Friday, March 25, 2011

Obama and Nobel Prize remorse

By Bob Confer

When someone is sold a bad bill of goods he may suffer from “buyer’s remorse,” a feeling of regret maybe even disgust — accompanied by a healthy dose of second-guessing of the buyer’s own intelligence — over the purchase. That feeling can be applied to all aspects of life. For instance, there is no doubt that the five-person committee behind the Nobel Peace Prize has been experiencing “voter’s remorse” for their selection of Barack Obama as the 2009 recipient of the award.

Alfred Nobel’s will said that the Peace Prize should be awarded to the individual who “shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” Despite the clearly defined criteria focusing on the past tense, the committee oddly saw it fit to anticipate what Obama might do to advance peace while in office. In its press release upon conferring the prize, the committee noted that Obama had, “created a new climate in international politics. 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.”

That climate he created was the calm before the storm. At the time, Obama was less than a year removed from being elected to the Presidency of the United States and was still just getting his feet wet in global relations. His bright, peaceful outlook was in stark contrast to that of his predecessor, George W. Bush, a man who pulled our nation into conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and was as reviled abroad as he was at home. Through its thinly veiled message the Nobel Prize committee said as much.

But, as time went on, Obama slowly but surely transformed into the hated Bush, overcome with the very warmongering that he was supposed to be the antidote to. This was made perfectly clear yet again late last week when Obama blatantly defied Alfred Nobel’s message when he threatened military action against Libyan forces and within 24 hours of the proclamation was ordering the bombing of Libya’s air defenses. The American-led bombardments of Tripoli and Misrata continue to this day under the guise of a broader international coalition, definitely not the international fraternity Nobel was looking for. Obama has put countless innocent Libyan civilians in harm’s way and this will only serve to further sully the opinion of America — maybe even the whole Western World — amongst the Arab peoples. It’s a war that Obama has said is necessary to put an end to Col. Gadaffi’s oppression of his people. As peace-promoting as that may seem, those who can look through such propaganda know that it has nothing to do with that and everything to do with behind-the-scenes machinations of the globalists and an immoral breed of capitalists who prize Libya only for its strategic and economic importance.

This is nothing new to Obama. Take Iraq for an example. In his August 31 Oval Office address he said, “I am announcing that the American combat mission in Iraq has ended. Operation Iraqi Freedom is over, and the Iraqi people now have lead responsibility for the security of their country.” Despite such comments, the Commander-in-Chief has ensured that the United States maintain a presence of 50,000 troops in Iraq to offer so-called “support” for the seeds we’ve planted. Alas, a military presence is still a military presence and a war by any other name is still a war. We represent a threat to some of the people of Iraq who in turn represent a threat to some of our soldiers. Both sides still routinely engage one another in gunfire — and Americans are still exposed to improvised explosives, to this day. Peace between the two nations — and within Iraq — has not been created. The ongoing occupation has, instead, spawned animosity and death.

Then there is the matter of Afghanistan. In 2009 the Obama Administration, while touting decreased manning of Iraq efforts, increased the number of U.S. troops in Afghanistan from 36,000 to 60,000. Deployment grew at staggering rate once more in 2010, reaching its current level of 97,000 personnel. Under Obama’s watch, 499 Americans died in that country last year, joined by more than 2,400 Afghan civilians. This death and destruction was supposedly brought about for the sake of finding a dangerous sect of terrorists (who number only in the hundreds) and to help make prosperous and free the Afghanis (only 32 percent of whom, by the way, view the U.S. presence as a good thing). All of those numbers and the incalculable and unfathomable human misery don’t befit a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

From Iraq to Afghanistan to Libya and who knows what troubled nation next, Obama certainly hasn’t lived up to the expectations of the Nobel selection committee. More importantly, he hasn’t lived up to the expectations of the American people. They, too, gambled on the relatively unknown man. They, too, are suffering from their own brand of “voter’s remorse.” They had hoped for the anti-Bush but they got more of the same. We now find ourselves led not by a statesman who believes in peace and a constitutional approach to the justification and continuation of war. Rather, we are saddled with a snake oil salesman who, like his predecessor, cares not for the Constitution and peace in general and chooses to follow lock step with the plans of the military-industrial complex that has long eroded our nation and those with which we wrongly choose to interfere.

Bob Confer is a regular contributor to The New American. He also writes a weekly column for the Greater Niagara Newspapers and is the vice-president of Confer Plastics, Inc.

This column originally appeared in the 22 March 2011 The New American at:

No comments: