Obama Accepts Nobel Prize as 'Call to Action'
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 9, 2009 President Barack Obama said today he'll accept the Nobel Peace Prize as a "call to action" for the international community to work together to confront common challenges, while also recognizing his responsibility for U.S. security.
"Even as we strive to seek a world in which conflicts are resolved peacefully and prosperity is widely shared, we have to confront the world as we know it today," the president said in a brief statement in the White House Rose Garden.
"I am the commander in chief of a country that's responsible for ending a war and working in another theater to confront a ruthless adversary that directly threatens the American people and our allies," he said.
Obama said he was humbled and surprised to learn that he had been named to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and believes the honor must be shared by all courageous people around the world who strive for justice and dignity.
He cited examples, including, "the soldier who sacrificed through tour after tour of duty on behalf of someone half a world away," and "all those men and women across the world who sacrifice their safety and their freedom, sometimes their lives, for the cause of freedom."
Obama is slated to reconvene his national security team later today for continued discussions about the strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Among the participants will be Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, U.S. Central Command Commander Army Gen. David H. Petraeus and, by videoconference, Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan.