03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Obama's Oslo Doctrine

Prresident Obama's speech in Oslo was the same sort of address which Harry Truman or John Kennedy might have given. It carries the resonance of their times and their strategic views. Obama did not mince words -- he told it like it is in the world today, and as it has been throughout history.

He could have ducked talking about the issues of war and spoken only in platitudes about peace. But he is a tough fellow, and his frank eloquence is appealing. Yes, it is true that he echoed some of the words of his predecessor, Gorge W. Bush. But whereas nobody believed anything Bush had to say because they found the man to be untrustworthy, a unilateralist and a radical right-wing nationalist, Obama can speak about similar themes and yet remain believable. Why? Because he has the popular support of the world for his ideals, his belief in multilateralism, and his willingness to carry the torch of democracy.

I am glad he mentioned the United Nations -- though, at times, I wished he'd given it a little more prominence. Remember, the UN was an American creation -- and has faithfully hewed to its course of preventing conflicts and managing the peace around our planet. Frankly, without it Obama would today not be able to realistically pursue all the aims he enunciated in his Nobel speech. Still, besides that, this was really Obama at his best -- candid, realistic, passionate, idealistic and level-headed. This may not be the Obama doctrine but it probably the closest thing we have to a personal articulation of Obama's fundamental beliefs about America's role in the world.