In Sept 2006 Illinois State Senator Obama, while on an international trip was interviewed by Lynn Sweet of the Sun-Times.
Obama: Africa lessons; look ahead. En route back to U.S.
By Lynn Sweet on September 3, 2006 8:40 AM |
N’DJAMENA, Chad–Sen. Barack Obama departed this capital city Sunday morning, en route on an Army military aircraft to Frankfort, Germany to catch a commercial flight back to the United States.
He leaves wtih a “great urgency” to pressure the U.S. and other players to force Sudan to accept a United Nations peackeeping force in the Darfur region. Obama’s last stop was at a refugee camp near the Chad-Sudan border where some 15,333 people who fled Janjaweed violence live. Of those he talked to, they told him almost to a person they want to return-but cannot unless there are UN troops there to guarantee their safety.
After this major Africa swing–he left Washington on Aug. 18–the Illinois Democrat revs up a heavy political schedule in advance of the November elections, stumping in Iowa on Sept. 17, a stop in the early presidential caucus state that fuels speculation about whether the White House is in his future.
Obama launches his national book tour for his second book Oct. 17 in Chicago.
He reflected on his trip at the back of a plane on Saturday, talking above the roar of the engines to the three print reporters who have been covering his trip.
Obama’s next big international journey will be in 2007 –he’s looking at China, India and Indonesia, “where ironicall I actually have more of a childhood than I do in Kenya.”
Click for excerpts.
OBAMA INTERVIEW EXCERPTS
ON THE SITUATION IN SUDAN
The instability in Sudan is greater than I realized. I think that the lack of a clear mandate for the African Union is more debilitating than I realized and that effectively they are not able to provide any type of security function in these areas.
NEED FOR URGENT ACTION
It appears that there is a possible significant offensive by the Sudan forces against rebel forces once the rainy season (is) over and that is obviously a concern….My overarching sense is the great urgency to get a United Nations protective force on the ground. We can’t wait.
…If we wait much longer, i think it is fair to say the people we have seen today and the people in Darfur will be in an even worse situation than they are right now.
U.S. EFFORT IN DARFUR
Better, but better is not good enough. (A protetctive force) is not going to happen without special effort on our part.
HIGHLIGHTS and INSIGHTS FROM AFRICA TRIP
The visit to Kisumu (which included a stop at his fathers’ homestead) and actually the response when we took that AIDS test was fairly remarkable. (Obama and wife Michelle took it publically to reduce the stigma of testing)…a small gesture that could actually save some lives.
Coming here and seeing how isolated people are and really getting a sense I think in this region how ungoverned entire segments of the continent are.
…Trying to figure out how we can create structures that provide people with basic security, basic protection…a hugh problem and one that we are going to have to continue to grapple with I think for many years because it has a direct impact on our own security back home.
ON MEETING WITH TWO NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNERS
The fact that both appeared so cheerful, and hopeful indicates there is something about when people serve, somehow it enrichs them in all sorts of ways. They just seemed like happy, fulfilled people, even though they are not particularly wealthy.
Obama met former Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Kenyan environmentalist Wangari Maathai.
ON YOUR DEVELOPMENT AS A SENATOR
(noted that on last big international swing, was under the wing of Sen. Richard Lugar, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee)
(On the Africa trip, tis time)
I was responsible, I think, for carrying the message to the countries we visited. But it was a good growth experience for me.
The Obama nativity story is that Barack Abdallah Husein Obama was born in Hawaii [a claim that has never been proven], and that the first time he was in Kenya was in the early 1980’s. Remember this was the same trip that Michelle stated that Kenya was Barack’s ‘Home Country’. and referenced again, when Michelle again stated that Barack was a ‘Kenyan‘.
How does one have a childhood in a country that he never was there as a child?
click on image for larger version
Additional Points to ponder;
In May 2010, Mama Sarah Obama received an honorary doctorate from the Great Lakes University of Kisumu. During her acceptance, she stated the following “This is a show of blessing from God, since I have always dedicated my time to tend to the orphans. Even the US president passed through my hands.”
How does one pass through hands unless they were physically there, and if Obama did in fact pass through Granny’s hands, when was this? Where did this happen?
Why does Obama’s words about a childhood in Kenya now appear to be true?
In 2006, Obama’s next big international journey will be in 2007 –he’s looking at China, India and Indonesia, “where ironicall I actually have more of a childhood than I do in Kenya.”
Or why was there a reference to Obama during a discussion in the Kenyan Parliment rename the hospital?
NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OFFICIAL REPORT
Mr. Outa: Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to alert the Assistant Minister, who is my friend, that, because of the great need to have a theatre in order to reduce the strain on Nyanza Provincial General Hospital, the Ahero Sub-district Hospital has acquired a modern theatre from our friends. Could the Assistant Minister, who is my friend, avail a certain amount of money to enable us to build and complete the theatre in Ahero Sub-district Hospital as soon as he can?
Mr. Mungatana: Yes, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, I want to assure hon. Outa,who is my friend, that we shall do everything possible. In fact, I laud his initiative, because those hon. Members who are putting money in health, we want to support them to the full. If you could see me after this, I will make sure that, that happens.
Thank you, Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker.
The Temporary Deputy Speaker (Prof. Kamar): Last question, Mr. Olago!
Mr. Aluoch: Madam Temporary Deputy Speaker, that hospital was sponsored by the USSR Government, and for a long time, up to now, it has been popularly known as “Russia Hospital”. I would like to have a detailed breakdown of the Medium-Term-Expenditure Framework, so that I can interrogate it more deeply. In the meantime, has the Ministry considered that Russia Hospital could attract funding and sponsorship from our friends out of the country if we were to consider re-naming it “Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Memorial Hospital”?
An hon. Member: Or Obama!