By Kaitlyn Fox — 1/20/09

In his first address as President of the United States, Barack
Obama promised to use diplomacy to enforce the country’s security. He
recognized that although America is capable of building weapons and
fighting wars, “our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle
us to do as we please.” He said that instead, “our security emanates
from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the
tempering qualities of humility and restraint.” Mr. Obama believes
that by building cooperative relationships with other countries, the
United States can better prepare for common challenges and collaborate
to find solutions.

With regards to the two wars America is currently fighting,
President Obama pledged to remain in Afghanistan to forge a
“hard-earned peace,” while at the same time begin withdrawing American
troops from Iraq. He also vowed to use a strong hand in the face of
terror, stating that “for those who seek to advance their aims by
inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our
spirit is stronger and cannot be broken. You cannot outlast us, and
we will defeat you.” The President added that in spite of our
diplomatic outreaches, Americans will refuse to apologize for our way
of life and “will not waver in our defense” against terror.

He recalled in his speech that the successes of earlier generations
were rooted in “sturdy alliances and enduring convictions” rather than
“missiles and tanks.” He stressed that the nation was founded on the
principles of innate human rights and the ideals of faith and
determination. President Obama stated that because of this, “we cannot
help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass,” and that
America must play its part in ushering in a new era of peace through
diplomacy. He then said the United States would offer its hand while
the other countries would “unclench its fists.”

Image Courtesy
United States Army