Baby-killer Awarded Nobel Peace Prize

Paul Donahue

13 October 2009

When I heard the news that the Norwegian Nobel Committee had awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama, I thought that maybe this was another political prank of the Yes Men, or maybe somehow I had awoken in Superman’s bizarro world, where everything is backwards.

To say I am outraged by the Nobel Committee’s choice would be a gross understatement. A man who is dropping bombs on innocent civilians in THREE countries….a man who has been responsible for the deaths of THOUSANDS of innocent men, women and children….a man who just in the last ten days has made veiled threats of military action against Iran….a man who wholeheartedly supports the Israeli genocide of the Palestinian people….a man whose administration has been implicated in a bloody coup in Honduras….a man who has gone to great lengths to protect the torturers of the Bush administration….a man who is still willing to allow other countries to do the torturing for the U.S…..a man who has untold numbers of prisoners, many of whom are completely innocent, incarcerated under brutal conditions inside inhuman hell holes like Guantanamo and Bagram….a man whose administration continues to develop new nuclear weapons….THIS is the man chosen to receive the Nobel Peace Prize? Is this some sort of sick joke?

Obama  won the presidential election last November with a campaign promise to escalate the war U.S. led war on Afghanistan. Unfortunately, that is just about the only campaign pledge he has kept. It is a war that is now very much his war. After sending an additional 34,000 troops to Afghanistan earlier this year, Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize just two days after the eighth anniversary of the war. This is at a time when he is considering escalating the reign of terror in that country even further with the addition of another 40,000-60,000 U.S. troops.

Lest you think the “baby-killer” label is too harsh, the U.S, airstrike, Obama’s airstrike, in Afghanistan’s Farah Province on May 5th killed 147 Afghani civilians, including 95 children. That was just the worst of many similar incidents over which he has presided. In my worldview, if you kill babies, you’re a baby-killer.

Obama’s drone attacks in Pakistan, despite the outcries of the Pakistani government and citizenry, continue to kill many innocent civilians. As an alternative to Guantanamo for holding prisoners denied due process, he is expanding the prison at the U.S. airbase at Bagram, a legal black hole. He did not utter a word of opposition to the Israeli massacre of Gazan civilians last winter, and is now actively working to suppress the Goldstone report that details the war crimes committed by Israel. The report is the first step in a legal process that would hold accountable the architects of that massacre. He is going ahead with a Bush administration program increasing nuclear weapons production, proposing to expand the Los Alamos and Oak Ridge nuclear facilities. And these are just some of the highlights. Are these the actions of a man of peace?

Is there some sort of limit on the number of women and children you can kill before you become ineligible for the Nobel Peace Prize? Since Obama took office in January, how many people on Earth have racked up a body count as outrageous and abominable as his? Four or five, tops? 6.7 billion people on the planet to choose from and the Nobel Committee picks one of the world’s top five killers to receive the Nobel Peace Prize? Some unknown goat-herder from Namibia would have been a better choice. In having this honor bestowed upon him, Obama joins such bloodthirsty war mongers as Nobel Peace Prize recipients Henry Kissinger and Teddy Roosevelt. What was the Nobel Committee’s problem with Pol Pot and Saddam Hussein? Did they exceed the allowed body count?

Why was Obama chosen, what clinched the Nobel Peace Prize for him? It was because whenever the silver-tongued leader of the “free world” gets in front of a microphone, to reinforce the group hypnosis, he tells people what they want to hear. Is perception enough and do actual policies and actions count for nothing? If saying you want world peace is all it takes, why not award the Nobel Peace Prize to any random Miss America contestant? Maybe Pol Pot and Saddam Hussein just didn’t have as effective a PR campaign running for them as Obama does.

Rather than Obama being defined by the Nobel Peace Prize, the Nobel Peace Prize has now been defined by Obama. It has been significantly devalued, insulting many worthy past recipients (the aforementioned Henry Kissinger and Teddy Roosevelt definitely NOT included). In 2005, in the middle of the illegal Iraq war they began, George Bush and Tony Blair were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Fortunately, that time reason prevailed. This time it did not. If George Bush had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize back in 2005, every liberal in the country would have been up in arms. But awarding the top honor to Obama, that’s okay, despite the fact that on all issues relating to peace, Obama is following virtually the identical policies of George Bush.

Irish Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire said, “We have to start to disarm our own minds and look at the fact that there are always alternatives to violence.”

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “The chain reaction of evil - hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars - must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”

Contrast those statements with this August 2009 statement from Obama regarding the war on Afghanistan - "This is not a war of choice. This is a war of necessity.”

In the spirit of the Nobel Committee’s seriously misguided action, I would like to propose several new prizes - a new Nobel Prize for Climate Action to be awarded to Rex Tillerson, the CEO of Exxon Mobil….a new Nobel Prize for Forest Protection to be awarded to Daniel Fulton, the CEO of Weyerhauser…..a new Nobel Prize for Obesity Prevention to be awarded to Jim Skinner, the CEO of McDonald’s…..and a new Nobel Prize for Human Caring and Compassion to be awarded to Stephen Hemsley, the CEO of United Health. If Nobel prizes are to have no meaning, let’s go all the way.

Paul Donahue

13 October 2009