Oslo ready for 'war president'

2009-12-10 07:38
Oslo - "War president" Barack Obama was due on Thursday to accept his controversial Nobel Peace Prize here amid Norway's biggest ever police security operation.

Two military choppers circled above the hotel where Obama will stay while others flew over the city centre as part of an operation costing the government around $16m - more than 10 times the prize money awarded to the Peace Prize laureate.

Barricades were placed along the sidewalks of Oslo's main avenues, between 2 000 and 2 500 police officers have been mobilised, the Schengen-member country reinstated border controls and anti-aircraft missiles were deployed near the airport and around Oslo to ensure the president's security.

The beefed-up protection was however not necessarily reflective of support for the choice of Obama as the 2009 Peace Prize laureate.

A controversial choice as soon as it was announced on October 9 because of US engagement in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama's decision to send an additional 30 000 troops to Afghanistan, announced only nine days before Thursday's Nobel prize ceremony, raised eyebrows further.

Obama will dwell on the sombre paradox of waging war in Afghanistan even as he is lauded as a man of peace when he accepts his prize, White House director of speechwriting Jon Favreau told AFP.

After less than a year in power, with few defining foreign policy wins and with his once soaring popularity fading at home, Obama faces a sensitive political assignment during a day of solemn ceremonies in Oslo.

Favreau said Obama would speak solemnly about the odd coincidence of accepting the revered prize a week after ordering 30 000 troops to Afghanistan in a major war escalation.

"The president is receiving a peace prize as the commander-in-chief of a nation that is in two wars," acknowledged Favreau, one of two White House speechwriters working on the text with Obama.

With many critics suggesting that Obama's resume is too thin to stand scrutiny with other Nobel peace laureates, the president will also seek to deflect attention from himself, aides said.

"He sees this as less of a recognition of his own accomplishments, and more of an affirmation of a desire for American leadership in the 21st century," Favreau said.

No potentially embarrassing questions

Geir Lundestad, secretary of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, told public radio NRK this week that most US presidents face conflicts and wars - but the new mood in US foreign policy justified Obama's elevation.

Obama will be in Oslo for just over 24 hours to pick up the award that adds him to a list of laureates including Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa and Aung San Suu Kyi.

Events related to the formal Nobel Peace Prize ceremony normally run over three days, but the president has shortened his visit and excluded the traditional lunch with the king and a Friday night concert in his honour.

There will also be no day-before press conference or lengthy CNN sit-down interview laureates usually grant - enabling him to avoid potentially embarrassing questions.

Obama will however watch the traditional torchlight procession on Thursday evening from the balcony of the Grand Hotel, where bullet-proof glass has been installed.

The other Nobel laureates in the fields of medicine, physics, chemistry, economics and literature will meanwhile receive their awards at a gala ceremony in Stockholm on Thursday.

- SAPA
Read more on:    nobel peace prize  |  barack obama  |  oslo  |  us
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.