Friday, October 9, 2009


The last American President launched a war on the basis of anticipatory self-defense, and this morning the current American President received the Nobel Peace Prize on the basis of anticipatory accomplishments. Prizes are not generally awarded in expectation of future actions for a good reason, Alfred Nobel's will established five prizes to be awarded "to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind." Don't expect any scientific or literary prodigies to receive awards in view of what they could, potentially accomplish later in life.

What was most astonishing and disappointing in the award being given to U.S President Barak Obama, though, was the blatant departure from the provision of Nobel's will creating the Peace Prize for "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity among nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace." A Peace Prize for the man at the helm of the world's most militarized state? A peace prize for the man at the helm of two belligerent occupations? A peace prize for the man with the blood of innocent Gazans, and Pakistanis, and Afghans, and Iraqis, and others, killed either by his acquiescence or orders? Obama is a man of war and opportunism, he is not a man of peace.

Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger received the prize, but it is no less inappropriate to hand the award to Obama. If the Nobel Committee could not find a suitable candidate they should have abstained from awarding it to preserve the integrity of the prize. However, there are thousands of worthy recipients. Most of them endure discomforts and risks to fight the abuses of the system Barak Obama presides over from Washington's comfortable and safe halls of power.

Anyone who participates in a system that so frequently and systematically damages the cause of peace and abuses human rights would be better served by an appearance in the docks at the Hague than one in Oslo.

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