Friday, December 11, 2009

Only Obama Could Go To Oslo

I give the President huge credit for delivering a Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech in Oslo yesterday that reminded the audience in continental Europe of something which sometimes seems to have been forgotten there: that the American people have paid the price on their behalf, both in treasure and blood, to keep the peace in Europe and elsewhere around the globe since World War II, and that, perhaps paradoxically (and despite some significant mistakes along the way), a powerful U.S. military and the willingness to use it are the single most important reasons that this "Pax Americana" has endured through the Cold War to today.

I wonder what was going through the minds of the audience sitting there yesterday as he said that. (How does unwelcome surprise mixed with disappointment taste when it's topped by a thick layer of Scandinavian stoicism? Is it bitter?)

As you can see in the 3 minute piece about this embedded below from the NBC Nightly News last night, the President was still showered with adulation in the streets of Oslo, even after this speech. Imagine how different the reaction would have been had President Bush expressed the same sentiments? He would have been roundly jeered, ridiculed and ignored. Only President Obama could have said these things in that forum and then stepped out on his hotel balcony to a candlelight street vigil below him. And good for him that he did so.

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