...for Barack Obama's speech at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony on Thursday -- perhaps a rather obvious choice but the only possible one given the quality of the thinking and expression that the president had lavished on both preparation and delivery.

He jumped the hurdle of accusations that the Prize was premature quite easily but then took the hard road of linking many of the things he wanted to say to the experience of Afghanistan. He could easily have spoken in generalities but instead related each part of his speech to current or historic events and issues, and quoted from a wide range of wisdom. The New York Times described the president's words as “the speech he needed to give, but not precisely the one the Nobel committee wanted to hear.” Has any Nobel Peace Laureate in the past spelled out why “the belief that peace is desirable is rarely enough to achieve it” and detailed the circumstances in which war could be justified? There was a clarity in this speech that should serve America and its allies well. No opponent could possibly say now it does not know where Barack Obama stands.

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