Sunday, December 13, 2009

Obama Leaves Oslo After Accepting Peace Prize – By JEFF ZELENY – The New York Times – 12/11/09

OSLO — President Obama concluded a whirlwind visit here Friday after using his acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize to defend the idea that some wars were necessary and just, remind the world of the burden the United States had borne in the fight against oppression and appeal for greater international efforts for peace.

“We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth: we will not eradicate violent conflicts in our lifetimes,” Mr. Obama said Thursday, addressing the paradox of receiving an award for peace as commander in chief of a nation that is escalating the war in Afghanistan as it continues to fight in Iraq. “There will be times when nations — acting individually or in concert — will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.”

The president and his wife, Michelle Obama, boarded Air Force One at 10:40 a.m. local time, departing Norway for Washington after a night of black-tie celebrations for the award... ...The Nobel banquet, held at Oslo’s Grand Hotel, had all the trappings of a state dinner...

...On Friday, Mr. Obama dropped by the United States Embassy in Oslo for an informal private meeting with American workers before his motorcade left for the airport. He and his wife are scheduled to return to the White House by early Friday afternoon.

In his speech Thursday, President Obama delivered a mix of realism and idealism, implicitly criticizing both the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as inadequately appreciating the dangers of the world, and President George W. Bush as too quick to set aside fundamental American values in pursuit of security. And he embraced the concept of American exceptionalism, the idea that the United States has a special role as a defender of liberty, even as he promoted multilateralism. Read complete article & more photos - By JEFF ZELENY – The New York Times

Related links:

First Lady Michelle Obama and US President Barack Obama - 2009 Nobel Banquets Photos – San Francisco Chronicle

At Nobel prize ceremony, Michelle Obama keeps her husband in line - By Dave Cook / December 10, 2009 – The Christian Science Monitor

When you're commander in chief of the world’s only superpower and find yourself flying to Oslo on your private 747 to accept the Nobel Peace Prize, it helps to have someone along on the trip to keep you humble.

And White House pool reports from Oslo show first lady Michelle Obama is doing her part to keep President Obama grounded during his trip to pick up a prize that has also been won by Albert Schweitzer, Mother Teresa, and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Wifely advice: Brevity

Before picking up his prize and delivering an eloquent speech, the president and first lady visited the Nobel Institute to sign a guest book in the room where the Nobel Committee meets to vote on prizes. Mr. Obama carefully wrote seven lines of text, prompting Mrs. Obama to ask, “are you writing a book?

When it was Mrs. Obama’s turn to write in the guest book, she quipped, “mine won’t be as long.” The president’s response: "She will resist writing something sarcastic since this will be recorded for the future."

Read complete article - The Christian Science Monitor

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release - December 10, 2009

Remarks by the President at the Acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize

Oslo City Hall - 
Oslo, Norway 1:44 P.M. CET

THE PRESIDENT: 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.
Read complete address - President Obama Acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize 2009

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