Obama accepts Nobel Peace Prize: “War is necessary to achieve peace”
Obama said in Oslo that people should accept the “hard truth” that “violence can not be eradicated and that sometimes it is necessary for countries to go to war to protect its citizens.”
He acknowledged that previous recipients had been “far more deserving of this honor than I,” defended Afghanistan as a “just war” and claimed “the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace.” He advocated for, as ways of sustaining peace, “alternatives to violence that are tough enough to change behavior,” finding it “incumbent upon all of us to insist that nations like Iran and North Korea do not game the system”; promotion of civil rights, aspiration to which he called “universal” and for which “America will always be a voice”; and “investments in development” to end world hunger.
“We can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace,” Obama said. “We can do that, for that is the story of human progress; that is the hope of all the world; and at this moment of challenge, that must be our work here on Earth.”
Obama expressed “deep gratitude and great humility” for the Nobel Peace Prize, which “speaks to out highest aspirations … For all the cruelty and hardship of our world, we are not mere prisoners of fate. Our actions matter, and can bend history in the direction of justice.”
The award comes just days after the president announced a military build-up in Afghanistan, a surge of 30,000 U.S. troops.