Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Keynote Speech at Partnership for a Secure America

Tara Sonenshine
Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs 
Washington, DC
(As Prepared for Delivery)

We find ourselves immersed in a swirl of rage and violence directed at American Embassies over a video that we had nothing to do with. We see voices of suspicion and mistrust that seek to divide countries and cultures from one another.

So we must think about the message that we want to convey to the world. We must convey that – as Americans – we stand for certain inalienable freedoms.

That we stand in defense of freedom of speech as we reserve our right to reject the content of speech which we find despicable.

That we also stand for religious tolerance, and we are the home to people of all religions – including millions of Muslims. So we defend the right of that video to be made, just as we reject its denigration of religion.

We also stand for the unfiltered freedom of the Internet: It should be the forum for all opinions and perspectives – as well as a place from which to report atrocities and outrages, or to report on natural disasters, or share best practices.

This is not the place to dig deeper into that debate. But my point is this: The importance of getting this and other messages right is absolutely crucial.

To people around the world, it also sends a powerful message: we are Americans with shared purpose, values, visions, and solidarity.

That’s a core principle of public diplomacy. Our position in the world becomes stronger and more secure when we support democratic representation, human rights, and inclusive economic institutions. When we enhance prosperity abroad, we create opportunities for U.S. investment, and for trade. That creates jobs for our people.

1 comment:

  1. Hi your blog is educational. After some time, US will fully recover from economic crisis, and about the ZTE and Huawei concerns, still there are legitimate reasons not to fully trust because of the China's totalitarian regime.