Last evening in the United States President Obama addressed the American people, and through them the Libyan people and the world community, on the the current conflict in Libya. The reaction of the international community to regime violence, expressed in a firm UN Security Council Resolution, has been almost unanimous. Our President acknowledged that some Americans have concerns about U.S. efforts in Libya. But Mr. Obama made clear that “to brush aside America’s responsibility as a leader and…our responsibilities to our fellow human beings …would have been a betrayal of who we are. Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries. The United States is different.”
For peoples around the world and especially for our close friends and allies such as Estonia, President Obama’s words on Libya carry a most important broad message. The United States will not hesitate to lead in world events, and our leadership includes mobilizing the international community for collective action. History has shown that American leadership is an essential ingredient in meeting the challenges of our globe. It is equally clear that when we choose not to play our role, in whatever way, there are inevitable consequences. Of course we are not immune from criticism. Not everyone always agrees with our views. Some strongly disagree. We can make mistakes. But as a great nation of free men and women we are also strong enough to deal openly with our regrets.
In the final analysis we are proud of who we are. And today, and for the future, we “stand alongside those who believe in the same core principles that have guided us through many storms.”