Obama vows to fight terror with ’sturdy alliances and enduring convictions’

January 21st, 2009 - 2:45 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Jan 21 (IANS) Signalling a clean break from some of his predecessors’ national security policies, the newly minted US President Barack Obama has vowed to fight the threat of terrorism with “sturdy alliances and enduring convictions”.”As for our common defence, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals,” he said moments after taking oath as the first black president to assure the world at large that America was a friend to every nation.

The ideals of America’s founding fathers assuring “the rule of law and the rights of man”, he said, “still light the world, and we will not give them up for expedience’s sake.”

“And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.”

Recalling that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions, Obama said: “We are the keepers of this legacy.”

“Guided by these principles once more, we can meet those new threats that demand even greater effort - even greater cooperation and understanding between nations,” he said, promising to “begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people, and forge a hard-earned peace in Afghanistan”.

“With old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat, and roll back the spectre of a warming planet,” he said.

But “we will not apologise for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defence, and for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken; you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.”

“For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness,” he said, calling the US “a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus - and non-believers.”

Asserting that “America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace,” Obama said: “To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect.”

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