The miracle of Barack Obama’s arrival to the presidency of the most important nation created a wave of enthusiasm and incredible confidence worldwide. In my speech on September 22, 2009, delivered at the Lebanese Center regarding the presentation of the book, "If Lebanon Were to Speak," written by the greatest Arabic language poet, Said Akl, I mentioned my two "calls" in the form of letters to the presidents of the United States and France, the headquarters of the U.N. and UNESCO, respectively, concerning the monument to the first teacher of history, Cadmus, erected in front of the Presidential Palace of the Pines on August 9, 1975, at the request of the president of the Republic of Mexico.

This monument was adopted by UNESCO at its 44th International Conference concerning Education in Geneva, Switzerland, on October 5, 1994, and its director-general, Mr. Federico Mayor, invited the education ministers from 186 member countries to admire the model of the monument that was stationed to the left of the table of honor, and to erect similar monuments in their capital cities.

This monument was later surrounded by the Kite Museum. A building that eventually was named the Monument of Peace Education after the eminent Jaime Torres Bodet, who was director-general of UNESCO from 1948 to 1952 and who told me that he himself would be the first in the world to pay tribute to the teaching profession. (However, said letters were not sent because I thought it was unfair to inform other governments without consulting the president of Mexico, as I expressed in my speech on September 22, 2009, during the presentation of the book "If Lebanon Were to Speak.")

I sent a copy of the book to the president of Mexico, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, on November 23, 2009, and a personal letter, acknowledged and signed by the Magdalena Bridges. I also thought to send one to the U.S. ambassador, because in the speech I spoke of President Obama and his efforts to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons capable of killing millions of people and entire cities in seconds, though I would expect to receive a reply from the president.

On Monday, April 12, a story titled "America does not rule out a military attack" made the front page of the Global section of Excelsior. There, the nation’s secretary of defense confirms the statement made by President Obama about using nuclear bombs against Iran and North Korea if the two countries insist on continuing their nuclear development.

In recent days, the United States gathered 47 nations to discuss this matter, which decreased Obama’s fame as a pacifist and his expectations for his reelection in 2012. I think there is still time for President Obama to regain said fame by promoting civil demonstrations for peace and nuclear disarmament throughout the world, with the participation of the majority of nations in the world. This would greatly help to find a peaceful solution to the problem of nuclear arsenals, as well as the weapons of mass destruction that threaten the people of the planet and could cause tens of millions of victims. Because the agreement with Russia to reduce nuclear bombs is not enough, the danger continues. Surely, the entire world's population will want to participate in these demonstrations against weapons of mass destruction, and much more against nuclear weapons — especially the people of Iran and North Korea.

Joseph Naffah

Former Ambassador of Lebanon in Mexico