By Hans Vogel
Obama's Nobel Peace Prize has been a shock to many, a joke to others, but most of all it has left us puzzled. Even the US press, usually welcoming of any honor or distinction bestowed on a US citizen, no matter how undeserved, has been mystified. And let us not forget the laureate himself, who was visibly unnerved by the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee's decision.
So far, it seems only the Norwegian committee members truly understand why they gave the prize to someone who, to put it mildly, has not lifted a finger for world peace. Quite the contrary, Obama has been every inch a war president (or “Commander-in-Chief” as they like to say in the US), just like his predecessor. Like Bush II, Obama is a war criminal, though probably a reluctant one. In itself, this is hardly unusual since, measured by the standards of the Nuremberg Trials, most US presidents, starting with Roosevelt II have been war criminals. Obama merely fits the basic job description.
Nor is Obama the first war criminal to receive a Nobel Peace Prize. You have Henry Kissinger, for instance (1973), or Jimmy Carter (2002). By the standards of Nuremberg, US presidential Nobel Peace Price recipients Roosevelt I (1906) and Woodrow Wilson (1919), would also qualify as war criminals.
If you think Obama is the first Nobel laureate who has not done anything to merit the prize, you are wrong. Just think of Al Gore. Few people have an ecological footprint as huge as this sweet talking con artist, yet for producing a lame flick on global warming based on flimsy evidence, he was given the peace prize.
Perhaps the Norwegian Nobel Committee thought it was time to give the prize to a Black. Sure enough, Blacks are underrepresented in the “Peace” department, and the last Black, Mrs. Wangai Maathai from Kenya, got the prize in 2004. Aha, you say, the Nobel Committee needed to give the prize to a US Black. After all, the last US Black to receive it was Martin Luther King in 1964, almost half a century ago!
So far the background. Now let us look at the official statement. It was “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.” What nonsense! I am afraid it is only the sorry state of US finances that has prevented Obama from sending even more troops to Afghanistan and to throw more bombs, killing more innocent civilians.
“The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.” The Committee members must catch up on their reading. A world without nuclear weapons? What about the US? No country on earth has a bigger nuclear arsenal. Moreover, since 2001 the US has been poisoning the Middle East and Central Asia with thousands of tons of depleted uranium. That's right. The US routinely uses ammo and warheads made with nuclear waste called depleted uranium (DU). As far as I know, Obama has not done anything to stop this criminal practice that has made large swaths of territory inhabitable and caused hundreds of thousands of people to suffer from horrible cancers.
“Thanks to Obama's initiative, (…) democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.” Yet another statement contrary to fact. Actually, in the US itself and wherever the US calls the shots, human rights are being trampled on. Either the Committee has no idea what is going on in the world, or it is extraordinarily naive.
“Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future. 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.” Granted, hope, Obama has surely given, but so far he has not been delivering, nor does it look like he will, or even that he could if he wanted. Change, are you kidding? A change of colors, that is all there has been. But who still believes in Obama today?
Finally, “the Committee endorses Obama's appeal that 'Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges.'” What kind of an appeal is that? Have you ever heard anything as noncommittal, as limp?
By any standard, the Committee's justification for giving the prize to Obama looks like a very thin one.
A closer look at the way the Committee works, may help to solve the mystery of Obama's prize. The deadline for nominations being February 1, one can easily deduce Obama was nominated for the prize less than a fortnight after being sworn in as president. Only a sorcerer or Superman could possibly have done anything to deserve the Nobel Peace Prize. Obama being neither, he was nominated without having accomplished anything at all. Basically, he was given the prize for his words.
If this is the way it happened, the Norwegian Nobel Committee must be as disappointed as all those poor folks who voted for Obama. Their hopes were dashed as well but in addition, their homes are foreclosed and they lost their jobs.
However, the Committee may just have made a very, very shrewd decision by giving the Peace Prize to an untested, handsome, boyish Black guy with vague traits of Martin Luther King. Perhaps the committee members are knowledgeable about the extent of the social misery affecting the US. Perhaps they have realized that political power in the US now is completely in the hands of the Pentagon, as Daniel Ellsberg suggested (“A Coup has Occurred,” 2007).
Perhaps the committee members knew about the awful power struggle, the existential crisis, the doubts, the despair raging inside the Washington DC Beltway. For that is what has been going on for some time now, a virtual civil war within the US ruling establishment.
Just one look at Obama will tell you this man is a special case. While political leaders generally tend to be either athletic or pycnic (stocky), Obama is clearly asthenic, or leptosomic: narrow shoulders, long neck, skinny and tall. The kind of person who would need extra support in order to carry the heavy burden of political responsibility. According to the five-temperament scheme, Obama would be a supine character, with secondary reactions, eager to serve and please and ready to take orders from above. The ideal person to act as figurehead for the secretive junta serving the interests of the Wall Street mafia and the military-industrial complex fused in the Pentagon.
Like other “Washington-watchers” the Norwegian Nobel Committee may have become scared at what they were seeing. For a nation as powerful and proud as the US, the kind of crisis it has been experiencing for some time now, is life-threatening. And we all know the US always looks for the solutions to its problems beyond its own borders. By blaming others, by blackmailing them, invading them, occupying them and destroying them. With Iran the target of US wrath, and with the constant saber-rattling coming out of Washington, the Norwegians must have been thinking they urgently needed to do something to prevent a world disaster.
By giving the Prize to Obama, the Norwegians may have hoped to put moral pressure on him. It would be quite difficult for a Nobel Peace Prize laureate to start a war against Iran. Therefore, the Prize should be considered as a kind of “Preemptive Prize.”
Moreover, with the prize, the Obama's prestige would grow, his spine would get extra support and his shoulders might become just a bit broader. Who knows, with enough support from the outside world (the “Rest of the World,” or ROW) Obama might even stand up to his handlers.