Is there hope for change?

President Obama's Oslo acceptance speech has drawn surprising praise from conservatives (including Sarah Palin), and I have to say that I too liked what he said about the use of force being "not only necessary but morally justified."

It's already being called the "Obama Doctrine" - a notion that foreign policy is a struggle of good and evil, that American exceptionalism has blunted the force of tyranny in the world, and that U.S. military can be a force for good and even harnessed to humanitarian ends.

"There will be times," Obama said, "when nations - acting individually or in concert - will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified."

The remarks drew immediate praise from a host of conservatives, including former GOP House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

"I liked what he said," Palin told USA Today. "Of course, war is the last thing I believe any American wants to engage in, but it's necessary. We have to stop these terrorists."

Gingrich told The Takeaway, a national morning drive show from WNYC and Public Radio International, "He clearly understood that he had been given the prize prematurely, but he used it as an occasion to remind people, first of all, as he said: that there is evil in the world."

"I think having a liberal president who goes to Oslo on behalf of a peace prize and reminds the committee that they would not be free, they wouldn't be able to have a peace prize, without having [the ability to use] force," Gingrich said. "I thought in some ways it's a very historic speech."

The context was striking....

I'll say. You couldn't find a more pacifist setting to deliver a speech like that. Clearly, his intended audience was not the ostensible one in front of him.

So maybe I wasn't too far off yesterday when I speculated that his Oslo behavior might be "a bone to conservatives."

While it's too early to tell, it is to be sincerely hoped that he means what he said, and that maybe he isn't quite the teleologist he has seemed to be.

(Of course, I'd like to see some real, concrete evidence before I succumb to wishful teleological thinking myself.)

posted by Eric on 12.11.09 at 09:01 AM


So now Obama has how many speeches for lack of foreign policy?

Hugh   ·  December 11, 2009 12:54 PM

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