Here are some excerpts from Mr. Obama’s speech today:
“Development depends upon good governance. That is the ingredient which has been missing in far too many places, for far too long….
“As I said in Cairo, each nation gives life to democracy in its own way, and in line with its own traditions. But history offers a clear verdict: governments that respect the will of their own people are more prosperous, more stable, and more successful than governments that do not….
“This is about more than holding elections – it’s also about what happens between them. Repression takes many forms, and too many nations are plagued by problems that condemn their people to poverty. No country is going to create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves, or if police can be bought off by drug traffickers….
“No business wants to invest in a place where the government skims 20 percent off the top, or the head of the Port Authority is corrupt. No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery.
“That is not democracy, that is tyranny, even if occasionally you sprinkle an election in there, and now is the time for that style of governance to end.
“In the 21st century, capable, reliable and transparent institutions are the key to success – strong parliaments and honest police forces; independent judges and journalists; a vibrant private sector and civil society. Those are the things that give life to democracy, because that is what matters in peoples’ lives.
“Just as governance is vital to opportunity, it is also critical to the third area that I will talk about – strengthening public health.
“In recent years, enormous progress has been made…. Far more people are living productively with HIV/AIDS, and getting the drugs they need. But too many still die from diseases that shouldn’t kill them.
“That is why we must stand up to inhumanity in our midst. It is never justifiable to target innocents in the name of ideology…. We must bear witness to the value of every child...and the dignity of every woman….”
At long last, I think he’s getting it. He certainly described America to a tee. Wait…what? What did you say? He was talking about Africa? Oh… Sorry. My mistake.