The Speech That Wasn’t

President Obama in Oslo to accept his Nobel Peace Prize made a speech in part invoking the notion of just war and defending the U.S.’s fight in Afghanistan on humanitarian grounds. There’s no doubt there’s good in what he said, but still it wasn’t the speech he could have made, the speech some, including me, expected from a Nobel Peace Laureate. He has in the recent past shown courage and foresight in calling for nuclear disarmament, and done so on more than one occasion. If not the most dangerous issue of our time, nuclear weapons are one of the most. What Mr. Obama could have said is: I pledge myself to this cause. As President I will endeavor to do all I can with nuclear powers and with non-nuclear ones to stop their spread and influence and work toward disarmament. And when my time in office ends, I will take this prize money and begin a foundation to continue this work. In fact my wife and partner will join me in making this cause ours and in doing our absolute best to make the world safer from these weapons and all they can do.
Wouldn’t that have been inspiring?