By David R. Hoffman
According to some prognosticators, the world will end in 2012. This hypothesis is based upon many beliefs, including the prophecies of the Hopi Indians and the Mayan Long Count Calendar.
I'll admit, the world's demise did not seem far-fetched when George W. Bush and his cabal of liars, sadists, torturers and war criminals illegally controlled the White House. But the election of Barack Obama in 2008 seemed to reinvigorate the spirit of the world, and made people believe in the power of "hope."
I'll also admit that I was pleased when Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, and rejected the sentiments of those who argued he had done nothing to deserve it.
But I would not be an honest journalist if I did not admit when I was wrong. Now I not only agree that Obama did nothing to justify receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, he has even, as recent events have demonstrated, done everything in his power to prove he is completely unworthy of it.
His administration has not only refused to prosecute any of the torturers or war criminals from the Bush dictatorship, it even (as Wikileaks revealed) pressured foreign governments into not pursuing criminal charges against Bush-era thugs. And Obama's so-called "justice department" has not only repeatedly defended the draconian "anti-terrorism" policies implemented by Bush, it has even exploited these policies to commit or perpetuate human rights abuses, including the mistreatment of Bradley Manning, a United States soldier currently in detention for allegedly passing classified information to Wikileaks.
In fact, ever since the corrupt ascendancy of George W. Bush, human rights abuses have become so entrenched in American culture that the Obama administration recently forced Phillip J. Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, to resign after he called the abuses directed against Manning "ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid."
In other words, while Nobel Laureates like Martin Luther King Jr., Elie Wiesel, Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela and Liu Xiaobo suffered illegal detentions, imprisonment and/or torture, Nobel Laureate Obama not only defends these practices, he actually engages in them.
If these practices are not enough to make Obama undeserving of the Nobel Peace Prize, his recent declaration of war against Libya-the third war the United States government is currently involved in (not counting its numerous "covert" operations)-clearly makes him ineligible for any type of peace prize.
And even though this Libyan "mission" is allegedly for "humanitarian" purposes, and ostensibly under the control of NATO, anyone with a modicum of perception can see beyond this facade.
America's corporate-controlled media recently ran a story about a Libyan woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted by troops loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. While I certainly do not want to mock or minimize the horror of this crime, it should be noted that rape has been used as a weapon of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since 1998, and neither the corporate-controlled media nor NATO has clamored for military intervention to stop it.
It has been estimated that millions have died, and thousands continue to die, as a result of the war in the DRC, while thousands more have perished in the Sudan region of Darfur. And other African nations apparently unworthy of NATO's "humanitarian" assistance include Somalia, which has been in turmoil since 1991, and Ivory Coast, a nation that millions are currently fleeing from in anticipation of civil war.
NATO's "humanitarianism" was also invisible when Myanmar's military dictatorship nullified the results of democratically held elections; when the House of Saud, the ruling family in Saudi Arabia, helped suppress pro-democracy demonstrations in Bahrain; and when China recently sentenced democracy activist Liu Xianbin to ten years in prison. And it remains invisible as anti-government demonstrators continue to suffer violent reprisals in Syria and Jordan.
Granted, the atrocities and injustices in many of these countries began long before Obama took power. But the mere fact they have endured for so long clearly mocks any purported "concerns" about "humanitarianism" that NATO speciously utters.
So what does NATO tell these people, whose aspirations for freedom, democracy and human rights are not unlike those being trumpeted by the rebel forces in Libya?
Does it say, "Your race and/or nationality does not make you human enough for NATO to defend your rights"; Does it say, "You are not entitled to democracy, because there's a risk you will elect a government that places your interests above the interests of NATO"; Does it say, "You cannot be given freedom, because the tyranny you suffer under allows members of NATO to plunder your nation's natural resources, pollute your environments, and exploit your cheap labor markets."
Thanks to its invasion of Libya, coupled with its apathy towards humanitarian crises in numerous other countries throughout the world, NATO is saying all three.
But don't just take my word for it. Eugene Robinson, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist for the Washington Post, recently wrote: "The world would be fortunate to be rid of [Gadhafi]. But war in Libya is justifiable only if we are going to hold compliant dictators to the same standard as defiant ones. If not, then please spare us all the homilies about universal rights and freedoms. We'll know this isn't about justice; it's about power."
So let it be known that thanks to NATO's hypocrisy, greed, corruption and selective sense of "outrage," billions now suffer, and will continue to suffer.
And let it also be known that the Nobel Peace Prize has been forever tainted by Obama's Orwellian belief that "war is peace."
David R. Hoffman
Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
Indeed, how dare they run US-independent policy? They should have followed the example of the European Union that turned independent states of the Old World into US-ditto entities