President Obama’s acceptance speech for the Nobel Peace Prize won praise from conservatives, but some anti-war Democrats in Congress bristled at the commander-in-chief’s ruminations about waging a “just war.”
Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a leading critic on the left of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Friday that the president’s musings about the inevitability of war and “war’s instrumentality in pursuit of peace” threatened to lead the United States into more bloody conflicts.
“Once we are committed to wars instrumentality in pursuit of peace, we begin the Orwellian journey to the semantic netherworld where war is pace, where the momentum of war overwhelms hopes for peace,” said the Ohio Democrat.
“Once we wrap doctrines perpetuating war in the arms of justice, we can easily legitimate the wholesale slaughter of innocents,” he said. “War is often not just; sometimes it is just war. And our ability to rethink the terms of our existence, to explore the possibility of peace without war, may well determine whether we end war, or war ends us.”
Mr. Kucinich, who says the U.S. war in Iraq was based on lies and the war in Afghanistan is based on “flawed doctrines of counter-insurgency,” early this week announced plans to force a House vote on a resolution calling for a timely withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Pakistan.
On the other side of the political spectrum, Mr. Obama’s speech Thursday in Oslo, Norway, won praise from conservative champion and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin.
“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 force…I thought in some ways it’s a very historic speech,” Mr. Gingrich said in an interview on National Public Radio.