Less than ten days after escalating the war in Afghanistan, President Barack Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize. Whether you count that as irony or tragedy, his speech is part of the public record and debate – and TPM is one place to get the full text and video. Obama offers an eloquent defense of just war theory, though IMHO even just war theory doesn’t support the current war(s). One quote:
I make this statement mindful of what Martin Luther King Jr. 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 work, I am living testimony to the moral force of non-violence. I know there’s nothing weak — nothing passive — nothing naïve — 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 non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies. Negotiations cannot convince al Qaeda’s leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism — it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason.
And then there’s Jon Stewart’s take:
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Obama’s Nobel Speech|