Excerpts from President Obama's Peace Prize speech

AP News
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Posted: Dec 10, 2009 10:28 AM

Excerpts from President Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize address Thursday in Oslo, Norway:

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"We are at war, and I'm responsible for the deployment of thousands of young Americans to battle in a distant land. Some will kill, and some will be killed. And so I come here with an acute sense of the costs of armed conflict _ filled with difficult questions about the relationship between war and peace, and our effort to replace one with the other."

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"We must begin by acknowledging the hard truth: We will not eradicate violent conflict in our lifetimes. There will be times when nations _ acting individually or in concert _ will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified."

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"Make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world. A non-violent movement could not have halted Hitler's armies. Negotiations cannot convince al-Qaida's leaders to lay down their arms. To say that force may sometimes be necessary is not a call to cynicism _ it is a recognition of history; the imperfections of man and the limits of reason."

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"Even as we confront a vicious adversary that abides by no rules, I believe the United States of America must remain a standard bearer in the conduct of war. That is what makes us different from those whom we fight. That is a source of our strength. That is why I prohibited torture. That is why I ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed. And that is why I have reaffirmed America's commitment to abide by the Geneva Conventions. We lose ourselves when we compromise the very ideals that we fight to defend."

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"If we want a lasting peace, then the words of the international community must mean something. Those regimes that break the rules must be held accountable. Sanctions must exact a real price. ... I'm working with (Russian) President (Dmitry) Medvedev to reduce America and Russia's nuclear stockpiles. But it is also incumbent upon all of us to insist that nations like Iran and North Korea do not game the system."

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"Peace is unstable where citizens are denied the right to speak freely or worship as they please; choose their own leaders or assemble without fear. ... A just peace includes not only civil and political rights _ it must encompass economic security and opportunity. For true peace is not just freedom from fear, but freedom from want."