Obama defends war at Peace Prize ceremony

Obama defends war at Peace Prize ceremony

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by Associated Press

kgw.com

Posted on December 10, 2009 at 8:27 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 10 at 10:14 AM

OSLO -- President Barack Obama has accepted his Nobel Peace Prize with humility, saying he's "at the beginning, and not the end" of his labors on the world stage.

Although he acknowledged that compared to other recipients his own accomplishments were "slight," he promised to use the prestigious award to "reach for the world that ought to be."

Obama became the first sitting U.S. president in 90 years and the third ever to win the prize.

In his remarks today in Oslo, the president refused to renounce war for his nation or under his leadership, saying that he faces the world "as it is" and is obliged to protect and defend the United States.

Obama said, "To say that force is sometimes necessary is not a call to cynicism, it is a recognition of history." He added that "The belief that peace is desirable is rarely enough to achieve it."

But he also stressed the need to fight war according to "rules of conduct" that reject torture and other methods.

Obama's acceptance speech clocked in at 36 minutes with more than 4,200 words. His speech on the decision to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan had more than 4,600 words.

Besides the signs held by anti-war and environmental protesters, there were few other signs of Obama paraphernalia on Oslo's streets.

A few blocks away from the Grand Hotel, a local pharmacy advertised the GX+ brand of anti-bacterial hand soap with the tag line: "Barack Obama, Use GX+ and Face No Drama." It was a reference to Obama's cool and collected way.

A local convenience store chain promoted its coffee with an "Obama in Oslo" sale, listing prices in dollars aimed at members of Obama's entourage. The advertisement also noted that President Bill Clinton, who visited Oslo in 1999 and was the last sitting U.S. president to touch down in Norway, "had one."

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