U.S. President Barack Obama accepted the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Thursday and gave an unpredictable speech. Acknowledging the choice of giving the Nobel Peace Prize to a war time president â€“ Obama gave a speech underlining the theme of necessary war.
“Where force is necessary, we have a moral and strategic interest in binding ourselves to certain rules of conduct. And even as we confront a vicious adversary that abides by no rules, I believe that the United States of America must remain a standard bearer in the conduct of warâ€¦those regimes that break the rules must be held accountable. Sanctions must exact a real price. Intransigence must be met with increased pressure – and such pressure exists only when the world stands together as oneâ€¦I, like any head of state – reserve the right to act unilaterally if necessary to defend my nationâ€¦I am convinced that adhering to standards strengthens those who do, and isolates – and weakens – those who don’t.”
He went on:
“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 agoâ€¦and it will require us to think in new ways about the notions of just war and the imperatives of a just peaceâ€¦we must begin by acknowledging the hard truth that we will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimesâ€¦there will be times when nations – acting individually or in concert – will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.”
And towards the end of the speech he said:
“For make no mistake: evil does exist in the worldâ€¦a non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies. Negotiations cannot convince Al-Qaida’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.”
“A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler’s armies”? “Negotiations” cannot halt Muslim extremists? Nations finding the use of force not only “necessary but morally justified”? Hold the phone Jack â€“ conceptually, philosophically, this guy sounds like a modern day Zionistâ€¦Then why’s the Pres so down on the Jewish countryâ€¦or is he? Maybe he just doesn’t “get it”.
Well he’s not as unpopular among Israelis as some may think. According to a new poll by the Washington-based New America Foundation, 41% of Israelis have a favorable rating of Obama against 37% who rated him unfavorably.
And while 55% of Israelis polled said they thought Obama did not support Israel against 42% who said he did â€“ a quote from Reuters remarked that this is “a reflection of the ‘complexity of views’ about the U.S. leader as he presses both Israel and the Palestinians to resume stalled peace talks.”
So he sounded rational at the Nobel Ceremony â€“ at least rational enough to agree with 41% of the good Israeli population.
Well, it’s a start.
Chag Hanukkah Sameach