Friday, October 9, 2009

The peace president

    War is peace; freedom is slavery; ignorance is strength. - Orwell

It's redundant to call the Noble Peace Prize a joke, having been awarded to numerous war criminals and murderers - Yasser Arafat, Henry Kissinger, Woodrow Wilson, to name a few. So, while we can't help but be shocked, we shouldn't be, even if Obama was nominated only ten days into his presidency, indicating, as the Los Angeles Times puts it, that the Nobel committee is recognizing "aspirations" for peace over achievements.

But Obama has achieved much during his 9 months in office; his "aspirations" were nothing but rhetoric. Surely the most notorious murderers in history had "aspirations" for peace, mostly by wiping out anyone who would oppose them - an effective means to that end, indeed. So while Obama claimed he wanted to end the war in Iraq, he has continued and expanded it. The troops he redeployed from Iraq to Afghanistan were replaced by private contractors, and military bases were "moved" outside of city limits by simply redrawing the maps. In Afghanistan, the slaughter of innocents, along with our own troops, has accelerated. Surely Obama knows that bin Laden is dead, and that our government has no hard evidence he was behind 9-11 - first and foremost because it was perpetrated by criminal elements within our own government, not bin Laden or al Qaeda. Obama has expanded the Afghan war into Pakistan and the administration continues to beat the war drums against Iran. An attack appears imminent. Meanwhile, though candidate Obama promised to close Guantanamo Bay, end torture and rendition, and restore habeas corpus, he has broken all of these promises, and, of course, expanded all of Bush's grotesque constitutional and human rights violations, promising a pre-crime detention program to arrest people for crimes they may or may not have committed were they not detained. This is "peace". Strange days have found us.

But let me back up a little; the votes were cast only 10 days into Obama's presidency. So we're left to wonder: did the Nobel committee actually believe his soaring campaign rhetoric, hypnotized by the cult of personality along with his mob of adoring fans? Or, as Samuel Adams put it, has the tools of the tyrant perverted the plain meaning of words?