President Barack Obama's Acceptance Speech in Oslo.
"Esteemed Nobel Peace Prize Committee, honored guests.
"I can appreciate the irony of being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and was probably just as flabbergasted as Kissinger when he won it 36 years ago for escalating the war in Vietnam. I guess the standards of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee are so forgiving that merely trying to reverse a disastrous and blood-soaked policy is enough to get you a first class plane ticket to Oslo. (laughter)
"People of the world, we stand at the crossroads of history. We face many challenges and the greatest work is still before us. And if that involves sucking up to the apartheid state of Israel and allowing them to gobble up pieces of the West Bank in Palestine like Rush Limbaugh at an all-you-can-eat buffet, so be it.
"If the work includes killing hundreds of innocent Afghani and Pakistani civilians, many of them women and children, through unmanned CIA drone strikes, then so be it.
"If that includes keeping our troop levels in Iraq at over 130,000 in defiance of the SOFA agreement and arrogantly keeping Blackwater/Xe in Iraq in defiance of Iraqi law, so be it.
"If that includes ramping up our involvement in Afghanistan by keeping 68,000 troops there and possibly sending many tens of thousands more on the recommendation of a general who used to oversee assassination missions as commander of JSOC, so be it. Just because Alexander the Great, the Soviet empire and many others failed to pacify Afghanistan, why should anyone think we'll similarly fail?
"The Nobel Peace Prize Committee saw fit to give me this year's honor for fostering international diplomacy, even though those diplomatic initiatives haven't resulted in any meaningful negotiations, have not led to peace treaties anywhere in the Middle East or elsewhere. Considering that I haven't really done anything on the diplomatic front and that I chose as my Secretary of State someone who voted to go to war with Iraq and refused to apologize for it and who also voted to name the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as a terrorist organization, I interpret the Peace Prize Committee's decision as a vote of confidence. (Applause)
"Now, there are a lot of people putting stuff out there and almost none of it's true. A lot of people on both sides of the aisle are saying that my administration is merely a third Bush term, that my backpedaling on issues such as exposing the evils of my predecessor and closing Guantanamo Bay and eradicating the extra-judicial military tribunals is a sign of concessions to those on the right side of the Great Divide. Nothing can be further from the truth.
"Let me make one thing perfectly clear: I am not backpedaling and I have not broken my campaign promises. These decisions are the result of policy reversals. Apparently, when I was still the junior senator from Illinois, I never once considered that once I became President I'd learn a thing or two about how things really work and that the pure, unmitigated, soul-crippling evil of my predecessor's administration would be on such a Hadean scale that it would make full disclosure prohibitive.
"So the evidence of our ongoing use of torture in Guantanamo Bay, Bagram and elsewhere will, unfortunately continue to be kept from the American people and the Muslim world. Since we can't seem to win this war on terror, we have to stop and consider what al Qaida would do to us were my administration to make full disclosure of my predecessor's many, many, many, many war crimes. (Applause)
"But arduous sacrifice is best shouldered when it's shared. So I call upon all the nations of the world to join me in condemning Iran for a nuclear weapons program that hasn't been proven to exist and to hope and pray that we can kill less and less innocent people in those unmanned drone air strikes in central Asia, that we can finally exit Iraq so those multinational oil companies can resume sucking Iraq dry of its oil in peace and prosperity. (Applause)
"In summation, I hope that future generations will not laugh at the Committee's unexpected decision to give me the Peace Prize and putting me on a par with The Rev. Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mother Teresa and that I will somehow exceed the vote of confidence shown to my predecessor Jimmy Carter, whose Camp David Accord miserably failed.
"This is a great honor and I thank you."
Joe Wilson: "You lie!"