LINK: Pres. Obama’s Nobel Prize acceptance lecture, December 10, 2009, Oslo, Norway
In one of the more controversial and unexpected events of Obama’s first year in office was his receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. The awkwardness was two-fold. First, it seemed to many that Obama had accomplished little in his brief tenure in office to warrant such an award. Second, Obama was the commander-in-chief of a country engaged in two wars of which both showed no immediate signs of ending.
In this speech, Obama tries to deal with this awkwardness and to powerfully re-assert older notions of a “just war” and to make clear that “evil exists in the world” which must be opposed and fought. He then lays out an agenda for revitalizing the international institutions for peace. The speech is both sober and multi-layered — and probably not what the Nobel committee expected or welcomed.