Critics of President Barack Obama, including this writer, have had a field day over the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the inexperienced U.S. President. Throughout the Fall, much ink was spent spotlighting Obama’s lack of qualifications; until last week, conservative columnists fumed and predicted that Obama’s Oslo acceptance speech, like his Cairo speech, would only be another apology for American “aggression” and our many “past mistakes.”
What a pleasant surprise the Oslo speech turned out to be! While tipping his hat to pacifists Gandhi and King, Obama stated that as Commander in Chief, “I cannot be guided by their examples alone.” “Evil does exist in this world,” our President informed his European audience. “A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies” nor can non-violence ever cause “Al Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms.”
“Whatever mistakes [America] has made,” Obama concluded, “the plain fact is this: the United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms.”
Wow. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush couldn’t have said it any better.
In the past few days, Obama’s speech has been praised by many of the President’s sharpest critics, including New Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and neo-conservative writer Robert Kagan. Congressional Blue Dogs and Republicans have added their enthusiastic approval.
The majority of the President’s party, however, has refrained from comment. And the Norwegian Nobel Committeemen who selected our President in the stated belief they could impact American foreign policy? They, too, appear a little bit surprised at this strong defense of “Just War.”