Results tagged “CNN” from ratboy's anvil 2

Obama 'til you drop

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Because he's just that good...some highlights from the CNN interview:

Fareed Zakaria interviews Sen. Barack Obama


ZAKARIA: Tell me, what is your first memory of a foreign policy event that shaped you, shaped your life?

OBAMA: A first memory. Well, you know, it wasn't so much an event.

I mean, my first memory was my mother coming to me and saying, "I've remarried this man from Indonesia, and we're moving to Jakarta on the other side of the world." Video Watch part of Obama's discussion on foreign policy ยป

And that's, I think, my first memory of understanding how big the world was. And then, flying there and landing. This was only maybe a year, or even less than a year, after an enormous coup, the military coup in which we learned later that over half-a-million people had probably died.

But it was for me, as a young boy, a magical place. And I think that probably is when it first enters into my consciousness that this is a big world. There are a lot of countries, a lot of cultures. It's a complicated place.

ZAKARIA: But you were an American in Indonesia. How did that make you feel?

OBAMA: Well, you know, it made me realize what an enormous privilege it is to be an American. I mean, it certainly was at that time, even more so, because the gap in the wealth of the West at the time compared to the East was much wider.

But it wasn't simply the fact that my mother was being paid in dollars by the U.S. Embassy, and so, that gave us some additional comfort.

It was also becoming aware that, for example, the generals in Indonesia or members of Suharto's family were living in lavish mansions, and the sense that government wasn't always working for the people, but was working for insiders -- not that that didn't happen in the United States, but at least the sense that there was a civil society and rules of law that had to be abided by.

My stepfather was essentially dragged out of the university he'd been studying in in Hawaii, and was conscripted and sent to New Guinea. And when he was first conscripted, he didn't know whether he was going to be jailed, killed -- that sense of arbitrariness of government power.

Those were the things that you felt you were protected from as an American, and made me, as I got older, appreciate America that much more.

ZAKARIA: Why did you major in international affairs?

OBAMA: Well, obviously, having lived overseas and having lived in Hawaii, having a mother who was a specialist in international development, who worked -- was one of the early practitioners of microfinancing, and would go to villages in South Asia and Africa and Southeast Asia, helping women buy a loom or a sewing machine or a milk cow, to be able to enter into the economy -- it was natural for me, I think, to be interested in international affairs.

The Vietnam War had drawn to a close when I was fairly young. And so, that wasn't formative for me in the way it was, I think, for an earlier generation.

The Cold War, though, still loomed large. And I thought that both my interest in what was then called the Third World and development there, as well as my interest in issues like nuclear proliferation and policy, that I thought that I might end up going into some sort of international work at some point in my life.

ZAKARIA: Do you believe, when looking at the world today, that Islamic extremism is the transcendent challenge of the 21st century?

OBAMA: I think the problems of terrorism and groups that are resisting modernity, whether because of their ethnic identities or religious identities, and the fact that they can be driven into extremist ideologies, is one of the severe threats that we face.

I don't think it's the only threat that we face.

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