While managing to piss everyone off with his Afghanistan move, Obama made everyone happy with his Nobel speech. Weird. Here's what peeps are saying:
He did not glide around the awkwardness of the occasion. He acknowledged it and dealt with it. He was straightforward and unembarrassed about his lack of achievements--no taint of false modesty in the way he expressed it. The award was a "call to action". A little more to my surprise, he confronted head on the oddity of the peace prize going to a leader who had just announced a major escalation of a war. Still more to my surprise, he dwelt on this at some length, putting his decision in the context of "just war" theory. He defended his approach more forthrightly than he had at West Point. A good part of the speech was a lecture on why wars still have to be fought. Not an obvious theme when you're accepting the Nobel peace prize.Green footballs:
Yes, that’s right — he acknowledged that there is true evil in the world, and made a strong case for the United States as a defender of freedom. Not exactly the words of an America-hating commie traitor, are they?Kevin Drum:
Given that he was, after all, accepting a peace prize, it was a surprisingly robust defense of war and America's military role in the world. Surprisingly Bushian, really, with one obvious caveat: among the many wars he mentioned as necessary and justified, there was one that was deliberately conspicuous by its absence: Iraq. So neocons have that to gripe about if they're in a griping mood.James Fallows:
Those trademark elements include: The embrace of contradictions (in this case, a defense of war as a means to peace); the long view; the emphasis on institution-building; the concern about the distortion of religious and ethnic loyalties; and above all a consciousness that was once called Niebuhrian and at this rate will someday be "Obamian," which emphasizes the importance of steady steps forward in an inevitably flawed world.Gawker:
Because George W. Bush so brazenly co-opted the utopian rhetoric of liberal internationalists, no current politician can speak of the courage and heroism of those who protest oppressive regimes without unintentionally evoking that jackass in all his smirky vainglory.Joe Klein:
How does a rookie President, having been granted the Nobel Peace Prize, go about earning it? Well, he can start by giving the sort of Nobel lecture that Barack Obama just did, an intellectually rigorous and morally lucid speech that balanced the rationale for going to war against the need to build a more peaceful and equitable world.Sarah Palin:
I liked what he said. I talked too in my book about the fallen nature of man and why war is necessary at times.