US, the indispensable nation in world affairs:Obama
"Yes, the world is changing; no, we can`t control every event. But America remains the one indispensable nation in world affairs and as long as I am President, I intend to keep it that way," Obama said in his State of the Union Address to the Congress.
In his nationally televised speech delivered at the Capitol Hill, Obama said the renewal of American leadership can be felt across the globe. "Our oldest alliances in Europe and Asia are stronger than ever. Our ties to the Americas are deeper. Our iron-clad commitment to Israel`s security has meant the closest military cooperation between our two countries in history," he said.
"We have made it clear that America is a Pacific power, and a new beginning in Burma has lit a new hope. From the coalitions we have built to secure nuclear materials, to the missions we have led against hunger and disease; from the blows we have dealt to our enemies; to the enduring power of our moral example, America is back," Obama said.
"Anyone who tells you otherwise, anyone who tells you that America is in decline or that our influence has waned, doesn`t know what they are talking about," Obama said in an apparent reference to the criticism to his foreign policy coming from Republican presidential candidates.
"That`s not the message we get from leaders around the world, all of whom are eager to work with us. That`s not how people feel from Tokyo to Berlin; from Cape Town to Rio; where opinions of America are higher than they have been in years," he said.
Obama said he has proposed a new defense strategy that ensures the US maintain the finest military in the world, while saving nearly half a trillion dollars in our budget. "To stay one step ahead of our adversaries, I have already sent this Congress legislation that will secure our country from the growing danger of cyber-threats," he said.
Obama said one of his proudest possessions is the flag that the SEAL Team took with them on the mission to get bin Laden. "On it are each of their names. Some may be Democrats. Some may be Republicans. But that doesn`t matter. Just like it didn`t matter that day in the Situation Room, when I sat next to Bob Gates ? a man who was George Bush`s defense secretary; and Hillary Clinton, a woman who ran against me for president," he said.
"All that mattered that day was the mission. No one thought about politics. No one thought about themselves. One of the young men involved in the raid later told me that he didn`t deserve credit for the mission," Obama said.
It only succeeded, he said, because every single member of that unit did their job. "The pilot who landed the helicopter that spun out of control; the translator who kept others from entering the compound; the troops who separated the women and children from the fight; the SEALs who charged up the stairs," he said.
"More than that, the mission only succeeded because every member of that unit trusted each other ? because you can`t charge up those stairs, into darkness and danger, unless you know that there is someone behind you, watching your back," Obama said.