President Obama defended his Nobel Peace Prize on Tuesday, saying that Americans “don’t see any contradiction” in him ordering an attack on Libya to make sure “people aren’t butchered because of a dictator who wants to cling to power.”
“When I received that award, I specifically said there was an irony because I was already dealing with two wars,” Obama said in an interview with CNN from El Salvador. “So I am accustomed to this contradiction of being both a commander-in-chief but also someone who aspires to peace.”
Saying he is focused on ensuring that Libyans can “live out their own aspirations,” Obama defended America’s involvement in Libya, saying, “we’re not invading a country, we’re not acting alone – we’re acting under a mandate issued by the United Nations Security Council in an unprecedented fashion and with unprecedented speed.”
And he said again that the U.S. military has already saved lives there. “I think the American people don’t see any contradiction in somebody who cares about peace also wanting to make sure that people aren’t butchered because of a dictator who wants to cling to power,” he said.
Some foreign leaders have called on Obama to return the Nobel Peace Prize he accepted in 2009 since ordering the Libya attack.