United States President Barack Obama is the fourth American President to be honored with the Nobel Peace Prize after Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Jimmy Carter.
The Nobel committee’s decision to award the peace prize to Barack Obama caused quite an alarm among many, as people wondered whether he even deserved it with such few accomplishments under his belt, but the Nobel committee said,”Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future.” And, according to the committee chairman, Obama had already lowered the temperature of the world. “He has done more than anyone in the past year to promote peace,” he said.
While he will be receiving more than $1 million, he has already said he will give it to charity.
In his acceptance speech this morning, Obama cited Kosovo in his defence of past US military action: “Instruments of war have a role in preserving the peace. War is never glorious and should not be trumpeted as such. All nations must adhere to standards governing the use of force, asserting that the U.S. enjoys international support over its Afghanistan mission because of the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001,” he says.
“Regimes that break the rules must pay the price,” Obama says in a statement possibly directed at Iran. “Those who seek peace cannot stand idly by when nations arms themselves for war. There must be consequences for those who carry out abuses in Sudan and Congo.”
The president the spoke of the use of religion to justify violence, arguing that “holy war is not a just war-it’s a warped view of religion.” He then continued to quote Martin Luther King with, “I refuse to accept despair as the final response to the ambiguities of history.” The audience applauded his appeal for people to always remember the sense of faith and hope of King and Gandhi.
As he promised to “reach for the world that ought to be,” he said, “There will be war, but we can still strive for peace. That’s the hope of all the world.” Overall, his speech was anything that the public could have hoped for, filled with uplifting emotions, and yet addressed some of the issues that he knows he must confront such as the war in Afghanistan, the difficulties in the Middle East, Iran and in North Korea. Congratulations, Mr. President.