Wednesday, December 14, 2016

2013 Obama meet 2016 Obama

President Obama at the 2013 G20 summit in St Petersburg when the live issue was the Assad regime use of chemical weapons --

And sometimes the further we get from the horrors of that, the easier it is to rationalize not making tough choices. And I understand that. This is not convenient. This is not something that I think a lot of folks around the world find an appetizing set of choices. But the question is, do these norms mean something? And if we’re not acting, what does that say? If we’re just issuing another statement of condemnation, or passing resolutions saying “wasn't that terrible,” if people who decry international inaction in Rwanda and say how terrible it is that there are these human rights violations that take place around the world and why aren’t we doing something about it -- and they always look to the United States -- why isn’t the United States doing something about this, the most powerful nation on Earth? Why are you allowing these terrible things to happen? And then, if the international community turns around when we’re saying it’s time to take some responsibility and says, well, hold on a second, we’re not sure -- that erodes our ability to maintain the kind of norms that we're looking at.

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