There were a few positive things, summarized in bullet form below and free of charge (worth every penny):
1. He shocked and disappointed many of the pointyheads in attendance. You could see it on their stunned faces (well, except for the gorgeous blond in the front who seemed very impressed if you know what I mean and I think you do). His admission that war was justified and necessary had to be like a collective stroke for some of them. I think he did it on purpose--they don't vote, but according to polls back home the likely voters who do are getting increasingly pissed. Blowing off the day two festivities won't hurt him at home, either.
2. Everyone seems to think he kept his America-bashing at a minimum and he did, but his Bush bashing was sharp as a tack. No surprise there--it's why he won. It began when he talked of going "beyond self-defense" (Iraq). But he meandered, veering off to justify Clinton's war in the Balkans, a war for 'humanitarian purposes' that resulted in quite a bit of collateral damage deaths (including our bombing of the Chinese embassy and resulting cries of 'war criminal' towards General Wesley Clark).
This segued into him saying "inaction tears at our conscience and can cause more costly intervention later", which included the Balkans but also Darfur, evidently forgetting the suffering of the Iraqi people under Saddam Hussein, which somehow wasn't a humanitarian crisis until Bush invaded.
Then it was back to bashing when he said "militaries with a clear mandate", which Iraq didn't have in the eyes of old Europe despite the multi-national coalition.
He once again swerved into a veiled slap at Europe by making a guilt pitch towards getting more NATO troops in Afghanistan. Some audience members were beginning to drift towards sleep at this point but he was soon to wake them up when he dovetailed back into the Bush-bashing by bringing up the original Nobel winner and founder of the Red Cross and contributor to the Geneva Conventions, Henry Dunant, allowing him to figuratively waterboard Bush/Cheney over all the things they did he wouldn't do (evidently watching from the sidelines as the mushroom cloud envelopes a city?).
3. He then outlined three ways towards peace, including tough alternatives to change behavior such as real sanctions, which led him back into Euro slappy land. Translated, put up or shut up, folks--all this peace around the world doesn't happen without blood, sweat and tears and America can't do it alone. Cheers here!
Of course he followed that with a journey into his strawberry field of unicorns riding nukes off into the distance. Most presidents have unachievable goals--Obama has to top them all.
He got back to more war talk at this point and scored another body blow with "America has never fought a war against a democracy". It's worth a picture of the crowd reaction:
Surely a few pastors have seen those same faces before when preaching about sin.
4. Just as quick as he was on a roll he derailed when talking about the brave freedom-seekers, like those in Iran. Which he basically ignored. He promised not to again, in a lecturing tone.
5. "Economic security". Barack's happy zone. "True peace is... freedom from want". At this point global warming appeared, which was no coincidence since climate change is all about white men's greed in a world of need. He cloaked it in national security, in other words if we don't spread the wealth around the natives are liable to get restless and there are loose WMDs out there or something.
6. He got back to extremism, mentioning Islamists clinging to guns (backpack bombs) and Allah but felt compelled to condemn Christians by scolding them over the Crusades. Funny how they never scold over the first Caliphate. Like the enigma he is, he came roaring back to point out that no religious war is a just war because there's no restraint involved, anything goes, then threw in the golden rule, which was excellent, since it was a bin Laden/Zawahiri smackdown.
He ended by mentioning the Utopian dream all liberals aspire to, which garnered the second round of applause.
All in all, it was up and down, good and bad. Obama still has a tendency to float above the problems of the world in an almost god-like fashion or perhaps a teacher gently lecturing a group of students. He might not have been as critical of America as before in front of a foreign audience but he got off a number of Bush shots and managed to pucker a crowd of stuffy Euros with some cold, hard reality. Mission accomplished, I'd say.
Oh, and that strange spiral in the sky that coincidentally occurred over Norway on the very day Obama arrived, purportedly from a failed Russian Bulava missile test? Just a congratulatory gesture from Putey Poot, failed or not.
AQ's REPLY 12/12/09
Not a formal reply, but there's no doubt Adam Gadahn's Friday message..
"Those who have made the foolish decision to stand with America and its allies in their losing war against Islam ... you have not only betrayed Islam and Muslims and left the fold of faith, but you have also caused the destabilization of nations and the displacement ... of thousands of weak and oppressed people," Gadahn said...was targeted to the very type of pinhead in attendance at the Nobel ceremony, the very same ones with looks of shock on their faces as Obama explained the way of the world as to war and peace. We'll see which way they go.
"The blood of countless Muslims is on your hands, and the security and very future of the countries you claim to defend and serve has been placed in jeopardy because your external enemies are taking advantage of your heedlessness as you fight and kill your fellow countrymen for American dollars."