Here’s the president’s Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance speech that I found on YouTube. I read Bob’s December 9 blog “Eyes on the Prize” where he made recommendations to the President on what he should and shouldn’t do in his speech and I thought Bob made some excellent points. Below I have taken Bob’s points one by one and then taken text from President Obama’s speech addressing each.
Bob wanted President Obama to point out that peace must be achieved by standing firm and fighting:
“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 nonviolent 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.
I raise this point because in many countries there is a deep ambivalence about military action today, no matter the cause. At times, this is joined by a reflexive suspicion of America, the world’s sole military superpower.
Yet the world must remember that it was not simply international institutions – not just treaties and declarations that brought stability to a post-World War II world. Whatever mistakes we have made, the plain fact is this: The United States of America had helped underwrite global security for more than six decades with the blood of our citizens and the strength of our arms.”
Grade – A+
Bob didn’t want President Obama to criticize his predecessor:
There were no mentions in the speech about President Bush or his policies.
Grade – A+
Bob didn’t want the president to boast about policy changes that have occurred because it would not be good foreign policy:
“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 war. That is what makes us different from those whom we fight. That is a source of our strength. That is why I have prohibited torture. That is why I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed and that is why I have reaffirmed America’s commitment to abide by the Geneva Conventions. We lose ourselves when we compromise the very ideals that we fight to defend and we honor those ideals by upholding them not just when it is easy, but when it is hard.”
Grade – A+
Based on this analysis one would have to think that Bob would have given the president a very high passing grade.