"Even as we confront a vicious adversary that abides by no rules," Obama said, "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."
I think Ezra's take on the speech is spot on,
...a speech much more about war than peace and much more about America than the world. It was, in essence, a theory of how a military superpower that wants peace should view war.
I wasn't sure what to expect from the speech and if you had given me that description before I had heard it I would have been a bit concerned that the tone was too beligerant. Listening to it this morning though I came away impressed (again) with our President and the way that he challenged some base European assumptions about war and the United States. The Nobel committee refers to this not as a speech but as a lecture and I think that's an apt description. It was intellectually challenging to all who cared to truly listen.