Maybe He Should Ask for the Churchill Bust Back
Time to give Obama props when props are due. He really turned the tables on those Norwegian bedwetters by embracing classical just war theory and standing beside George W. Bush in noting that evil in the world exists and will not yield to honeyed words or resolutions from Brussells. Yes, there was still a lot of hooey-gooey stuff in the speech, but it was a definite break from previous Obama speeches. It seemed a clever way of acknowledging that not only did he not deserve the Nobel Peace Prize, but that the audience didn't deserve to have their nihilist prejudices flattered. I suspect the real audience for Obama's remarks wasn't the folks assembled in the room in Oslo. More on this in a moment.
What struck me as most interesting, though, was the passage where he invoked the non-violent legacy of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr, but then went on to say: "But as a head of a state sworn to protect and defend my nation, I cannot be guided by their examples alone." Hmmm. What does that remind me of. Oh yeah, it reminds of this famous passage from Churchill's discussion of the meaning of the Munich agreement The Gathering Storm:
The Sermon on the Mount is the last word in Christian ethics. Everyone respects the Quakers. Still, it is not on these terms that Ministers assume their responsibilities of guiding states. Their duty is first so to deal with other nations as to avoid strife and war and to eschew aggression in all its forms, whether for nationalistic or ideological objects. But the safety of the State, the lives and freedom of their own fellow countrymen, to whom they owe their position, make it right and imperative in the last resort, or when a final and definite conviction has been reached, that the use of force should not be excluded.
Obama might want to retrieve the bust of Churchill that he unceremoniously sent back to Britain after taking office.
Now, for my conclusion. I think the real audience for this speech was the mullahs in Iran.
6:27 AM / December 11, 2009