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Toby Keith shrugs off criticism
OSLO — There’s no reason to apologize for supporting U.S. war efforts, American country singer Toby Keith said Friday, just hours before performing at the annual Nobel Peace Prize concert.Keith, whose 2002 saber-rattling hit "Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” was inspired by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, said he stands by President Barack Obama’s decision to send 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. Keith’s appearance at the downtown Oslo Spektrum arena was questioned by Norwegians dismayed that a performer known for a fervent pro-war anthem was playing at a show focused on peace. The musician dismissed the criticism. "If President Obama has to send (more) troops into Afghanistan to fight evil, I’ll pull for our guys to win, and I won’t apologize for it,” Keith said. "I’m an American, and I do pull for our team to fight evil.” His comments come the day after Obama traveled to Oslo to collect his Nobel Peace Prize and defended his decision to increase troop levels in Afghanistan. "Make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world,” Obama said. Keith said this was the second year in a row the Norwegian Nobel Committee had invited him to perform at the concert.