|Paul Joseph Watson|
Friday, October 9, 2009
In a world where war criminals like Tony Blair are rewarded and those that oppose war criminals, like the Iraqi shoe thrower Muntadhar al-Zeidi, are imprisoned and tortured, it comes as no surprise that another war criminal – Barack H. Obama – has been rewarded for his stoic service to imperial bloodletting with the Nobel Peace Prize.
The man who gallantly promised “change” from the Bush regime’s illegal wars and a return to diplomacy over belligerency in dealing with Iran, has perpetuated the illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq while expanding another in Pakistan and becoming belligerent towards Iran.
How in anyone’s mind can such behavior constitute a move towards peace?
Obama has done nothing to dismantle the sprawling network of well over 700 U.S. military bases all over the world.
Instead of coming to an understanding with Iran over their nuclear power program, Obama gleefully read from his trusty teleprompter and crafted the hoax that the Iranian nuclear facility at Qom was an evil secret that the Iranians had kept hidden from America as part of a clandestine agenda to build nuclear weapons. In reality, Iran had followed precisely the guidelines set out by the IAEA on when to report the facility and the U.S. had known about it for several years anyway.
Obama’s slick propaganda in expressing his shock at the “discovery” of the plant was worthy of an Oscar but not a Nobel Peace Prize, since the scam has increased the likelihood of sanctions on Iran that will only accelerate the path to war.
By dutifully playing his part in this contrived hoax, Obama was mimicking the tactics of how George W. Bush sold the attack on Iraq.
As Paul Craig Roberts wrote, “By accusing Iran of having a secret “nuclear weapons program” and demanding that Iran “come clean” about the nonexistent program, adding that he does not rule out a military attack on Iran, Obama mimics the discredited Bush regime’s use of nonexistent Iraqi “weapons of mass destruction” to set up Iraq for invasion.”
The fact that Obama launched himself into the role of war hawk in an effort to propagandize for belligerency towards Iran completely discredits the claim by Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland that Obama “Has been a key person for important initiatives in the U.N. for nuclear disarmament and to set a completely new agenda for the Muslim world and East-West relations.”
A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Obama’s acting skills in front of a teleprompter and his slick rhetoric about peace and diplomacy may look good on the surface, but the reality of what he has actually done to further the PNAC agenda for endless war underlines why the award of the Peace Prize is a sick joke.
If Obama intended to bring peace to the world, then why were his early appointments mostly neo-liberal war hawks who have a history of backing military adventurism?
If Obama is such a huge peacenik, then why has he sent 21,000 more troops to Afghanistan already, with tens of thousands more at least on the way?
If Obama plans to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq and bring peace to the region, then why has he gone back on his promise and ensured that tens of thousands of U.S. troops will remain in the country?
If Obama is so deserving of being recognized for his efforts towards peace, then why has he intensified the Bush-era missile drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan that have killed and injured countless innocent civilians?
If Obama is so interested in promoting peace, then why does he protect war criminals who have violated the Geneva Conventions from prosecution?
Beyond the meaningless platitudes served up by his fellow elitist snobs, the true hilarity of Obama receiving the prize was illustrated by just a couple of individuals who the corporate media dared to quote.
Issam al-Khazraji, a day laborer in Baghdad, told Reuters: “He doesn’t deserve this prize. All these problems — Iraq, Afghanistan — have not been solved…The man of ‘change’ hasn’t changed anything yet.”
“Liaqat Baluch, a senior leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami, a conservative religious party in Pakistan, called the award an embarrassing “joke.”
“By implementing his war continuation plan, Obama will complete the work of Bush and his militarist clique,” writes author Chris Floyd, and in doing so send, “an apparently endless stream of American troops to die — and, in even greater numbers, to kill — in a criminal action that has helped bankrupt our own country while sending waves of violent instability and extremism around the world. It will further enfilth a cesspool of corruption and war profiteering that has already reached staggering, world-historical proportions.”
Floyd encapsulates perfectly why Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize award is a disgusting farce, an insult to those who really are fighting for peace in the world, and just another reminder that the Nobel Peace Prize represents little more than a gaggle of back-slapping elitists who bestow awards upon each other so that they can pose as global saviors to the public when in reality they are mostly a bunch of crooks, con-artists and deceivers.
|Martha Rose Crow|
Saturday, Oct 10th, 2009
Right after Christmas, my nephew is leaving for another tour in Afghanistan. My Sister’s heart and my heart are broken. The chances are good that this time he’s coming back in a box with a flag on top of it.
But in many ways, he’s dead already. Like many soldiers who’ve come back from the middle east, he’s wired on self-destruct. My Sister has told me that she can’t count the times she’s taken guns away from him when he was threatening suicide because those times have been so many.
When I was a child, I was highly idealistic. I wanted to swim the English Channel. I wanted to live an exceptional life. I wanted to graduate from the university and perform work that would improve the lives of others. I wanted to be a peace maker and I wanted to earn a Nobel Peace Prize.
Back then, I didn’t know about the dirty money connected with the prizes; that they came from money made from munitions or that the principal of the endowment was invested in more implements of war and/or of human oppression like capitalism that rapes the world for cheap natural resources and cheap human labor.
My childhood idealism about the Nobel Peace Prize waned a long time ago. It took awhile, but I learned that it was awarded by elites to politically ‘frame the culture’ of ‘peace’ and/or use the awardee as propaganda for the elite. It seemed to me that too many of the real peace makers are never awarded any prizes for their work and that too many heads of states are awarded it instead.
In the book 1984 by George Orwell, ‘War is Peace’ and ‘Peace is War’. Orwell’s book paints a psychopathic universe where reality is the opposite of what it really is. In Oceana, the place where the book takes place, Lies Rule: they Become the Truth. The whole place is built upon the lies of the ‘party’ or the ruling elite.
When I saw that Obama had ‘won’ the Nobel Peace Prize, I almost fell out of my chair. He’s only nine months into his presidency and he has done nothing to stop any of the American wars. Contrarily, he’s escalated the war in Afghanistan and spread it to Pakistan. Obama wants to add 40,000 more troops in Afghanistan. Last I heard, the war in Iraq is still continuing. More, the opaque and unwinnable war against ‘terrorism’ is still going on as well while the definition of a ‘terrorist’ keeps expanding to include anyone who opposes tyranny, including war.
What about torture? Obama hasn’t done anything to stop it. That status quo merry-go-round of violence and the violence of lies goes on and on.
In lieu of the lack of bringing peace, Obama should have won the Nobel Peace Prize for Economics as more people are out of work now than when he was given the mantel of presidency. This is how great the hypocrisy is.
So what does all of this mean? A group of five elites chose Obama to market lies and deception; to sell an Orwellian world where people are programmed to believe that a war monger, a false messiah of peace, is the ideal peace bringer when in a real reality, he is the farthest from it.
And Obama’s nomination in the swill world of the Orwell Peace Prize is in good company. Although they didn’t get the prize, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Joseph Stalin were nominated. History has proven what kind of ‘peace makers’ they were and history will prove that Obama is of the same ilk.
People see through this ruse and sham. They know that Obama hasn’t kept his campaign promises of stopping war and promoting peace. They know that he’s being controlled by the powerful and wealthy military industrial complex who stand to lose enormous profits if Obama pursues peace.
This will be my nephew’s third tour of duty. For a year (if he stays alive that long), we will live on pins and needles. Every day, we will hope that bad news doesn’t arrive at the front door, brought by a well-dressed soldier messenger. Every day, we will hear about new war casualties and worry if he is one of them. We will live in a limbic hell and wait.
And during this time, Obama will escalate the wars, support Israel’s illegal wars, while wearing the official Nobel Crown as the ‘New Prince of Peace’.
|The Nobel Peace Prize for 2007|
The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 is to be shared, in two equal parts, between the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change.
Indications of changes in the earth's future climate must be treated with the utmost seriousness, and with the precautionary principle uppermost in our minds. Extensive climate changes may alter and threaten the living conditions of much of mankind. They may induce large-scale migration and lead to greater competition for the earth's resources. Such changes will place particularly heavy burdens on the world's most vulnerable countries. There may be increased danger of violent conflicts and wars, within and between states.
Through the scientific reports it has issued over the past two decades, the IPCC has created an ever-broader informed consensus about the connection between human activities and global warming. Thousands of scientists and officials from over one hundred countries have collaborated to achieve greater certainty as to the scale of the warming. Whereas in the 1980s global warming seemed to be merely an interesting hypothesis, the 1990s produced firmer evidence in its support. In the last few years, the connections have become even clearer and the consequences still more apparent.
Al Gore has for a long time been one of the world's leading environmentalist politicians. He became aware at an early stage of the climatic challenges the world is facing. His strong commitment, reflected in political activity, lectures, films and books, has strengthened the struggle against climate change. He is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures that need to be adopted.
By awarding the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 to the IPCC and Al Gore, the Norwegian Nobel Committee is seeking to contribute to a sharper focus on the processes and decisions that appear to be necessary to protect the world’s future climate, and thereby to reduce the threat to the security of mankind. Action is necessary now, before climate change moves beyond man’s control.
Oslo, 12 October 2007
|Associated Press President Barack Obama speaks about winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Friday in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington.|
Chair of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Thorbjorn Jagland, announces at The Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo Friday.
OSLO -- President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in a stunning decision designed to build momentum behind his initiatives to reduce nuclear arms, ease tensions with the Muslim world and stress diplomacy and cooperation rather than unilateralism.
Obama said he was surprised and deeply humbled by the honor, and planned to travel to Oslo to accept the prize.
"I do not feel that I deserve to be in the company of so many transformative figures that have been honored by this prize," he said. "I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations to confront the challenges of the 21st century."
Many observers were shocked by the unexpected choice so early in the Obama presidency, which began less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline and has yet to yield concrete achievements in peacemaking.
Some around the world objected to the choice of Obama, who still oversees wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has launched deadly counter-terror strikes in Pakistan and Somalia.
Obama said he was working to end the war in Iraq and "to confront a ruthless adversary that directly threatens the American people and our allies" in Afghanistan.
Members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee said their choice could be seen as an early vote of confidence in Obama intended to build global support for his policies. They lauded the change in global mood wrought by Obama's calls for peace and cooperation, and praised his pledges to reduce the world stock of nuclear arms, ease American conflicts with Muslim nations and strengthen the U.S. role in combating climate change.
"Obama has as President created a new climate in international politics," the citation read, in part. "Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play. Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts."
Aagot Valle, a lawmaker for the Socialist Left party who joined the committee this year, said she hoped the selection would be viewed as "support and a commitment for Obama."
"And I hope it will be an inspiration for all those that work with nuclear disarmament and disarmament," she told The Associated Press in a rare interview. Members of the Nobel peace committee usually speak only through its chairman.
The peace prize was created partly to encourage ongoing peace efforts but Obama's efforts are at far earlier stages than past winners'. The Nobel committee acknowledged that they may not bear fruit at all.
"Some people say, and I understand it, isn't it premature? Too early? Well, I'd say then that it could be too late to respond three years from now," Nobel Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said. "It is now that we have the opportunity to respond Ã¢â‚¬" all of us."
In Europe and much of the world Obama is lionized for bringing the United States closer to mainstream global thinking on issues like climate change and multilateralism. A 25-nation poll of 27,000 people released in July by the Pew Global Attitudes Project found double-digit boosts to the percentage of people viewing the U.S. favorably in countries around the world. That indicator had plunged across the world under President George W. Bush.
At home, the picture is more complicated. Obama is often criticized as he attempts to carry out his agenda Ã¢â‚¬" drawing fire over a host of issues from government spending to health care to the conduct of the war in Afghanistan.
U.S. Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele contended that Obama won the prize as a result of his "star power" rather than meaningful accomplishments.
"The real question Americans are asking is, 'What has President Obama actually accomplished?'" Steele said.
Drawing criticism from some on the left, Obama has been slow to bring troops home from Iraq and the real end of the U.S. military presence there won't come until at least 2012.
In Afghanistan, he is seriously considering ramping up the number of U.S. troops on the ground and asking for help from others, too.
"I don't think Obama deserves this. I don't know who's making all these decisions. The prize should go to someone who has done something for peace and humanity," said Ahmad Shabir, 18-year-old student in Kabul. "Since he is the president, I don't see any change in U.S. strategy in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."
Obama has said that battling climate change is a priority. But the U.S. seems likely to head into crucial international negotiations set for Copenhagen in December with Obama-backed legislation still stalled in Congress.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, who won the prize in 1984, said Obama's award shows great things are expected from him in the coming years.
"In a way, it's an award coming near the beginning of the first term of office of a relatively young president that anticipates an even greater contribution towards making our world a safer place for all," he said. "It is an award that speaks to the promise of President Obama's message of hope."
He described the prize as a "wonderful recognition" of Obama's effort to reach out to the Arab world after years of hostility.
But Former Polish President Lech Walesa, who won the prize in 1983, questioned whether Obama deserved it now.
"So soon? Too early. He has no contribution so far. He is still at an early stage. He is only beginning to act," Walesa said.
Unlike the other Nobel Prizes, which are awarded by Swedish institutions, the peace prize is given out by a five-member committee elected by the Norwegian Parliament. Like the Parliament, the committee has a leftist slant, with three members elected by left-of-center parties. Jagland said the decision to honor Obama was unanimous.
The identity of the person who nominated Obama will not be made public unless that person steps forward. The Nobel committee received a record 205 nominations for this year's prize.
The award appeared to be at least partly a slap at Bush from a committee that harshly criticized Obama's predecessor for his largely unilateral military action in the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
"Those who were in support of Bush in his belief in war solving problems, on rearmament, and that nuclear weapons play an important role ... probably won't be happy," said Valle, the Nobel Committee member.
Obama is the third sitting U.S. president to win the award: President Theodore Roosevelt won in 1906 and President Woodrow Wilson was awarded the prize in 1919.
Wilson received the prize for his role in founding the League of Nations, the hopeful but ultimately failed precursor to the contemporary United Nations.
The Nobel committee chairman said after awarding the 2002 prize to former Democratic President Jimmy Carter, for his mediation in international conflicts, that it should be seen as a "kick in the leg" to the Bush administration's hard line in the buildup to the Iraq war.
Five years later, the committee honored Bush's adversary in the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore, for his campaign to raise awareness about global warming.
In July talks in Moscow, Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed that their negotiators would work out a new limit on delivery vehicles for nuclear warheads of between 500 and 1,100. They also agreed that warhead limits would be reduced from the current range of 1,700-2,200 to as low as 1,500. The United States now has about 2,200 such warheads, compared to about 2,800 for the Russians.
But there has been no word on whether either side has started to act on the reductions.
Former Peace Prize winner Mohamed ElBaradei, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, said Obama has already provided outstanding leadership in the effort to prevent nuclear proliferation.
"He has shown an unshakable commitment to diplomacy, mutual respect and dialogue as the best means of resolving conflicts," ElBaradei said.
Massimo Teodori, one of Italy's leading experts of U.S. history, said the Nobel decision was a clear rejection of the "unilateral, antagonistic politics" of Obama's predecessor, George Bush.
"The prize is well deserved after the Bush years, which had antagonized the rest of the world," Teodori said. "President Obama's policy of extending his hand has reconciled the United States with the international community."
Obama also has attempted to restart stalled talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, but just a day after Obama hosted the Israeli and Palestinian leaders in New York, Israeli officials boasted that they had fended off U.S. pressure to halt settlement construction. Moderate Palestinians said they felt undermined by Obama's failure to back up his demand for a freeze.
"I look forward to working closely with you in the years ahead to advance peace," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a message of congratulations to Obama.
In the Gaza Strip, leaders of the radical Hamas movement said they had heard Obama's speeches seeking better relations with the Islamic world but had not been moved.
"We are in need of actions, not sayings," Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said. "If there is no fundamental and true change in American policies toward the acknowledgment of the rights of the Palestinian people, I think this prize won't move us forward or backward."
Obama was to meet with his top advisers on the Afghan war on Friday to consider a request by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, to send as many as 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan as the U.S war there enters its ninth year.
Obama ordered 21,000 additional troops to Afghanistan earlier this year and has continued the use of unmanned drones for attacks on militants in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a strategy devised by the Bush administration. The attacks often kill or injure civilians living in the area.
A Taliban spokesman in Afghanistan has condemned President Barack Obama's winning of the Nobel Peace Prize, saying the American president had only escalated the war by sending more troops.
Qari Yousef Ahmadi accused Obama "of having the blood of the Afghan people on his hands."
In his 1895 will, Alfred Nobel stipulated that the peace prize should go "to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses."
Nominators for the prize include former laureates; current and former members of the committee and their staff; members of national governments and legislatures; university professors of law, theology, social sciences, history and philosophy; leaders of peace research and foreign affairs institutes; and members of international courts of law.
Obama will donate to charity the $1.4 million cash award that comes with the prize. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says it is likely that more than one charity will benefit.
The committee has taken a wide interpretation of Nobel's guidelines, expanding the prize beyond peace mediation to include efforts to combat poverty, disease and climate change.
Until seconds before the award, speculation had focused on a wide variety of candidates besides Obama: Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, a Colombian senator, a Chinese dissident and an Afghan woman's rights activist, among others.