I was fortunate enough to be able to write this article for the Arthur Burns Fellowship alumni newsletter. To see the whole newsletter click here. (Opens in a new window.) For just my article, keep reading…
The transformation of sleepy Oslo to fortified Nobel host city was tangible. There was anxiety on the sidewalks as citizens walked carefully by concrete barricades, policemen with machine guns and bomb-sniffing dogs—all in place for the arriving VIPs. Even manhole covers were welded shut as a security measure—the official sign that a U.S. president is or has been to a city.
Following a sobering speech by US President Barack Obama, my colleagues at Westdeutscher Rundfunk wanted my analysis and impressions from Oslo. Here is the interview in German. Translation and transcription by Katie Ganzer also provided.
President Obama isn’t here yet, but the city is breathing anticipation–not all of it positive. For 99 Norwegian Crowns one can buy an Obama t-shirt with “Hope” across the bottom, and for 0 Crowns one can enjoy Greenpeace’s characteristically aggressive campaigning for environmental issues.
So in just a few hours the President will board Air Force One and begin his 26 hours in Oslo, to accept a controversial and arguably confusing peace prize, just days after ordering the deployment of 30-thousand more American troops to Afghanistan. This is an uncomfortable time; an insecure time; and this is the time in which we live.