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War and peace… Obama’s prize is a sick joke

December 10, 2009 Leave a comment

I like President Obama. Not just because he’s a Democrat (although given how barkingly insane most Republicans are, this is obviously a good thing) but because he seems to be a man of principle.

He has to do his job in one of the most politically conservative countries in the world but, despite this, he has taken principled stands on healthcare and on the need to close the Guantanamo Bay concentration camp and distance the US from this appalling example of America’s abuse of human rights (although he still hasn’t done this yet, of course). Very commendable.

However, how Mr Obama can be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (which he will receive in Oslo today) for his “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples” when just last week he escalated the unnecessary war in Afghanistan (which has already seen the deaths of up to 30,000 civilians), is totally incomprehensible.

The announcement of the award was made in October and, at the time, it was seen as a reward for the president’s promising start in promoting diplomacy and global co-operation and to encourage him to carry on with this approach. But even the president himself said that he “did not feel he deserved to be in the company of some of the ‘transformative figures’ who had previously received the award.”

And then, barely two months later, as if to support this statement, he announced a huge increase in troop numbers in Afghanistan which will obviously result in more deaths and injuries, to both military personnel and civilians.

The decision to award Obama the prize in the first place was clearly a politically motivated one and it would appear that it actually means very little to the recipient. The Nobel Committee should be embarrassed and ashamed… or perhaps they have a different definition of peace to the one I have.