Friday, December 11, 2009

Obama, The Nobel Peace Prize & Justifications For War

The Nobel Peace Prize is an award Obama should have rejected when he was first told that he had won it. He has done nothing to rate this award - nothing beyond not being Bush, at least, and more often than not, treating America with the same disdain as your average European elite. As to the latter, there was none of that in Obama's acceptance speech yesterday. And indeed, his speech struck a note of realism that I honestly did not think he possessed. You can find the full text of his speech here.

That said, my major concern with his speech was that, for all he talked about "just cause" to engage in war - citing self defense and humanitarian intervention, he missed, it seemed to me, a major lesson of history. It is the lesson of WWII. The reality of that war was that, had Britain or France acted preemptively to challenge Hitler with military force in 1936 or 1937, WWII would not have occurred. It is a truth very much applicable to our modern Nazi's - the illegitimate Khomeinist regime currently ruling Iran. And yet, while at one point in his speech, Obama noted that negotiations would not and, in fact, did not end the threat of Hitler, he ignores, perhaps deliberately, that he is going down the same path with Iran.

At any rate, It was, in fact, perhaps the best speech he has given. to date. My personal favorite line of his speech was "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." That is shades of one of my favorite poems, Henley's Invictus.


billm99uk said...

The reality of that war was that, had England or France acted preemptively to challenge Hitler...

That'd be 'Britain', or even 'The British Empire' y'know. England's just the bit at the bottom right ;)

cdor said...

Shocking, really. Obama spoke to a hoarde of Europeans and a smattering of others from around the world, while not standing within the boundary of the USA, yet managed to sound like he was actually the President of the United States of America. This was a first for him...historical from his perspective. I tip my hat to him. Now Mr President, spin that vice handle and clamp down hard on Iran. Show us you've got more than words inside you.

Btw, GW, I hope this comment doesn't get eaten by your approval machine as have about four other of my comments to previous posts. I will say once more, welcome back.

GW said...

Ahem . . . point taken Bill. Change made.