Peace Talks Radio: Barack Obama as Peacemaker

On this edition of Peace Talks Radio, a panel of guests explored Barack Obama’s potential as a peacemaker in global and domestic affairs and how he might do as a champion for human rights around the globe. January 20, 2009, newly inaugurated United States President Barack Obama declared a new era for American leadership in promoting peace on the planet, but how likely is it that he'll play the role of peacemaker as president? During the campaign, he pointed to his early opposition to the war in Iraq, while talking tough on other international fronts. While he's said it's important for the U.S. to talk to its enemies, he's appointed a Secretary of State in Hillary Clinton who challenged him on that philosophy during the primary campaign. What in Obama's background suggests that he would be an effective diplomat to bring warring factions together internationally or in Congress over key domestic issues? Guests included David Mendell, author of the best-selling book Obama: From Promise To Power. As a former reporter for the Chicago Tribune, Mendell covered Obama’s rise through politics and offers a close-up view of the man’s conflict resolution skill set and history. Also on the program, Dr. Joseph Gerson, Ph.D., author and director of Programs of the American Friends Service Committee in New England. Finally, excerpts from a human rights conference put on by the Carter Center in Atlanta December of 2008. The aim of the two-day conference was to draw up a list of recommendations for the new president related to the struggle for human rights around the world. Listeners hear from Former President Jimmy Carter and others, and talk with Karin Ryan, director of the Carter Center's Human Rights Program, who organized and moderated the conference.

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