The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded Friday to the International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) — listen to my radio show with one of ICAN’s leaders two years ago here.
Those who own the wealth of nations take care to downplay the immensity of their holdings while emphasizing the supposedly benign features of the socio-economic order over which they preside. With its regiments of lawmakers and opinion-makers, the ruling hierarchs produce a never-ending cavalcade of symbols, images, and narratives to disguise and legitimate the system of exploitative social relations existing between the 1% and the 99%.
“I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita … “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” (J. Robert Oppenheimer, 22nd April 1904 – 18th February 1967, Scientific Director of the Manhattan Project, on the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.)
Chilling ironies surely do not come much greater than the Nobel Peace Prize winning President of the United States, in an election year, having contributed to global instability and the possibility of nuclear conflict, to such an extent that the “Doomsday Clock”, maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago, has this week been moved to five minutes to midnight.
“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Mid-January means it’s time to commemorate the birthday of a true African-American peacemaker who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for actual peacemaking work. But once again, as they do every year, our politicians, our pundits, and our corporate media will narrow down Dr. King’s life and legacy to that of strictly black-white civil rights with convenient clichés such as “slain civil rights leader” and countless, predictable references to his “I Have A Dream” speech at the 1963 March on Washington, as though that was the only important speech he ever made. That way, they can manage to make it seem as though his development as a world, not merely U.S., thinker and leader was frozen in that summer of ’63, and that his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize was the “capping off” of his public career. And the key word in the previous sentence is “manage,” as in managing or controlling.
Reading through the transcript of Obama’s speech in Oslo, it is startling to read how Obama attempted to make his hawkish beliefs and theories congeal with such respected pillars of non-violence as Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. He seemed to be suggesting that the ‘Obamian’ view of international affairs was far superior to what these bulwarks of non-violence would seek to achieve, if only they were seeing things in the manner that this political ‘luminary’ and ‘rock star’ views them. And in an attempt to elucidate his bizarre and extremist point of view, Obama caricatured proponents of non-violence as “not facing the world as it is” and “standing idle in the face of threats.” Ultimately, Obama’s comments leave us with a similar conclusion as to what was told to the citizens of Oceania, in Orwell’s incomparable work of political science fiction 1984; tragically Obama seemed to be attempting to argue that war is peace.
by Congressman Dennis Kucinich
Washington, Dec 11, 2009
“Yesterday, our president mused about the inevitability of war, war’s instrumentality in the pursuit of peace and just wars. It is important for us to reflect on his words, because once we believe in the inevitability of war, war becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once we are committed to war’s instrumentality in pursuit of peace, we begin the Orwellian journey to the semantic netherworld where War IS Peace, where the momentum of war overwhelms hopes for peace. And once we wrap doctrines perpetuating war in the arms of justice, we can easily legitimate the wholesale slaughter of innocents. The war against Iraq was based on lies. Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan are based on flawed doctrines of counter-insurgency. War is often not just; sometimes it is just war. And our ability to rethink the terms of our existence, to explore the possibility of peace without war, may well determine whether we end war, or war ends us.”
Congressman Dennis Kucinich: NOT ALL WARS ARE JUST! SOME ARE JUST WAR!
by Ralph Nader
The Nader Page
Dec 11, 2009
President Obama, the Afghan war escalator, received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway, and proceeded to deliver his acceptance speech outlining the three criteria for a “just war” which he himself is violating.
The criteria are in this words: “If it is waged as a last resort or in self-defense; if the force used is proportional; and if, whenever possible, civilians are spared from violence.”
After 9/11, warmonger George W. Bush could have used the international law doctrine of hot pursuit with a multilateral force of commandoes, linguists and bribers to pursue the backers of the attackers. Instead, he blew the country of Afghanistan apart and started occupying it, joined forces with a rump regime and launched a divide-and-rule tribal strategy that set the stage for a low-tiered civil war.
President and commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the United States Barack Obama delivered his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance address in Oslo on December 10, which has immediately led to media discussion of an Obama Doctrine.
With obligatory references to Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mohandas Gandhi (the second referred to only by his surname) but to no other American presidents than Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy – fellow peace prize recipients Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Jimmy Carter weren’t mentioned – the U.S. head of state spoke with the self-assurance of the leader of the world’s first uncontested superpower and at times with the self-righteousness of a would-be prophet and clairvoyant. And, in the words of German philosopher Friedrich von Schlegel, a prophet looking backward.
I was in Stockholm, Sweden when it was announced that President Barack Obama had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and, even though the people of Sweden were still enamored of him, when they heard that, they (and I) were shocked.
We got over our shock a little while later when we snapped to our senses and realized what the NPP is all about—it’s an establishment prize (usually) that rewards the status quo and Obama won’t be the first warmonger to ever win it. Awarding the prize to Obama, who has not done one concrete thing for peace, just confirmed that inconvenient truth.
When the Nobel Prize committee announced their choice for this year’s Peace Prize winner, they stressed that a key factor in awarding Obama the prize had been the commitment to a nuclear-free world he had outlined in speeches such as the one he delivered in Prague earlier this year. “The committee has attached special importance to Obama’s vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons” said the committee chairman when announcing that Obama had won the prize. Continue reading
The Anti-Empire Report
“It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.” — Voltaire
Question: How many countries do you have to be at war with to be disqualified from receiving the Nobel Peace Prize?
Answer: Five. Barack Obama has waged war against only Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia. He’s holding off on Iran until he actually gets the prize.
Somalian civil society and court system are so devastated from decades of war that one wouldn’t expect its citizens to have the means to raise serious legal challenges to Washington’s apparent belief that it can drop bombs on that sad land whenever it appears to serve the empire’s needs. But a group of Pakistanis, calling themselves “Lawyers Front for Defense of the Constitution”, and remembering just enough of their country’s more civilized past, has filed suit before the nation’s High Court to make the federal government stop American drone attacks on countless innocent civilians. The group declared that a Pakistan Army spokesman claimed to have the capability to shoot down the drones, but the government had made a policy decision not to. 1
Oct. 16, 2009
Peace activist Cindy Sheehan discusses plans for continuous civil disobedience in Washington D.C. until the Iraq and Afghanistan wars end, lessons learned from the Pittsburgh G-20 protests, how Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize was awarded soon after he refused to meet with peace groups and why much of the Left can’t wrap their heads around a pro-war Democratic Party.