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Obama: US Cannot Impose Values on the World

"The danger, I think, is when the United States, or any country, thinks that we can simply impose these values on another country with a different history and a different culture."

President Obama responded to the criticism he's received for his upcoming high-profile speech in Egypt, a country with few political freedoms. Obama told the BBC that although there are obvious human rights issues in the Middle East, it is not the US's job to lecture countries; instead, the US should lead by example and help countries embrace universal principles as part of their own national identities. Obama also said that Iran has a right to nuclear power, so long as it proves that it proves its peaceful intentions.

How do you like this new brand of "freedom spreading"?


Join The Conversation
Steph84 Steph84 8 years
I agree 100% with Obama on this quote! I think it was about time this was acknowledged.
lindssaurussss lindssaurussss 8 years
i agree with Obama. cant make every country to be like the u.s but at the same i feel bad for third-world countries where women are forced to drop out of school, people are murdered based on religion or sexual orientation...human rights just forget it...what is that?
redchick152 redchick152 8 years
at least he had the balls to actually SAY that out loud. i agree with him 100%. there are too many u.s. problems we should be worrying about and spending $$$ on.
vanitypot vanitypot 8 years
now that's a surprise :D i wish the US or other first-world countries have done that ever since so a third-world country like where i belong shouldn't and wouldn't have suffered from cultural assimilation.. :(
reesiecup reesiecup 8 years
It's about time the fact was acknowledged. It is easier said than done, but is a step in a new direction nonetheless.
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
I totally agree. I hate how it's like we (America) thinks we know better then everyone else and have to impose our ideas and lifestyle. People should be able to choose for themselves.
arrowstraite arrowstraite 8 years
Americans hardly agree on anything in and of itself. What are we going to say? Pick a side and fight to the death like we do? They already do that.
tarabara1229 tarabara1229 8 years
I agree with margokhal - this is much easier said than done. But hey, at least it's a step in the right direction. I applaud Obama's efforts.
earthgoddess earthgoddess 8 years
I completely agree with Obama's comments. I personally feel that our country has enough problems of its own and shouldn't be trying to fix the rest of the worlds problems. Live and let live, I say.
Jinx Jinx 8 years
I totally agree. The United States should not expect other countries and cultures to adopt their way of thinking or doing things, although it seems through history they think they can and should.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 8 years
its called the Golden Rule - do unto others.
margokhal margokhal 8 years
"freedom spreading"? What?? But yes, this makes sense, and I'm glad that Obama is saying it. However, I believe [and I'm pretty sure he knows already] that that's going to be a LOT easier said than done in terms of taking actual action to follow through. There's more than enough opposition to overcome.
Chrstne Chrstne 8 years
All I can say is "duh". Now, let's get out of Iraq, you know, where we've been screwing the people for over 5 years. Their roads are fine, their government will go back to what it was...we'll get over it.
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