Friday, October 9th 2009
written by Paul J Poposky
THE news today – the ONLY news, apparently – is that Barack Obama has become the 3rd standing US President to be awarded the Nobel "peace" Prize. If you get your news primarily from the capitalist media you could be forgiven for thinking that nothing else – nothing important – happened today. The Nobel Committee awarded Obama the "peace" Prize on the basis that his election has "created a new international climate". Ed Schultz of MSNBC said "Only very rarely has a person – to the same extent as Obama – captured the world attention and given its people hope for a better future”. This "hope for a better future" might come as news to the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, who – if this author is not mistaken – are still living under the yolk of US military occupation; or the people of Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Somalia and Sudan who certainly are "hoping" they don’t find themselves on the receiving end of another predator drone air strike.
I don’t think I heard anything in the news about the 60 people who will perish in the US today because we don’t have equal access to free, quality health CARE here as a fundamental human right — AND Obama and the Democratic Party REFUSE to fight for it! How many people in the wealthiest nation in history are working hard at 2 or 3 jobs at places like Starbucks, Wal-Mart or Whole Foods and still not getting by? How many poor kids might be enticed to sign up at their local army recruitment office, often in their high school cafeteria, because their parents lost their jobs, their health care, their homes or all of the above in the current world economic crisis?!? How many of those kids will soon be pointing a gun at other poor people in another country? How many scared working class kids in Iraq or Afghanistan will find themselves on the business end of those guns, looking back at our sons and daughters? How many Iraqis or Afghanis or Americans were murdered today by the cruel hand of the Pox Americana, of capitalist interests; profit, greed and empire? I don’t know the answer because the capitalist media didn’t tell me today…
What I did learn was that early this morning Obama accepted his award, saying "I am both surprised and deeply humbled by the decision of the Nobel Committee". Far-right talking heads like Fox News’ Glen Beck quickly pounced, criticizing the award and inexplicably suggesting that the participants in the Tea Party "movement" (?!?) should receive a "peace" Prize instead. Liberal shill Ed Schultz fired back, saying "the ONLY people in the world who are condemning Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize are Islamic terrorists and the intellectual terrorists in the Republican Party". Conservative pundits Rush Limbaugh, Michael Steele and Ron Christie decried the choice of the Nobel Committee, claiming it is unfair the President was nominated only 12 days after his inauguration but Rachel Maddow, a liberal intellectual and commentator for MSNBC, explained that "it doesn’t always work that way" echoing Obama’s earlier statement that the Nobel "peace" Prize is often awarded to "give momentum to a set of causes".
Perhaps by "specific causes" we are to understand that the bourgeoisie intellectuals on the Nobel Committee mean the cause of western imperialism, the cause of world capitalism. This week we learned that President Obama is considering sending 60,000 additional US troops to Afghanistan, bringing the total US forces in that country to over 140,000. Already the US War OF Terror has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and around the world. Today Obama said "I will accept this award as a call to action". It is no surprise that the best front man western imperialism and capitalism ever had, a man who has continued and is now escalating the war, torture and murder around the world should get the nod of the international capitalist elite. Perhaps the Nobel "peace" prize should be renamed… The Nobel Imperialist Prize! As the sun goes down this evening I can only wonder: is this "change you can believe in"? I think not. It seems instead we are being told plainly "War is Peace you can believe in".
As I flick off the TV and tune out the voices of liberal and conservative flapping heads, praising or condemning Obama’s award but reporting nothing, I cannot help but remember something I heard years ago. On July 4, 1776 George III King of England scribbled an ironic entry in his journal; it read "Nothing important happened today". Considering the mainstream media’s feature distraction today, those words seem strangely-appropriate; for all the wrong reasons…