December 1, 2009  

Prize words

TO PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA for a Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech that did what his West Point Afghanistan speech failed to do: Show the spine of a commander in chief. Right at the top of his speech in Oslo — you have to admire the irony — the president declared: “I am the commander in chief of the military of a nation in the midst of two wars.” Young Americans sent to battle in a distant land are his responsibility, he said. “Some will kill, and some will be killed.” He then unapologetically chided those countries that have “a deep ambivalence about military action, no matter what the cause” and their reflexive suspicion of America. “The plain fact is this: The United States of America has helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms,” he said. It was a tough speech, a very American speech and an overdue reminder to European allies of the responsibilities they are shunning.