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Peace prize, war president

By Dan Balz
If there were any further evidence needed of the distance between running for president and being president, it came Thursday in Oslo as President Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize. The politician who had sought the White House as the champion of the antiwar forces in his own party spoke as the commander in chief, offering a principled defense of waging just wars.

The incongruity of a president accepting the peace prize at a time his nation is conducting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was lost on no one, most notably the president. Obama decided to confront this seeming incongruity head on.

The Nobel ceremonies came little more than a week after Obama announced the deployment of an additional 30,000 U.S. troops to Afghanistan. As he put it starkly, "Some will kill and some will be killed. And so I come here with an acute sense of the costs of armed conflict."

Seven years ago, in a now-famous speech on the eve of a congressional vote to give then-President Bush the authority to take the country to war against Iraq, Obama said, "I am not opposed to all wars. I'm opposed to dumb wars."

That statement was a precursor to what Obama said Thursday in Oslo, but the 2002 speech has been remembered mainly for its vigorous criticism of the pending Iraq war and Obama's prescient description of what might happen if the United States invaded Iraq.

"I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences," he said that day. "I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda."

His speech in Oslo may be remembered for his argument in favor of war as an instrument designed to secure the peace. Obama recalled the non-violent examples of two previous Nobel winners, Mahatma Gandhi and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He acknowledged that he is a direct beneficiary of what non-violent protest achieved for African Americans. He said, "There's nothing weak -- nothing passive, nothing naïve -- in the creed and lives of Gandhi and King."

But then came the admission that his own decisions are now shaped by a perspective that is miles from that of those men, as well as from that of a young state senator from Illinois or underdog candidate for president. "As a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation," he said, "I cannot be guided by their examples alone. I face the world as it is and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake. Evil does exist in the world."

Obama drew some criticism after his speech at West Point for failing to show passion in defense of the escalation in Afghanistan and for not offering up the rhetoric of victory at all costs that marked Bush's advocacy of the use of force after 9/11. If anything, Obama's speech is Oslo was a more eloquent and direct statement of why he believes a larger war in Afghanistan is both necessary and just. But it was not full-throated.

It was, instead, in keeping with Obama's lawyerly approach to difficult issues and his belief that either-or choices are often false choices and that the truth lies somewhere between. As he put it, "the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace. And yet this truth must coexist with another, that no matter how justified, war promises human tragedy."

In Chicago seven years ago, Obama couched his opposition to the Iraq war in terms that still allowed room for him to emerge as a potential commander in chief who would not shrink from using force as necessary.

In Oslo, he shaded his defense of war with hard-headed words about the difficulty of waging peace. "I understand why war is not popular," he said, "but I know this: The belief that peace is desirable is rarely enough to achieve it. Peace requires responsibility. Peace entails sacrifice."

What he may not have imagined back in 2002 is that it would be left to him to finish what Bush started -- not just in Iraq but in Afghanistan. Here were his words that day in October in Chicago: "You want a fight, President Bush? Let's finish the fight with bin Laden and al-Qaeda, through effective, coordinated intelligence and a shutting down of the financial networks that support terrorism and a homeland security program that involves more than color-coded warnings."

At the time, his prescription for finishing the fight with Osama bin Laden did not include an explicit call to arms. The war in Afghanistan was then a year old and while bin Laden was still at large, the action would soon shift to Iraq. A military escalation in Afghanistan was not on anyone's radar screen.

Now Obama is commander in chief and Afghanistan is his war. Finishing the fight with bin Laden and al-Qaeda is now his responsibility. In Oslo, he confronted all those realities, bearing burdens no candidate ever does.

By Web Politics Editor  |  December 10, 2009; 2:38 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Dan Balz's Take  
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=== URGENT TO POTUS via WH staff / Gibbs, Axelrod, Emanuel, Jarrett ===

Please summon Bob Dylan to the White House, stat, to sing this song to you in person:

"Oh the First World War, boys / It closed out its fate / The reason for fighting / I never got straight / But I learned to accept it / Accept it with pride / For you don't count the dead / When God's on your side.

"But now we got weapons / Of the chemical dust / If fire them we're forced to / Then fire them we must / One push of the button / And a shot the world wide / And you never ask questions / When God's on your side."



• Personal to Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen: Re-record this song in a video, post it to YouTube, and make it viral. The times they are a-NOT changin' and someone needs a wake-up call.



• Regional Homeland Security- administered fusion centers use a nationwide microwave/laser radiation "directed energy" weapons system, employing cell towers and satellites, to silently, invisibly torture, impair, physiologically and neurologically subjugate unconstitutionally "targeted" Americans and their families -- an American genocide hiding in plain sight. OR (if link is corrupted): re: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | December 11, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Obama's war is a "just war" and a "smart war," unlike Bush's "illegal war" and "stupid war."

Posted by: mock1ngb1rd | December 10, 2009 10:38 PM | Report abuse

One week without oil and civilization would collapse into complete anarchy. Oil haters are not thinking clearly.

Posted by: pkhenry | December 10, 2009 10:23 PM | Report abuse

As one who is not against dumb wars, I take exception to Obama's depiction of Iraq as one.
We are fighting in Afghanistan for vengeance- that's it- the most non-intellectual pursuit of man.
Iraq on the other hand has strategic importance, a more modern culture, and modern norms of civil conduct, and was a real threat to our long term interests in the middle-east, and the rest of the developed world. The people of Iraq are even familiar with the concept of a central government.
I will take great satisfaction in winning the war of vengence, but don't expect anything more. Dumb if I think of it, so I don't.
Winning in Iraq though, will ensure a peaceful and normally friendly ally, liberty for it's inhabitants, and progressive reforms that may bridge the gap between Islam and ignorance.

Posted by: rpatoh | December 10, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

President Obama delivered his speech regarding the war , he mentioned that one of his goals is to stabilize the government in Afghanistan not only to benefit the Afghan people but the entire world. He gave the speech with such a powerful leadership and emotion. His tone went from a taking charge attitude to a apologetic tone to the troops and their family. He kept repeating his that it was a very difficult decision.

Posted by: campbellarmy | December 10, 2009 9:47 PM | Report abuse

"You said it!!
'As an American, I am proud that he received the Nobel Peace prize. This is not only an honor for Obama but an honor for America as well'. == Well, I'm a proud Norwegian on behalf of you all in America!"
Posted by: JN-Norway | December 10, 2009 5:34 PM
Thank you, JN.
Despite some of the negativity which haunts these threads, many of us are very proud that Barack Obama, as President of the United States, has been awarded this most prestigious recognition.
For many of us who had the good sense to work during the campaign for his election, it is a wonderful affirmation of our faith in what we believe to be his greatest assets -- his intelligence, good will and common sense, not to mention his basic decency as a person who cares about others.
He continually surprises and sometimes disappoints initially.
Only later, can I wonder at the wisdom of his decisions or appointments and feel surprised.
Also, he's not moving fast enough on some fronts for my taste, but since his first year has about 6 to 8 weeks more to go, let's see what happens in the depth of winter after this very active season comes to an end and he has more time to reflect upon changes he wants to make and the best way to achieve his goals.
He's up against the most potent and influential commercial and international interests that I have ever seen.
I don't remember ever being so aware of all the forces arrayed against changing the way we have been doing things as I am now.
That's partly thanks to the Internet and satellite news networks, who are exposing mysterious elements involved in a situation that would have gone unnoticed in past times.
I'll give you one leetle example:
Somebody on this thread complained that he had not "banned" torture.
However, I don't recall any discussion of any torture occurring since he became President.
What he did approve of was some forms of rendition (which is a form of capture, moving a captured person to a secure place, retention and interrogation).
That doesn't mean those involved are allowed to conduct defined torture techniques.
I just hope, since he gave the approval, they don't embarrass us in the process.
He's going to have to keep a very tight rein on such activities.
Something tells me, he's given that consideration and is riding herd over the people so involved.
So I'm glad to hear from you in Norway that you are proud of us as Americans for voting to move away from the warlike nature of the previous 8 years and I thank you for your message.
It's very much appreciated, believe me.
Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, JN.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | December 10, 2009 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Obama gave a good speech. I didn't vote for him and I don't care for his politics but, here, he did good.

Posted by: Bitter_Bill | December 10, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

I think the president’s sort of capsule description of modern U.S. history and our role in the world is extraordinarily important and the reason it is important is because that text could of been lifted out of a speech by Harry Truman, by John Kennedy, by Lyndon Johnson, by Richard Nixon, by Ronald Reagan, or by George W. Bush. This is the preferred narrative of American history, the way we prefer to see ourselves and, therefore, the narrative that we use to justify all that we do in the world. It is really telling and extraordinary that this president, whose background is quite different from all those other presidents that I just named, and who came to office promising to bring about change, it is extraordinary that he himself would embrace that narrative so uncritically. I think that is indicative of the extent to which whether there is going to be any change in Washington, it is simply going to be changes on the margins and that the Washington consensus, the status quo, is firmly in place.

Posted by: bromisky | December 10, 2009 9:26 PM | Report abuse

"When I heard about this prize, I didn't think I deserved it. I mean, what have I done? But then I looked at the list of past recipients. Yasser Arafat? A peace prize for a terrorist? What's the deal with that, guys? Al Gore? For what, making a movie with charts? And Jimmy Carter. Jimmy Carter! He endorsed me, and even I can't stand that sanctimonious little twit!"

Posted by: fenoy | December 10, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Those who think Obama earned this "peace" prize should agree all modern presidents should have received a nobel too.

Now, let's start with Nixon, he ended the Vietnam war, forget the hundreds of thousands killed, he brought "peace" to Vietnam.

Then there's Carter, who should have received his nobel for not being Nixon.

Reagan should have received a nobel for stimulating the economy with a huge military arms race.

Bush I, for winning a war to make the world safe for gas guzzling cars.

Clinton for, well there must be a reason somewhere.

Bush II and Cheney, for toppling the Taliban and Hussein.

Obama is entitled to his nobel, if we agree the others are too.

Posted by: Aprogressiveindependent | December 10, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

The war in Afghanistan is a war against a mindset--based on ignorance, illiteracy, poverty and dehumanized faith.

So, our focus should be to change the mindset of the Afghan people and the semi-literate people of the border region of Pakistan.

It is a very long term process. Build schools (not madrasas), colleges, hospitals, and provide jobs.

Posted by: zebra4 | December 10, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

It has become a stupid award given to a farce of a leader for the wrong reason!

Posted by: GordonShumway | December 10, 2009 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Was it a war when the ancient Romans, Persians or Chinese went into lawless areas to kill pirates or bandits? No, and that's essentially what we're doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan with regard to Al Qaeda, where there's no meaningful criminal justice system in either country (although it does not help for our leadership to say that publicly). So, what do you do? You do what people in charge have always done. You go in and clean them out, in the manner of Wyatt Earpp. And they don't get Miranda warnings, legal representation or habeas corpus.

Yet if the same crimes were committed here, they would be entitled to everything I just mentioned, if they were arrested on US soil, because it is NOT A WAR.

If we continue calling it a war, we are elevating the status of the criminals who are involved with these terrorist gangs to a level that they do not deserve.
Is this such a hard concept for Democrats and Republicans to understand? If so, they need to put away their ideologies and just look at this in a common sense perspective, as do most of the American people.

Posted by: ripvanwinkleincollege | December 10, 2009 8:09 PM | Report abuse

Unlike Obamao, the self-proclaimed Tibetan parasite Dalying Lama came up with a theory and proved that reincarnation did exist. As a result, he was awarded the Nobel prize for BSting. Now in order for Obamao to keep this Nobel prize for doing nothing, Obamao has to BS about a so-called just war.

Posted by: Maersk | December 10, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

If you see a turtle on a post you know somebody put it there.

Posted by: dirty_ed | December 10, 2009 8:06 PM | Report abuse

There is no such thing as a 'just war'. War will always mean that innocent people get killed on behalf of power brokers.

Nor is there any such thing as pure evil. Evil is entirely dependent on perspective. From Al Qaeda's point of view, America is evil, from America's point of view, Al Qaeda is evil.

Obama justified war, but failed completely to explain the fundamental causes of war: poverty and injustice, and you don't cure these with guns and bombs.

I am so disappointed in Obama. He sounds more and more like Bush every day. What a shame. Truely, what a shame.

Posted by: francinelast | December 10, 2009 8:03 PM | Report abuse

"By giving the peace prize to Obama for just talking the talk, not walking the walk only serves to cheapen the award. In doing this it lessens the meaning for those in the past and future who actually deserve it."
Posted by: thehamptons1 | December 10, 2009 6:28 PM
Actually, hampton, go to the Nobel website and check out the history of the Peace Prize.
This award does not lessen its meaning, even though that may be a very common perception of those who don't know its history.
I made that mistake when I hit the ceiling because Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Thot won the award when their negotiations did NOT bring the Vietnam War to a halt.
If I remember correctly, right after that, Nixon mined the Haiphong harbor and ordered a devestating series of bombing raids on Hanoi.
I learned, when I researched the history of the award recently that the Nobel Committee was celebrating the effort that Kissinger et al made to craft peace, whether or not the peace initiative held together.
And I was frankly surprised to find out about its history.
It's an interesting study, and very different from what I expected to find.
You might try reexamining both of Obama's speeches regarding his current initiative in Afghanistan.
And also, go back and reexamine our exit from Iraq, which is coming up shortly.
That exit was negotiated by Bush and rather than renegotiate the mess, he left it in place and is following it to the letter.
Now, it's interesting to observe that the Iraqi terrorists have turned on each other, depending on which faction they represent, and have begun a whole new phase of very destructive and deadly bombing campaigns.
Oh yes, and do you remember when it was said that Al-Queda no longer exists in Iraq?
Well, that latest deadly Baghdad bombing in the past week produced a phone call by "Al-Queda Iraq" taking credit for the carnage.
So the Nobel Peace Prize has a nuanced meaning not often evident.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | December 10, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

They should have never offered him the Peace Prize.

He should have rejected it.

And the last thing he should have done is give a speech on just war.

Posted by: camasca | December 10, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

alance (December 10, 2009 6:03 PM):
"... to make a fool of himself (again)."
You and I aren't talking about the same person.
And you can't justify that criticism.
And further, while he was accepting the Prize, in Copenhagen a devastating terrorist attack occurred.
That's a bit of history you probably wouldn't acknowledge.
GWB was in error when he declared a "war on terror."
There is no such thing as a war against a tactic.
There is, however, a epic conflict occurring now between two cultures which have broad and long-lasting consequences that may last throughout the coming centuries.
We simply cannot allow one culture to brutishly impose its value system on another, without respect, as they would try to outlaw our way of life.
That's anathema.
Do you think McCain would have given our military plans more thought and consideration?
Do you think John McCain should have been their choice?
Your comment makes no sense whatsoever.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | December 10, 2009 7:12 PM | Report abuse

Commander in Chief is an official title and should be capitalized.

Posted by: Extempraneous | December 10, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Excellent Speech, glad I voted for President Barack Obama, glad America did too, looks like the rest of the world very glad we did too!

President doing a great job cleaning up a great Criminal/Republican Mess!

Posted by: ztcb41 | December 10, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

The Norwegians wanted to see a monkey.

Posted by: Atenora | December 10, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

It seems ironic that while Obama was accepting the peace prize in Oslo his radical cronies are trying to figure out how to do "whatever necessary" to shut up Limbaugh, O'Reilly and Beck (Fox News in general).

Have these bozos read the first amendment?

How would the liberals react if this threat were posed on MSNBC and Keith Oberman and others in the liberal media?

Threating to shut down those with opposing views doesn't sound like someone heading down the path of peace.

Posted by: thehamptons1 | December 10, 2009 6:48 PM | Report abuse

OVOMIT is a MUSLIM dirtbag - the whole world knows the face of stupidity!

Posted by: Sparky15 | December 10, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Obama spoke about the contradiction of a Nobel Prize winner (himself) being a war monger (himself), but I don't think he understands it. If he really understood it he either would not be escalating in Afghanistan or would decline the prize.

Posted by: roscoe911 | December 10, 2009 6:38 PM | Report abuse

What struck me most about the acceptance speech of the president is how he tried to find the middle path. As a Buddhist, I see that as a good thing. However, the other principle that is used in taking action from my spiritual discipline is taking wise action. Alas, the surge in Afghanistan fails this test. It simply is an particularly stony ground to try and establish a universal worldview, probably not even nationalism.

I hate to see this presidency, the blood of my fellow citizens, and our collective treasure wasted in an effort to drag Afghanistan into the 21st century. Iraq was a much better platform to try and reform the Islamic world. It makes me sad that the path this president has taken to his office precludes him from dealing in a most salubrious way with the problem presented by radical Islam.

Posted by: edbyronadams | December 10, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

"Just War" = "Jihad" in Islam

Our troops are squatting on Saudi Arabia?????

What would our fore father do if an army squatted on us?????

We are in a fight to the death - looking into a mirror!

Posted by: ryan_heart | December 10, 2009 6:36 PM | Report abuse

Some Christian theologians believe that there is some thing called a "just war" Is Obama one of them? Recently Mr. Obama was all Hindu at their festival "Diwali" He is a Jew at the wailing wall. However he does not profess to be a Muslim even though many right wingers think he is. Is not that great that America is "secular" whatever that may be?. Any way I do not believe in "war".

Posted by: tjohn1 | December 10, 2009 6:34 PM | Report abuse

This award was ridiculous and President Obama made himself ridiculous by accepting it.
How much more graceful, and manly, it would have been to turn it down.

It was completely hilarious that at the press conference celebrating his peace prize, President Obama outlined his war plans for Afghanistan.

It was even funnier that President Obama gave a speech of acceptence in which he lectured these Norweigan idiots who awarded him the peace prize on the necessities of war.

There were many elements in his speech which I applaud and he did not disgrace himself but he certainly looked foolish accepting an award that he had not earned.

Ghandi wasn't worthy of a peace prize for these Norweigan left-wing idiots but they nominated President Obama just days after he was sworn into office.

They nominated him in an attempt to influence his decision in regard to American policy in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Let's hope the Norweigans are embarrassed by the international condemnation of this undeserved award and vote these socialist idiots out of office.

Norway doesn't deserve to be run by such morons.

Posted by: TRUTHTELLER13 | December 10, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

By giving the peace prize to Obama for just talking the talk, not walking the walk only serves to cheapen the award. In doing this it lessens the meaning for those in the past and future who actually deserve it.

Posted by: thehamptons1 | December 10, 2009 6:28 PM | Report abuse

"Gandhi never won the Nobel prize."
Posted by: otmshank | December 10, 2009 2:57 PM
True, but Mahatma Gandhi stands today as the monumental leader who taught non-violence.
Pakistan today is the sad offshoot of the Indian independence movement that never learned from their once-espoused leader.
I often wonder what Gandhi would say today if he could see India and Pakistan squaring off in a nuclear contest.
He'd probably hold another hunger strike.
* * *
Like President Obama, I also wish they had held off a bit longer to see if his leadership bore results.
However, Obama accepted this Peace Prize in our name for all of us who voted for his promise of a more benevolent America in its approach to the globe and other nations.
He earned it because, under his leadership, he immediately shifted our diplomatic focus, restoring our country to the high standards which it should represent v/v other countries and the Nobel Peace Prize committee found that shift so compelling they wanted to encourage us to keep up this good work.
And in that spirit, I take great pride that our country has voted to return to a more intelligent, non-reactive, diplomacy.
His "lecture" (of which I've only heard small excerpts and analysis, so far) was one of the most unusual speeches ever delivered upon reception of the Nobel Prize.
He spoke about the concept of a "just war."
I need to carefully examine what he is saying.
I am certain that he does not believe in hot-headed, gut-reactive conflict and preemptive attacks.
Had we elected his opponent, I am absolutely certain the opponent would not have gotten one vote, much less the prize.
So, I am happy to say that President and Mrs. Obama have made me very proud of our country and their leadership today.
And once again, I want to say that Michelle Obama is a stunningly beautiful woman with an engaging smile.
She is a unique First Lady.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | December 10, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

Why is everybody negative on this? I mean, Obama is not Bush, that is justifiably a reason to give this guy a peace prize. He made promises (I will leave Iraq) and told lies (I banned torture), that justifies it for me.

The fact that he has not made good on his promises doesn't matter to me. The fact that he lied when he said he banned torture doesn't matter to me. Words are just that, actions mean something. He has not left Iraq, we succeeded and he still did not pull out. Torture was illegal before Obama was born, and still is. He did not ban it, he lied to indicate that Bush authorized it. Too bad the facts do not support his premises. But hey, we would be less secure if he carried out his promises and if his lies were true.

Posted by: thelaw1 | December 10, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse

But WAIT! EVIL???? EVIL????? WTF?????

Has BUSH returned to the White House???

Have the EVIL Reboobs TORTURED Obummer???

Where is Holder????

Where is Soros????

Posted by: mipost1 | December 10, 2009 6:16 PM | Report abuse

There are times I am ashamed of my Scandinavian heritage. It is ludicrous to bestow a peace prize on this rude and patronizing Chicago politician. I have no sympathy for the quislings in Oslo who selected him or the Norwegian King he stood up for a luncheon date as part of the honors for the recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize.

It is a shame he keeps returning to Copenhagen to make a fool of himself. It is also a shame that the former prime minister of Denmark, Anders Rasmussen, is his chief cheerleader in Europe for the war in Afghanistan.

Posted by: alance | December 10, 2009 6:03 PM | Report abuse

The Messiah as usual gave a very nice speach.. but in the end he really said nothing. I am glad that an American President won the prize but he really hadn't earned it.. except if earning it means not being Bush.. which is basically why he got it. They want to help influence American policy and know Obama is so in love with himself that he will do anything to get the rest of the world to like him.

Sometimes he says some very good things from a foreign polict standpoint but more often than not he steps in it as soon as he takes action. He really needs some more experience before resuming his role as President... that is when he is actually in the office and not jet setting around the world giving apology speeches for America.

Posted by: tbastian | December 10, 2009 5:44 PM | Report abuse

You said it!!

"As an American, I am proud that he received the Nobel Peace prize. This is not only an honor for Obama but an honor for America as well".

Well, I´am a proud norwegian on behalf of you all in America!

Posted by: JN-Norway | December 10, 2009 5:34 PM | Report abuse

No, you don´t get an award for just being president! And I´ m not talking about what Dr. King thought about regarding violence or non-violence. Dr. King had not achieved to much in 64 when he won the prize, He was a strong worker for civil rights for members of his race, and much because of him, you have got a black leader 40 years later. Obama will work for peace, but it will not happen to morrow, but maybe in a couple of years. He has shown the world more willingness in relative to other leaders, despite of his action in Afganistan. Give him some credit for that!

Posted by: JN-Norway | December 10, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

The President need not feel guilty about accepting the Prize.
Politics is about what's possilbe,but 911 was a reality and issues surrounding Afghanistan must be addressed. Yes, Iraq was a dumb war. Saddam had not attacked the United States.

I don't see Mr. Obama as war monger. But in politics you win some and lose some. On Afganistan he wins my support.

Posted by: Victoria5 | December 10, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Let's be honest. The only reason Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize is because he is black.

Posted by: mock1ngb1rd | December 10, 2009 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Goofy. You can't have it both ways. The award is meaningless since they gave it to Obama, whose has done nothing, and Arafat who had killed millions.

Posted by: 45upnorth | December 10, 2009 5:09 PM | Report abuse

While I disagree with him on a number of issues and policies, I am of the opinion that President Obama is a patriotic American dedicated to doing what he believes to be in the best interest of our Country. It’s too early to tell, but Obama has the possibility of being a great President.

As an American, I am proud that he received the Nobel Peace prize. This is not only an honor for Obama but an honor for America as well.

In his courageous acceptance speech, which I believe will be historic, Obama made the case for our Country’s desire for peace while highlighting the sacrifices that America has made in war and peace over the years. He argued that war is unfortunately at times necessary. It was a great speech. richard allbritton, Miami, Florida,

Posted by: rigel1 | December 10, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Bring on Palin......I ready for the "change" that we were all promised.......

Posted by: hadenough6 | December 10, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

What a you think it bothers Obama that the world is laughing at the thought of him receiving this prize? Somehow I doubt it.....

Posted by: hadenough6 | December 10, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

So you get an award for just being president? Also Dr. King preached non-violence. He didn't agree to escalating a war a week before he won the award. Dr. King was also against the Vietnam war and already had worked with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference for many years before getting the award. The comparison to Dr. King is far off the mark.

Posted by: Aerowaz | December 10, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

In 2002, President Obama said:
"I know that even a successful war against Iraq will require a U.S. occupation of undetermined length, at undetermined cost, with undetermined consequences...I know that an invasion of Iraq without a clear rationale and without strong international support will only fan the flames of the Middle East and encourage the worst, rather than best, impulses of the Arab world, and strengthen the recruitment arm of al-Qaeda."

He was right on every count.

And he also said:
"You want a fight, President Bush? Let's finish the fight with bin Laden and al-Qaeda, through effective, coordinated intelligence and a shutting down of the financial networks that support terrorism and a homeland security program that involves more than color-coded warnings."

If George Bush had done what President Obama proposed in 2002, we would have been finished and out of Afghanistan years ago.

Instead, Bush went off chasing filial glory in Iraq, and Afghanistan festered. Of course Obama has to escalate the military there; it's the only way to clean up the mess that George and his little friends left behind.

Posted by: kjohnson3 | December 10, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I agree with TonyV1. George W. Bush was an absolute joke of a president. It's nice to have the adults in charge again.

Posted by: john65001 | December 10, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

I've already nominated myself for next year. My "forward thinking" is that I was smart enough to come up with the idea of nominating myself.

Okay, you're right, Obama did come up with the idea first.

Posted by: flintston | December 10, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

I think it´s very sad that you criticize Obama this way. The Nobel Peace Prize is probably one of the most important and famous prizes in the world. Who was Dr. King when he won the prize in 1964? What did he achieve? Well, Obama is President today, isn´t he?? Please listen to the reasons (todays speeches in Oslo) from the Nobel comitee. He is a person that can make changes!!! So let him do!! Just as Dr. King..

Regards JN
Oslo, Norway

Posted by: JN-Norway | December 10, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Obama should have not accepted the award. A real leader does what's right even when it is not the customary thing to do. I'm pretty much over Obama, he is just another politician.

Posted by: Aerowaz | December 10, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Time to impeach. With luck he will take the money and continue on to the family shack in Kenya. And remember he does have in excess of $250 million in campaign bucks to ease the transition. The 2010 elections are going to send a LOT of people packing. The magic show just does not seem to end does it?

Posted by: KBlit | December 10, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

The level of snark in this forum doesn't surprise me, especially when it's doubtful that any of his critics possess the ability to effect peace by doing anything more than wishing for it.

Obama spoke forcefully and eloquently in the moment today. He didn't ask for the Noble Prize but he utilized the stage to deliver another teachable moment--not just for Americans but for the world.

He's nothing like President Bush, though he must uphold the same principles as president of this nation. Bush was not a thinking president. His actions were rash and reckless. There's no better proof of that than the misery that is Iraq. Because of Bush's ineptness, we have to expend additional human capital to clean up the mess in Afghanistan. But I digress.

Obama knows he has done little to deserve a Nobel Peace Prize but damn he did more today to bring peace to the world than any of his critics. He brings peace in knowing that there's someone with the good sense God gave him in charge of the world's last superpower. You go, Obama.

Posted by: spookyjuice1 | December 10, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe that he actually took a whole day off from bankrupting a nation to pick up a personal check for $1.4 million dollars! And how will President Obama be redistributing that wealth?

Posted by: LEH3 | December 10, 2009 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Hey...I washed the dishes. Do I get a peace prize?

Posted by: Wiggan | December 10, 2009 4:08 PM | Report abuse

What price a prize? And for "peace" - Nobel to name one! Life is full of surprises and unfairnesses and unhappiness, and life goes on.

Peace award for retaliation, counter-terrorism, misery-inflicting acts, so on; and what's the justification when contradiction, irony, and bigotry prevail in the name of "peace". Political power and gaining wealth under peace-cover, isn't it historical truth?

Who deserves a prize and who doesn't don't matter much in the political powerplay.

Nevertheless, progessing human civilization has witnessed too many controversial recognitions of accomplishments - genuine or fake.

Likewise, questions should have been raised as to how peaceful were peace laureates Yasser Arafat, M.L.King, and Henry Kissinger, while many other more deserving historical icons were not honored with the coveted Nobels, e.g., Mahatma Gandhi, JFK, Mojibur Rahman, Shokarno, to name among the greats.

However, "winning" something is always gratifying.

As for US, why not American prizes offered more famous than the Nobels?

Posted by: MustaqurRahman | December 10, 2009 3:57 PM | Report abuse

The only losers in this whole thing are the people who truly deserved the peace prize in the past. This award has no meaning anymore.

Posted by: trumeau | December 10, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

This president did not ask for the award. He did not ask for the wars either.

I totally agree with him - sometimes some war is the only to achieve peace - like the one in Afghanistan. If Bush had not invaded Iraq before finishing up Afghanistan, we would have been fighting TWO LESS wars.

Posted by: ExpressReader | December 10, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Obama, on receiving the Nobel "Peace" Prize, gave a defense of war and himself. It was a little depressing. There is nothing "idle" about people who actively work for peace. Working for peace, to see yourself in another, to regard their humanity as you do your own, is the bravest most courageous thing to do. And before and after war, the commitment to and consciousness of "peace" is what holds us all together.

Posted by: kmbd | December 10, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse

I think that Obama would be reckless if he did not try one last time to stabilize that region between Pakistan and Afghanistan. And again to those of you who voted for him thinking he would not continue Afghanistan, you're idiotic. He promised to not ignore the need to finish the fight in Afghanistan as a candidate. You can't pick and choose what you listen to.

Posted by: MissRed | December 10, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

So the incompetent goes over to Denmark and cancels all the usual events tht prize winners usually attend.
What an as$ hole this leftist slug is.

Posted by: LarryG62 | December 10, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

What Gibberish to justify the unjustifiable. This award also was given to Henry Kissinger, one of the architects of the inFamous Cambodian and Laos Carpet Bombings that ultimately cost millions of Lives so it is of no great surprise that another War Criminal is the recipient. Yes, I did vote for Obama on the mistaken belief that He would turn Corruption of Washington around, I was dead wrong. Nowhere in His speech did He even have the Courage to admit that not a single 9/11 participent was Afghani and that We are killing the wrong People. Somehow truth doesn't seem to matter. Money talks and truth walks, He should feel shame, not honor.

Posted by: mnlennon | December 10, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

TonyV1 is why I am proud to be an independent rather than a party hack. In the same post where he calls liberals stupid because he sounds "a lot like George W. Bush" he also says "what an absolute joke of a president"

So Tony, are you saying Obama is a joke of a president because he sounds like Bush? Or is this getting just a little too confusing for you?

BTW, you really shouldn't SHOUT on the Internet when calling people stupid... It just looks bad.

Posted by: lightgrw | December 10, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse




Posted by: danders5000 | December 10, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Even if you are opposed to dumb wars, you still have to be able to figure out when you are faced with one. Obama didn't.

Posted by: rusty3 | December 10, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"But as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation,...I face the world as it is, and cannot stand idle in the face of threats to the American people. For make no mistake: evil does exist in the world." -- B. HUSSEIN OBAMA






Posted by: TonyV1 | December 10, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I think a better use of his time would have been to save taxpayer money and stay home.. Perhaps he would have made time to actually get a days worth of work done...

If he expects people to think he is doing a good job, he needs to actually start doing his job....

Posted by: ProveMeWrong | December 10, 2009 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"Obama recalled the non-violent examples of two previous Nobel winners, Mahatma Gandhi and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr."

Gandhi never won the Nobel prize.

Posted by: otmshank | December 10, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

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