WORD LISTS

President Obama's Speech at the United Nations

September 24, 2013
In the middle of several international crises involving Syria and Iran among others, President Obama addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. Use our list of 67 words to help follow the wide-ranging speech which invokes the violence of world history while offering a vision for what international diplomacy could be. Drawn from Text of Obama’s Speech at the U.N. The New York Times September 24, 2013
delegate
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, fellow delegates, ladies and gentlemen: each year we come together to reaffirm the founding vision of this institution.
aspiration
For most of recorded history, individual aspirations were subject to the whims of tyrants and empires.
whim
For most of recorded history, individual aspirations were subject to the whims of tyrants and empires.
tyrant
For most of recorded history, individual aspirations were subject to the whims of tyrants and empires.
prosperity
The idea that nations and peoples could come together in peace to solve their disputes and advance a common prosperity seemed unimaginable.
carnage
It took the awful carnage of two world wars to shift our thinking.
naive
The leaders who built the United Nations were not naïve; they did not think this body could eradicate all wars.
eradicate
The leaders who built the United Nations were not naïve; they did not think this body could eradicate all wars.
annihilate
But in the wake of millions dead and continents in rubble; and with the development of nuclear weapons that could annihilate a planet; they understood that humanity could not survive the course it was on.
profound
But like every generation of leaders, we face new and profound challenges, and this body continues to be tested.
integrated
For much of my time as President, some of our most urgent challenges have revolved around an increasingly integrated global economy, and our efforts to recover from the worst economic crisis of our lifetime.
coalition
Next year, an international coalition will end its war in Afghanistan, having achieved its mission of dismantling the core of al Qaeda that attacked us on 9/11.
imminent
Beyond bringing our troops home, we have limited the use of drones so they target only those who pose a continuing, imminent threat to the United States where capture is not feasible, and there is a near certainty of no civilian casualties.
feasible
Beyond bringing our troops home, we have limited the use of drones so they target only those who pose a continuing, imminent threat to the United States where capture is not feasible, and there is a near certainty of no civilian casualties.
diligently
We are transferring detainees to other countries and trying terrorists in courts of law, while working diligently to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay.
deploy
And just as we reviewed how we deploy our extraordinary military capabilities in a way that lives up to our ideals, we have begun to review the way that we gather intelligence, so as to properly balance the legitimate security concerns of our citizens and allies, with the privacy concerns that all people share.
militia
Meanwhile, al Qaeda has splintered into regional networks and militias, which has not carried out an attack like 9/11, but does pose serious threats to governments, diplomats, businesses and civilians across the globe.
converge
Nowhere have we seen these trends converge more powerfully than in Syria.
authoritarian
There, peaceful protests against an authoritarian regime were met with repression and slaughter.
regime
There, peaceful protests against an authoritarian regime were met with repression and slaughter.
spiral
In the face of carnage, many retreated to their sectarian identity – Alawite and Sunni; Christian and Kurd – and the situation spiraled into civil war.
bolster
America and others have worked to bolster the moderate opposition, but extremist groups have still taken root to exploit the crisis.
exploit
America and others have worked to bolster the moderate opposition, but extremist groups have still taken root to exploit the crisis.
sovereignty
Assad’s traditional allies have propped him up, citing principles of sovereignty to shield his regime.
embroil
How do we address the choice of standing callously by while children are subjected to nerve gas, or embroiling ourselves in someone else’s civil war?
brazen
When I stated my willingness to order a limited strike against the Assad regime in response to the brazen use of chemical weapons, I did not do so lightly.
legitimacy
It is an insult to human reason – and to the legitimacy of this institution – to suggest that anyone other than the regime carried out this attack.
mandate
I know that in the immediate aftermath of the attack, there were those who questioned the legitimacy of even a limited strike in the absence of a clear mandate from the Security Council.
credible
But without a credible military threat, the Security Council had demonstrated no inclination to act at all.
inclination
But without a credible military threat, the Security Council had demonstrated no inclination to act at all.
stockpile
The Syrian government took a first step by giving an accounting of its stockpiles.
verify
Now, there must be a strong Security Council Resolution to verify that the Assad regime is keeping its commitments, and there must be consequences if they fail to do so.
fracture
Nevertheless, a leader who slaughtered his citizens and gassed children to death cannot regain the legitimacy to lead a badly fractured country.
humanitarian
And as we move the Geneva process forward, I urge all nations here to step up to meet humanitarian needs in Syria and surrounding countries.
depose
I know there are those who have been frustrated by our unwillingness to use our military might to depose Assad, and believe that a failure to do so indicates a weakening of America’s resolve in the region.
deter
Others have suggested that my willingness to direct even limited military strikes to deter the further use of chemical weapons shows that we have learned nothing from Iraq, and that America continues to seek control over the Middle East for our own purposes.
persist
In this way, the situation in Syria mirrors a contradiction that has persisted in the region for decades: the United States is chastised for meddling in the region, and accused of having a hand in all manner of conspiracy; at the same time, the United States is blamed for failing to do enough to solve the region’s problems, and for showing indifference toward suffering Muslim populations.
chastise
In this way, the situation in Syria mirrors a contradiction that has persisted in the region for decades: the United States is chastised for meddling in the region, and accused of having a hand in all manner of conspiracy; at the same time, the United States is blamed for failing to do enough to solve the region’s problems, and for showing indifference toward suffering Muslim populations.
inevitable
I realize some of this is inevitable, given America’s role in the world.
disruption
Although America is steadily reducing our own dependence on imported oil, the world still depends upon the region’s energy supply, and a severe disruption could destabilize the entire global economy.
dismantle
We will dismantle terrorist networks that threaten our people.
proliferation
Just as we consider the use of chemical weapons in Syria to be a threat to our own national security, we reject the development of nuclear weapons that could trigger a nuclear arms race in the region, and undermine the global non- proliferation regime.
unilateral
But I also believe that we can rarely achieve these objectives through unilateral American action – particularly with military action.
proxy
On the other hand, Americans see an Iranian government that has declared the United States an enemy, and directly – or through proxies – taken Americans hostage, killed U.S. troops and civilians, and threatened our ally Israel with destruction.
reiterate
Meanwhile, the Supreme Leader has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons, and President Rouhani has just recently reiterated that the Islamic Republic will never develop a nuclear weapon.
conciliatory
To succeed, conciliatory words will have to be matched by actions that are transparent and verifiable.
evade
This isn’t simply an issue between America and Iran – the world has seen Iran evade its responsibilities in the past, and has an abiding interest in making sure that Iran meets its obligations in the future.
abiding
This isn’t simply an issue between America and Iran – the world has seen Iran evade its responsibilities in the past, and has an abiding interest in making sure that Iran meets its obligations in the future.
unequivocally
But the children of Israel have the right to live in a world where the nations assembled in this body fully recognize their country, and unequivocally reject those who fire rockets at their homes or incite others to hate them.
sovereign
Likewise, the United States remains committed to the belief that the Palestinian people have a right to live with security and dignity in their own sovereign state.

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