Nobel-winning Obama defends war in call for peace
(Associated Press) -- by Ben Feller --
OSLO – Newly enshrined among the world's great peacemakers, President Barack Obama offered a striking defense of war. Eleven months into his presidency, a fresh Obama doctrine. Evil must be vigorously opposed, he declared as he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on Thursday. At the same time, he made an impassioned case for building a "just and lasting peace."
"I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people," Obama told his audience in Oslo's soaring City Hall. "For make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world."
Pronouncing himself humbled by such an honor so early in "my labors on the world stage," Obama nevertheless turned his Nobel moment into an unapologetic defense of armed intervention in times of self defense or moral necessity. The hawkish message was an inevitable nod to the controversy defining his selection: an American president, lauded for peace just as he escalates the long, costly war in Afghanistan.
It was a jarring moment when Obama, in the midst of the ceremony, said of his troops in Afghanistan: "Some will kill. Some will be killed."
He lauded Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., preachers of nonviolent action. But he added, "A nonviolent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al-Qaida's leaders to lay down their arms."
"To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism, it is a recognition of history."...CONT'D...LINK