Sunday, June 27, 2010

Speech at The Presentation of The Book "Words That Shook The World"

Words That Shook The World
ADDENDUM: The First Decade of the 21st
Century By Richard Greene

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and President
Barack Obama have made speeches that have changed the world.......Read
about them in Richard Greene’s new book,“Words that Shook the
World Addendum:The First Decade of the 21st Century.”

Speech at The Presentation of The Book "Words That Shook The World"




26 JUNE 2010 - [ 15.10 – 15.30 ]


Thank you Richard for your kind comments. I appreciate your coming here to Toronto, to launch the addendum to the “Words that Shook the World” on your e-book.

For the benefit of our journalists and friends in this room, I should say that Richard Greene is, a leading communications and public speaking Guru, and his book “Words that Shook the World” was actually already in my library at home, before I met him last year. His resume is very impressive. He is a public speaking advisor to Presidents, Prime Ministers, Senators, CEOs, Royalty and celebrities in 29 countries.

I am personally honoured with the inclusion of my Harvard speech in the book, along with the speech of President Barack Obama.

The Harvard speech is indeed one of my favourites. I have received many positive comments and responses, about the speech. My other favourites would be: the speech at the climate change conference in Bali in 2007, which I found the most dramatic, diplomatically and politically. Also, my speech at the Joint Session of the Australian Parliament last March. My speech at the Conference of World Movement for Democracy recently. And also my tsunami speech at the White House in 2005.

With regard to my Harvard speech, I hope the basic messages of the speech would inspire humankind across generation. That message is: in the twenty-first century humanity can finally have the opportunity and capacity to create a world marked by harmony among civilizations, but this can only happen if we all work together and avoid the mistakes of the past.

I also congratulate you, Richard, on your innovative idea to produce this speech compendium in the e-book format. I look forward to reading it on my I-pad.

Once again, thank you Richard for the presentation of your book. And thank you for your friendship for Indonesia, and I look forward to seeing you again in Indonesia, in the near future.


BOSTON, 29 September 2009... See More

I am honored to be here today, to address the distinguished faculty and students of Harvard University. I am impressed with the turn-out this evening, and, for the students, I hope you are NOT here today as an excuse to skip class.
I must admit, I have wanted to visit Harvard for a long time. Several of my Ministers, successful businessmen and military generals were fortunate to study here. Don’t take this the wrong way : but I find it interesting that I did not end-up working for people who went to Harvard; it’s actually people who went to Harvard who ended-up working for me !

I am proud that my son, Captain Agus, was able to join this prestigious Harvard program – I think he is somewhere in this room. So now other than being a loyal soldier in the Indonesian army, he is also another Harvard student working for me !
Several months ago, President Barack Obama made a historic speech in Cairo, seeking to redefine relations between America and the Muslim world. As President of the country with the world’s largest Muslim population, I would like today to respond to that speech.

President Obama delivered his speech at Al Azhar University, one of the oldest and best Universities in the Islamic world. I speak today at Harvard, the oldest and most prestigious University in America. (And please do not tell people in Princeton and Yale I said this..) But our objective is the same: to take a hard look at relations between the ... See MoreWest and the Islamic worlds, and to chart a new course forward.

It is fitting that I come here after the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh.

For to me, the G-20 is one manifestation of the change taking place in global politics. The G-20 grouping, comprising some 85 per cent of the world’s GNP and 80 per cent of world trade, is not just an economic powerhouse — it is also a civilizational powerhouse.

The G-20 for the first time accommodates all the major civilizations — not just Western countries, but also China, South Korea, India, South Africa, and others, including significantly, three countries with large Muslim populations: Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Indonesia. The G-7, the G-8, or even the United Nations Security Council, does not boast this distinction. The G-20 is representative of a multi-civilizational global community.
Perhaps this is why the G-20 has been successful in arresting a global meltdown. The swift and coordinated actions of G-20 economies have started the stabilization of our financial systems and restored confidence, prompting today’s early signs of modest economic recovery.

We are very pleased that at the close of Pittsburgh, the G-20 has been institutionalized, and looks set to be the premier forum for international economic cooperation. This comes not a moment too soon, for the world’s civilizations should be properly represented in one defining forum. Civilizations. They at once define us, and divide us.
Is harmony between our civilizations truly elusive, so out of reach? can we just not get along?
Sixteen years ago, the late Samuel Huntington, a son of this university, published an essay proposing that after the Cold War, civilizations, religions and cultures would become the defining feature of international relations and would constitute the primary cause of conflicts between and within nations.

To me, the term “clash of civilizations... See More” itself is counter-productive. If they hear it often enough, some people may think that the world is such and accept it as reality. I don’t believe that civilizations are inherently incompatible and prone to conflict when they interact. This is what I saw firsthand at the G20, where nations of diverse cultural backgrounds joined hands to address a common challenge. We spoke different languages through our headphones, but we understood one another.
Huntington sought to understand post-Cold-War fault lines and warned us of potential turbulence. This is not a trivial reminder. Civilizational issues are rife in modern politics. As policy-makers, our job is to prevent such prognosis from becoming reality.

Indeed, Huntington’s warning has been relevant to Indonesia’s experience. In the roller coaster years following independence, Indonesia has suffered separatist threats, ethnic and religious conflicts, and Islamic insurgencies.

But we overcame these challenges. We adapted. And instead of failing, we have thrived.
Today we are not a hotbed of communal violence; we are by and large an archipelago of peace.
Today we are not at the brink of ‘Balkanization’; we have instead fortified our national identity through three successful, peaceful national elections.

Today we are not a victim of past authoritarian, centralized governments, but a model of democracy and decentralization. Today we are not paralyzed by financial crisis but forging ahead with sweeping reforms of our financial and industrial structure. And Indonesia today is a dynamic emerging economy, enjoying one of the highest growth rates in Asia after China and India.

Thus, no matter how deep and seemingly divisive the civilizational forces facing Indonesia — the ethnic differences and religious conflicts — we overcame them. This is despite the enormous challenges of democracy and development that still confront us.

Please do not misunderstand me. I am aware of the painful realities of our world. I am aware of the 4000 years of painful relations between Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

I am aware of a traumatic collective memory that is not easy to erase.
When dealing with matters of faith, we face basic human emotions that predated modern states. These emotions are complicated, stubborn, and will likely become more problematic as religiosity intensifies worldwide. According to some estimate, Islam will be the world... See More’s largest religion by 2025, accounting for some 30 % of the world population, and indeed Islam is currently the fastest growing religion in the United States.

As religiosity increases, so will the politics of identity. And aided by globalization and technology, extremism and radicalism can only grow. As we transition from G8 to G20 and perhaps beyond, mutual exposure between civilizations will become the most intense humanity has ever seen. Perhaps we will even see the emergence of a “global civilization”.
And democracy has gained immense ground, spreading in the Islamic world, including in Indonesia. There were only a handful of democracies at the turn of the 20th century. At the turn of the 21st century, there are some 89 full democracies. Even the Organization of Islamic Conference has adopted the historic Mecca Charter committing its members to the principles of democracy, human rights and governance. Indeed, more people now live under open pluralist societies, and under religious freedom, than at any other time in history. This trend can have only a positive impact on the global community. It may be naive to expect that the world can be rid of conflict and hatred. But I believe that we can fundamentally change and evolve the way civilizations, religions and cultures interact.

This is NOT utopia. It is a pragmatic vision. I have seen it work in Indonesia. I have seen it work in many countries. The question is : can we make it work globally? As Robert F. Kennedy once said, quoting George Bernard Shaw, ‘I dream of things that never were, and ask, why not?” To highlight how I think this can possibly be achieved, let me outline 9 (nine) imperatives to achieve harmony among civilizations.

If you ask me “why 9 ?”, well, it is a bit personal, because 9 is always my lucky number. Let me now outline these imperatives.
The first imperative is to make the 21st century the century of soft power. Remember : The 20th century was the century of hard power. We saw two World Wars, several major wars and proxy wars, and a long Cold War which risked nuclear holocaust. One estimate suggests that some 180 million people died in the wars and conflicts of the last century. It is no wonder that the 20th century has been called the “age of conflict”. It has been the bloodiest Century in memory.

In contrast, the 21st century should and must be the century of soft power.

But there exists a large of “soft power deficit... See More” that the world’s civilizations must fill. I believe that this ‘clash of civilizations’ is actually a clash of ignorance. We are weakest when we are alone. We are strongest when we join forces with one another.

There are many examples of this power of exchange and connectivity.

In the 13th century, the Islamic civilization was the most sophisticated in the world because it had an enormous and indiscriminate thirst for knowledge and science, learning from all corners of the world. And this body of scientific knowledge from the Muslim world was later utilized by the Western Renaissance. Civilizations have built on each other’s knowledge and become enriched by them.

We have done the same in Indonesia, where we have built on our exposure to Eastern, Islamic, and Western influences, culminating in the open, pluralistic and tolerant society that we are today.
In short : the cross-fertilization of cultures can produce something wonderful, something good.
The more we exchange cultures and share ideas, the more we learn from one another, the more we cooperate and spread goodwill, the more we project soft power and place it right at the heart of international relations, the closer we are to world peace.

Experience has taught me that soft power is an effective weapon against conflict. Just ask the people of Aceh, Indonesia.

For 30 years, Aceh was rife with violence. Successive Indonesian governments opted for a rigid military solution, because a settlement seemed so elusive. When I assumed the Presidency, I pursued a new approach, one defined by goodwill and trust-building. I offered the separatists a win-win formula, promising them peace with dignity. Remarkably, we reached a permanent peace settlement in just 5 short rounds of negotiations. The peace agreement was fully in line with my objective to defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity but in a civilized and democratic way. That was when my faith in soft power multiplied, and why I believe it holds the key to resolving many global problems.

The second imperative is to intensify the process of dialogue and outreach that now seems to be proliferating.
We have seen many good initiatives. In 2001, the United Nations began the Dialogue among Civilizations. Spain and Turkey later launched the Alliance of Civilizations. The Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) also took-up Inter-faith Dialogue. Recently, Saudi Arabia convened the Interfaith Conference at the UN. Indonesia and Norway also launched, since 2006, the Global Inter-Media Dialogue in the aftermath of the cartoon crisis. All this represents a fresh approach to link civilizations and religions.

We must deepen the quality of these dialogues, so that they produce specific actions that, as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon points out, (and I quote) “change what people see, what they say and ultimately how they act... See More” (end of quote). These initiatives should not always be a meeting of like-minded moderates, although surely this is also important. They should also include disbelievers, for a dialogue should not be a reaffirmation, but an honest attempt to understand the concerns of the other side. The point is to listen, and not just talk.

A true dialogue must address age-old grievances and confront false stereotypes, without presumptions and preconditions. Indeed, the best dialogues are often respectful and honest, open-ended and constructive, intense, and solution-oriented. These were the quality of dialogues held in Indonesia between Muslims and Christians in conflict-zones in Poso and Maluku, which culminated in a commitment to peaceful reconciliation. The third imperative is the need to find a solution to burning political conflicts that have driven a wide wedge, specifically between the western and Muslim worlds.

Today, some two out of three Muslim countries are in conflict or face a significant threat of conflict. In contrast, only one out of four non-Muslim countries face similar challenges. But despite these very complex conflict situations, Muslims must be able to differentiate between a conflict involving Muslims, and a “war against Islam”. I do not believe that any of the civilizations – Western, Hindu, Sinic, Buddhist, Japanese – are systematically and simplistically engaged in a “war against Islam”.

Of all the world’s conflicts, none has captured the passion of Muslims more than the plight of the Palestinians. But this is not a religious issue – there are Christians and Jews in Palestine, and Muslims and Christians in Israel. Nonetheless, the establishment of the much-awaited Palestinian state, in the framework of a two-state solution where Palestine and Israel live side by side in peace, would be widely hailed by Muslims worldwide. It would remove a major mental barrier in their perception of the West, especially of the United States. Currently, many Muslims fail to notice the constructive role of the West in producing peace in Bosnia, and in Kosovo, but they would sure notice, and rejoice in, the resolution of the Palestine dilemma.

But the Palestinians too have a moral and political responsibility. It is difficult to attain and sustain statehood unless there is unity among the Palestinian factions. In my meeting with Palestinian leaders, I always told them very clearly that Indonesian freedom fighters would have never won the war for independence, if they had not united in spirit.
The bottom line is : we desperately need to end the vicious cycle of conflict and violence.

The timely withdrawal of Western forces from Iraq and Afghanistan would also alleviate Muslim fears of a Western hegemony. And all these political solutions would help reduce terrorism, as a crime that deviates from the true teaching of Islam as a religion of peace. It would also turn the feelings of fear and humiliation among some Muslims into hope and self-esteem.

The fourth imperative is to strengthen the voice of moderation in our communities.

By nature, moderates are open-minded, flexible and prone to an inclusive approach through outreach and partnership. In contrast, extremists are driven by xenophobic fear, and bent on confrontation and exclusion.
Because both moderation and extremism will grow in the 21st century, we must make sure the moderates are empowered, and take center stage in society. The moderates should no longer be a silent majority. They must speak up and defend their mainstream values in the face of opposition from the louder and more media-genic extremists. In this vein, I find it very encouraging that Western media have unanimously refused to show the very offensive film Fitna by provocative Dutch politician Geert Wilders. This shows the media’s improved sensitivity towards Islam.

The moderates also have to be more proactive and less reactive. And they must show, with reason and results, that being a moderate brings real success, peace and progress. Extremists will always capitalize on hopelessness and desperation. We must present a better alternative. The fifth imperative is multiculturalism and tolerance. The most welcome trend in the 21st century is multiculturalism and tolerance. You can not say this of America and many Western nations several decades ago. But today, racism is in serious decline, apartheid is gone, inter-racial marriages are common, and the market place picks talents without regard for color, religion or ethnicity. Even the family portrait of President Barack Obama reflects this healthy multiculturalism, with his Kenyan and Indonesian roots.
We must all work together to ensure that multiculturalism and tolerance become a truly global norm. And when we speak tolerance, it should be more than just to “tolerate... See More” others. Tolerance implies a deeper meaning. Tolerance means a full respect for others, sincerely accepting their differences, and thriving on our mutual diversity. Only this type of tolerance can heal deeply seated hatred and resentment. The sixth imperative is to make globalization work for all.

I do not accept the precept that, as a rule, globalization produces winners and losers. Like peace, like development, globalization can be harnessed to make winners for all. Let us be clear on this. There can be no genuine harmony among civilizations as long as the majority of the world’s 1,3 billion Muslims feel left out, marginalized and insecure about their place in the world. They are part of the 2.7 billion people worldwide who live under two dollars a day.

These are the sad, hard facts. Out of 57 Muslim populated countries, 25 are classified as low-income countries, 18 lower middle-income, and 14 as upper middle income or high income. And even though 1 out of every 4 people in the world are Muslims, their economies constitute one tenth of the world economy. One in four people in Muslim countries live in extreme poverty. Almost 300 million Muslims aged 15 and above are illiterate. These statistics are, of course, unacceptable.

Muslims must take ownership in their destiny. Many Muslims reminisce too much about the glory days of centuries past, when Islam was on top of the world: politically, militarily, scientifically, economically. Muslims today must be convinced that Islam’s best years are ahead of us, not behind us.

The 21st Century CAN be the era of the second Islamic renaissance. A confident, empowered and resurgent Muslim world can partner with the West and other civilizations in building sustainable peace and prosperity. But to do this, Muslims must change their mind-set. Like the remarkable 13th century Muslims before them, they must be open-minded, innovative, and take risks. There are inspirational Muslims everywhere: Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, Orhan Pamuk, Muhammad Ali, Zidane, Hakeem Olajuwon, Fareed Zakaria and rapper: Akon. Countries like United Arab Emirates and Qatar have shown that with good governance, self esteem and a progressive worldview, they can change their nation’s fortune in one generation. And Indonesia has shown that Islam, modernity and democracy – plus economic growth and national unity – can be a powerful partnership.

In short, the world’s citizens, and children of all civilizations, must be equal partners and benefactors of globalization.
A recent survey in The Economist found that, for the first time, more than half of the world population can be loosely considered middle-class. If this is true, then we have a reasonable chance to reach “zero poverty” worldwide by the end of this century. With the emerging economic order that is now unfolding, getting from here to there would require intense inter-cultural and inter-religious harmony. This should be the shared goal of all our nations.
The seventh imperative is to reform global governance.
Earlier, I talked about how the G20 Summit is more representative of today’s global dynamics. Unfortunately, this is the exception rather than the rule.

For example, the UN Security Council today still reflects the power balance of 1945 rather than 2009, with exclusive veto powers reserved for four Western nations and China. It is unfortunate that recent efforts to reform the UN Security Council have not been successful. This situation is unsustainable. The UN Security Council will need to be restructured to keep up with 21st century geopolitical realities.

Imperative number eight is education.
Politicians often overlook educational opportunities in both our homes and our classrooms. But the answers to the world’s problems are there, for it is also there that hatred and prejudice breeds. These are the real battlegrounds for the hearts and minds of future generations.

It is at these places that we must turn ignorance into compassion, and intolerance into respect. The foot soldiers here are parents, teachers and community leaders. We must inculcate in our school curriculum the culture of moderation, tolerance, and peace. We must help our children and our students develop a sense of common humanity which allows them to see a world of amity, not a world of enmity.

In Indonesia, elementary students are taught about respecting religious traditions. Exam questions ask Muslim students what they should do if their Christian neighbors invite them to celebrate Christmas. We are probably the only country in the world where each religious holidays – Islamic, Catholic, Protestant, Hindu, Buddhist – are designated as national holidays, even though Hindus and Buddhists account only 2.4 per cent of our population. Through education, we have sought to ensure that tolerance and respect for religious freedom becomes part of our trans-generational DNA.
Finally, the ninth imperative : global conscience.

It is not easy to describe this, but this is what I saw in Aceh during the tsunami tragedy. On 26 December 2004, giant tsunami waves crashed Aceh and Nias, and 200,000 people perished in half an hour. The whole nation was in grief. But in this tragedy, we also found humanity. The whole world wept, and offered helping hands. Americans, Australians, Singaporeans, Chinese, Mexicans, Indians, Turks and other international volunteers worked hand in hand to help the Acehnese. I realized then … there exists a “powerful global conscience”.

One would think, that the enormous pain of World War 2 would usher in a new dawn of world peace. That is why the United Nations was formed. But the human race ended up with many more wars.

One would think the threat of the nuclear holocaust was enough to trigger nuclear disarmament, but the world saw more countries developing nuclear weapons. The question now is whether climate change would be able to foster a new global conscience. We are still not sure that it will.

But a “global conscience” could well help transcend whatever civilization, religious and cultural divides that has faced humanity.
So these are my NINE imperatives for harmony among civilizations that I offer to you today.
They will require a great deal of hard work. It will take the work of generations and decades. And it will require patience, perseverance, partnership and lots of thinking outside the box.

Eighteen years after the end of the Cold War ended, ten years into the 21st Century, we find ourselves at a crucial crossroads. In front of us may be the most progressive century mankind has ever known, a century where, as Fareed Zakaria says, more things will change in the next 10 years than in the past 100 years.
It can be the century of possibility and opportunity.

President Barack Obama spoke in Cairo of a “new beginning” between America and the Muslim world. Today, I say that we can “REINVENT A NEW WORLD”.

It will be a world not of conquest, but of connectivity. It will be a world defined not by a clash of civilizations, but by the confluence of civilizations. It will be a world marked by plenty, not by poverty. And it will be a vast empire of global minds breaking down centuries of civilizational collisions and hostilities.

America, with all the economic, social and technological resources at her disposal, has much to contribute to this new world. America... See More’s role in helping to reform the international system, spread prosperity, empower the world’s poor, resolve conflicts, and share knowledge is a critical asset to a transforming world. Now is a golden opportunity for America to inundate the world with her soft power, not hard power. America should not worry about retaining its superpower status. America can help make the world anew — what could be more powerful and definitive than that?

Indonesia too has a significant role to play. We can bridge between the Islamic and the western worlds. We can project the virtue of moderate Islam throughout the Muslim world. We can be the bastion of freedom, tolerance and harmony. We can be a powerful example that Islam, democracy and modernity can go hand in hand. And we will continue to advance Indonesia’s transformation through democracy, development and harmony.

This is why Indonesia and America are now evolving a strategic partnership. The world’s second and the third largest democracies. The most powerful Western country and the country with the largest Muslim population. Calibrated for the challenges of the 21st century, this partnership can strengthen regional stability, inter-civilizational unity and world peace.
In the final analysis, vast oceans separate our countries but our common search unites. We are both trying to redefine our place in the world. President Obama insists the 21st century can still be the American Century. I am convinced that this could well be Asia’s Century.

Then I thought, why can’t it be everybody’s century? It can be the American Century. It can be the Asian Century. It can be the European Century. It can be the African Century. And it can be the Islamic Century.
This can be an amazing century where hope prevails over fear, where brotherhood of man reigns supreme, where human progress conquers ignorance.

It can be a Century that not only brings us into a new millennium, but also elevates the bonds of humanity to greater heights.
In this Century, no one loses. And everybody wins.

Insya Allah!
I thank you.

Source: Presidential Palace

President Obama Speech to Muslim World in Cairo

Pres. Obama delivered a speech on U.S.-Muslim relations from Cairo University. The President called for renewed Middle East peace talks as well as an agenda for economic and social development in the region.

On July 27, 2004, Barack Obama, then a senatorial candidate from Illinois, delivered an electrifying speech to the 2004 Democratic Convention.

As the result of the now-legendary speech (presented below), Obama rose to national prominence, and his speech is regarded as one of the great political statements of the 21st century.
Democratic National Convention in Boston, Mass.
July 27, 2004

Thank you so much. Thank you so much...

On behalf of the great state of Illinois, crossroads of a nation, Land of Lincoln, let me express my deepest gratitude for the privilege of addressing this convention.

Gratitude for Family Heritage

Tonight is a particular honor for me because — let’s face it — my presence on this stage is pretty unlikely. My father was a foreign student, born and raised in a small village in Kenya. He grew up herding goats, went to school in a tin-roof shack. His father — my grandfather — was a cook, a domestic servant to the British.

But my grandfather had larger dreams for his son. Through hard work and perseverance my father got a scholarship to study in a magical place, America, that shone as a beacon of freedom and opportunity to so many who had come before.

While studying here, my father met my mother. She was born in a town on the other side of the world, in Kansas. Her father worked on oil rigs and farms through most of the Depression. The day after Pearl Harbor my grandfather signed up for duty; joined Patton’s army, marched across Europe.

Back home, my grandmother raised their baby and went to work on a bomber assembly line. After the war, they studied on the G.I. Bill, bought a house through F.H.A., and later moved west all the way to Hawaii in search of opportunity.

And they, too, had big dreams for their daughter. A common dream, born of two continents.

My parents shared not only an improbable love, they shared an abiding faith in the possibilities of this nation. They would give me an African name, Barack, or ”blessed,” believing that in a tolerant America your name is no barrier to success.

That we can participate in the political process without fear of retribution, and that our votes will be counted at least, most of the time.

This year, in this election, we are called to reaffirm our values and our commitments, to hold them against a hard reality and see how we are measuring up, to the legacy of our forbearers, and the promise of future generations.

And fellow Americans, Democrats, Republicans, Independents — I say to you tonight: we have more work to do.... See More

- More work to do for the workers I met in Galesburg, Ill., who are losing their union jobs at the Maytag plant that’s moving to Mexico, and now are having to compete with their own children for jobs that pay seven bucks an hour.

- More to do for the father that I met who was losing his job and choking back the tears, wondering how he would pay $4,500 a month for the drugs his son needs without the health benefits that he counted on.

- More to do for the young woman in East St. Louis, and thousands more like her, who has the grades, has the drive, has the will, but doesn’t have the money to go to college.

Now don... See More’t get me wrong. The people I meet — in small towns and big cities, in diners and office parks — they don’t expect government to solve all their problems. They know they have to work hard to get ahead — and they want to.

Go into the collar counties around Chicago, and people will tell you they don’t want their tax money wasted, by a welfare agency or by the Pentagon.

Go into any inner city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can’t teach our kids to learn — they know that parents have to teach, that children can’t achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white. They know those things.

People don’t expect government to solve all their problems. But they sense, deep in their bones, that with just a slight change in priorities, we can make sure that every child in America has a decent shot at life, and that the doors of opportunity remain open to all.

They know we can do better. And they want that choice.

John Kerry

In this election, we offer that choice. Our Party has chosen a man to lead us who embodies the best this country has to offer. And that man is John Kerry. John Kerry understands the ideals of community, faith, and service because they’ve defined his life.... See More

From his heroic service to Vietnam, to his years as a prosecutor and lieutenant governor, through two decades in the United States Senate, he has devoted himself to this country. Again and again, we’ve seen him make tough choices when easier ones were available.

His values — and his record — affirm what is best in us. John Kerry believes in an America where hard work is rewarded; so instead of offering tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas, he offers them to companies creating jobs here at home.

John Kerry believes in an America where all Americans can afford the same health coverage our politicians in Washington have for themselves.

John Kerry believes in energy independence, so we aren’t held hostage to the profits of oil companies, or the sabotage of foreign oil fields.

John Kerry believes in the Constitutional freedoms that have made our country the envy of the world, and he will never sacrifice our basic liberties, nor use faith as a wedge to divide us.

And John Kerry believes that in a dangerous world war must be an option sometimes, but it should never be the first option.

You know, a while back, I met a young man named Seamus in a V.F.W. Hall in East Moline, Ill.. He was a good-looking kid, six two, six three, clear eyed, with an easy smile. He told me he... See More’d joined the Marines, and was heading to Iraq the following week. And as I listened to him explain why he’d enlisted, the absolute faith he had in our country and its leaders, his devotion to duty and service, I thought this young man was all that any of us might hope for in a child.

But then I asked myself: Are we serving Seamus as well as he is serving us?

I thought of the 900 men and women — sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors, who won’t be returning to their own hometowns.

I thought of the families I’ve met who were struggling to get by without a loved one’s full income, or whose loved ones had returned with a limb missing or nerves shattered, but who still lacked long-term health benefits because they were Reservists.

When we send our young men and women into harm’s way, we have a solemn obligation not to fudge the numbers or shade the truth about why they’re going, to care for their families while they’re gone, to tend to the soldiers upon their return, and to never ever go to war without enough troops to win the war, secure the peace, and earn the respect of the world.

Now let me be clear. Let me be clear. We have real enemies in the world. These enemies must be found. They must be pursued — and they must be defeated. John Kerry knows this.

And just as Lieutenant Kerry did not hesitate to risk his life to protect the men who served with him in Vietnam, President Kerry will not hesitate one moment to use our military might to keep America safe and secure.

It is that fundamental belief, it is that fundamental belief, I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper that makes this country work. It’s what allows us to pursue our individual dreams and yet still come together as one American family.

E pluribus unum. Out of many, one.

Now even as we speak, there are those who are preparing to divide us, the spin masters, the negative ad peddlers who embrace the politics of anything goes.... See More

Well, I say to them tonight, there is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America — there’s the United States of America.

The pundits, the pundits like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. But I’ve got news for them, too:

We worship an awesome God in the Blue States, and we don’t like federal agents poking around in our libraries in the Red States.

We coach Little League in the Blue States and yes, we’ve got some gay friends in the Red States.
John Kerry believes in America. And he knows that it’s not enough for just some of us to prosper.

For alongside our famous individualism, there’s another ingredient in the American saga. A belief that we’re all connected as one people.

If there is a child on the south side of Chicago who can’t read, that matters to me, even if it’s not my child.... See More... See More

If there’s a senior citizen somewhere who can’t pay for their prescription drugs, and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it’s not my grandparent.

If there’s an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties.
There are patriots who opposed the war in Iraq and there are patriots who supported the war in Iraq.

We Are One People

We are one people, all of us pledging allegiance to the stars and stripes, all of us defending the United States of America. In the end, that’s what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or do we participate in a politics of hope?... See More... See More

John Kerry calls on us to hope. John Edwards calls on us to hope.

I’m not talking about blind optimism here - the almost willful ignorance that thinks unemployment will go away if we just don’t think about it, or the health care crisis will solve itself if we just ignore it. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about something more substantial.

It’s the hope of slaves sitting around a fire singing freedom songs. The hope of immigrants setting out for distant shores.

The hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta.

The hope of a millworker’s son who dares to defy the odds.

The hope of a skinny kid with a funny name who believes that America has a place for him, too.

Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope!

In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation. A belief in things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead.

I believe that we can give our middle class relief and provide working families with a road to opportunity.

I believe we can provide jobs to the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair.

I believe that we have a righteous wind at our backs and that as we stand on the crossroads of history, we can make the right choices, and meet the challenges that face us.

America! Tonight, if you feel the same energy that I do, if you feel the same urgency that I do, if you feel the same passion I do, if you feel the same hopefulness that I do — if we do what we must do, then I have no doubts that all across the country, from Florida to Oregon, from Washington to Maine, the people will rise up in November, and John Kerry will be sworn in as president, and John Edwards will be sworn in as vice president, and this country will reclaim its promise, and out of this long political darkness a brighter day will come.

Thank you very much everybody. God bless you. Thank you.

Thank you, and God bless America.

Biography of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

General TNI (Ret) Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, popularly known as SBY, was born in Pacitan, East Java, on 9 September 1949. He graduated from the Military Academy in 1973-top in his class. He received his fourth star in 2000. In the first-ever direct presidential election in Indonesia in 2004, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, running on a platform for "more just, more peaceful, more prosperous, and more democratic Indonesia", was elected as the 6th President of the Republic of Indonesia, gaining a landslide 60% of the popular vote over the incumbent President Megawati Soekarnoputri.

President Yudhoyono is also an accomplished scholar. He was educated in the United States, where he received his Masters degree in Management from Webster University in 1991. He continued his study and earned a Doctorate Degree in Agricultural Economics from Bogor Institute of Agriculture, West Java, Indonesia, in 2004. President Yudhoyono was awarded with two honorary doctorates in 2005, respectively in the field of law from his alma mater, Webster University, and in political science from Thammasat University in Thailand.

During his 27-year distinguished military service, President Yudhoyono took an extensive range of training, education and courses, both in Indonesia and overseas. President Yudhoyono also held numerous important posts and positions as troop and territorial commander, staff officer, trainer and lecturer. He served both in the field and at headquarters, as well as missions overseas. He was the Commander of the United Nations Military Observers and Commander of the Indonesian Military Contingent in Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1995-1996.

For his outstanding service, President Yudhoyono was decorated with 24 medals and awards, including the UNPKF Medal, the Bintang Dharma, the Bintang Mahaputera Adipurna and the Bintang Republik Indonesia Adipurna, the highest national medal for excellent service beyond the calls of duty.

Prior to being elected, President Yudhoyono held various important government positions, including Minister of Mining and Energy and Co-ordinating Minister for Political, Social, and Security Affairs in the National Unity Cabinet under President Abdurrahman Wahid. He again served as Co-ordinating Minister for Political, Social, and Security Affairs in the Gotong Royong Cabinet under President Megawati Soekarnoputri. It was in his capacity as Coordinating Minister that he became internationally recognized for leading Indonesia's counter-terrorism efforts.

President Yudhoyono is also known for his activities in various civil society organizations. He served as Co-Chairman of the Governing Board of the Partnership for the Governance Reform, a joint Indonesian-international organization focused on the improvement of governance in Indonesia. He also served as Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Brighten Institute, an institution devoted to studying the theory and practice of national development policy.

President Yudhoyono is a keen reader and has authored a number of books and articles including: Transforming Indonesia: Selected International Speeches (2005), Peace deal with Aceh is just a beginning (2005), The Making of a Hero (2005), Revitalization of the Indonesian Economy: Business, Politics and Good Governance (2002), and Coping with the Crisis - Securing the Reform (1999). Taman Kehidupan (Garden of Life) is his anthology published in 2004. President Yudhoyono speaks English fluently.

President Yudhoyono is a devoted Moslem. He is married to Madam Ani Herrawati. The first couple is blessed with two sons. The oldest is First Lieutenant Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, who graduated top in his class from the Military Academy in 2000 and is now serving at the elite 305th Airborne Battalion of the Army Strategic Reserves Command (KOSTRAD). The youngest, Edhie Baskoro Yudhoyono, earned his degree in Economics from Curtin University, Australia.

8 February 2006

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