Thursday, August 13, 2009

South Africa's Tutu Among US Medal of Freedom Recipients

From Voice of America-

South African Anglican Archbishop and Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu is one of 16 people receiving the Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama at the White House Wednesday. Before the ceremony, the retired archbishop and global peace crusader sat down with VOA's Michael Bowman, who has this report.

At 77 years of age, Desmond Tutu remains an energetic and outspoken man who tempers sometimes-sharp commentary with an aura of humility, a playful sense of humor, and an infectious laugh.

Last November, Tutu wrote that Barack Obama's election victory made him want "to jump and dance and shout." Now, he says he has a simple message for the president:

"You have done quite well up to now, man!" he said.

Months ago, Tutu urged Mr. Obama to apologize for the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. No such apology has been made, and the Obama administration plans to maintain an American troop presence in Iraq for another two years. U.S. military engagement in Afghanistan has expanded under Mr. Obama, and some experts question whether the president will be able to deliver on his pledge to close the detainee camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba by early next year.

Asked if he is disappointed with President Obama, the retired archbishop responded this way:

"It is you people, you Americans who make it so very difficult even for a good person with good policies to prevail," said Tutu.

More here-

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