UNITED NATIONS — Mr. Obama will tell world leaders that the United States will not shrink from its role in troubled, transitioning nations despite the killing of four Americans in Libya, including U.S. ambassador Christopher Stevens.
More than 50 people have died in violence in North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia linked, at least in part, to recent protests against an anti-Muslim video posted on YouTube that mocks the Prophet Mohammad.
In excerpts of his General Assembly speech released in advance by the White House, Mr. Obama will say, “There are no words that excuse the killing of innocents. There is no video that justifies an attack on an Embassy. There is no slander that provides an excuse for people to burn a restaurant in Lebanon, or destroy a school in Tunis, or cause death and destruction in Pakistan.
“The attacks of the last two weeks are not simply an assault on America. They are also an assault on the very ideals upon which the United Nations was founded.
“If we are serious about those ideals, we must speak honestly about the deeper causes of this crisis. Because we face a choice between the forces that would drive us apart, and the hopes we hold in common.
Mr. Obama will declare that the United States of America will stand up for the aspirations of people everywhere who “long for the freedom to determine their destiny; the dignity that comes with work; the comfort that comes from faith; and the justice that exists when governments serve their people – and not the other way around.”
Much of the recent violent protests have been directed at the United States because the anti-Islam film was produced in this country; there have been public calls for the filmmaker’s arrest, extradition nor murder.
The White House has now deemed the attack on its consulate in Libya a “terrorist attack” but they have stopped short of calling it premeditated.