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Obama’s peace

I was at a meeting all day and thus did not hear President Obama’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech. Instead, I just read the transcript.

It’s fair and inevitable to read it as aimed at advancing the president’s political agenda. But I didn’t read it that way. It struck me as an exceptionally honest discussion of the contest between our deep desire for peace and a world that is not ready for it.

This is not the speech I was expecting. It was better than that.

5 Responses to “Obama’s peace”

  1. I rather expect that the same speech – explaining the idea of a “just war” – from Bush, or any other Republican, would have drawn nothing but scorn from you.

    And how about that snubbing of the Norwegians? Does the President have complete morons in the protocol office?

  2. When has Obama done anything that wasn’t better than you expected?

  3. I think this was quite a remarkable speech given President Obama’s nascent political presidency and his recent military decisions. Sometimes vision is as significant as accomplishment, and Obama was awarded this prize based upon a vision that is universally shared. The world certainly needs a clear vision for a future based upon mutuality of respect for cultural and religious diversity.

    His speech shines forth when he places his political agenda within the circumference of a more far-reaching moral agenda. He asks for an “expansion of our moral imagination” and moves beyond the diversity inherent in the world’s religious traditions when he acknowledges the “spark of the divine” as that which is capable of leading us into a more peaceful future. It seems to be quite an evolutionary notion to bring peoples together based upon the diversity of their religious beliefs.

    I continue to be saddened, however, by the absolute silence of the United States for over 50 years concerning the unjustified holocaust that has occurred and continues to occur in Tibet. In this wonderful acceptance speech for a prize well deserved because of its vision,Obama mentioned the Balkans and Poland and the struggle in Sudan, yet the continuing efforts by another Nobel laureate to bring justice and freedom to his own suffering people has once again been ignored.

    The world will truly be living according to the principles set forth in this speech when Tibet once again gains sovereignty, and its people once again are permitted to practice their religion within their own sacred landscape.

  4. The video of Obama speech is here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSNl83fbJNI
    (and the remaining parts thereafter)

    The speech was brave. To speak about “just war” when receiving the peace prize was a challenge.
    And he did it great.

    I agree with Raymond about Tibet.

    However, I think there is part of his speech that describes this very problem, without giving the name:

    “Let me also say this: The promotion of human rights cannot be about exhortation alone. At times, it must be coupled with painstaking diplomacy. I know that engagement with repressive regimes lacks the satisfying purity of indignation. But I also know that sanctions without outreach — condemnation without discussion — can carry forward only a crippling status quo. No repressive regime can move down a new path unless it has the choice of an open door.”

    The mention of China just after this passage is meaningful enough.

    Of course, I would like Obama to speak more directly,
    about some problems, including Iran and China.
    I also found no mention about Iraq – the more significant challenge to American leader – both when it comes to his current deeds and to his deep opinions and consciousness – only because we are divided in opinions about the justifiableness of that war …

    But – it was a great speech and he proved to be rightly awarded …

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