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Declaration of war in Oslo

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Nobel Peace Prize 2009 scandalThe sorry record of the Nobel Prize committee of the last 20 years became sorrier still when it awarded the current US president the 2009 Peace prize. The speech made by the recipient on 10 December 2009 to claim that award would have been sorrier still, if it was not instead a chilling reminder of the words and methods of George W Bush, the winner’s predecessor.

This year’s Peace prize award has joined together black farce, opera noir and state terror in a menacing new construction. One point in the short citation by the Nobel Committee for the prize awarded to Barack Obama reads: “His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.” An open-ended pledge to wage indefinite and murderous war is a “value and attitude shared by the majority of the world’s population”?!?

Obama acknowledged that he is the “Commander-in-Chief of the military of a nation in the midst of two wars” and presented war as a legitimate means of pursuing national interests. He declared that “the instruments of war do have a role to play in preserving the peace”, that “all responsible nations must embrace the role that militaries with a clear mandate can play to keep the peace” and that imperialist troops should be honored “not as makers of war, but as wagers of peace”. Since he has now been awarded the Nobel Peace prize, the Nobel Committee must quickly announce a new Nobel, for Inspired Propaganda, and award the first such prize to Obama’s speech-writer.

Nobel Peace Prize 2009 scandalThe more sensible of the world’s press has struck a note of resigned outrage today. Here’s Granma, the excellent Cuban newspaper, on the Nobel scandal:

“Para iniciar las guerras se necesitó un presidente inculto con mensaje directo y lágrimas fáciles —así era George W. Bush. Pero para continuar las guerras que no se podrían ganar, y al mismo tiempo mantener las ganancias suculentas de Wall Street mientras el pueblo se empobrecía más, se requería un presidente intelectual como Barack Obama, con capacidad de crear promesas hipnotizadoras, con sonrisa fácil y amigable, que haría olvidar por un tiempo al pueblo la incertidumbre económica del país. Como dice el refrán: no importa el color del gato, siempre y cuando cace ratones.”

[Translation]: To start the wars it took an uneducated president with direct message and tears it was so easy-George W. Bush. But to continue the wars that could not win, and at the same time maintain succulent gains on Wall Street while impoverishing more people, they needed a president like Barack Obama intellectual, able to create mesmerizing promises, with an easy smile and friendly, that would put the people for a time of economic uncertainty the country. As the saying goes: no matter the color of the cat as long as it catches mice.

And here’s Die Tageszeitung, Berlin’s excellent analytical daily, on the Nobel scandal:

“Das Thema Afghanistan griff Obama auch bei der Preiszeremonie in seiner Dankesrede auf. Die Menschen müssten akzeptieren, dass Staaten manchmal Kriege führen müssten, um ihre Bürger vor Terror oder feindlichen Regimen zu schützen. Kriege seien nie eine “glorreiche Angelegenheit”, sondern eine bedauerliche Notwendigkeit: “Eine gewaltfreie Bewegung hätte Hitlers Armeen nicht stoppen können. Verhandlungen können die Al-Qaida-Führer nicht dazu bringen, ihre Waffen niederzulegen.” In seiner Würdigung des Preisträgers versuchte Thorbjørn Jagland, Vorsitzender des Nobelpreiskomitees, die Entscheidung noch einmal zu begründen. Er griff dazu den Obama-Satz auf, der Preis sei wohl als Appell gemeint: “Präsident Obama hat das Nobelkomitee ganz perfekt verstanden.”

Nobel Peace Prize 2009 scandal[Translation]: The issue of Afghanistan was taken on by Obama even during the awards ceremony in his acceptance speech. The people must accept that states must sometimes fight wars, to protect its citizens from terrorist or hostile regimes, he said. Wars are never a “glorious affair”, but an unfortunate need for “a nonviolent movement would not be able to stop Hitler’s armies. Negotiations can not take the Al-Qaeda leaders to lay down their weapons.” In its assessment of the winner Thorbjørn Jagland, Chairman of the Nobel Committee, tried to justify the decision again. He reached to the Obama sentence, that the prize was probably meant as an appeal: “President Obama has understood the Nobel Committee perfectly.”

And here’s the thoughtful and reflective Monthly Review, a reputed leftist journal, about the US military economy, in a comment in October 2008:

Nobel Peace Prize 2009 scandal“The United States is unique today among major states in the degree of its reliance on military spending, and its determination to stand astride the world, militarily as well as economically. No other country in the post-Second World War world has been so globally destructive or inflicted so many war fatalities. Since 2001, acknowledged U.S. national defense spending has increased by almost 60 percent in real dollar terms to a level in 2007 of $553 billion. This is higher than at any point since the Second World War (though lower than previous decades as a percentage of GDP).”

And here’s the fearless and inspiringly independent-minded Le Monde, the French news daily, on the Nobel scandal:

“Le prix Nobel de la paix ayant été fondé par Alfred Nobel l’inventeur de la dynamite, peut-être n’y a-t-il pas lieu de s’étonner. Tout de même, la coïncidence est immanquable. Dix jours après avoir annoncé l’envoi de renforts en Afghanistan, Barack Obama est arrivé jeudi matin 10 décembre, à Oslo (Norvège). Le “war president” est couronné d’un prix Nobel de la paix. La Maison Blanche ne pouvait pas ignorer l’ironie. Depuis plusieurs jours, elle n’entend que cela. Le porte-parole Robert Gibbs a fini par être agacé. Barack Obama “comprend qu’il n’appartient pas à la même catégorie que Mandela ou Mère Teresa”, a-t-il dit. “Mais il est fier des gestes faits par son gouvernement pour renouer avec le monde”. Dans son discours, le président devait lui-même expliquer, comme Franklin Roosevelt en son temps, qu’il y a parfois des guerres justes et “nécessaires”.”

[Translation]: The Nobel Peace was founded by Alfred Nobel who invented dynamite, maybe is there not surprising. Still, the coincidence is inevitable. Ten days after announcing sending reinforcements to Afghanistan, Barack Obama arrived Thursday morning December 10 in Oslo (Norway). The “war president” is crowned with a Nobel Prize for peace. The White House could not ignore the irony. For several days she heard this. The spokesman Robert Gibbs came to be annoyed. Barack Obama “understands that he does not belong to the same category as Mandela or Mother Teresa,” he said. “But he is proud of gestures made by his government to revive the world”. In his speech, the president must explain himself, as Franklin Roosevelt in his time, sometimes there are just wars and “necessary”.

Written by makanaka

December 11, 2009 at 16:31

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