Naggy Obama Urges People to Actually Do Things

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Photo: Getty Images

Jeez, this Barack Obama character is really quite demanding, isn't he? Yesterday, meeting with the leaders of Israel and Palestine, he aggressively pushed for the two long-quarreling adversaries to stop playing footsie with solving their differences and just do it already. "It is past time to stop talking about starting negotiations; it is time to move forward,” Obama told them, despite Israel not having frozen its West Bank settlements as he had previously demanded. This morning, in his first speech to the United Nations as president, Obama's message was much of the same. Pointing out that the United States has already accomplished plenty since he took office (ending torture, winding down in Iraq, working toward nuclear-weapons reduction, investing in clean energy, mobilizing against the financial crisis, etc.), Obama then asked the rest of the nations in attendance to start pulling their weight.


"[M]ake no mistake: this cannot be solely America's endeavor. 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. Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges."

He went on to lay out the goals that the world could achieve with a lot of hard work and cooperation: halting the spread of nuclear weapons, establishing a new era of peace (including the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict), "preserving the planet," and forging "a global economy that advances opportunity for all people." That's one hell of a homework assignment.

In Mideast Peace Bid, Obama Pivots in His Demands [NYT]
Remarks: Obama at the U.N. General Assembly [Page/Time]