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Polite or Politic?

Was President Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech more political than polite? And was it the speech the Nobel committee wanted to hear?

“Accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on Thursday, President Obama gave the speech he needed to give, but we suspect not precisely the one the Nobel committee wanted to hear. Mr. Obama was appropriately humble. He said that ‘compared to some of the giants of history who have received this prize,’ his accomplishments ‘are slight’ and suggested that he had been chosen not so much for what he had done but for what he is expected to do. He then acknowledged that most of what he called ‘the considerable controversy’ surrounding his selection came from the fact that he is ‘the commander in chief of the military of a nation that is in the midst of two wars.’ He made no apologies for that. In a speech that was both somber and soaring, he returned again and again to Afghanistan, arguing that the war was morally just and strategically necessary to defend the United States and others from more terrorist attacks.”

President Obama, who arrived in Oslo to collect his Nobel Peace Prize today, has angered Norwegians over his decision to cancel a series of events normally attended by the winner.

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