Obama has now received the Nobel Peace Prize

  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Dec 10, 2009 6:15 PM GMT
    Earlier today, President of the United States Barack Obama received the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize at Oslo City Hall. This was his acceptance speech, as transcribed by CNN.

    President of the United States Barack Obama
    Your majesties, your royal highnesses, distinguished members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, citizens of America and citizens of the world:

    I receive this honor with deep gratitude and great humility. It is an award that speaks to our highest aspirations -- that for all the cruelty and hardship of our world, we are not mere prisoners of fate. Our actions matter, and can bend history in the direction of justice.

    And yet I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the considerable controversy that your generous decision has generated. In part, this is because I am at the beginning, and not the end, of my labors on the world stage. Compared to some of the giants of history who have received this prize -- Schweitzer and King; Marshall and Mandela -- my accomplishments are slight. And then there are the men and women around the world who have been jailed and beaten in the pursuit of justice; those who toil in humanitarian organizations to relieve suffering; the unrecognized millions whose quiet acts of courage and compassion inspire even the most hardened of cynics. I cannot argue with those who find these men and women -- some known, some obscure to all but those they help -- to be far more deserving of this honor than I.

    But perhaps the most profound issue surrounding my receipt of this prize is the fact that I am the commander in chief of a nation in the midst of two wars. One of these wars is winding down. The other is a conflict that America did not seek; one in which we are joined by forty-three other countries -- including Norway -- in an effort to defend ourselves and all nations from further attacks.

    Still, we are at war, and I am responsible for the deployment of thousands of young Americans to battle in a distant land. Some will kill. Some will be killed. And so I come here with an acute sense of the cost of armed conflict -- filled with difficult questions about the relationship between war and peace, and our effort to replace one with the other.

    These questions are not new. War, in one form or another, appeared with the first man. At the dawn of history, its morality was not questioned; it was simply a fact, like drought or disease -- the manner in which tribes and then civilizations sought power and settled their differences.

    Over time, as codes of law sought to control violence within groups, so did philosophers, clerics and statesmen seek to regulate the destructive power of war. The concept of a "just war" emerged, suggesting that war is justified only when it meets certain preconditions: if it is waged as a last resort or in self-defense; if the forced used is proportional, and if, whenever possible, civilians are spared from violence.

    For most of history, this concept of just war was rarely observed. The capacity of human beings to think up new ways to kill one another proved inexhaustible, as did our capacity to exempt from mercy those who look different or pray to a different God. Wars between armies gave way to wars between nations -- total wars in which the distinction between combatant and civilian became blurred. In the span of 30 years, such carnage would twice engulf this continent. And while it is hard to conceive of a cause more just than the defeat of the Third Reich and the Axis powers, World War II was a conflict in which the total number of civilians who died exceeded the number of soldiers who perished.

    In the wake of such destruction, and with the advent of the nuclear age, it became clear to victor and vanquished alike that the world needed institutions to prevent another World War. And so, a quarter century after the United States Senate rejected the League of Nations -- an idea for which Woodrow Wilson received this prize -- America led the world in constructing an architecture to keep the peace: a Marshall Plan and a United Nations, mechanisms to govern the waging of war, treaties to protect human rights, prevent genocide and restrict the most dangerous weapons.

    In many ways, these efforts succeeded. Yes, terrible wars have been fought, and atrocities committed. But there has been no Third World War. The Cold War ended with jubilant crowds dismantling a wall. Commerce has stitched much of the world together. Billions have been lifted from poverty. The ideals of liberty, self-determination, equality and the rule of law have haltingly advanced. We are the heirs of the fortitude and foresight of generations past, and it is a legacy for which my own country is rightfully proud.

    A decade into a new century, this old architecture is buckling under the weight of new threats. The world may no longer shudder at the prospect of war between two nuclear superpowers, but proliferation may increase the risk of catastrophe. Terrorism has long been a tactic, but modern technology allows a few small men with outsized rage to murder innocents on a horrific scale.

    Moreover, wars between nations have increasingly given way to wars within nations. The resurgence of ethnic or sectarian conflicts; the growth of secessionist movements, insurgencies, and failed states; have increasingly trapped civilians in unending chaos. In today's wars, many more civilians are killed than soldiers; the seeds of future conflict are sewn, economies are wrecked, civil societies torn asunder, refugees amassed and children scarred.

    I do not bring with me today a definitive solution to the problems of war. What I do know is that meeting these challenges will require the same vision, hard work and persistence of those men and women who acted so boldly decades ago. And it will require us to think in new ways about the notions of just war and the imperatives of a just peace.

    We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth that we will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations -- acting individually or in concert -- will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.

    I make this statement mindful of what Martin Luther King said in this same ceremony years ago -- "Violence never brings permanent peace. It solves no social problem: it merely creates new and more complicated ones." As someone who stands here as a direct consequence of Dr. King's life's work, I am living testimony to the moral force of nonviolence. I know there is nothing weak -- nothing passive -- nothing naive -- in the creed and lives of Gandhi and King.

    But as a head of state sworn to protect and defend my nation, 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. A nonviolent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda'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; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.

    I raise this point because in many countries there is a deep ambivalence about military action today, no matter the cause. At times, this is joined by a reflexive suspicion of America, the world's sole military superpower.


    The rest of the speech can be read and seen here.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 10, 2009 6:20 PM GMT
    I'm proud the president of my country was recognized by world leaders. Even if I don't agree with Obama 100%. I hope it makes foreign relations better.
  • rnch

    Posts: 11525

    Dec 10, 2009 6:37 PM GMT
    am i the only one here who sees the IRONY in a world leader who is escalating not one but two wars receving the PEACE prize? icon_rolleyes.gif
  • SolidRanger

    Posts: 108

    Dec 10, 2009 6:38 PM GMT
    I really respect the fact that he says himself that he feels he's nowhere near on the same level as the types of people who typically get these prizes. I voted for Obama and I support him but I feel the Peace Prize was very premature. He hasn't accomplished anything (atleast not yet) that I feel is deserving of this award.
  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    Dec 10, 2009 7:01 PM GMT
    rnch saidam i the only one here who sees the IRONY in a world leader who is escalating not one but two wars receving the PEACE prize? icon_rolleyes.gif

    He addresses that irony himself in his full speech, by discussing the issue of "just war" and how war is sometimes necessary to bring about peace.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 10, 2009 8:37 PM GMT
    Next: O gets the Pulitzer Prize, the Heisman Trophy, and the Stanley Cup.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 10, 2009 8:57 PM GMT
    TexDef07 saidNext: O gets the Pulitzer Prize, the Heisman Trophy, and the Stanley Cup.


    Don't forget the Academy Award for pretending to be a liberal during the campaign.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 10, 2009 9:02 PM GMT
    There is no such thing as a just war when you are the occupying power!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 10, 2009 9:25 PM GMT
    TexDef07 saidNext: O gets the Pulitzer Prize, the Heisman Trophy, and the Stanley Cup.


    LOL... nice
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Dec 10, 2009 11:52 PM GMT
    Perhaps the gay community should give him an award so that he feels compelled to act in our favor on gay rights. icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 10, 2009 11:59 PM GMT
    coolarmydude saidPerhaps the gay community should give him an award so that he feels compelled to act in our favor on gay rights. icon_rolleyes.gif


    gays and liberals gave him the presidency. Is there a bigger prize than being the president of the US?

    still: no health care, or movement on gay rights,
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 11, 2009 12:17 PM GMT
    He's the president of the U.S.A, holding a powerful role but... not a magician or the single voice of all america and congress lobbies and control. Us bashers and negative voices against leadership in our communities should bash less and take more action on our own behalf. Then speak about how easy it is to bring about change when all you can hear are the voices who speak against our motions for change. I'm not his cheerleader and I'm even a little skeptical of believing all of his promises will come to fruition... but it's not productive to just complain...
    Thanks for posting
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 11, 2009 12:20 PM GMT
    coolarmydude saidPerhaps the gay community should give him an award so that he feels compelled to act in our favor on gay rights. icon_rolleyes.gif


    See how well that worked for the Peace Prize Committee.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19138

    Dec 11, 2009 12:21 PM GMT
    I have no problem with him getting the Nobel Peace Prize. I'm a tad confused about the "Peace" part, but I digress icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 11, 2009 12:54 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidI have no problem with him getting the Nobel Peace Prize. I'm a tad confused about the "Peace" part, but I digress icon_rolleyes.gif


    Did you read the speech? It's kinda *S*P*E*L*T* out :-)
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Dec 11, 2009 12:59 PM GMT
    Jay0416 saidHe's the president of the U.S.A, holding a powerful role but... not a magician or the single voice of all america and congress lobbies and control. Us bashers and negative voices against leadership in our communities should bash less and take more action on our own behalf. Then speak about how easy it is to bring about change when all you can hear are the voices who speak against our motions for change. I'm not his cheerleader and I'm even a little skeptical of believing all of his promises will come to fruition... but it's not productive to just complain...
    Thanks for posting




    Ummmm, I guess you already forgot the countless dollars and time the gay community spent campaigning for him to get elected so that he could make some changes on GLBT issues. The only thing we got from him to date is a proclamation that June is GLBT equality month. How condescending is that? When our leaders fail to act, we let them know it. We put the pressure on them, not turn it off!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 11, 2009 1:10 PM GMT
    Interesting point of view....however "pressure" should be constructive and so should our behavior. I definitely am aware of the encouragement and financial support the gay community has given him but if you are in tuned enough to give attention to the fact that even our gay leaders in congress encourage patience and diligence toward the possibility of improving equality in terms of sexual orientation then you would understand what I mean in reference to pressure.
    I'm also cognizant that on June 17, President Obama signed a referendum allowing the same-sex partners of federal employees to receive benefits. They will not be allowed full health coverage, however. This was Obama's first major initiative in his campaign promise to improve gay rights. It was a grand gesture and congress has been paying even more attention to the marriage equality issue.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 11, 2009 1:14 PM GMT
    coolarmydude said
    Jay0416 saidHe's the president of the U.S.A, holding a powerful role but... not a magician or the single voice of all america and congress lobbies and control. Us bashers and negative voices against leadership in our communities should bash less and take more action on our own behalf. Then speak about how easy it is to bring about change when all you can hear are the voices who speak against our motions for change. I'm not his cheerleader and I'm even a little skeptical of believing all of his promises will come to fruition... but it's not productive to just complain...
    Thanks for posting




    Ummmm, I guess you already forgot the countless dollars and time the gay community spent campaigning for him to get elected so that he could make some changes on GLBT issues. The only thing we got from him to date is a proclamation that June is GLBT equality month. How condescending is that? When our leaders fail to act, we let them know it. We put the pressure on them, not turn it off!


    Ummm What about the Hate Crimes Bill? Extension of benefits for partners of federal workers? Extension of housing protections through HUD for same-sex couples? Those are three pro-gay initiatives that will have a tangible impact in our lives. I'm not a huge Obama fan, but let's give credit where credit is due. icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 11, 2009 1:27 PM GMT
    rnch saidam i the only one here who sees the IRONY in a world leader who is escalating not one but two wars receving the PEACE prize? icon_rolleyes.gif

    Temporarily escalating in Afghanistan, with a more thoughtful plan than the previous administration.
    Rightfully withdrawing in Iraq, not escalating.

    Good speech, although I'm concerned when it got praises from Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19138

    Dec 11, 2009 4:33 PM GMT
    TigerTim said
    CuriousJockAZ saidI have no problem with him getting the Nobel Peace Prize. I'm a tad confused about the "Peace" part, but I digress icon_rolleyes.gif


    Did you read the speech? It's kinda *S*P*E*L*T* out :-)


    Hey, I actually like Obama, so don't get your tutu in a tah-tah, TT icon_wink.gif

    Sending Holiday Hugs from AZ icon_lol.gif

    Todd
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Dec 11, 2009 4:46 PM GMT
    Jay0416 saidHe's the president of the U.S.A, holding a powerful role but... not a magician or the single voice of all america and congress lobbies and control. Us bashers and negative voices against leadership in our communities should bash less and take more action on our own behalf. Then speak about how easy it is to bring about change when all you can hear are the voices who speak against our motions for change. I'm not his cheerleader and I'm even a little skeptical of believing all of his promises will come to fruition... but it's not productive to just complain...
    Thanks for posting


    Didn't you get the memo- he is the reincarnation of Harry Potter!