Human Interconnection

In his discussion with the Sun-Times interviewer, Obama said that his "politics are informed by a belief that we're all connected." He continued:

"I can give religious expression to that. I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper, we are all children of God. Or I can express it in secular terms. But the basic premise remains the same.

Obama claims to understand at least a version of this teaching. When pressed by Brooks to describe what he extracted from Niebuhr's texts, Obama said it was "the compelling idea" that serious evil exists in the world "and hardship and pain. And we should be humble and modest in our belief that we can eliminate those things. But we shouldn't use that as an excuse for cynicism and inaction. I take away ... the sense that we have to make these efforts knowing they are hard, and not swinging from naive idealism to bitter realism."

Work Cited:
Julian, Liam. "Niebuhr and Obama." Policy Review (2009): 19+.

War in Iraq and Nuclear Test in North Korea

(In Feb., 2009, U.S. President Obama said that most U.S. forces would be withdrawn from Iraq by Aug., 2010.) The agreements were seen as strengthening Prime Minister Maliki and further undermining Moktada al-Sadr, and in the Jan., 2009, provincial elections, Maliki's coalition emerged as the strongest political grouping. In June, Iraqi forces assumed responsibility for security in urban areas; the process had begun in January.("Iraq")

Work Cited
"Iraq." The Columbia Encyclopedia. 6th ed. 2009.

Obama said that, in response to the nuclear test, the United States and its four partners in the regional talks - China, Japan, Russia, and South Korea - "have all come to the same conclusion: North Korea will not find security and respect through threats and illegal weapons."

Moscow and Beijing issued their own condemnatory statements immediately after the test. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said May 26 that China "resolutely opposed" the test and that, in carrying it out, North Korea had "ignored [the] universal opposition of the international community."(Crail)
Crail, Peter. "N. Korean Nuclear Test Prompts Global Rebuke." Arms Control Today June 2009: 27+.