean temperature increase above pre-industrial values in the coming two millennia. An important aspect of their work is to account for the regional variability that superimposes the global mean rise. In a warming climate, sea-level rise is not expected to be uniform. In effect, different factors, e.g. non-uniform ocean warming, changes in salinity of sea waters and deformations of ocean basins due to the viscous/elastic response of the solid Earth to past and future land ice melt, as well as changes in mutual gravitational attraction between ice/water loads, produce regional sea-level variations that in most instances, significantly amplify the global mean rise. Regional sea-level variations are currently observed by altimeter satellites. Climate models project that by 2100, a large proportion (75%) of the world coastlines will suffer local sea-level rise significantly higher than the global mean (IPCC, 2013). Regional sea-level variability will be also the norm on much longer time scales, with strong negative impacts on population, infrastructures and goods.

The study by Marzeion and Levermann is the first to address the impact of future regional sea-level rise on world cultural heritage sites. It shows that for a temperature elevation between 2K and 3K above pre-industrial, a substantial number of cultural sites will be damaged or even totally flooded within the next few centuries/millennia, especially in China and India. But south-east Asia, Japan, the United States of America and Egypt will also be impacted.

Another interesting aspect of Marzeion and Levermann’s study was to determine future sea-level rise impact on coastal boundaries of the world’s countries and on population. They assumed that the present distribution of the world population represents an indicator of locations where future cultural centres may develop in the coming centuries. They show that for a temperature increase of 3K, coastal land loss (hence potential future cultural world heritage) will affect between 5% and 9% of the global population, China, India and south-east Asia being the most affected regions. Thus, this study not only identifies which existing cultural heritage sites will be negatively affected by continuing global warming and associated sea-level rise, but also the potential sites, not yet existing but having a high probability to develop in the future.

Because of natural sea-level rise since the end the last glacial maximum (20,000 years ago), some prehistoric paintings of the Cosquer cave (dated –27,000 years to –19,000 years) have been definitely lost. The cave discovered in 1991, is located at the French Mediterranean coast and is now partially flooded (its entrance is 37 m below sea level; see figure 1, Clottes and Courtin 1994). To avoid similar dramatic situations, cultural sites built during the last six millennia of human history need to be protected for the next generations. Marzeion and Levermann’s inventory of the most vulnerable world heritage sites under anthropogenic sea-level rise is a precious piece of information and a first step towards safeguard and protection. Moreover, identification of future permanently flooded coastal zones should allow adapted strategies for developing in the future, new cultural properties in non-risky locations.

For references see Anthropogenic global warming threatens world cultural heritage at environmentalresearchweb‘s sister journal ERL.

Article source: http://environmentalresearchweb.org/cws/article/opinion/58657

Written by enfoquec on September 23rd, 2014

Tagged with , ,

Jihadists, looters threaten ancient sites in Iraq, Syria   no comments

Posted at 1:04 am in the places I would like to go

BAGHDAD: For more than 5,000 years, numerous civilizations have left their mark on upper Mesopotamia – from Assyrians and Akkadians to Babylonians and Romans. Their ancient, buried cities, palaces and temples packed with monumental art are scattered across what is now northern Iraq and eastern Syria. Now much of that archaeological wealth is under the control of extremists from ISIS. The militants have demolished some artifacts in their zealotry to uproot what they see as heresy, but they are also profiting from it, hacking relics off palace walls or digging them out to sell on the international black market.

Antiquities officials in Iraq and Syria warn of a disaster as the region’s history is erased.

In Iraq, black market dealers are coming into areas controlled by ISIS or in safe regions nearby to snap up items, said Qais Hussein Rashid, head of the state-run Museums Department, citing reports from local antiquities officials still in the area.

When the militants overran the northern city of Mosul and surrounding Ninevah province in June, they captured a region were nearly 1,800 of Iraq’s 12,000 registered archaeological sites are located. They snapped up even more as they pushed south toward Baghdad.

Among the most important sites under their control are four ancient cities – Ninevah, Kalhu, Dur Sharrukin and Ashur – which were at different times the capital of the mighty Assyrian Empire. The Assyrians first arose around 2500 B.C. and at one point ruled over a realm stretching from the Mediterranean coast to Iran.

The heaviest damage confirmed so far has taken place in the grand palace at Kalhu, from which Assyrian King Ashurnasirpal II reigned in the 9th century B.C., Rashid said. The palace walls are lined with reliefs describing the king’s military campaigns and conquests or depicting him hunting lions or making sacrifices to the gods.

“They are cutting these reliefs into small parts and selling them,” Rashid continued. “They don’t need to excavate. They just need a chain saw to cut the king’s head or legs if they want.”

Recently they carved off a relief depicting a winged demon holding a sacred plant and sold it abroad, he said. “It is now beyond borders.”

Authorities fear other sites will soon face destruction, including Mosul’s city museum, which has rare collections of Assyrian artifacts, and the 2,300-year-old city of Hatra, a well-preserved complex of temples further south. From both locations, militants ordered out antiquities officials, chastising them for protecting “idols,” Rashid said.

So far, it appears the militants have not done anything with the artifacts at the sites because they are awaiting instructions from their religious authorities, he said.

ISIS militants seek to purge society of everything that doesn’t conform with their strict, puritanical version of Islam. That means destroying not only relics seen as pagan but even some Islamic sites – Sunni shrines they see as idolatrous, as well as mosques used by Shiites, a branch of Islam they consider heretical.

In and around Mosul, the militants destroyed at least 30 historic sites, including the mosque shrines of the prophets Seth, Jirjis and Jonah. The shrines were centuries old in many cases.

But their extremist ideology doesn’t prevent them from also profiting from the sale of ancient artifacts, either by selling them themselves or taking a cut from thieves who are increasingly active in looting sites.

The shrine of Jonah was built on top of an unexcavated palace in the ancient Assyrian capital of Ninevah. After blowing up the mosque, thieves burrowed underneath and are believed to have taken artifacts, said Rashid, citing reports from local antiquities officials who remain in Mosul.

It is unclear how much the militants are earning from antiquities. U.S. intelligence officials said ISIS rakes in more than $3 million a day from multiple sources, including smuggling of oil and antiquities, human trafficking, extortion of businessmen, ransoms and outright theft. The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss classified assessments, said the militants sell goods through smuggling networks in the Kurdish region, Turkey and Jordan.

In civil war-torn Syria, looting of archaeological sites is believed to have increased tenfold since early 2013 because of the country’s chaos, said Maamoun Abdel-Karim, Syria’s director general of antiquities and museums. The past year, the ISIS has overrun most of the east, putting a string of major archaeological sites in their hands.

In one known case, they have demolished relics as part of their purge of paganism, destroying several Assyrian-era statues looted from a site known as Tell Ajaja, Abdel-Karim said. Photos posted online showed the gunmen using hammers to break apart the statues of bearded figures.

More often, the extremists seem to have latched onto the antiquities trade. For example, the 2,300-year-old city of Dura Europos is being pillaged. The site is in a cliff overlooking the Euphrates near the Iraq border in an area under the control of ISIS; satellite imagery taken in April show it pockmarked with holes from illegal digs by antiquity-seekers.

Images showed hundreds of people excavating on some days from dawn to nightfall, with gunmen and gangs involved, Abdel-Karim said. Dealers are at the site and “when they discover an artifact, the sale takes place immediately,” he said. “They are destroying entire pages of Syrian history.”

Dura Europos is remarkably well-preserved cultural crossroads, a city first founded by Alexander the Great’s successors and later ruled by Romans and various Persian empires. It boasts pagan temples, churches and one of the earliest known Jewish synagogues. Archaeologists in 2009 found likely evidence of an early use of chemical warfare: During a 2nd century siege, Persian attackers dug tunnels under the city walls and set fires that poured poisonous sulfur-laced fumes on the Roman defenders above.

Alarmed by the militants’ advance, UNESCO adopted an emergency plan to safeguard Iraq’s cultural heritage.

It called on art dealers and museums not to deal with Iraqi artifacts and alerted neighboring countries of potential smuggling.

“We are very, very, very concerned that the situation could be aggravated in a way that causes more and more damage,” Nada al-Hassan, of the UNESCO World Heritage Center, told the Associated Press.

Article source: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Sep-20/271294-jihadists-looters-threaten-ancient-sites-in-iraq-syria.ashx

Written by enfoquec on September 21st, 2014

Tagged with , ,

One of Oldest Known Synagogues Seized by ISIS in Syria   no comments

Posted at 1:04 am in the places I would like to go

Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists not only threaten the current Middle East – according to antiquities officials in Iraq and Syria, the terror group threatens to erase 5,000 years of history and relics in upper Mesopotamia, including one of the earliest Jewish synagogues.

Much of northern Iraq and eastern Syria, which is rich in the archaeological remains of numerous ancient civilizations, is now under the iron fist of ISIS which has been destroying pagan idols as well as selling relics on the international black market to raise funds, reports Associated Press (AP).

Syrian Director-General of Antiquities and Museums Maamoun Abdulkarim says looting from archaeological sites in the country has gone up tenfold since early 2013, with ISIS seizing numerous important ancient sites.

Aside from destroying pagan statues from the Assyrian period in Tell Ajaja, Abdulkarim noted the 2,300-year-old city of Dura Europos has come in for particularly intense looting.

The ancient city lies near the Iraqi border on a cliff overlooking the Euphrates River, and has fallen into ISIS hands; satellite imagery from April shows numerous holes from looter digs littering the site.

Images show hundreds of people, including gunmen, taking part in the excavations from dawn until night in many cases. Abdulkarim notes dealers are present, and “when they discover an artifact, the sale takes place immediately. They are destroying entire pages of Syrian history.”

One of the earliest known Jewish synagogues is located at Dura Europos along with numerous pagan temples and churches, making the digging particularly troubling.

The fate of the synagogue, which was discovered in 1932 and dated by an Aramaic inscription to 244 CE, remains unknown.

Meanwhile in Iraq Qais Hussein Rashid, head of the country’s Museums Department, reveals that ISIS captured 1,800 of Iraq’s 12,000 registered archaeological sites when they seized the northern city of Mosul and Ninevah province in June. They have since captured even more as they pushed south to Baghdad.

ISIS has control of four ancient cities, Ninevah, Kalhu, Dur Sharrukin and Ashura, which were capitals of the Assyrian Empire that arose around 2,500 BCE. In Kalhu, reliefs in the grand palace of Assyrian King Ashurnasirpal II from the 9th century BCE have been heavily looted to be sold on the black market.

Other casualties of the brutal Islamic group in the Mosul area were the tombs of the Jewish Biblical prophets Jonah and Daniel in July; Jonah’s tomb reportedly dated from the 8th century BCE.

After destroying Jonah’s tomb, thieves are thought to have dug into an unexcavated palace in Ninevah that was located underneath the tomb, according to Rashid who cited local antiquities officials still in Mosul.

The UN’s cultural agency UNESCO has been taking steps to try and guard Iraq’s relics, with Nada al-Hassan of UNESCO’s World Heritage Center telling AP “we are very, very, very concerned that the situation could be aggravated in a way that causes more and more damage.”

Article source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/185308

Written by enfoquec on September 21st, 2014

Tagged with , ,