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Obama's global punch at United Nations general assembly

HERB BOYD Special to the AmNews | 4/11/2013, 4:21 p.m.
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Furthermore, there was a particularly sharp passage for Syria's leader, Bashar al-Assad, demanding that his regime cease its attacks on the Syrian people and allow "a new dawn to begin."

Other important global regions were also addressed, and he noted that the war in Iraq is over and how American troops have come home. "We have begun a transition in Afghanistan, and America and our allies will end our war on schedule in 2014. Al Qaeda has been weakened and Osama bin Laden is no more. Nations have come together to lock down nuclear materials, and America and Russia are reducing our arsenals," he said.

Despite the seemingly endless conflict, Obama was hopeful that a better day was coming, and it was the action of the people, not the leaders that gave him hope.

Some of that hope, he said, comes from "the American troops who have risked their lives and sacrificed their limbs for strangers half a world away; the students in Jakarta and Seoul who are eager to use their knowledge to benefit humankind; the faces in a square in Prague or a parliament in Ghana who see democracy giving voice to their aspirations; the young people in the favelas of Rio and the schools of Mumbai whose eyes shine with promise.

"These men, women and children of every race and every faith remind me that for every angry mob that gets shown on television, there are billions around the globe who share similar hopes and dreams. They tell us that there is a common heartbeat to humanity."

It was a clear reiteration of the hope that led him to victory four years ago, and it resonated with a similar conviction and determination.

He concluded as he began, with an emphasis on the strength of the U.S. and the slain ambassador. "The United States of America will always stand up for these aspirations, for our own people, and all across the world. That was our founding purpose. That is what our history shows. And that is what Chris Stevens worked for throughout his life," he said.